So “rental season”started early this year. After a winter of low supply/high demand now at least there is inventory. But I would say traffic is a month ahead of 2019. I feel like we are at the end of April not March.
If you are relocating to NYC my number 1 tip.
BE PREPARED BEFORE YOU HUNT
If you are working with a tenants’ agent they may have sent you a list of what most landlords ask for. The best thing you can do is look at the required paperwork, income, and check your credit. Landlords can be choosy, so you want to make your side as polished as possible. If you are representing yourself have everything ready to go. This means guarantors too. Your parents in Peoria, or Plains, or Portland may be surprised at the level of documentation renting an apartment in NYC requires. It’s that not far off from qualifying for a loan.
HAVE YOUR TEAM READY TO GO
So 2 years ago we were doing tons of remote deals. And if you are working with a luxury building, it may be just fine to work remotely with an agent. If you are looking at walkups, or your budget is tight it really pays to have all the tenants at the showing, making a good impression, and being able to decide together. I have had listing agents tell me that a clients physical absence cost them the apartment. Again if you are looking at 5K 1 bedrooms in FiDi it’s probably not that big a deal. But a 2300 1br, the listing agent will probably go with someone they met. Be watered up, wear comfy shoes, get some sleep, don’t be hungover. AND make a nice impression on the listing agent. Say hi, introduce yourself, show you are a pleasant easy person to work with. If you love the apartment ask if they have applications and what will win the lease. Offering a bit over may make sense if you think the apartment is a deal.
It may seem like we have all the power, but trust me, having 100 people request to see an apartment has its own challenges. At an open house I always notice how someone treats the other people there. That kindness and consideration stands out. Also at this point most apartments on the market are OCCUPIED. This means you are in someone’s home. They may only want to show it at certain times. This can be tough when you want to visit a lot of places. Show respect for the tenant and their belongings. Backpacks are the devil if you are a vase.
Move dates are a big deal when everything is so busy. It may make things a lot easier to have an overlap between the move out and start dates, or a mover who uses storage. Also if the first of the month falls on a weekend you may have to wait until a weekday to move in. If an apartment is vacant, that landlord wants a lease that starts asap, not a month out. You may need to be less rigid on location, or having a dishwasher, or something. If you are searching online and there is only one apartment that fits your criteria, you are not in good shape. You need to have search parameters that give you multiple options. Don’t get fixated on one listing!
DON’T BE SHY
If you love an apartment let the person showing it know it’s at the top of your list. Let them know why. If you have a pet or pets make sure the building policy is a good fit.
I wish I had a magic wand. I love making people happy. I HATE having to tell people no. I had a dad call me up SCREAMING because his daughter lost out on a place, and I really liked her too. It broke my heart. Yes you may have to adjust your expectations, but I promise if you are qualified and put in the work it will turn out ok.