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Top tips for online house-hunters to avoid falling victim to fraud

MANILA, APRIL 1, 2015: The property listing almost looks too good to be true – it is in the perfect location, has beautiful photos and is well below your budget. You send off an inquiry and receive a quick response: the landlord is currently overseas and cannot show you the home. But if you can wire through a deposit as soon as possible, the property is yours.

For many people who have tried to rent a property online, this scenario might sound all too familiar. While new technologies have made it easier than ever before for property seekers to get all the information they need to supercharge their house hunt, the Internet has also made it easier for online fraudsters to target both buyers and renters.

But by being aware of a few tell-tale signs, house-hunters can learn to quickly sort the scammers from the legitimate real estate agents. Global property network Lamudi has compiled a guide to help online property seekers avoid falling victim to a scam.

Always insist on inspecting the property.

Never agree to make any payments upfront or sign a contract without first inspecting the property. Viewing the property and meeting the agent in person are the best ways to guarantee that the listing is legitimate.

Verify the identity of the person you are dealing with.

Take steps to check the agent you are dealing with is a licensed broker or agent. In the first instance, a simple online search can help you detect a scam. Try searching for the property’s address, the name of the agent and their email address.

Avoid listings that have been posted multiple times.

One common scam is for fraudsters to copy an existing (and legitimate) listing of a property for sale and repost it as a rental, with their own contact details attached. Look out for duplicate listings which have different asking prices.

Never give away your personal information or documents.

You should never be asked to provide your bank account details or personal identification documents to someone over the internet. Importantly, never provide your credit card verification code to anyone.

Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

One of the most important rules in real estate is that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Be skeptical about any online listings for attractive properties which are very well priced for the area. Scammers often use these very low prices to lure property seekers.

If you detect a scam, get in touch.

Focus your search on properties listed by well-known real estate agencies and trusted classifieds websites. Once you have detected a possible scam on a real estate search website, notify the platform immediately.

Launched in 2013, Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The fast-growing platform is currently available in 32 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with more than 850,000 real estate listings across its global network. The leading real estate marketplace offers sellers, buyers, landlords and renters a secure and easy-to-use platform to find or list properties online. For more information, please visit

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Five Tips for Choosing the Right Tenant

 Simple steps for landlords can follow to avoid problems later on




MANILA, FEBRUARY 26, 2015: For landlords, selecting a bad tenant for your property can be a costly exercise. Leasing your property to the wrong person could result in damage to the home, unpaid rental payments, and even legal action. But by taking the time to search for the right tenant from the outset, landlords can minimise these risks and avoid any additional costs.

From face-to-face interviews to checking a prospective renter’s credit history, global real estate network Lamudi takes a look at five simple tips for selecting the right tenant for your property.

If possible, meet the applicants

If you are managing the property yourself, rather than hiring a real estate agent, the rapport you have with the tenants will be crucial. If time permits, schedule face-to-face meetings with the applicants. If you live out of town, set up a phone call instead. Spending time on this crucial step could save you a lot of problems during the tenancy.

Be thorough with documentation

Require certain documents of all applicants and be thorough in verifying these. As well as a copy of their identity card or passport, proof of income should be provided. This should take the form of both a work contract and copies of their most recent payslips. In order to ensure the tenant can afford to lease the property, the rent should not be more than about a third of their total monthly income. For extra security, homeowners can also require references from previous landlords.

Check their credit history

Perhaps the most important component of the screening process is verifying the prospective tenant’s credit history. This will tell you whether they have any outstanding debt, as well as whether they have a history of paying their bills on time. Brokers who specialize on leasing properties recommend asking for the would-be tenant’s latest billing statements, such as mobile phone subscription. Even if they can afford the rent based on their current salary, they may have accumulated debt and these repayments will need to be factored in to their budget.

Look out for warning signs

When reviewing an application, look closely at the prospective tenant’s rental history. Have they moved around a lot, or do they tend to stay in a property more long term? Most landlords will be looking for a tenant who is stable and willing to stay for a longer period. A patchy rental history where the tenant has moved house frequently could be a sign that there have been issues between the person and their previous landlords.

Listen to your instincts

All the information and documentation the renter has provided checks out, and you are almost ready to select the new tenant. However, there is something holding you back from offering them the contract. Even though everything seems to be in order, you feel uncomfortable renting your property to this particular individual. Always listen to this gut feeling and trust your instincts before making a final decision.

For more information, please visit


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Outlook for Real Estate 2014, What to Expect



I’ve just passed the 2014 Real Estate Broker’s Exam and very much excited to have my license already. And, I must say that I learned a lot from Engineer Enrico Cruz, who is our mentor in Urban Institute of Real Estate. If you are planning to take the board exam next year and you are looking for a review center, definitely would recommend Urban Institute (Home of the topnotchers).

Now that I will have a license, a start up network, several listings, what now? one thing I learned from Engineer Cruz is to start humble. Start as an agent and experience the art of selling. Residential or Commercial properties? Project selling or re-sale brokerage? Lease or Sale? Brand new or foreclosed properties? Project Selling for developers, most often residential condo sales – is it still something I want to spend time on, knowing that most sellers are here already? Or will I take the path less traveled by? These are some of the overwhelming questions I ask myself.

This is not an easy task especially for someone like me who has an established profession in the IT industry, trying something in an entirely new industry, but I am up for the challenge. Armed with my skills and experience in IT, especially web development and search engine rankings, I can apply them into selling to be globally competitive. Knowing that the BPO industry, the industry that I’m at for almost 13 years now, is one of the driving force of our healthy real estate market, is one advantage I can leverage as well.

Saying that, I only know one thing – I am determined to succeed. Let’s see where this road takes us. To my group mates and batch mates at Urban, Good Luck to us! See you around :-)



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