In a business built in part on customer service, we rarely get to hear unfiltered thoughts from real estate brokers about their craft. Today we do, courtesy of a rental agent working for a "major Manhattan developer" in an on-site leasing office, all of which goes unnamed in this first-person Brick Underground confessional. Did you know that brokers working for developers are acting in the best interests of the landlord, not the tenant? If that's news, let us be the first to welcome you to New York City, because you apparently just arrived this morning. Hey, how about some stuff we didn't know, like how the professionals don't actually care about our daughter's education:
If there’s competition for a particular unit, people tell me all kinds of things to try to persuade me to give them the apartment over the other interested parties (which, by the way, is not within my power). They talk my ear off about how nice they are and how much they love the apartment and how the building is so perfect because it‘s close to Susie’s school, a stone’s throw from Bob’s office, and around the corner from Nancy’s favorite Pilates studio. None of this matters to the landlord (or to me, despite my feigned interest).Our pseudonymous friend doesn't just mock the customers, of course. Here, a little service journalism:Ask how long the unit has been on the market (though if it has been sitting you may not get a truthful answer). If a unit has been vacant for several months the landlord may be much more negotiable on the price than on a unit that has just come up, even though there may be no discrepancy in the quality of the apartments. The landlord I work for, while sometimes firm on pricing, will generally accept $100 off the monthly asking rent. We had a unit on the market for several months and they ended up accepting an offer at a full $1,200 below the $7,000 monthly asking price, just to get someone in there.OK, we've got it: Bid under the asking price, and talk about our kids incessantly just to make these ultimately powerless people hate their jobs even more.
· Confessions of an On-Site Leasing Agent [Brick Underground]