If you’ve ever paid a bill or purchased an item without touching your checkbook or bringing out cash, you’ve made a digital payment. In fact, most of us have done so, as studies show that more than 6.1 billion people worldwide will be using digital payments by 2023. So if your real estate office isn’t relying heavily on digital payments by now, it’s time to change that! After all, digital payments can save time and money, especially when it comes to large purchases like real estate. Here’s how.
For years, one of the most common ways to pay closing costs and other real estate expenses has been by paper check. But as you know, check payments aren’t instant. Personal checks can take two to three days to clear the bank, and even longer when any banking issues arise. That means title companies and real estate brokerages don’t get the money right away. And of course, if the check bounces, it can take weeks to get paid, delaying the entire closing process.
This is why cashier’s checks and certified checks are often preferred — or even required — over personal checks. But even these checks typically take a day or two to clear the bank, so it’s not an instant payment. If the client is mailing the check to your office, that’s even more time you have to wait for payment. And there’s the fact that someone in your office has to take a trip to the bank to deposit all those checks. That’s more time spent just collecting payments for real estate transactions!
With digital payments, you don’t have to worry about any of this. It usually takes seconds for your real estate clients to send a digital payment, and you can see it in your account instantly. This can help real estate transactions move faster and more seamlessly, making the whole process of buying or selling real estate more efficient. So if you want to save time for your clients and your office as a whole, digital payments are the way to go.
Maybe you’ve tried to speed up the home buying process and increase security by only accepting certified checks or cashier’s checks rather than personal checks. This might take a day or two off the processing time, but there are still time-consuming aspects involved with these types of checks.
Just one example is that the buyer has to go to the bank and physically get a cashier’s check or certified check for the correct amount and then bring it to the office. This process can take an hour or more, meaning it can be time-consuming for the buyer to pay via check. And that’s assuming everything goes smoothly. What happens if the check gets lost in the mail? That can delay closing for weeks as the team waits to get the check, only to realize it’s not coming, and they then have to request a replacement from the client.
And what happens if the title company or real estate brokerage — or even the buyer — loses the check? This can lead everyone at the office to spend several minutes or even hours looking for it. If they don’t find it, the buyer will have to report the lost check to the bank, pay a small fee to stop payment on it, and wait up to 90 days to recoup the money.
That’s a big delay to contend with when you’re closing on a home, and it could slow down or even cancel the home buying process. So if you want to avoid the possibility of losing a paper check and causing a huge delay, digital payments are the better option!
Another issue with common payment methods is the possibility of losing large sums of money when someone targets your clients or your office. For instance, check fraud is a big concern with all types of checks, with fake cashier’s checks being a good example of a somewhat common scam these days. This can lead to your office losing thousands of dollars in a single transaction if you mistakenly accept a fake cashier’s check.
But criminals don’t just target checks as a way to illegally make money. They also go after wire transfers, as they can steal thousands or even millions of dollars this way within mere minutes! Unfortunately, many real estate offices also like wire transfers since they’re a fast way to pay — when they work correctly.
The problem is there are so many wire transfer scams in which buyers accidentally wire money to the wrong account. For instance, cyber criminals often send emails or voicemails to home buyers, pretending to be their real estate agent or title agent so they can direct them to make a wire transfer to a specific account.
They might claim there’s been a last-minute change to the account number and to send the money to this new account — which happens to belong to the cyber criminal. And since wire transfers aren’t reversible, the buyers who get scammed this way lose thousands of dollars!
This is the main issue with wire transfers, as they’re heavily targeted by cyber criminals who are often successful at making money from this type of fraud. You can reduce the chance of losing that kind of money to wire fraud by switching to digital payments, which have more protection. Unlike wire transfers, you can typically get your money back from a digital payment if it’s taken by fraud. This is one major way digital payments can save money compared to wire transfers.
Finally, in most cases, when you consider the effort it takes your team to accept and process checks and wire transfers, digital payments are cheaper and less time-consuming. After all, when your office accepts a cashier’s check or certified check, you need someone there to handle it. This usually includes making sure it’s valid, taking it to the bank, and recording that it was received.
As you might imagine, this can require an hour or more for every transaction — and that can add up fast when you’re handling several closings at a time! Think about what your team could do if they didn’t have to take all these steps when accepting payments from clients.
That’s why real estate teams looking to save some time in the workday prefer digital payments. When you accept digital payments from clients, you’ll know that the transactions are completed and tracked entirely online. They’re also often automatically saved to the cloud for your records or even emailed to clients so they know you got the payment. This takes some of the workload off your team, saving not only time but also money in office supplies since you won’t have to print out records or mail receipts to clients.
If saving money and time on real estate transactions is something your team is interested in, digital payments should appeal to you. In particular, paymints.io is an ideal way to make sure every payment is secure, compliant, and easy to track from start to finish. If you want to learn more about how paymints.io can help your real estate team, Schedule a Demo with us today!