Is Apartment Locating Services A Scam? Before I go any further, I want you to rest assured that apartment locating services is not a scam. Nor is the person who does the apartment locating.
In fact, an apartment locator, is a Real Estate Agent, therefore, it’s not only a monitored but, legit service.
Apartment locating services have been around for decades.
Is Apartment Locating Services A Scam?NOPE!!!
Either way, the only reason I would assume that some people think it’s a scam is because, it’s not the hottest topic out there and many apartment locators work remotely, instead of in an office.
However, when most people think of a Real Estate Agent – the majority of the time we think of an agent that sells a home, helping a homeowner rent their home, or helping a buyer purchase a home.
I’m sure you get the idea!
However, what many people don’t realize there’s a very small group of real estate agents about 10,000 or so within the entire United States that helps renters find apartments, town homes, or sky rises.
And, although, its sometimes rare, rental homes come across our desk too.
What An Apartment Locator Means To You?
Apartment locators are like friends; they are there to help you locate an apartment in a very efficient way.
Well, firstly, it’s their passion! Secondly, they have been trained to work with speed. And thirdly, all apartment locators have access to all professionally managed apartments within your local city.
It’s no different from a Realtor, they have access to every home that has been listed on a MLS system.
And it works exactly the same with apartment locators. Instead of using the MLS for homes, they use an apartment MLS system, which gives us access to all professionally managed apartments within your local city, and some of us have access to the entire state.
What’s the catch?
No seriously, there’s no catch! But, no worries! I completely understand your hesitancy because I’ve come across some people with the same thoughts like yourself.
In fact, I recently had a lady tell me straight up that she felt uncomfortable about the situation. She thought that the free service I was offering her was a scam.
To my surprise I was really happy to see those words come across my screen because, for one I really wanted to learn why people were not willing to accept my apartment search free help. It’s a free service!
I learned two things from this interaction with her, for one she didn’t know me. But, truthfully do we ever really know the Realtor that is selling us a house. From my experience, that’s a NO! We just trust they will do their job without questioning him or her.
Secondly, the lady didn’t understand what apartment locating service was and my third thought was – maybe she didn’t understand why she should use an apartment locating service.
Regardless, of her reasoning I completely understand.
Are Apartment Locators That Provide The “Free Service” Legit?
Rest assured you won’t be the first or last person to think that.
Today I can relate to those people who are unsure about apartment locating services because, I was once in the same shoes. And, although, I’ve already answered this question above, it never hurts to recap.
Yes, apartment locators that provide free service are legit too!
Especially in Texas!
In Texas all Rental Locators are REQUIRED by the Texas Real Estate Commission (also known as TREC), to be a Licensed Real Estate Agent.
In other words, if the individual is locating apartments and not licensed as an agent TREC has the opposite thoughts, specifically when a referral fee is involved.
To explain even further the purpose of TRELA is to protect the public. They are also the committee that governs Texas Real Estate License holders.
With that in mind, not just anyone can make up business cards, throw up a website, market on social media, and claim they are a real estate agent. I’m not practicing law or anything, but, actually, they can.
On second thought, people can just randomly promote themselves as an apartment locator, but, then again, it’s a violation of both TREC and TELA.
So, How Would You Know They Are A Licensed Real Estate Agent?
Just by talking to the person, or even glancing over their appearance, or social media profile, you may not know.
So, here are a few tips that may help you feel more comfortable about the situation.
Firstly, you can ask the agent to see their license. Don’t get me wrong all real estate agents may not be willing to just whip out their license every single time to prove that they are legitimately licensed. And I can understand that.
But, it doesn’t hurt. I guess it’s no different from asking an officer to see his badge.
The point here is that, all real estate agents do have licenses stored somewhere.
And here’s mine if you’d like to see it.
By the way, all agents in Texas have a sponsoring broker too. Meaning, the broker is an individual that manages his or her agents. Therefore, all real estate agents that aren’t Brokers work underneath their sponsoring broker.
Therefore, you can ask them who their designated broker is, that same designated broker has to report to TREC that he or she sponsors this individual.
The bottom line here is a scammer won’t have a license. More importantly, their name will not be listed on the TREC Government official website.
By the way, you can go look up any Texas Real Estate Agent name on the TREC website. Hopefully, that’ll give you peace of mind.
Every single person listed on the TREC website are either going through licensure, been licensed or recently licensed.
Keep in mind, that on the TREC website, that same agent in question will not have the title Apartment Locator no where near their name. Instead, it will say Real Estate Agent or Sales Agent.
Regardless, if you find the person’s name up on Trec.gov, then that’s 100% confirmation that the person is actually a legit person.
How Do I Report Rental Scams?
If you think you’ve experienced a rental scam, there is a way to report the scam. Reporting the rental scam, can help protect yourself and the rest of our cyber community from fraudsters.
Let’s bring these cyber criminals to a halt.
Please know that you are not the only person that’s become a victim to a scam. So, please don’t be hard on yourself. Besides, these people have become so creative that it’s kind of difficult to tell how to find out is someone is scamming you online.
First step is to report the scam to your local state consumer protection office. For example, if you’re in Texas.
You will go to Texas Consumer Protection office website.
From there, it’ll take you to your states and cities Attorney General. You’ll have several options, you can either call or report the crime online.
Second step is to please go here and let the USA FBI know what happened so that they can investigate the online crime.
And if you think that the scammer contacted you internationally, please report that USA outside rental scams here.
Active, Inactive or Expired
The site will read Active, Inactive, or Expired somewhere near their name.
Active means that an individual is an actively participating agent. That active agent is also hanging their license with a sponsoring Broker.
Inactive means that they can not perform any activities dealing with real estate, especially when it comes to dealing with rentals, commissions, and the list goes on without facing consequences.
Expired means the license holder has to reinstate the license by meeting certain requirements.
Besides all that, each licensed agent had to go through a rigorous process to achieve licensure. Not only did they have to take and pass 180 course hours.
But, they had to go and pass a state and national exam, fingerprinting, and background check.
So, why does this matter to you?
In the end, the individual must be deemed competent to be licensed as a sales agent. Not everyone is easily approved to become a real estate agent in the state of Texas.
With that being said, whether you know the locator or not?
The bottom line is everyone in the state of Texas going by the title “Apartment Locator, or Locator” is not a scam.
They are simply using a targeted title for the group of people they service. And as an apartment locator myself, we service people who would like to live in apartments, town homes, condos or sky rises.
Summing IT All UP: Is Apartment Locating Services A Scam?
In fact, if you’ve read this far. First of all, thank you for sticking around. You can scroll to the bottom of this website and check out my Texas IABS form and Consumer Protection form, another piece of evidence that’s required by all Licensed Real Estate Agents which advertise on their own websites.
That’s all for now folks! Until Next Time, Have A Wonderful Day!
Here’s A Tiny Request From Me To You!
Building this blog page by page, post by post to help educate others on the benefits of apartment locating services.
So, if you found this post helpful can you please pin it, tweet it, or share it. I would greatly appreciate it, and thank as always for your continued support.
I wish you all the best and continued success.
Your Apartment Pal