The apartment-hunting service Lovely has expanded its ambitions over the last few years. After first focusing on giving users a way to be notified when apartments they might want hit the market, Lovely then added the ability to submit rental applications right through the app itself. Today, Lovely is adding another layer to its service — users can now pay their rent and set up recurring payments every month right through Lovely's iOS and Android apps. (You can also log into your Lovely account on the web and pay rent there.) "The idea came from our desire to help renters who have issues throughout the lifecycle of renting their property," says Lovely co-founder and CEO Blake Pierson.
Lovely wants to help you stop needing to write a check every month
It looks like a pretty straightforward process — in the Lovely app, there's now a "pay your rent" button. To set it up, you just need to enter your landlord's email, your address, and your bank account information. From there, you can set up recurring payments so you don't have to send checks every month. Lovely's hoping to make things simple for landlords, as well. They'll receive a notification in their email saying that they've received a payment — from there, they can just set up their own account, add their bank information, and transfer the payment over. "We want to have tools available to renters directly, rather than have to go around and set things up with landlords," says Pierson.
Taking on the challenge of handling high-value transactions is a bit of new territory for Lovely, but Pierson says the company has made the right moves to make sure that these payments are smooth and secure. Last year, Lovely purchased Rentmatic.com, a company that Pierson says processed more than $60 million in rent payments since it opened for business in 2006. "We're leveraging a lot of that technology in our new platform," he says.
The biggest challenge that renters may face in using Lovely for payments is getting their landlords on board — while it's strange to think that many people still need to drop paper checks in the mail every month to pay what is probably their single biggest expense, changing up years of habit might be difficult. Unsurprisingly, Pierson's not too worried: "There's really no stronger call to action [for landlords] than collecting $2,000 in a rent payment," he notes. If you think your landlord will be agreeable to receiving payments electronically instead of in the mail, you can download the new Lovely app now and give it a shot.