Why would a landlord or renter use a real estate broker to find an apartment in New York City? There are many major management companies in New York City who choose to market their property through a broker. Pan Am, Manocharian and BLDG are just a few, but there are a huge number that choose to advertise rentals in this way. The key question on many prospective renter’s lips is – why? As with most things in New York City real estate, it all boils down to time and money.
Time and money – the age old idiom and the two things no one ever seems to have enough of. A broker can save an owner a considerable amount of time and money, hence why they are regularly used to find suitable tenants for landlords. The role of the broker is to advertise the apartment, show the apartment and collect all the required documents for an application (which in NYC, could fill the pages of a small encyclopedia). This process ensures the owner is only viewing applicants who are well qualified, and who have already been fully vetted by the broker – a real estate professional and expert in finding perfect tenants.
Good rental brokers will have a deep understanding of what an owner is looking for in an applicant, and which deals have the potential to go through with specific landlords. This insider knowledge and skill saves the owner a considerable amount of time and money in the long run.
On the flip side, renters who use brokers are usually concerned with the time factor involved in renting New York City real estate. Finding a decent apartment is exceedingly difficult and you will face a multitude of challenges, including finding available apartments, gaining access to these apartments and submitting the application. Using a broker ensures you will see all the available options that meet your budget and apartment requirements, and you will be approved for an ideal apartment within a much shorter time frame.
A broker can save an owner a considerable amount of time and money, hence why they are regularly used to find suitable tenants for landlords.
If you decide to find an apartment on your own, you will soon learn of the sheer enormity and difficulty of the task ahead. This is particularly true if you are moving here from out of town and for the first time. Finding an apartment is incredibly time consuming and is often described as a full time job in itself. You will face delays in tracking down keys and buildings with available apartments are often overcrowded with long wait times and restricted appointment times (plus, most places aren’t available to be viewed after 6 pm).
The truth is, inventory is low, it’s hard to get access to apartments and the application process can be a nightmare. You will be competing against thousands of new renters, and hundreds of rental brokers who have spent decades learning where the best deals are and how to overcome the obstacles of availability, access and the application process in record time.
On the other hand, if you use a professional and qualified rental broker, you will reap the benefits of their local knowledge, relationships with key landlords and insight into the byzantine rental market. With broker fees running up to fifteen per cent of your annual rent, this is obviously an expensive proposition.
The benefit to you in using a good rental broker is access to all of the rental listings in Manhattan and significantly reduced amount of time spent on finding the perfect apartment.
A good rental broker will also have relationships with many owners, and understand the often very unique and challenging application procedures for thousands of New York landlords. They will also walk you through the four emotional phases of renting an apartment in NYC – denial, anger/depression, bargaining and finally acceptance! New York City real estate will shake your expectations of your future home and you will quickly learn that there will need to be a compromise on either space, location or price. That’s the nature of the city and it can be quite a shock for people.
The ONLY client I ever rented an apartment to in NYC who thought their new place was spacious was a young man who had just spent 6 years in the Navy on a submarine! You get my drift. Apartments are small.
A good rental broker serves many different roles for their client and can often serve as a psychologist, counselor, and inventory expert. They can and will facilitate the difficult process of finding your first New York rental apartment.
The truth is, New York is the most expensive city in the US. Rental vacancies generally run between 1% and 2% at any given time, despite the high number of apartments in the city. Sometimes it seems as if the entire world wants to live in NYC – and with an exponentially growing population, this could very well be the case! In that vein, every person I have ever known to live in NYC remembers their experience as one of the most exciting, creative and energizing phases of their life.
Getting back to the original theme of time and money, I would have to say – if you have the time to do it alone, then read my First Time Renter Guide and give it a shot. If you want to go from interview to application in 24 hours, then a great rental broker may be your best option.