I recently put up a CL ad for my rental unit. Very first e-mail response I get says the following:
I am very interested in your place. I'm comparing a few units in New Orleans and wanted to get a little more info. I'm wondering if you have an account on (rentsta web address)? I want to see how well your place matches my preferences.
Thanks, and let me know
(Signed with supposedly her name)
So, I'm curious. I go to the website and figure I will list my place there if it is free. Of course, it is not. Plus they are out of Canada, which makes me more suspicious. No offense to Canada, I'm just a long way from that ballpark. I've never heard of them, so I doubt most NOLA tenants would have either.
They charge $1 per lead with a minimum of 10 leads. No guarantees and...even more crazy...although they ask a TON of questions about my rental unit, they ask NOTHING about the type of tenant I want.
So I pretend to be a tenant. Free for tenants. Again, bunches of questions about what I am looking for...but not even a "have you ever been evicted" question. And, oh look. Not a single property in my area and (probably) all of New Orleans is listed.
That skeevy scammer almost got me! I almost paid $10, just in case she might have been a good applicant or I could have gotten another good applicant that way. But obviously she wasn't an applicant at all!
Not a great way to start my new tenant search, lol!
I did a search on BP for rentsta, but nothing came up. I'm curious if anyone has actually had any experience with this company.
Never heard of a website called "rentsta". Maybe not a scam, but more likely a ploy by the operators of whatever website it is to get people to sign up for paid memberships. In any event, you shouldn't have to pay for "leads". Especially on a site with no other properties listed in your area. If other local landlords aren't using it, potential renters probably aren't either.
Just read your note and was very surprised. I'm out of Milpitas, CA and posted my unit with Rentsta and never had a problem. I actually connected with them through mutual friends at an earlier event.
I'm not sure what you mean by scam - their whole model is that you list your property for free, and they find you tenants on the assumption that the renter is looking for the same property features as what you list. I only signed up for 5 leads, so I'm not sure what you mean by minimum of 10. They also credited my account like they said they would so at the end of the day, I found my tenant without paying a penny through their site.
I'll echo what Kyle said, and say reach out to them before you call them out as a scam. They've been very responsive through their e-mail support.
Just my $0.02,
@Max Reichman, thanks for the further information about and your experience with this company. I'm not necessarily saying Rentsta itself is a scam, so I apologize if my title implied that. But there are scammers who are unethically using Rentsta to try and lure people to sign up.
For example, the person who e-mailed me is definitely a scammer and I'm assuming their link in the e-mail they sent is their affiliate link for this website.
I just wanted to warn others that, if they get an e-mail from a potential applicant asking for their unit to be posted on rentsta, there's a good chance it's not a real applicant.
With that said, I was also really unimpressed with the Rentsta website. I felt like I had to try and dig around every nook and cranny trying to find any information about who they were, what they did, and the details about their lead system. I couldn't even find their pricing until I had given them all the details about my unit and was at the last step. And if I'd known how long, arduous, and repetitive that process that was going to be, I wouldn't have bothered.
I didn't see anything about getting your money back if you don't get any leads and 10 leads was the minimum I could choose, but I'll take your word for it. Maybe I just never landed on or found the right page, but there was very scant information all around about their lead system.
I could see it might be a useful website if it is active in someone's area. My personal mistake was not pretending to be a tenant FIRST to see that it's non-existent in mine.
At any rate, I wasted a larger chunk of time on there than I expected, but at least I learned something. And I didn't waste $10.
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Hi @Jennifer Tornus,
My name is Anthony and I am one of the co-founders of Rentsta. I just found out about your experience with our site, and my sincerest apologies for the difficulty you had in using it.
You are correct, we are based out of Toronto, Canada and the bulk of our listings are currently in the Toronto Area. We are working to expand that reach outward to include more listings in New Orleans and elsewhere, though that will still take a little more time. We never support any type of ‘scam’ messaging, especially ones that use our name. Do you mind forwarding me the e-mail? Assuming if it is a legitimate e-mail, the user who contacted you may have been a Canadian looking to move to your area, as Canadians are by far our biggest user base.
I did take your comments into consideration and we are working to make the process simpler for landlords. Just to clear things up, our goals are to help match tenants with the optimal rental unit for them and to help landlords find the best tenant for their unit. Rather than paying for an "ad" or posting on a website that may get no views, or being tied to expensive exclusivity contracts, landlords on Rentsta pay $1 per lead only when that lead gets matched and expresses interest in your unit. That's it. No monthly fees, no membership fees, and you can always take down your unit and stop collecting leads at any time.
You will also never be charged in advance. Instead, you only pay when a lead expresses interest in your unit. If no users express interest, then your listing stays visible on Rentsta at no charge until a suitable match comes along and contacts you. I can assure you that you can add as many or as few leads as you like and stop collecting whenever you have enough leads.
Finally, I do want to mention that we aim to adhere to all local regulations with respect to questions that we can ask potential tenants. Each area has its own rules, and we operate within those established rules.
I will be more than happy to personally help you in completing the setup of your unit and can answer any other questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at your convenience.
I wanted to give a quick update. @Anthony D. from Rentsta has e-mailed me privately and I have been floored at how seriously he has taken my concern that one of their affiliates potentially sent me a misleading spam e-mail.
He also took some of my constructive criticism with a good spirit. He said they are looking into adding an informational page for landlords that better describes the costs and services of their lead system.
It's so refreshing to see a company take such immediate action when a customer had a bad experience and I wish them lots of success into the future.
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