Remember the time your roommate did not pay you back for utilities on time? Or the other time your landlord called you for past due rent, but you knew you paid your portion already? Splitting costs between roommates can be difficult, especially for the roommate whose name is on all the bills. PayByGroup is an efficient way to collect money for rent, utilities, and other group payments. Property managers can recommend PayByGroup to help diffuse difficult roommate situations. APM spoke with Kevin Shepherd to get more insight about PayByGroup.
APM: I actually browsed the website, and I sent the link to a friend because she sets up big group events. I told her, “I think I found something perfect for you.” Can you please provide more details about PayByGroup?
Kevin: Sure thing. We’ve two products. We have a merchant facing product and consumer facing product. For the vacation rental industry, we focus more on the merchant facing product, and try to exist almost like a PayPal button for groups on our merchant’s checkout page. The consumer product side helps someone like your friend, an organizer who gets groups together on the fly that ends up paying. Once the money is collected, it pays directly to that organizer’s bank account. On the merchant side, the merchant offers PayByGroup through checkout flow. Once the group collects the total amount due, PayByGroup enables them to pay directly to the merchant.
APM: Could property managers use this to make it easier for tenants to pay on-line?
Kevin: We actually see this in both the real estate and vacation rental sector. With real estate, we see tenants using it to collect rent from one another. The most common scenario we see generally involves college students or young adults. I myself live with two other guys, and we use PaybyGroup every month just so I don’t have to put it all in my account; they pay to me. Basically, my roommate can join PaybyGroup, which in turn will deposit to their money into my bank account, and then I can write the check.
Property managers can offer it, and tenants can pay rent independently. Pay rent in one lump sum, but from different people, which is helpful.
APM: I could see how property managers can benefit from this.
Kevin: The technology makes PayByGroup useful. PayByGroup sends reminders in a timely manner and takes the awkward pressure off the group organizer. The group organizer will not shoulder the burden to round the group up, hassle people for money, fund it themselves, or worry about being paid back.
That’s what we’re good at, we get groups to come together and make it happen. Typically one roommate says, “OK, I’m the one in charge of rent. I will ask John and Fred every month for the rent check.” Now this individual can invite them to PayByGroup. It will handle reminders for, and notify the user when the other people in the group sign up. Everyone can see who pays and it holds each person accountable for their portion. For something like rent, it’s great.
APM: What do you think makes your product stand out from other similar products? Do other services like this exist?
Kevin: Actually, we’re the only one with a merchant focus. One company does what we do in terms on the consumer side. PayByGroup takes away the uncertainty from the organizer; he or she will know when the payment arrives. Once the user receives the notification, he or she can make the payment via check or credit card.
APM: I saw the customer reviews that you sent me. Can you describe the feedback received from merchants?
Kevin:It’s all been very positive. Again, for right now, we focus more on the vacation rental property management than the real estate side. I would imagine the same ideas still apply. Any agent who deals with customers or tenants on a day-to-day basis can simplify multi-party transactions. Property managers will find value in PayByGroup and simplify the rent collection process.
APM: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about PayByGroup?
Kevin: PayByGroup simplifies a process that traditionally creates friction and requires a lot of coordination. This in turn becomes an inconvenience for the merchants. PayByGroup makes it easy on both sides. As a result, payments happen faster.
To Sum It Up!
Both property managers and tenants can benefit from PayByGroup. This service makes collecting group payments easy. Property managers can either use or recommend this service to maximize timely rent payments. Roommates can use this to split their rent and take away the awkwardness that comes during rent collection time.
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