East County firefighter turns entrepreneur

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Ryan Abell has an important “day job” as a firefighter-paramedic with Heartland Fire & Rescue, where he has worked for over seven years. He further serves the community by volunteering as a board member with the El Cajon Professional Firefighters Foundation, supporting charitable endeavors.

Ryan Abell has an important “day job” as a firefighter-paramedic with Heartland Fire & Rescue, where he has worked for over seven years. He further serves the community by volunteering as a board member with the El Cajon Professional Firefighters Foundation, supporting charitable endeavors.

Abell also develops businesses that facilitate rental processes. His latest entrepreneurial venture provides business services to landlords and renters, by accepting online rent payments and transferring the money to a tenant’s landlord. The business is called PayRent.com.

Abell opened this new business in mid-December. In a recent interview, he said that PayRent.com received a very good reception during its early months in operation. 

“We want PayRent.com to become a household name,” Abell stated.

Any landlord can set up a free online account on the Pay Rent website. Their renters can quickly and easily make their rental payments through the website too, for the small fee of $2.55 for paying with an online check or credit card. As a further benefit, renters who use the payment service earn points and are eligible for cash rewards.

“We envision PayRent.com as leading the way in creation of a free, easy rental collection process for landlords and making rent payment easier for renters too,” Abell continued.

Pay Rent will reduce the role of the post office in exchanging rent payments. Landlords will be spared the time and effort of picking up checks and depositing them. And landlords and tenants will reap the benefit of the landlord receiving a text message when the online rent payment has been made.

The fledgling company PayRent.com has potential for considerable growth. Abell said that one-third of the people in this country rent the residences they live in. There are 44 million rental homes in the U.S. A grand total of $490 billion is exchanged annually between landlords and their tenants. Currently, 70 percent of renters pay by check, although the Federal Reserve has determined that from 2000 to 2012, payments by check declined by 57 percent. Moreover, one out of five members of the millennial generation has never made a payment for anything with a check.

This new business builds on an earlier enterprise that Abell created to assist landlords and renters. A year ago, Ryan Abell, as CEO and founder, developed his first entrepreneurial venture in Screened Renters, a similar online service to link individuals looking for a new rental home to those wanting to fill rental units, with each potential tenant’s relevant background reports completed through the website portal.

How Abell came to develop these two enterprises is simple. While assisting his father as a rental unit property manager, Abell became dismayed over the difficulties in finalizing a basic rental agreement and maintaining current collections of rent payments from tenants.

Enhancements to the PayRent.com business are being planned, Abell noted. Expanded online payment options will be available. And coming during the summer of this year, Pay Rent is initiating a partnership with credit-reporting agency Experian, with renters’ payment data reported so that they can improve their credit scores and credit histories.

Pay Rent can be contacted by phone at (619) 675-7368. Questions for Ryan Abell can be emailed to ryan@payrent.com.

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