PayProp helps My Rental Unit streamline accounting and double business

Since the late 90s, Pamela O’Hagan and her husband Glenn Brown have been managing properties across Ontario, initially as landlords themselves and later as owners of the property management firm, My Rental Unit.
Toronto, Canada skyline

The couple started by owning and operating single-family rental properties in the province. To do right by their tenants, they made sure everything was done by the book and their homes were of a high standard. Quickly, they became the go-to landlords for rental housing in their area.

Interview with

Pamela O’Hagan
Pamela O’Hagan
Owner & Property Manager, My Rental Unit

At the same time, Glenn’s passion for real estate grew from a side hustle to a full-time career and business. In 2014, the couple founded My Rental Unit to support other landlords with property management needs.

This strong foundation of market knowledge and high-quality homes provides the guiding principles of their company. “We’re not in just the real estate business; we’re in the business of providing homes for families,” says Pamela.

The couple have created such a name for themselves that they often have a waiting list of properties to sign with them, an enviable position for any property management firm – as long as they could handle the extra admin. To better support their owners and grow the business, Pamela and Glenn chose PayProp as their rental payment platform.

The result: My Rental Unit has reduced its accounting admin time by 90% and almost doubled its business since joining PayProp.

Moving away from spreadsheets

Before PayProp, one key aspect of property management weighed on the couple’s minds and took up their time: admin and accounting. At the time, Pamela still relied on Excel to manage the business, entering receipts and payments manually.

She recalls, “For a very long time it was just the two of us in the business, and I was working the equivalent of two full-time jobs to handle all the paperwork. We knew there had to be a better way as our process was taking too much time.” After a few false starts with other PropTech solutions that promised efficiency but did not work for their needs, they found PayProp.

“PayProp was the first company to specialize in the one thing that matters most: rental payments. A lot of property management software tries to be a master of all, and it means that they’re a master of none. You needed an engineering degree to log in, add a property, or run reports. PayProp was laser focused on rental payments and has a user-friendly system. We’ve had a great experience.” Pamela O’Hagan, Owner & Property Manager

Making maintenance a breeze

Despite PayProp being brought in as a specialist solution to streamline My Rental Unit’s accounting process, Pamela and her tenants have embraced the Tenant portal features to streamline payment-integrated repair requests too.

“PayProp added a maintenance ticket option, and it’s the greatest thing ever. I love that it’s interactive with our tenants so they can raise issues, and I can keep them informed on our status for repairs,” says Pamela.

The platform ties all the communication to a specific property, making it easy for Pamela and the team to know which property requires what work and which tenant requested it, all with real-time updates.

In addition, repair and service payments can be created and tied to a ticket. The time saved makes this feature key for Pamela.

“It saves us a lot of time when it comes to working out what work was requested and when it was actioned, instead of having the separate Excel spreadsheet. We’re really getting a big benefit with the maintenance feature.” Pamela O’Hagan, Owner & Property Manager

Accounting for time and money

Before PayProp, the monthly accounting process would take Pamela and a colleague six days to get through all the payments and invoicing. Thanks to PayProp, the time involved in this key process has been slashed. With PayProp, uploading a receipt, entering the amount and approving the payment can be done in seconds. “It’s amazing,” says Pamela.

“We’re spending about 10% of the time we used to spend.” Pamela O’Hagan, Owner & Property Manager

The simplicity of PayProp brings real benefits to the accounting process as Pamela and her colleague can quickly assess late payers, calculate how much was spent on utilities, or check monthly management fees.  

“As many of our properties are duplexes or student housing – where we may have one property with nine tenants, PayProp’s ability to allocate shared expenses, track partial payments, and generate tenant-specific rent receipts has been a lifesaver.”

As part of My Rental Unit’s auditing process, Pamela contracts with an outside accountant to look over the business while she and her bookkeeper run the day-to-day accounts. “The reporting system is easy for my accountant to log in to, run reports and see every transaction, so it’s saving me a lot of money on professional service fees. And it’s accurate, since we don’t have manual input that can contain errors.”

PayProp also saves time when it comes to the end-of-year statements My Rental Unit offers its owners, which used to be generated by hand in Excel. The PayProp owner statement gives owners a detailed overview of what income their property has generated and how much has been spent.

“PayProp breaks down the expenses even further than I could with Excel, especially for those properties with multiple tenants and shared services. The owner can see from a glance very quickly what’s happening with their property.” Pamela O’Hagan, Owner & Property Manager

Protection for owners and the business

One important aspect of property management that no one enjoys is managing a tenant in arrears. As Pamela has experienced, the PayProp platform’s permanent audit log makes providing evidence in arrears cases as painless as can be.

“Payments on PayProp are tracked in real time with an audit log that cannot be edited. This provides strong documentation and evidence should you find yourself before the Landlord and Tenant Board,” notes Pamela. “The tenant statement via PayProp shows the date a payment was made. If you’re looking at a Section 78 agreement or mediated settlement, having the ability to say the tenant was supposed to pay on the 1st, but it came on the 12th and the deadline was missed three times provides irrefutable evidence.”

The right level of support and collaboration

PayProp’s dedicated onboarding and support teams made the transition process seamless to get Pamela’s properties imported and set up. The team also continues to impress. “The one-to-one service is simply amazing. When I have questions, I work with the same one to two people on the team. They know me and our properties as well as our history on the platform, so it’s quite efficient to get questions answered,” she says. “And, as a technical novice, I appreciate both how simple the system is to use and also how patient the support team is with my questions.”

She adds, “I’ve found PayProp to be exceptionally open to feedback and ideas for features that will help my business work better. I’ve already seen ideas roll out as new features in our time with PayProp,  so I’m pleased with the partnership and collaboration the team offers.”

A new way of working that has paid dividends

PayProp’s cloud-based platform also brings other benefits to Pamela and Glenn. “The fact that I can log in absolutely anywhere in the world is amazing,” says Pamela. “We can know immediately if a payment was made before a deadline by logging in on the computer or on my phone. The platform is just so user-friendly.”

The time saved through PayProp has made a big difference to the company, with My Rental Unit attracting new clients all the time. According to Pamela, “since PayProp has been implemented we’ve already almost doubled our business.”

“I couldn’t go without PayProp at this point. It’s worth the investment and has helped us grow our business – and grow profitably.” Pamela O’Hagan, Owner & Property Manager
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