Entrepreneur Bootstrapping Business Idea – Become an Apartment Finder or Broker

People rent apartments in every city in the country. As an apartment finder, you will be hired by the person looking to rent. They will pay you a fee for finding them a place with certain specifications and you will make appointments.

The success of this position will vary depending on where you live. The bigger the city, the more chance you have for success. In New York, it is almost a necessity to have an apartment broker, and they get thousands of dollars for finding them.

You may also get referral fees from the apartment buildings themselves. There are multiple ways that you can organize this business, but you will need a steady stream of people to make it worthwhile.

You may get referrals from other states that are looking to relocate and for that  you will need a high quality website that explains the entire process and tells people who you are and how they will be treated. Your website should contain a customer survey that the person can fill out, listing their wants, location, and price range. This way you will not need to interview each person on the phone and waste valuable time.

You can create a niche for yourself, renting only to students, the affluent, or just relocations. Once the rental agreement has been signed, you get paid and the living situation is no longer your problem. It will be between the tenant and landlord at that point. However, it will be critical that you do not recommend bad landlords to people, or you will lose your credibility.

You will need to know who to ask for all of their inside information. Try to be the first one to find out when an apartment opens up, so that you can create a name for yourself. Keep an updated mailing list, since you will know where all of you clients live and how long their rental agreements are. When it get to be 3 months form the end, start marketing them with reminder emails, asking if they want to move somewhere else.

How to Find South End Apartments in Boston

The Big Secret About NYC Apartment Rentals

The key to finding the right NYC apartment is… not your broker, not the free websites, not even having lots of money (although that helps). The key to finding the right apartment is both obvious and hidden inside you.

It can’t be the “free” apartment websites, such as craigslist.org, because…

The free websites don’t employ anyone to validate the truthfulness of their listings, nor does anyone remove a listing when the apartment has been rented. Many free listings are bait-and-switch come-ons posted by brokers or are total frauds run by unscrupulous con artists who take advantage of New York’s costly rental market.

The Associated Press released a story describing the problems with fraud on craigslist.org: “The New York section is now so rife with con artists that they may begin charging landlords to discourage illegitimate listings.” Always beware of the con artist’s creativity when you use a free website.

It can’t be newspaper classified ads because…

The old-fashioned method of using the real estate ads in the local paper is not as effective in New York as it is in other towns for two main reasons:

1 – In New York, most of the ads you’ll see are from brokers who will charge you a broker’s fee, or the apartments will be in very expensive buildings with high monthly rents where the owner will pay the broker to bring them a renter for their overpriced apartment.

2 – Most of the apartments listed will be off the market by the time you read the ads. Newspaper ads have a long “lead time,” that is, they must go to the paper several days ahead of the day they’ll actually be published. Apartments are rented very quickly in New York, and what’s available on the day the ads go to the newspaper can be very different from what’s available the day the paper is printed. Many ads are used by brokers to grab your attention so you’ll call and become their client, even if the apartment you’re calling about is no longer available (or was never available).

The Biggest Secret of All in Finding a Good Rental Apartment…

… is this: the right attitude. Have the right attitude and you’ll find the right place. Have the wrong attitude, and your hunt for an apartment can be difficult. But what do I mean by “the right attitude”?

To a landlord, renting apartments is a business, no more, no less. If you don’t pay the rent, the landlord loses money. If you damage the apartment, the landlord loses money by having to make repairs. If you’re a bad neighbor, the landlord can lose other tenants because of your behavior. For small landlords, it doesn’t take too many nonpaying or destructive or disruptive tenants to put their business in financial jeopardy.

The “right attitude” for you is to let the landlord know that you understand their business. Let the landlord know that paying the rent on time is of paramount importance to you. Let the landlord know you’ll be a good neighbor, and that you’ll take good care of their apartment. No troublemaker here!

You will also convey the right attitude by dressing well, by being polite to everyone you meet, and by being prepared with all of your necessary paperwork when you visit apartments. Take this advice, and you will be ahead of most renters.

There are more terrific tips and hints available to you in “Essential Guide for Smart Renters”. I know of no better free compilation of information about finding a rental apartment in New York City. Go take a look right now!