To new arrivals, Brokers are the devil, but to many New Yorkers, they’re a necessary evil, a user-pays system to make it easier to find a place when you’re too busy working those twelve-hour days. How can anyone demand such ridiculous amounts of your hard-earned just by hooking you up with an apartment? Some brokers get 15% of your annual rent – up front too and that can really hurt the cash flow. If you’re savvy and it’s not the peak time of the year, that fee could potentially be negotiated down to between 8 and 12%
So what do you get for this fee? Well brokers can get you in to places that never get listed on Street Easy or any of the other major rental search sites. They know what’s coming up in advance and can find you a place that can match a very specific set of requirements. You want a place with a gym, a laundry in the apartment, free cable, in a neighborhood with a good school, you’ll be able to give your broker this wish list and he or she will come up with options. It’s a paid service and it’s possibly unjustifiably expensive in most new arrivals’ eyes (ours included) but it does remove the need to disappear from work at awkward times to huddle with thirty other people trying to apply for the one apartment. The other benefit of a broker arrangement is that often the apartments are more locked to a rent range and don’t increase as much with every new lease signing.
No, it doesn’t mean you live rent-free. No Fee means you don’t have to pay a broker’s fee when applying for a property. There are plenty of benefits to not paying out half your savings to a broker, but the downside is the rent can rise every time you have to renew. No fee rentals also tend to be a little more expensive – so it can offset the cost of the broker.