Doing self-guided tours? Would you believe one simple setting on your ShowMojo account can reduce the potential for fraud by almost 50 percent? That setting is called watermarking.
And why does it work? The exact same way locking your car doors prevents theft. Sure, a locked door doesn’t stop a thief from smashing a window and snagging your valuables. But why do that when any prudent thief can find an unlocked car?
The data in the graph below (from September 2022 to present) shows the extent to which watermarking reduces fraud.
Percentage of on-market listings that experienced fraudulent activity.
Note: ShowMojo auto-detected and blocked almost all these instances.
Until now, we haven’t pushed aggressive watermarking all that hard for fear of impacting market times. Looking at the images below, that fear makes sense. Mild watermarking, shown on the left, is much more tasteful. Your expensive professional photo remains elegant and intact. But it’s also incredibly easy to crop that watermarking out.
The photo on the right shows watermarking that is impossible to remove without destroying the photo. If a scammer tries to clip those lines out of your photos, it’ll look like cut-up credit card confetti.
Close the Deal with Ugly Watermarking
Here’s the punchline: Our latest data shows that our old fear of ugly watermarking was misplaced.
As you can see in the graph below, from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, aggressive watermarking didn’t hurt market time. Au contraire, aggressive watermarking may have actually reduced market times by at least two days.
Now we know correlation isn’t causation. So we’re not quite ready to declare that aggressive watermarking reduces market times. Nonetheless, two things are abundantly clear:
- Aggressive watermarking does not increase market times.
- Aggressive watermarking does significantly reduce fraudulent activity.
Oh, yeah, there’s one more thing that’s abundantly clear: Anything that helps protect hapless renters and your homes from fraudsters really is worth doing.
Help Us Help You Protect Your Potential Customers
Listing fraud itself isn’t getting worse. ShowMojo is — in fact — getting much better at automatically detecting and countering it. One of our 2023 goals is to make the self-showing fraud as near to a non-issue as possible.
Help us frustrate the schnitzel out of scammers. Head to the Listing Settings page and add a spiffy (or not) diagonal watermark to your automated watermarking.