Virtual showings of NYC Apartments

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Yep. It will really be interesting to see how the coronavirus crisis changes NYC apartment rentals long term.

Right now instead of hunting for keys we are hunting for videos.

It’s a big change.

In the past we would go see listed apartments, sometimes, many times, without seeing pictures first. This is part of the craft of being a NYC real estate agent. You have a hunch, a super gives you a tip, you know your landlords, and then you and the client go see some places. You gauge their reaction, see what they respond well to, adjust, get a cup of coffee, admire the dog park, it’s a process and if a client trusts it, it works.

But now due to the pandemic, we are trading in video. Yes it’s a good tool, but I am not sure it is satisfying. Yes, so many people were willing to take 110 Greene Street from a short video, it was a once in a lifetime deal on a SoHo loft. Yes about 1 out of 10 apartments are rented without people seeing them.

But I find the time spent emailing and clicking is less productive, it’s nice to see a video of an apartment, but it is very different from experiencing it. It also it is my job to read your mind, to figure out what you want BEFORE you do. So many people get here and admit, what they thought they wanted changed when they started viewing.

It is ok, it is expected, you are not ordering a Big Mac and a side of fries, I know you may decide having a place that feels bright and roomy is more important than laundry in unit. Just like a shrink our job is to guide you.

Don’t get me wrong, a video is a great storytelling tool, especially in sales, but it just doesn’t replace the real thing. Cue Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

If you want to work with Suzanne email I promise someday will climb stairs, sip iced coffee, talk about life and see apartments soon.

How will the Coronavirus crisis impact renting an apartment in NYC?

So this is a question I get a lot and of course I have no crystal ball.

Renting an apartment in Manhattan is VERY seasonal.

Busy season typically starts around Easter as students move out of dorms due to graduation or a desire to live off campus. The prices increase, concessions increase as we move through the summer. In August all hell breaks loose, as people start looking for places for September 1, the start of school and new jobs. The first few weeks of September are busy too. Then in October prices drop, concessions are added, by November we start to see deals. December is a mixed bag, low inventory, good discounts, January is similar.

So already we have missed that first wave of students leaving dorms. The short term market is on fire with thousands of health care people looking for temporary housing which is always tricky. There are good deals out there if you are comfortable renting remotely.

I think if NYU and Columbia and the New School start classes on time, we will see the market return to normal in August. I am guessing we will actually see a bump in professionals looking for places when work restrictions end.

There is one thing you can do it is start getting smart about finding and apartment in NYC. Go ahead and start learning about qualifying for an apartment, what documents you will need, what the costs are, whether you will need a guarantor, what fees you are comfortable with, and so forth. Adrianna Darling and I are always happy to help you start planning.

Stay safe and good luck! We are here to serve.

To work with NYC real estate agent Suzanne Goldklang email

Getting out: How can I break a lease in New York City?

So one of the best kept secrets of Manhattan real estate is that it can be easy and inexpensive to break a lease by using a real estate agent.

If your apartment is a good value, a real estate agent like me will be happy to list it at no cost to you.

Even better, we pay of all of the advertising costs on places like Craigslist, Facebook, StreetEasy, Zillow, Renthop and Naked Apartments.

You will first need to check with your landlord for their lease break policies. Some landlords will charge you a fee for breaking a lease, and some may have restrictions on how your lease break can be advertised.

The rest of the transaction is painless.

Realtors want listings, I am no exception.

I will list your property, take pictures and video, screen prospective tenants, set up showings, negotiate terms, help them complete an application, and get approved. Your listing will be in the REBNY database and other agents will be able to bring their clients to the table as well.

If your listing is an attractive one, you should be able to easily find someone who will put down a new deposit, pay the rent, pay the broker fee, and minimize any cost to you.

If you are looking to list a lease break please call me at 929-429-0240 or email

Understanding Manhattan Apartment Listings: Open vs Exclusive

So you are coming to NYC to look for an apartment, you may have looked on line, or spoken with me on the phone. If you want to make the process less stressful and confusing, it’s great to know that there are different types of listings, and the application process may feel very different based upon that.


In most of the country when you want to sell a house you find a realtor.

That listing agent lists the house. Posts ads, puts signs in the yard, hosts open houses.

Most buyers chose to work with a buyer’s agent, who will help them find places, and get them to showings.

Many EXCLUSIVE NYC rental transactions mirror this system.

We sometimes will call the broker on the other side of the deal a co-broker. There is a listing agent and a tenant’s agent, the main difference is we are negotiating a lease not a sales contract.

As a tenant’s agent, I set up your appointments, talk to you about options, help with an application, and do any negotiation on concessions with the listing agent. I like working with listing agents, and that has sort of become my specialty. That listing agent controls the application process, and getting them on your side is a key to getting an apartment lots of people are interested in.

