Social media and online marketing has done plenty of great things for business owners. Marketing a property online allows more people to see your advertisement, and allows you to market your property to potential residents near and far from the address of the rental property.
However, online scammers have long been looking for ways to capitalize off business ventures, and the process of advertising your rental is one of the many targeted attempts.
Having your rental property used in a scam can negatively affect your reputation and credibility as a rental property owner and landlord. Therefore, what does this process look like so you, as a landlord, can be aware and prepared.
1. Your Property Advertisement and Photos Are Used by a Scammer
Scammers will search online platforms used to market properties and choose a rental ad to post as if it was their own on a different property listing website.
The scammer will pose as the landlord for this property, and answer questions for interested potential tenants regarding the property.
2. The Scammer Will Request Payment From Prospective Tenants
Once the scammer has a prospective renter, they will request payment. The scammer may request a deposit from the prospective renter to secure the unit the tenant thinks they will be renting.
3. The Tenant Realizes It Was a Scam
After the scammer has collected payment from the prospective tenant, it is likely that the scammer will stop all contact. If the assumed tenant is unable to reach the assumed landlord, they may realize it was a scam.
If the potential tenant has not realized by this point that it was a scam, they may show up to the posted address of the rental property. Once the prospective tenant realizes they have been scammed , they will be understandably upset.
However, the prospective tenant may not realize that it was a scammer posing as the owner of this property. They may assume it was the real owner of the property who scammed money off of them.
This can significantly affect the rental business of property owners. The prospective tenant may take to social media with a forewarning to not rent this property, or from this landlord, because they were scammed.
Even though you had nothing to do with scamming money from potential tenants, you and your rental business will face the consequences. There are various measures landlords and tenants can take to prevent this from happening.
Tips For Tenants To Prevent Being Scammed
- Always view the property in person.
- Verify the identity of the prospective landlord.
- Speak with the current or previous tenants of the unit.
- Avoid sending payments online prior to verifying the location or the landlord.
Warning Signs of an Online Scam
- The rent price is significantly less than comparable properties in the area.
- The landlord is “not available” to show the unit.
- A large amount of money is being requested to secure the property.
- The landlord is requesting unreasonable personal or financial information.
How Can Landlords Protect Their Property?
Seasoned landlords know that working with a reputable property management company is the best way to guarantee rental property success. Property management companies keep things running smoothly during the day to day tasks of owning a rental property.
Property management companies handle rent collection, repairs and maintenance , tenant screening, and rental property marketing. Property marketing includes posting your property on their reputable website. This makes your property advertisement more desirable to potential tenants because they are viewing your ad on a reputable site.
When a property management company represents your property, they help ensure that your property advertisement is not being used elsewhere to scam potential renters.
Partner With Rollingwood Management Inc.
Partner with the experts at Rollingwood Management Inc. to protect your rental investment. We use our database to ensure your ad is not being posted by scammers on other non-reputable property listing sites. We can quickly and effectively identify if your property is being marketed by a scammer.
If we find your property listed on another website, we will work quickly to make sure the ad is removed, so your property is not involved in the scamming of potential tenants. We want to help keep you and your property as reputable as possible.
Contact Rollingwood Management Inc. today to learn how we can serve you. We have a reliable team of professionals that want to help you maximize the success and return on investment for your rental property. We proudly serve Austin, TX and the surrounding area. Get in touch with us today for a free rental rate analysis!