PropertyBridge Launches Contest to Encourage Use of Automated Payment System

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorOakland, Calif.—PropertyBridge Inc. has launched its 2009 Community Contest, a marketing promotion for property managers to boost resident payment adoption.“We hear from clients that they are feeling the pinch” in this economy, Summer Palma, marketing manager for PropertyBridge, tells MHN. “We are working with them to promote a lower-cost payment alternative. Every time a resident makes a payment [using PropertyBridge], it automatically updates in the property management system, eliminating the task for the leasing staff so they can focus on leasing.”Palma adds that the purpose of this contest is for PropertyBridge to work with its clients to add value for a bigger ROI. “We work with our clients to offer promotional programs as additional incentives for residents to sign up for electronic payments.”Last year, PropertyBridge held a $20,000 Resident Sweepstakes event. Each time a resident made a payment using PropertyBridge, they were entered into a drawing for the grand prize. Clients saw an average boost of 41 percent in electronic rent payments.For this contest, each client’s communities are competing against one another each month for three months, explains Palma. One community within each client’s portfolio will be awarded based on the percentage increase in resident payments over the property’s previous month’s total. The grand prize winner for each client will be the community with the highest percentage increase during the entire three-month period. All winners will be announced on the PropertyBridge community portal.The contest will run from Feb. 1, 2009 to April 30, 2009. Eligible properties must be active on the PropertyBridge system as of Jan. 1, 2009 and offer at least one no-fee payment option to residents. Over 1,000 properties will be participating in the contest.Palma offers some tips for property managers to increase the number of residents using the electronic payment platform. These include:•    Educating residents that electronic payments are an option in property newsletters, if applicable.•    Promoting the service on property Websites.•    Signing up residents for recurring electronic payments when they are in the office.•    Including information in welcome kits for new residents.