One common question we get at Dallas Apartment Locators is whether or not our service is legit. It’s understandable. The idea of someone doing all the work in finding you the perfect Dallas apartment and not charging you a single penny can seem a bit too good to be true. But that’s how it works – and it IS legit. That being said, there are companies out there offering similar services to ours, but that aren’t operating on the up-and-up. To avoid becoming a victim, here are a few red flags to watch for.
Asking for a fee.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand how our business model works. Rather than charge a fee to our clients, we’re simply compensated by property owners who rely on us to find them high quality tenants. In that scenario, everybody wins. Some apartment hunters operate differently, however, charging the prospective tenant. While this isn’t necessarily a scam, it’s obviously in your best interest financially to go with a business model like ours.
Rent WAY below market price.
One scenario that IS too good to be true is someone offering you a beautiful, modern apartment at a rent that’s way lower than other similar properties. Don’t get us wrong – as an apartment locator service, it’s our job to find you the best possible price, and sometimes we are even able to negotiate a lower rate. But at the end of the day, it’s the landlord that sets the rates, and if a location company presents you with what seems like the deal of a lifetime, proceed with caution.
Requests to wire money.
Someone who is posing as an apartment hunter might tell an unsuspecting tenant that the landlord is asking for a deposit to be wired, usually via a transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. This is not something a legitimate apartment locator or landlord would ask for. If someone requests this, don’t just walk away. Run.
Applying a ton of pressure.
Scammers want to get their hands on your money as quickly and efficiently as possible. As such, they’re more likely to rush you or make you feel like you have to commit to something immediately or risk missing out. While it’s certainly true that you may need to act fast when a property has a lot of interest, you should never feel like you’re being pressured or forced into anything.
Another popular scam involves convincing a prospective tenant that they should put a deposit down on an apartment that they’ve not been able to see yet. While this may be the case for someone who is relocating from out of state, if you’re local and you’re getting pushback on scheduling a showing, it might be a red flag. You should always be allowed to tour the property before ever signing a lease or turning over any money.
Working with an apartment locator can be a smart move, but only if you’re careful about which company you choose. Still feeling uneasy? Check out our 5-star reviews from real customers here, or better yet – contact us at (214) 999-1161 and let’s chat!