While there are a lot of businesses already starting their presence online, we all should be aware of the pros and cons of internet purchasing especially when it is for residential purposes?
Members of The Peterson Group Bespoke Condominiums and Residential, a matchmaker in finding the most suitable luxury apartment and residences for fellow expatriates in Singapore, Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have accounted to some stories which prove the existence of fraudulent online scams. If they, executives and managers in their respective fields admit to have been victims of these scams, then, it can possibly happen to you too.
The following are the things to keep in mind when doing transactions on renting online:
1. Know who you are dealing with
Always make sure you know exactly who you are dealing with, as different actors in the business offer different services and guaranties. The following are the four main actors in the apartment rental sector:
o Dealing directly with owners
Although this may seem like a very personal way to rent an apartment, always keep in mind that when dealing directly with owners, some of them won’t provide you with a contract.
o Online marketplaces
Online marketplaces offer an online platform where owners can list their properties. Again, there are no set guarantees here, as these marketplaces don’t check an apartment before they advertise it online. Owners themselves put pictures of the apartments online, so you cannot be sure they genuinely reflect the apartment you want to rent, nor its actual condition.
o Travel agencies
Travel agencies often offer a certain level of security, such as a refund or insurance. However, travel agencies still don’t visit the apartments themselves, so they don’t know the products they’re selling personally. However, some travel agencies work with reputable real estate agencies like New York Habitat.
o Real Estate brokers
Real estate brokers are professionals and would have a good command of the market.
2. Do not send money via unsecured means of payment
When you want to pay for your apartment, whether it is for a deposit of the rent itself, be careful not to use services of payment that have no traceability. By making wire transfers to a bank account or using credit cards you are sure the payment can be tracked. You can also use trusted PayPal accounts or pay directly through a website that displays secure payment methods.
3. Ask for additional details
Pictures, videos, floor plans and information about a rental you are interested in should be provided when asked. If they cannot give it to you, then, they may be up to no good. Better secure your money and deal with legitimate businesses like The Peterson Group instead.