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Breckenridge Grand Vacations speeds rental payments to resort owners.

Resort owners know a thing or two about customer service. Those at Breckenridge Grand Vacations (BGV) have set the gold standard in Breckenridge, Colo., where they are known for delivering exceptional service to the more than 30,000 vacation homeowners at their three ski resort properties.

BGV, in turn, depends on Commerce Bank to help get monthly rental income into owners’ hands as quickly as possible.

Named a top-ranked workplace in Colorado by The Denver Post in 2022, BGV began developing resort properties in Breckenridge, Colorado in 1984. The company’s fractional ownership investment model makes it possible for individuals to purchase shares of the properties for personal use or rental income.

That flexible ownership approach historically produced a sometimes-overwhelming workload for the BGV team responsible for managing rentals and dispersing payments to owners, according to BGV’s director of accounting. Depending on the season, BGV issues as many as 700 rental checks to owners each month.

It took BGV’s two-person Accounts Payable staff almost two full days to create, assemble and mail those payments each month. The manual process was cumbersome and time-consuming.

The company was looking for a faster way to get owners their rental income, explained BGV’s accounting manager. BGV also wanted to reduce the number of checks it wrote and switch to direct deposit – but without the responsibility of managing owners’ bank account information.

To learn about their alternatives, BGV’s accounting department leaders met in 2021 with their Commerce Bank account manager. BGV had been introduced to Commerce at an Institute of Finance & Management conference where Commerce led a seminar on electronic invoice processing.

Following that introduction, BGV worked with Commerce to automate its AP system and streamline its payment processes. But disbursing rental payments to hundreds of individual owners posed challenges far different from typical invoice processing.

After listening to BGV staff’s experiences, the bankers recommended PreferPay®, an integrated payables platform for business-to-consumer payments. With PreferPay®, owners choose if they want funds pushed to a debit card, deposited directly into a bank account, or mailed by check.

A project manager from Commerce guided BGV throughout the process of implementing, testing and rolling out the new payment platform, which Commerce now manages. BGV, meanwhile, communicated with owners, explaining the new payment system and giving them the option to participate.

Owners have adopted the new approach at very high rates, with most choosing direct deposit of their rental income, according to BGV’s accounting manager. Owners enter their account information directly on the PreferPay® platform, taking BGV out of the account management process. The small number of owners who have not signed up automatically receive their payment by check.

The difference PreferPay® has had on the BGV accounting department workload is dramatic. It now takes one person just a couple of hours a month to issue rental payments. By eliminating a tedious manual task, the switch also enables staff to take on other, higher-level assignments.

In addition to improving customer service and streamlining staff workflow, the conversion to PreferPay® also supports BGV’s sustainability objectives, further eliminating paper from the company’s operations, the director of accounting said. Commerce’s responsive and organized approach further contributed to the project’s success.

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