June 18, 2020
How to Switch Utility Billing Companies: 3 Steps
For many landlords, changing utility billing companies is a daunting task. Fortunately, switching is easier than most people think. In this post, we’ll review the three simple steps you can follow to find a new partner and get your billing back on track.
Working with a utility billing company can cut costs, save time and transform your bottom line. But occasionally, things don’t go as expected.
Sometimes the RBC (read, bill, collect) company isn’t forthcoming with the reimbursement checks. Or maybe they’re not invoicing at all. Maybe a lack of transparency or service is causing headaches for management and ownership.
Whatever the cause, a rocky relationship between RBC and property ownership can crush cost recovery and impact the property’s bottom line. To get control of the situation, you’ll need to switch utility billing companies quickly and start recovering costs as soon as possible.
The good news is switching is easier than most people think.
Switching Utility Billing Companies in 3 Steps
The first step is to find a few good alternatives to switch to. This means shopping around for quotes online.
After you’ve gotten a few quotes, set up consultations. They’ll give you the opportunity to get answers to any questions you might have. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Will you change billing methods?
- Should you invest in submeters?
- What level of service do you need?
- Can the RBC deliver that level of service?
- Can they provide education and welcome letters that makes onboarding easier for owners, property managers and residents?
- Will the RBC be transparent and forthcoming about bills and reimbursements?
Answering these questions will provide insight into the RBCs you’re considering and help you set expectations for cost and timeline.
Select a Company
There are a number of factors to consider when selecting a utility billing company, including flexible billing methods, analytics support and level of service.
However, if you’re looking for a smooth transition between utility billing companies, there’s one factor you can’t afford to overlook: software.
An RBC’s utility billing software has a significant impact on how fast they can onboard. If you partner with an RBC that operates on an insufficient platform, your onboarding could take weeks – weeks you could be billing.
In contrast, utility billing software with direct integrations and custom mapping capabilities allows some RBCs to get any property up and running in one week or less.
In summary, working with an RBC that can directly integrate into your property management will ensure a fast and painless transition.
Share Rent Roll
Once you’ve selected an RBC, it’s surprisingly easy to start billing.
The complexity of onboarding really comes back to the factors you considered when picking a utility billing company in the first place.
If they have a robust software system in place, onboarding will be simple. All you will need to do is export the rent roll from your property management software or share utility bills on occasion. The RBC then imports the data into their system.
Once your new RBC partner has your rent roll, you’ll be ready to bill in no time.
More property owners and managers are working with RBCs to cut costs, save time and transform their bottom line. If your current arrangement is impacting your cost recovery, it might be time to consider making the switch.