How do you retain customer trust as an estate agent?
Last week in the Netherlands, the database hacking of a rental property agency came to light. Because personal information was leaked, the scope of the damage is considerable. From citizen service numbers to copies of identity documents. That information is all out in the open.
As a letting agent, you want to retain customer trust in terms of personal data, but how can you guarantee security?
Which information is required for tenancy agreements?
In light of last week’s hack, we’re taking a closer look at the exact personal information needed for a tenancy agreement in the Netherlands, based on the WWFT (or Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act):
Identity verification in order to sign off on the agreement;
Required details on the verification document: type, number, and date and location of issue;
Surname, first names, date of birth, address.
If these pieces of information aren’t checked, stored, and encrypted in a secure environment, the risk of a data breach like the one that happened last week is significant. When your real estate office grows, so does your database. And the larger your database, the more attractive it is for hackers to access. As a real estate agency, it’s obvious that you want to avoid that, but the question is how to put those safeguards into practice.
Consequences of the hack
It’s still unclear how the hacker operated exactly. What is clear, however, is that the hack can have serious consequences for the victims as well as the company. There’s a significant risk that the hacked personal data will be used in phishing scams.
That type of fraud consists of the theft of personal data, log-in codes, etc. in order to retrieve private information. Think of the classic example of an email to let you know that something has gone wrong with your banking information and that you should take a moment to log in again. By entering your information into a fake website like that, your data ends up in the wrong hands.
How do you win client trust?
It is now painfully clear how important it is to process personal data in a secure way. It’s always better to nip issues in the bud. In order to stay ahead of this type of data leak, we have developed systems to help prevent identity fraud and credibility.
This solution offers your real estate agency the option to perform a simple online ID Check on the WWFT, or Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act, and to verify its authenticity. It’s also possible to combine this check with a Consumer Check. That test allows you to determine an individual’s financial standing.
By handling personal information in a secure way like this, you’ll show your clients that you take their data seriously. That automatically leads to increased customer trust.