PayRent: Q&A with CEO Ryan Abell
We sat down with CEO and Founder of PayRent, Ryan Abell, to talk about the rent payment platform and how it operates.
Q: Can you tell us about PayRent – what it does and for whom and how it came to be?
A: PayRent is seeking to eliminate the checkbook by taking rent payments from paper to digital. As a landlord myself, I came to the realization that there had to be a better way to accept payments than through a physical check. Upon further research I found that landlords lacked a simple platform that would allow them to accept rent payments easily online. I began researching and found that over 50% of the rental market was comprised of landlords that own from one to four rental units. I began calling landlords listed on craigslist across the country and asked “how are you collecting rent” and the majority response was overwhelmingly, “by check.”
As I researched various platforms that facilitated payments, I noticed a handful of peer-to-peer platforms that allowed one to pay a buddy back for a burrito on a small transaction basis. However, there was not an industry platform that provided the necessary tools and features for small independent property owners.
Q: Can you walk me through how your platform helps users?
A: The majority of our landlords have full-time jobs as well as rental properties and are always on the go. We’ve had many landlords who have had to wait until the beginning of the month for rent checks to come in and then make the trip to the bank to deposit them. It’s exciting to be able to impact landlords’ and renters’ lives by providing an online solution where they can collect and pay from anywhere at any time. Besides landlords, renters have been thrilled with the implementation of PayRent because now it gives them an easy way to pay their individual rent.
Q: What is it important for people to know about your organization?
A: We are extremely passionate about putting PayRent into the hands of every landlord big and small. Processing rent payments across the country is a thrilling experience as we are seeing first-hand the positive impact we are making. I have always told myself that each landlord currently collecting a paper check will inevitably accept digital rent payments.
Q: What’s a lesson you’ve learned in building PayRent?
A: Building PayRent has shown me that every Landlord and Property manager needs a system that works for them. That has allowed us to constantly tailor our product to our customers’ needs. Hearing feedback from industry professionals who use our service has allowed us to grow in a dynamic way.
Q: Can you tell us about your journey into offering payments – what did you learn along the way?
A: Starting a payments company comes with many challenges and even though you would like to be the next “unicorn,” we are keeping our eyes on the future. The key to a healthy payments company is steady growth.
Q: You’re now working closely with WePay. Can you tell us about the experience and results?
A: Our experience with WePay has been extremely positive. Their team is exceptional and will undoubtedly be a driving factor in how our payments are processed. I am looking forward to a long-term relationship with such reputable brands as WePay and Chase.
There is a lot that goes into payments when it comes to risk. Our vision is to process rent payments for landlords and managers across the country, and WePay’s infrastructure was the exact fit we were looking for.
Q: What has changed in your business and outlook now that payments are integrated?
A: We now have the ability to focus more on our platform and the upcoming features we plan to implement in the near future.
Q: What metrics do you pay attention to for business success?
A: The amount of rental units that process on a monthly basis as we may have a landlord that processes one rental unit vs. a landlord that processes 100+ units a month.
Q: Can you tell us something unusual about you, your organization and your work?
A: I have worked in the fire service as a Firefighter/Paramedic for 9 years. We work out of an old US Navy Officer headquarters that has been completely revamped.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Faith, family and perseverance. Believe in something and go after it. Embrace hard times, that is where character is built.