Insights, property services

How to spot (and solve) payment inefficiencies in property services

By Modulr on 29 April 2020   •   4 mins read

The property sector is going through a period of unprecedented disruption, as real estate agencies, landlords and tenants all deal with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19. To ensure business continuity, it’s more important than ever that property businesses find ways to streamline their operations and automate core processes. And one of the best places to start is with payments.

That’s because the property services sector is grappling with a number of hidden payment inefficiencies. Many letting and real estate agencies still depend on manual and outdated processes which sink hours or days of time for their accounting teams. This is valuable time that could be better spent focusing on strategic, high-value finance tasks to support business growth.

Some property companies don’t even realise they’re being held back, because they’ve been reliant on legacy systems for so long. They’re being forced to throw more people power at the problem because they haven’t been presented with new, efficient and feasible solutions. 

One UK property firm was determined to find a better way

Modulr was recently contacted by a London-based property management company. At the time, this company was managing several thousand properties and growing fast. The business reached out to us because their accounting team was struggling with internal inefficiencies. Their days were consumed by managing incoming and outcoming payments.

Most of the payments from tenants were coming in by standing order and into two bank accounts. Payments would all come in on different days depending on when tenants had signed their original agreement. Every day payments would come in, and the accounting team would have to figure out which tenants had paid, whether they’d paid the correct amount and sort any discrepancies.

All of this administrative work needed to be done before rent payments were forwarded on to the landlords, and this process could take several days.

The business recognised that this was tedious and time-consuming for their accounting team. It was also seeking a way to offer a better experience to landlords, who would be more satisfied if they could receive funds instantly with better visibility over those payments. That’s why the company decided to bring in Modulr.

Together, we devised a more efficient way to manage their rent collections and outgoing payments through our digital platform. 

How Modulr is helping property services companies

We’re helping many of the UK’s leading property and real estate businesses – including the company above – to streamline their payments processes and reduce operational overheads.

Specifically, our digital payments platform helps with:

  • Rent collections. Set up segregated accounts, automatically identify rent payments from tenants and eliminate the need for manual checks. Quickly notify tenants that funds have been received. We can provide Payment Initiation (PIS), which is like a standing order, but it delivers a better user experience and offers more control for landlords and letting agents.
  • Payments to landlords. Fast and automated reconciliation and automated payment splitting means that you can pay landlords faster, within minutes instead of days.
  • Contractor, supplier and maintenance payments. Make fast and reliable payments to contractors. Get visibility of whether contractors have been paid.
  • Returning deposits and overpayments. You can also make fast and reliable payments back to tenants. Get visibility and definitive confirmation that tenants have received their funds.

What are the benefits for property businesses?

By streamlining the collections process and speeding up payments, property services companies can enjoy a wide range of benefits.

  • Deliver a better experience for landlords and tenants. All parties receive payments faster and get visibility and notifications about payment statuses. This can improve customer retention and help you attract new businesses.
  • Improve business continuity. Payments need to be processed 24/7, and you can’t afford things to stop if employees are sick, on leave or over-burdened. By removing the need for manual payment administration, your business continuity is improved.
  • Focus on business growth. Free up your accounting team to focus on higher-value and more strategic tasks, instead of burdening them with repetitive tasks that can be automated.
  • Reduce the risk of payment errors. Manual processes always incur the risk of mistakes. These errors can happen from tenants entering details incorrectly or errors in-house. And this can cause payment delays and lead to a poor customer experience.
  • Be ready for future growth. Finally, if your business is planning to accelerate growth and onboard large volumes of customers, it’s crucial that you identify hidden inefficiencies that could cause more problems at scale.

Whether you're an established real estate or letting agency or an ambitious PropTech company, there’s no reason to put up with hidden inefficiencies in payments. By harnessing the power of payments automation you’ll be in a better position to maintain continuity, push through this challenging time and grow your business.