ClickPay Fits the Bill for Online Real Estate Receivables July 14, 2016
Radical changes are afoot in the way tenants pay rent, homeowners pay maintenance fees and association dues, and landlords and property managers collect and record it all. And a rapidly expanding high-tech Manhattan firm known as ClickPay, a division of NovelPay, LLC, is a key driver of these changes.
ClickPay, founded in 2009, provides cloud-based SaaS billing and payment software for the multi-family and commercial real estate industries. These services, which can be seamlessly integrated into existing software programs like Yardi, MRI, MDS and dozens of others, provide property owners and managers with a customizable, electronic solution to bill and collect from their residents through online payments, lockbox, online banking, on-site check scanning, paper statements and e-billing.
ClickPay’s unique payment product for online bill payments is based on a connection between the banks and 75 Million bill pay customers. Originating at the residents own bank web portal, they choose to pay their real estate charges and the funds flow directly into the properties bank account.
“Some tenants prefer to do everything online,” says Steven Van Praagh, ClickPay’s president and chief strategy officer. Indeed, over 20 percent of residential payments these days are completed via mobile devices. But some tenants prefer to pay by check or even cash, and our services accommodate that.”
The services don’t stop at monthly rental, HOA or common charge payments. They encompass transactions throughout the complete lifecycle of the resident, from application fees, security deposits and move-in charges, through monthly recurring expenses for the tenure of the resident and, ultimately, the move-out fees.
“The end results are operational efficiency and tenant satisfaction,” explains Tom Kiernan, CEO of ClickPay. “We often say that we make the phone stop ringing for our clients.”
Although ClickPay has a large client base in the New York City area, it also is growing rapidly nationwide. On an annual basis, ClickPay processes billions of dollars of payments for clients who represent over three million multi-family, homeowners and commercial units in 48 states. Many of these clients are well known in the real estate industry. Among them are Stonehenge, First Service Residential, LeFrak, Greenthal, Brown Harris Stevens, and Halstead, to name a few.
In January, ClickPay announced the addition of 100,000 residential units to its nationwide portfolio. In the fall of 2015, it completed a Series B financing at a nearly double-digit multiple of the price of the Series A. At that time, Josh Koplewicz, the managing partner of the investment firm Thayer Street Partners, noted: “ClickPay continues to exceed our original expectations, and we are excited to support its rapid growth.”
ClickPay is using the proceeds of the financing to support and accelerate its expansion, pursue potential acquisition targets, continue to invest in the product, and in physical and technical security infrastructure, and expand the team.
Mr. Kiernan and Mr. Van Praagh, who are both successful serial entrepreneurs, have extensive experience in spearheading similar growth efforts at other companies. Mr. Kiernan’s career has focused on ecommerce, internet banking and online payments, while Mr. Van Praagh’s has centered on communications, technology and mobile media.
They founded ClickPay, says Mr. Van Praagh, when they discovered that the real estate industry had no solution for holistic, end-to-end payments and receivables. “At that point, even the largest property management companies were still collecting paper checks and processing them manually each month,” he recalls. “We saw the opportunity to provide a unique service to both market rate, and highly regulated landlords to streamline their operations and financial performance.
Landlords welcomed the technology, and so did residents, who began to demand these payment capabilities. And ClickPay’s client roster grew rapidly. But growth also stemmed from high standards of customer service. “This is a major differentiator for us,” says Mr. Kiernan. “It seems like an obvious focus, but you’d be surprised at how many start-ups lose sight of customer service when they expand their services and their clientele. We pay close attention to it.”
A recent client survey that ClickPay conducted reflects this emphasis. The survey generated a Net Promoter Score (NPS®) of 54, which is exceptionally high. According to Satmetrix, which developed the NPS model, the 2015 average NPS for software and apps was 19.
What’s next for ClickPay? Acquisitions are a possibility, as is international expansion. “As serial entrepreneurs, we know that where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity,” says Mr. Van Praagh. “So we’re ready to go after markets where this technology is not commonplace. For us, the process is an adventure.”
Steven Van Praagh
247 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.clickpay.com