Published Sep 03, 2020

Property Managers: How to Avoid Rental Scams

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Rently is here to empower property managers and share our findings on how to avoid rental scams by taking care of the tour process for your prospective renters. This allows you to focus on leasing out units and taking care of your tenants. 

Opening up your property to strangers in any way comes with an inherent risk even with in-person tours but especially when you are not present. Below are the best ways to protect your property from scams and security breaches: 

Always communicate with those that have scheduled and completed a tour.

(You will receive email notifications when tours are scheduled, when they start, and when they finish)

  • Make sure to watch out for a prospect who schedules more than one tour in a single day or ends the tour 5 min after starting. Although this scenario is most likely a very interested prospect or someone who had trouble checking in, this person could also potentially be a bad actor pretending to be interested in your community. For this reason, it is very important to contact everyone that tours your community to check in with them and make sure to check the property regularly. 
  • By maintaining communication with those that tour your property, you will also be alerted to any suspicious communications they may be receiving that is not coming from you.
Make your presence known at your properties to reduce the potential of wire fraud and scammers impersonating you.

(Giving your prospects the information they need to contact you).

  • Leaving business cards, brochures of the property and stickers that say ‘do not wire money’ ‘we do not use craigslist’.
  • Property managers that state their presence at their properties significantly decrease the likelihood of scammers taking advantage of their prospective renters. 
If a prospect contacts you and says that they cannot gain access, do not press the unlock button to provide an access code for them manually.

 

  • Ask them to reschedule their tour and contact us to troubleshoot.
  • If you remotely let them in, the system will not log their Rently profile as the one that is entering. It is hard to prove which individual is responsible for anything that happens on your property if their profile is not linked to it. 
Periodically check the internet for your listings.

 

  • Google your properties to see if they are listed on sites that you have not authorized to be listed on. (If you see unauthorized listings, make sure to move that unit to inactive until you resolve the fraudulent posting.)
Installing a motion sensor or temporary recording device on the property.

 

  • Motion sensors inside the unit will alert you to movement inside the property potentially alerting you to unauthorized movement within your property. 
  • Installing a temporary recording device to monitor your unit will help deter and document any inappropriate activity on your property. 
  • Rently offers a robust line of smart home products that can help with this, be sure to contact us for more information.
Regularly check the security of your property.

 

  • Check windows, doors, and locks for any tampering or damage and do not list your property for self-touring until everything is fixed. 
Change your Manager Portal login password regularly.

 

  • Like with any other sensitive logins, it is best practice to change your password to be proactive and reduce the chance of someone guessing or compromising your account. Rently takes extensive measures to guard your information, however if someone breaches your computer or cellphone or place where you store all your passwords, they may be able to access and control your Rently account. 

Staying ahead of scammers is of utmost importance for property managers and by implementing some, if not all, of the above tips, you will be able to protect yourself and your prospects.  

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