Sunriver Resort is a 3,300-acre all-seasons getaway destination and conference center offering renowned golf, award-winning spa services, suites and condominiums, and outdoor pool facilities.
Located just 15 miles south of Bend, the resort has been poised for business and population growth in Oregon.
“At Sunriver, not only do we manage the actual resort operations, but we also house the local airport, operate several eateries on premises, and run the partner realty business,” said Laura Peterson, accounts payable specialist at Sunriver Resort. “Because of the multiple operations, we’ve seen steady growth for the past several years.”
The resort attracts many potential homeowners and, for anyone who decides to move to the area, Sunriver Realty offers prime opportunities for real estate.
However, as the real estate business became increasingly digital, Sunriver Resort was relying on traditional payment methods for their realtors’ commissions. But their realtors no longer wanted to wait the several days or weeks it was taking to get their commissions. They wanted faster payments.
“With the way that the real estate market has been evolving, we wanted to stay ahead of the curve,” Peterson said. “We also didn’t want to worry about storing people’s bank accounts and passwords – we’re a fairly small team and that aspect was a lot to handle. That’s why we started looking at Zelle.”
Peterson noted that Sunriver’s director of finance pushed to implement Zelle after hearing about it from their banker. U.S. Bank, which partners with the Zelle Network, was already well involved in Sunriver Resort’s daily banking operations.
“We do all of our banking with U.S. Bank,” Peterson said. “Anything that is money related already goes through them, so it was only logical to partner with them on the Zelle project.”
Sunriver and U.S. Bank were able to build an operation that quickly spread throughout the organization.
“When we first switched over to Zelle for business, I tried to keep management aware of the process changes,” Peterson said. “Word of mouth quickly spread and helped convert some of the skeptics on our team. Once people started to see how easy and fast the payments were, everyone was on board.”
While Sunriver initially used Zelle for realtor commission payments, Peterson noted that they have begun to expand its use to other areas of their business.
“We do plan to roll out Zelle to lease holders, and to process expense reimbursements,” Peterson said. “We’re going slowly, but so far it’s been a great addition to our accounts payable system.”
It also helps that Sunriver can send money using only a recipient’s U.S. mobile number or email address. This allows Sunriver to avoid storing sensitive information on their own servers.
“While we haven’t had a major security event, our move to Zelle was preventative against such an occasion,” Peterson said. “That was a very compelling benefit that led us to consider Zelle.”
With Zelle, Sunriver Resort was able to modernize its realtor commission payment process. Peterson encourages any business looking for a streamlined payments solution to pay consumers to consider the Zelle Network.
“If any organization is interested in making faster payments – without worrying about securing bank accounts – I’d strongly recommend Zelle,” Peterson said. “So many factors are addressed when you move that personal information off your own servers, including customer bank changes and address changes.”
“Now, we pretty much have all our brokers paid with Zelle, and once they started seeing how easy it was, it was natural growth from there,” Peterson added.
For more information about Zelle and other payment innovation options, check out this overview from the treasury management team at U.S. Bank.