Business News

RentMaster revamp assures landlords get rent paid on time


With a new year on the horizon, residential landlords and property investors are seeking better ways to protect their investments and collect rental income from financially strapped tenants.

RentMaster has emerged stronger after lockdown with new management at the helm ready to empower landlords to get paid on time and tenants to remain in good standing.

RentMaster is a trailblazer of tenant rental guarantees, a title earned by being the first to provide a rental guarantee product in South Africa coupled with two decades – more specifically 240 months of cash-flowing landlords’ rental payment in their bank on the first.

With decades of finance, insurance and technology experience, the new owners of RentMaster, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shanaaz Trethewey and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Peet van der Walt, have re-positioned the company in the Fintech space for optimal growth, evolution, and success going forward.

First-up this Fintech duo focused their energy on building a new digital platform, giving landlords the comfort of full access to their property portfolios. RentMaster provides the full-service suite of a payment processing hub, debt collection and legal evictions; with the important combination of allowing landlords to have a full view of each tenant’s collection status and the comfort of cash-flowed rent paid on the first.

“Taking on a management buyout at the time when COVID was in full force was a challenge Peet and I were both up to, and demonstrates our conviction in the RentMaster business,” says CEO Shanaaz Trethewey. Deon Botha, one of the founding members remains a minority shareholder.

Second-up, the company’s lockdown-learnings enabled them to solidify their value proposition. “The days of letting leases run without vigilance has come and gone; we need to adapt to constantly changing economic circumstances that affect tenants and therefore their landlord’s pockets,” explains Trethewey.

“Our relationship with landlords deepened as they leaned on us more to actively monitor what was happening with tenant profiles, affordability and distress. Ultimately, from a landlord perspective lockdown revealed the enhanced need for good quality tenants going into a crisis and our active monitoring allows them to do that.”

Also, RentMaster found that tenants were willing to engage with them to reach agreement on payment terms for their rentals. “We had to be respectful to the landlord’s needs and empathetic to the tenant’s unfortunate circumstances,” she adds.

“It was really amazing to see the level of emotion and empathy landlords had toward tenants, they genuinely wanted to help. At the same time landlords couldn’t be expected to become financiers of their tenant’s rent without a firm commitment from them on how their rent would be paid,” she says.

RentMaster distilled what was required by each party back to a legal framework and proper documentation that gave the landlord assurance and the tenant an obligation they could handle financially.

“My advice to tenants is to reach agreement with the debt collection company or landlord sooner rather than later, then stick to the commitment you make as this will allow you to recoup your good financial standing prior to lockdown.”

Trethewey believes that their strategic partnerships and integration with other platforms such as TPN Credit Bureau and lease management software RentBook, are key to the RentMaster service during and post lockdown. This integration allowed them to gain access to highly credible data to vet tenants initially and monitor tenants on an ongoing basis, therefore providing massive value to landlords.

And it worked! With 85% of all RentMaster tenants in Good Standing in 2020, despite lockdown, they are a full 10% above the industry average.

How RentMaster works

RentMaster offers a full-service suite of the payment processing hub, debt collection and legal evictions.

Through the payment processing hub, RentMaster actively collects the rent and manages all the necessary payment behaviour data without the reams of paperwork for the landlord. This includes tracking payments or non-payment from the tenant, archiving bills that have been paid, acting on supplier bills that are due, and seeing if there is adequate cashflow.

Should a tenant default, the collection of rental arrears enters RentMaster’s professional debt collection environment where the outstanding arrears are collected.

The difficult process of defaults and possible evictions are also taken off the landlords hands, as RentMaster actively engages with both parties to ensure a smooth and dignified process.

The company also offers a host of value adds to its suite of services:

Guaranteed Cashflow. RentMaster confidently offers landlords peace of mind due to its strong financial standing in the industry. Through a rental guarantee product, which is a cash flow benefit that pays the landlord upfront – either one-month or three-months – RentMaster pays landlords on the first of the month regardless of whether the tenant pays on time or not.

Tenant vetting & ongoing risk monitoring. Tenant vetting applies at the outset of the lease agreement together with a legally meticulous rental agreement, ongoing risk monitoring happens thereafter. Should a tenant risk profile change, RentMaster proactively engages with the tenant to avoid problems escalating.

Lease management software. Landlords can use RentBook to centrally store leases and personal information in a financially secure environment which is in full compliance with the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act. They can also send custom generated invoices to tenants and capture all expenses related to their properties, letting RentMaster take care of the collections and payments to suppliers.

Landlords also have a secure, central portal for overall payment history, a list of all tenants who are in arrears, all tenant contact information, all lease terms, and information on security deposits.

RentMaster is built upon achieving the ideals of how renting should work. The company together with its technological facelift, brand identity and vivacious leaders are perfectly poised to be the landlords first choice and trusted partner in their rental endeavours for the beginning of 2021 and long into the future.

Meet the Owners

RentMaster is not only uniquely positioned in Fintech, but its leadership team blends the ultimate combination of financial and technological prowess into one.

Shanaaz Trethewey, in her new seat as CEO of RentMaster, knows that her wealth of financial and business experience will inject new life into the company, an ability that is even more valuable to the rental industry after enduring a year of unprecedented fluidity. A highly educated and extremely experienced leader, Shanaaz is also kind at heart and hopes that by showing the positive impact that woman can have in high-powered positions other young women are inspired to follow their dreams.

Peet van der Walt, the technical brains of the company, brings his passion and specialist skills to RentMaster to enable them to be flexible enough to adapt to a rapidly ever-changing world. His approach to business and software is one where simplicity is key to creating robust, real-world solutions for rental challenges. Through an overhaul of their systems, structure and business models, fresh air has been breathed into the business and it’s Peet’s hope to continue driving RentMaster forward as a leading Fintech company.

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