RealPage’s Velocity Launches Online Access to Convergent Billing

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorCarrollton, Texas–Velocity, a RealPage solution that provides resident utility billing and invoice processing services, has announced that its convergent billing services will now be available for online review and payment.With this service and CrossFire Living, residents will be able to review and pay their rent, utilities, service fees, amenity fees and vacant unit costs on a single online bill. “The benefit to property managers is that they will get a lift in resident satisfaction and get better collections on utility and small charges,” says Jay Harwood, product manager for Velocity, tells MHN.Velocity’s services include invoice processing, billing and submetering. “All the services can save time and effort on the behalf of on-site staff, so you’re saving because you’re not using as many hours of manpower to compile, compare and deliver bills,” explains Harwood. Velocity’s convergent billing services, available since early 2005, has been shown to lift resident collections by approximately 3 to 5 percent, on average. The convergent bill is currently serving approximately 320,000 units across the nation.“Moving to convergent billing with onsite collections, you can see revenue lift around $11 per unit per month (for both the convergent billing and onsite collections), based on administrative savings, the increased likelihood that residents will pay and an increase in resident satisfaction,” says Harwood.The convergent bill is presented through CrossFire’s Living systems, specifically the online product set, which includes an Internet-based resident portal for bill presentment, rent payments, service requests and online renewals.“Property managers now recognize that their residents are coming to expect the level of convenience of basic communications and transactions being available online,” notes Michael Fortinberry, president of CrossFire. “Resident self service offers operational advantages by moving work off the shoulders of the community staff. Team members can now spend that previously administrative time on building positive living experiences with residents.”