As budget time approaches, DEPM property managers are consulting with resident managers, superintendents, and our financial analysts to prepare the 2018 Operating Budget drafts for our client boards to review. Preliminary and general observations reflect that real estate taxes continue to outpace normal indexes of inflation. Utility costs have increased at a pace second only to taxes while, interestingly, labor and related costs are trending just above inflation indexes. Supplies and services have generally marked lower than inflation. DEPM unfailingly works its portfolio clout wherever possible for our clients’ financial benefit. We do our best to reduce the financial impact of our managed buildings’ supply purchasing, fuel and other utility charges, and contractor competitive bidding processes. Please reach out to your building’s Financial Analyst if you have any 2018 budget-related questions.
It has been over two years since DEPM has implemented our online resident payment portal and the response has been dramatic and positive. Over 99% of our buildings have enrolled and are using the system, and we have achieved an overall usage rate of close to 30% of all residents with a monthly dollar volume of over $27 million.
To recap the specifics of the program, residents who enroll in this optional plan can easily pay their rent, maintenance, common charges or any outstanding balance with an electronic check or a credit card payment through a secure website. Residents can set up
recurring payments as well as make onetime payments at any time. If payment is made by credit card, the 2.5% service fee charged by and paid directly to the credit card company is paid by the resident. In addition, residents are able to view their account balance and payment history online. If a resident’s transaction is unable to be processed due to insufficient funds, they will be charged a $5 fee. The standard fee to your property for this service is $50 per month.
Going forward we would like to partner with our Boards to encourage and increase the usage and adoption rate and feel that increased penetration would benefit all parties. The certainty and expediency of online collection not only improves your building’s cash flow but also allows residents to plan accordingly for their monthly obligations. If you would like
specific usage and payment rates for your property please reach out to your Account Executive for that confidential information. Over the next few months we will be communicating with residents through email, bill insertion pamphlets and flyers that can be displayed in building lobbies to encourage participation. If you feel that your building needs a more personal touch, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and inquire about a possible lobby event that could be hosted by DEPM to help new users sign up or to answer any questions.