MBA – ‘Management by walking around’ was actually a buzzword in management in the 1980s’. A study in organization behavior showed that managers managed the best by simply walking around in their company!
You are now entering the NYC rental market. You might be asking around among friends for rental availability or a referral for a good real estate agent. You surfed the net, flipped the newspapers. All is well, however, I think by far the most effective and cost efficient of nailing a rental is by RBA – ‘Renting by Walking Around!’
Note that I used the word ‘NAIL’. The best way to START looking is still the Internet and browsing through local ads. After the initial research, target a few neighborhoods and start ‘WALKING AROUND’ The best if you can narrow down to a few streets and avenues.
What’s in for you? As I mentioned in my previous article “How to Rent Smart in NYC?”, the agent fees is conventionally 15% of your annual rental (it’s negotiable). That is a huge chunk of change, equivalent to 1.8 months of your rental!
Yes, they are cases whereby using an agent might land you the perfect crib, and economical if you end up staying for like 5 years or more. However, for the average renter, the average tenure is like 2 years, spreading out the agent fees, it is like paying an average of $200 to $500 per month for agent fees. Now, if you can add $200 to $500 to your rental budget, do you think that it will make a difference? Get a much nicer place or keep the money for whatever.
Many rental condos in New York City offer market sensitive/adjusted rent as they usually have several units to offer. The condos normally have in-house management/rental offices that do not charge agent fees. They call it ‘no-fees rental’. If there is no office, note down the address and name of the building and look it up on the net. These condos are highly visible (usually high rise) and you should have no problem spotting them in your desired neighborhood. And adding to the bonus, these buildings are usually newer, with facilities and have in-unit or in-building washers-dryers.
If you have targeted a neighborhood you want to live in, start ‘Walking Around’! Or do you prefer to pay an agent 1.8 months of fees to bring you there?
PS: There will be some buildings, which might still want to charge you agent fees, remember it is NEGOTIABLE!
UPDATE: A friend of mine used an agent to show her a few places, which are mostly walk-ups. The agent is charging her 15% of annual rental. She tried out my advice of RBA in her desired neighborhood and ended up in a high-rise rental nearer to the subway, newer and bigger with no fees! It would have cost her more if she rented the old walk-ups. GO WALK AROUND my friend!
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