Student Housing Business

MAR-APR 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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SMARTER OPERATIONS March/April 2018 StudentHousingBusiness.com 124 "Since LeaseLock covers the losses that are usually pursued by a property, we bring collec- tions activities at properties to zero," says Reichen Kuhl, CEO of Marina del Rey, California-based LeaseLock. "Zero deposit for the renter; zero collections for the property." Kuhl explains that LeaseLock eliminates all blockers that often develop when student hous- ing operators require guaran- tors or large security deposits for their domestic or international students. "Parents love that they no longer need to co-sign and their student's upfront move-in costs are greatly reduced," he adds. "Operators/ owners love it because it virtually removes the burden of any costs related to collections." Reaching Residents: Billing A proactive approach to creat- ing a culture of on-time bill paying is one key component to develop- ing a community of residents who understand the responsibility of monthly expenses. Across the GMH Capital port- folio, Justin Wybenga, vice presi- dent of asset services with the Newtown Square, Pennsylvania- based operator, strives to create a positive culture of collections among the residents. "It's more about executing a successful culture of collections with consistent expectations and responsibilities for the residents," he says. "We offer residents incen- tives for automatic or recurring payments and an easy-to-use resident portal with access to all billing data and information. There is an expectation of on-time payment." Reaching students where they "live" on mobile devices or online is standard practice now for most utility billing, especially with paperless, electronic and text-alert billing options. With the online and mobile accessibility already there for residents, operators and owners need to focus on the sta- bility of the services and prod- ucts that they're using to ensure residents are able to consistently make their payments, and prefer- ably in as few clicks as possible. Third-party service provid- ers, like Conservice, SimpleBills and RentMoola, offer customiz- able solutions for utility billing that benefit both the residents' and community's bottom line. These services remove the bur- den of distributing and collecting monthly bills from the property management team and puts it in the hands of specialized experts who are dedicated to reaching res- idents in their space. A vital aspect of reaching stu- dents is simple education on bill- ing and monthly utilities, espe- cially as most student residents are first-time renters. These three vendors focus on resident and property management education and continued customer service, which Wybenga notes is a key fac- tor in selecting a collections and billing partner. SimpleBills offers a billing solu- tion that is by-the-bed. The devel- ops and leverages regulatory and process efficiencies to ensure the partnership benefits customers where it matters most: NOI and resident satisfaction, notes Kyle Van Pelt, director of training with Waco, Texas-based SimpleBills. "We've put our effort into cus- tomer service," he says. "While utilities are one of the least favor- ite expenses for college students, we know that being helpful and Red Solo cups Ping pong balls Beer Rent Rent may not always be a priority. Let BYL Collections locate, contact and collect past due rent owed to you. bylcollections.com | 877.840.8102 For more information, contact Ryan Howard at rhoward@bylcompanies.com . . . JUSTIN WYBENGA Vice President of Asset Services, GMH Capital REICHEN KUHL CEO, LeaseLock KYLE VAN PELT Director of Training, SimpleBills

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