An accountant by profession, Olena Pereira is the financial controller and property manager of Century 21 Pereira Group. In her role, Olena ensures that the property management function performs in an effective and efficient manner.
Harrington Park, NSW
Rent arrears since using SimpleRent
Saved weekly on banking-related activities
Of failed payments were recovered through automation without manual follow-up
When Financial Controller Olena Pereira wanted to streamline her property accounting and maintain tenant satisfaction, she turned to SimpleRent. The direct debit feature is only one slice of the pie in how SimpleRent is helping her and her team give their tenants the flexibility they deserve - a choice of how and when to pay rent. Implementing SimpleRent resulted in a number of gains, like saving 3.5 hours a day and having zero rent arrears.
SimpleRent has been a lifesaver. It feels like I've employed an extra person.
Armed with a solid background in finance, Olena Pereira joined Century21 as Financial Controller 7 years ago. In her role, Olena oversees the property management operations while managing all finance and accounting aspects of the function.
As a property manager herself, Olena knows how vital it is to collect rent payments on time. Even if tenants are capable of paying the rent, they may forget to pay on time every month.
To address this, Century21 Pereira Group encouraged their tenants to set up a direct debit. And it worked fine for a while, but over time, with the influx of payments, the initial solution opened a can of challenges.
While the direct debit payment collection is automated, what happens before and after was entirely a different story. From arduous direct debit approvals to payment reminders, the property accounting workflows were time-consuming.
“Our biggest challenge prior to using SimpleRent was banking. Although we decided to do direct debit, the hardest thing was actually getting bank approvals. The limit was quite a big issue and we kept blowing it. We were jumping through hoops to get approval, SimpleRent didn’t have that. It was nice and easy. SimpleRent came around and it was a lifesaver”, Olena said.
Olena saw the need to adopt an end-to-end rent payment software to take the stress out of property management.
In April 2020, Century21 Pereira Group switched to SimpleRent, and it changed their property management game forever.
“Outsourcing” the day-to-day activities
Olena shares that SimpleRent has been “a lifesaver” and she feels like she has “employed an extra person”.
She says, “It really allows me to have outsourced a part of my day-to-day worry and stress and things that I would have had to make sure that I deal with and have my team rely on. I'm actually able to rely on someone else and know that I'm prompted. If something's not right, It has been a huge change to the way we conduct business. It allows me to be on the front foot and be more forward-facing rather than worry about where I'm catching up.”
Today, she only spends 20 minutes a day on banking-related activities compared to the usual four hours a day. In a week, she is able to save 17.5 hours by “outsourcing” a part of her daily activities to SimpleRent.
Reducing rent arrears
Property managers have a million and one things on their plate. They barely have time to make phone calls and send out every email to get rent paid on time. Despite their best efforts, some tenants still miss rent.
Olena is impressed by SimpleRent’s automated payment reminders and past-due notices not only to tenants but also to property managers. Olena explains the limitations she had with another property management software. “The issue is that you really are not alerted until they are genuinely in arrears. So you are looking at information 3 days behind.”
SimpleRent “allowed her to be more in control” in managing payments and arrears. She appreciates the immediate notifications for late or failed payments - allowing her tenants to “make catchup payments right away”.
As Olena further shares, “I have not had a single client fall into arrears since using SimpleRent. I had one or two missed payments I was notified about, and the tenants resolved before going into arrears.”
Olena attributes that reduction in arrears to SimpleRent’s direct debit feature with proactive and automated payment notifications. In fact, 43% of failed direct debit payments were recovered through SimpleRent automated communications alone - without manual follow-ups.
Greater control and visibility
Adopting SimpleRent brings more control for Century21 Pereira Group. “SimpleRent gives me flexibility. One of the things we didn’t have was the limit. I could put in 1 to 10 to 100 tenants on direct debit all at once in stages. Lots of flexibility,” Olena said.
Olena appreciates that SimpleRent is easy to use. The simple dashboard gives her team the information they need, including cleared payments and upcoming renewals. As Olena describes it, “everything’s there” to keep them up-to-date and on top of every tenant transaction.
Olena is thrilled to give tenants the option they want - how and when to pay. She explains that tenants do not want to be locked into a payment date. “One of my biggest selling points when talking to tenants is that with SimpleRent, they can do any day they want - monthly, fortnightly weekly. It gives flexibility back to tenants to pay rent when they want.”
Other tenants prefer to pay their rent via credit card. And a few years back, Century 21 Pereira Group couldn’t offer this payment method to tenants. Using SimpleRent has made it possible for them to allow tenants to make credit card payments. “It really just made a difference. So all of those things that we couldn't actually offer to our tenants, now they're there and that probably is one of the biggest things. I'm like, I can't offer you flexibility, but hey, SimpleRent can!”
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