How to Prevent Renter Fraud in your Vacation Home

When my uncle rented out a few units in Providence, RI, he did it the old fashioned way. He put an ad in the local newspaper, showed the units himself, and then picked up the phone to call references. In good Rhode Island tradition, most of the time it took just a few minutes on the phone to find out that he was distantly related or knew someone related to his potential renter. It was a safe and manageable set up that worked for thirty years. The new era of real estate, however, is far less local, familiar, or secure. Renters are often not relocating locally and most importantly, they expect the entire renting cycle to unfold conveniently online. Add to the mix an increase in out-of-state ownership that makes hands-on management difficult, and you create a new set of challenges. One new area that has become especially troublesome is Read More

Taming the Data Tide Remains Apartment Tech Pros’ Priority

With software, applications and additional technology permeating every aspect of apartment operations, industry technology experts are constantly juggling numerous challenges. However, according to a panel of technology pros at the 2014 NMHC OpTech Conference & Exposition, the biggest challenges these days are meeting growing demands in four main areas: business intelligence, application integration, system security and organizations’ niche technologies. While each executive pointed to particularly pressing challenges in one or two of these areas, the reality was that every executive was dealing with issues in each of the areas to some degree or another. “I think we all have all four of these issues,” said Karen Hollinger, vice president of corporate initiatives for AvalonBay Communities. “So, it’s really a matter of prioritization.” For both Bob Lamb, vice president of information technology at Gables Residential, and Ray Thornton, senior vice president of information technology at MAA, business intelligence and security were Read More

Identity theft, fraud cost consumers more than $16 billion

It’s time to keep an eagle eye on your finances. Some 15.4 million consumers were victims of identity theft or fraud last year, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research. That’s up 16 percent from 2015, and the highest figure recorded since the firm began tracking fraud instances in 2004. “All of the underlying types of fraud we measure are up,” said Al Pascual, a senior vice president and research director for Javelin. Card-not-present fraud — transactions made online or via phone where the cardholder does not need to present the physical card to complete the purchase — jumped the most, increasing 40 percent compared to 2015. Account takeover fraud — where thieves used stolen login information to access a consumer’s accounts — rose 31 percent, and instances where fraudsters opened new accounts in a consumer’s name were up 20 percent. In all, thieves stole $16 billion, Read More