By Julie Fisher, Customer Care Manager
Imagine that it’s Monday afternoon and you receive an unexpected visit from the local police. They are asking you about a crime that has just taken place at “123 Anywhere Street”, a property for which you recently requested a showing. You inform the officer that you didn’t make that request. She says someone using your name and ID number scheduled a showing appointment right before the crime took place. What goes through your mind?
Fortunately, this is a fictitious scenario. But, the reality is that we have received calls from MLS Subscribers who have had their identities (name, office name, & license number) used fraudulently. As a professional community, real estate offices can take steps to prohibit unscrupulous individuals from successfully impersonating REALTORS®.
Here is what safety-conscious real estate offices do:
- Require that all REALTOR® showings be requested through Showing Time for the MLSTM (previously known as Showing AssistTM). This assures the MLS Subscriber’s credentials have already been verified through RCO3® by the time you receive the request.
- When a showing request is made over the phone by another REALTOR® or real estate office, they look up that agent or office’s name and contact information in RCO3®. Then, they call the person back at the cell or office phone number that appears in the MLS system. This eliminates the possibility of providing a lockbox code to someone impersonating an agent who wants to be called back at an alternate phone number.
- When a showing request is made over the phone by a non-MLS Subscriber, they look up that agent or office’s name and contact information via the Internet and their company's website. Then, they call the person back at a phone number published on their website.
Hopefully, the suggestions above help your office to institute safety procedures regarding showings. If your office already observes similar or different safety procedures that also work well, let us know. We would love to share your ideas in a future broadcast.