For people who are relocating, it is a big help to have a tenant’s agent. It can be overwhelming to plan 2 days of appointments with listing agents and it is a good idea to see a mix of exclusives and open listings. It also makes the most of your time. I had one client see 12 buildings in a day. I think that is a lot, but we did it.


Some landlords chose not to have an exclusive listing agent, and simply allow any agent or perhaps a select group of agents to bring renters to the table.

Other times the landlord will hire a leasing agent who is an employee, and represents the landlords interests.

Those listings are called open listings.

Many, but not all open listings allow agents to advertise their properties, and bring them clients.

My listing page on features open listings, as does my page on Renthop which is one of the few public platforms to advertise open listings.

Applying for an open listing is a bit different, especially if we are working with a landlord. We don’t always know how many other agents might have someone looking at an apartment, so if you like an open listing, have your application documents ready to go quickly.

So why should you care?

What part of town you choose to live in makes a difference. There are relatively few open listings on the Lower East Side. Open listings exist but do not dominate in the East Village, West Village, or Greenwich Village. On the other hand move uptown to Midtown East or the Upper East Side and there are many appealing open listings.

Almost all condo and co-ops that go up for rent are exclusives, large buildings with lots of rental apartments are generally open listings.

Becoming familiar with open listings and marketing them is an important part of being a NYC rental agent.

Of course I love working as a listing agent too. You get to meet other brokers and a wide variety of clients who sometimes decide to have me help them find a place.

Want someone to break it down in person? Hire a trustworthy agent who has experience with all types of listings! Work with Suzanne by calling 929-429-0240 or email

How to Save Money on a NYC Apartment

So depending on your budget there is one feature that can make the difference in finding the budget-friendly apartment you want in New York City.



Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of apartments in NYC with laundry in unit, in building, and we rent them everyday.


If you have a tight budget, and you want to live in popular areas such as the East Village, Lower East Side, Greenwich Village, the West Village and so forth, the best way to get the space you need is is to compromise on laundry.

We are talking 2 bedrooms under 4K, 1 bedrooms under 3K, and studios under 2500.

We see it time and time again. People say laundry is a must.

What happens is the apartments you see are usually the poorest values because you have eliminated the majority of housing in your budget. The older walk up buildings, constructed before laundry rooms were common are the places to focus on if you need an inexpensive apartment and space is your priority.

Also if you are moving to a neighborhood where most buildings do NOT have laundry, you will find a great number of laundry services, probably steps from your door. Laundromats, dry cleaners, wash and fold services.

I currently have a listing for a beautiful one bedroom with a public laundromat in the same building. I often have people who insisted on seeing only places with laundry, realize how many options there are near by.

So please, if your agent says you are missing out on some good values by only seeing buildings with laundry, listen. The breaking point between less expensive and more expensive apartments in the “trendy” neighborhoods is almost always laundry .

This guideline doesn’t apply in some areas with only large buildings. FiDi, Midtown West west of 10th Ave, some portions of Chelsea, stretches of Harlem you need laundry . Obviously as you move into higher price points, it is not an issue. But keep an open mind when it comes to laundry– you might just find one of those NYC miracle deals!

Secret Manhattan Apartment Bargains

So location is paramount to most folks moving to Manhattan, and I tend to specialize in some of the most expensive areas.

But there are good values, hiding in plain sight, in convenient locations most newcomers overlook.

I will just keep to one neighborhood per post, but there are a number.


Turtle Bay, Beekman, Sutton Place, Tudor City offer some of the best deals in NYC. Thse areas are within walking distance of the United Nations, but for some reason people moving to Manhattan overlook the excellent value.

If you are looking for a no fee apartment, or a doorman is a priority, or you like post war buildings with amenities, you owe it to yourself to consider this area.

While the main avenues may not feel especially residential, the side streets are inviting. East 49th is one of my favorite streets, it is leafy and quiet, and has a perfect mix of small shops and restaurants. There is a newsstand, dry cleaner, two salons, a bike shop, and appealing restaurants, right alongside a very appealing mix of housing.

Buildings here tend to offer more space and amenities that any other area between Houston and 96th street. There are large, elegant buildings with some true bargains. If having laundry in your building is a priority, and you have a tight budget, Midtown East may be the answer. I am always happy when clients want to look here, many apartments here are a happy surprise.

Are you looking for a “flex”? Roomies looking to cut costs sometimes are seeking apartments they can divide with a wall. Most downtown apartments are really not suited to this set-up, but the post war mid-rises of Midtown East are another story. I try to keep my eye out for apartments that may already have the flex wall up, to save my clients time and expense.

