Save yourself from Rental Scams

Nowadays there are a lot of houses for rent on the market. This is definitely a trend that is here to stay and can be beneficial for both landlord and tenant. However, unlike apartment buildings and complexes, rental houses may not be managed by a property manager.

Rental properties that are not managed by professionals are much more likely to be the target of rental scams. Here are some precautions that every potential renter should take, for every rental property they are thinking about renting:

  • The website where you find the property should have multiple photos, inside and outside. Inquire about the property and ask about something you can’t see in one of the photos.
  • The website where you find the property should have details about all the amenities. Look at the list and make sure the attractions mentioned are actually nearby – within walking distance if that’s what they say they are.
  • The webiste should have an exact address, not just an area circled on a map. Move on to another property if you can’t get the exact house address.
  • You should be able to set up an appointment for a walkthrough. Do not sign anything or make any payments until after the walkthrough.
  • You should be asked to provide information about yourself to be screened as a potential tenant. If you are not asked for your information at all or if you are asked for your information prior to a requested walkthrough, move on to another property.
  • You should be asked to sign a lease, but you should not be asked to sign or pay anything before seeing the property. If any kind of payment is requested before you have signed a lease and received keys (that actually open a door to the property) move on to another property.
  • Pay attention to the following warning signs: if the person asking for the intial rent or a deposit is out of the state or country; if the rent requested is too cheap for the area where the property is located; and/or if you are asked to wire a deposit or rental amount. These are all potential signs that the person asking for money does not own or manage the property.
  • Don’t be pressured. Scammers favorite tool is to try to make you act without thinking something through. Whether there is a time limit or not, you should thoroughly research the property – and if you don’t have time, move on to something else.
  • Know the owner – check real estate, property management, and tax assessor’s records to make sure that the person you are dealing with is the legitimate owner of the property.

Finally, if at any time during the process you feel uneasy or doubt what you are being told is true, move on. There are a lot of scammers pretending to be owners as soon as a house is placed on the market because more often than not, they get away with it! If no one was fooled, the number of scammers would drop significantly. Don’t be a statistic.

How frequently should I attend my ERP User Conferences?

The ERP company hosting the conference will tell you “every year.” The business unit paying for the trip will often tell you “almost never.” The answer really lies somewhere in between. Since your ERP is likely your most critical business system, we would recommend not waiting more than three years without attending the conference. Keeping up to date on the latest features, learning about upcoming features, and weighing-in on desired features are all beneficial. In addition, networking and learning how your peers are leveraging system functionality are components you really cannot get anywhere else. Still can’t make it? No worries, Cornerstone regularly attends several ERP conferences each year. We can tell you the pros and cons of different conferences and share with you insights we gain at these events.

I’m in real estate and I keep hearing “Disruptive technology” in reference to industry concerns. Please explain.

Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen coined the term ‘disruptive technology’ in his 1997 best-selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” Christensen states that disruptive technology lacks maturity, often has performance problems, appeals to a limited audience, and may not yet have a proven practical application. As an unused, unapplied and untested alternative, it takes time for disruptive technology to be predominantly deployed.

However, because disruptive technology is new it has certain advantages, enhancements, and functionalities over competitors. This technology consists of ground-breaking products that significantly alter the way businesses or entire industries operate, and ultimately renders existing technology obsolete. Examples of disruptive technology are Email and Cell Phones.

Disruptive technologies are sometimes described as being simultaneously destructive and creative, with the power to change the way we work, live, think and behave.

We grieve: the California wildfires

We reach out with our hearts again this year to the victims of the recent wildfires in California. With so many still missing and camping out in makeshift tents, the need for assistance hasn’t ever been greater. Join us in giving to any of the following organizations, who have been confirmed to be providing near to 100% of your contribution towards helping victims.

CA Fire Foundation

http://www.cafirefoundation.org/programs/supplying-aid-to-victims-of-emergency/

Caring Choices

http://www.caring-choices.org/home.html

Humane Society of Ventura County

If you donate to the HSVC, 100 percent of your proceeds will go toward serving the animals in their care.

https://www.hsvc.org/donate

Charity Navigator

The highly-rated organizations listed on this page have received 3- and 4-stars and are confirmed to be working to provide relief to the individuals and communities affected by the devastating fires in Southern and Northern California. Donors may be able to designate their donations to the specific cause they wish by going to the organizations’ websites directly.

https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=5456

Protect Yourself: the latest real estate scams

Want to learn more about the latest scams relating to real estate and home sales? Here are some great resources to get you started:

Tricks used by Mobile housing board email scammers exposed

lagniappemobile.com

This Sneaky Home-Buying Scam Is on the Rise. Here’s How to Spot It

time.com

Business E-mail Compromise: The 12 Billion Dollar Scam

ic3.gov

$12.5 Billion Lost in BEC Attacks, FBI Reports

wombatsecurity.com

Worker Training: Ramp It Up!

Economists love worker training, but companies are often reluctant to provide it. The benefits of training can walk out the door if newly skilled workers are poached by a competitor.

Near-record-low unemployment is one big reason companies are recommiting to training. With a U.S. jobless rate of just 3.7 percent in September and more than 7 million unfilled positions as of August, employers can’t find the people they need in the ranks of the jobless, and luring them away from other employers has gotten prohibitively expensive in some cases. “Your choice is always make or buy. ‘Buy’ is steal somebody else’s worker…

Read more at Bloomberg.com

 

Cresleigh: Changing Points of View

When a major builder, Cresleigh Homes, recently proposed a high-rise housing project at 16th and N streets, officials discovered the state’s protection act map included that site and precluded developer’s from going more than 10 stories high, even though the site is a half-mile from the Capitol dome.

“It seemed to be an anomaly, given how far it was away from the Capitol,” city community development director Ryan DeVore said.

Read more at Sacbee.com