Tudor City is one of the area’s best kept secrets. If your heart is set on a doorman/elevator studio south of 2K, you may find what you need. Buildings in this enclave are known for having spectacular pre-war windows, and if you are lucky river views. Keep in mind Tudor City is all co-op which can mean a slower application process, and some additional labor and expense.

As for culture and dining, midtown east may surprise you. The area is especially cosmopolitan with people visiting from all over the globe. Bloomingdales and the shops of the East 50’s are a quick walk, and all the fun of the East Village is nearby as well. If you like to drive to the Hamptons, having the Midtown Tunnel makes it easier.

If you are not finding what you need in Midtown West, or the Village, consider Midtown East. People who live here love the value and location.

Moving to NYC? Work with an agent you can trust. Email Suzanne,

Fake Ads for New York City Apartments: Bait and Switch

So what is the most frustrating thing about apartment hunting in NYC?

Fake ads!

They give renters unrealistic expectations, and can lead you down a time-wasting rabbit hole.

Very simply, some agents find it more efficient to make up ads for apartments that don’t exist to lure you in. Once they have you baited, it is time for the switch.

As an agent, dealing with other agents fake ads is frankly my least favorite part of the job. We have a database of almost every apartment in NYC, and if I am spending energy trying to figure out the history of a fake ad, that’s time I could have used making calls to find you real options.

Fake ads also start popping up when you are looking for something that is either very rare or does not exist. When you have a tight budget in popular locations, fake ads are all of a sudden everywhere.

People don’t really do fake ads for 6 thousand dollar one bedrooms, because there are plenty of real ones. But 1800 no fee studios in swanky neighborhoods? 2500 two bedrooms with huge living rooms near NYU?

That is when the fakes start popping up.

This is where honest communication between agent and client is key. If you really need a bigger place than your budget allows, discuss more affordable neighborhoods, or perhaps switching from elevators to walk-ups.

Unfortunately instead of making hard decisions about priorities and compromises, some clients jump on the web and start showering you with phony listings. It’s hard to blame them, but it rarely moves things in the right direction. I also like to keep things positive, and having to explain that there are a lot of fake ads, makes me feel like a Bachelor contestant dissing her housemates.

There are websites that are reasonable to use in other cities, but in NYC are fake ad breeding grounds.,, to name a few. I get a big chunk of my business from Rent Hop, but there are also a lot of stale ads there too.

Localize boasts all their ads are honest, last week the featured property in the facebook ad was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with, stunning arched windows in Tribeca for 3200 dollars. You do the math. People can advertise a magic golden unicorn in the basement, and there is little that can be done.

Some agencies actually instruct new salespeople to never delete an ad, just redirect clients to something else when they call. There is an apartment I rented in January, somebody’s fake ad for it was there months later. I wrote the agent saying please, my clients don’t need people buzzing their door to see their apartment, a month later, it was still there!

Agents will slightly change the number of an address, to try to hide what they are doing. I once got a call from a client at 7 AM, because the EXACT SAME APARTMENT she was applying for was ACROSS THE STREET BUT THIS ONE HAD A LAUNDRY ROOM! Nope, it was a jazzed up fake clone.

If you want to search I like Line City, or ask me to set up a customized drip for you in my two data bases.

The realization that some real estate ads are fake is a hard one, it’s not the better side of our industry, or humanity for that matter.

However it’s one of the most important pitfalls to avoid, especially if you are looking in a competitive category and have limited time in NYC.


Best Neighborhoods to Move to in New York City

So what is the number one sign that a client is going to have trouble finding a place?

Confusion over where to live.

When a client wants to look all over Manhattan, I know we are in for a long and turbulent process.

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE being a tour guide, and I love talking about locations.

The tough part is the tradeoff. A 3.5 K Upper East Side 2BR looks very different than one in the East Village because of the difference in price per square foot. People end up wanting the space and amenities of the Upper East Side in a downtown location and get FRUSTRATED.

Think carefully about your priorities before you arrive in town.

I once had a client I planned with for 6 weeks, who really wanted to live in Soho or Chelsea. She asked me to take the whole day off to work with her, which is what I do when someone is making a special trip. Turns out the day before, her mom had a different agent show her apartments on the Upper East Side, and then got upset because the same money meant less fancy apartments downtown. I felt frustrated and I am sure they were let down.

Before you travel, have a frank discussion with your agent about your budget and priorities.

It is ESPECIALLY important when parents are involved, because often their agenda is different from their offspring. When parents want an elevator and a laundry room, but their child wants to live near art galleries, it can be hard to find a middle ground. Parents often have very strong opinions about location, and they might be based on an experience 20 or 30 years ago. Ask your agent, what does a 2K studio look like near Washington Square vs a 2K studio at 72nd and Broadway? It can be apples and oranges.

Consider whether your priorities are location, space, finish, amenities. If you have limited time to find an apartment, do yourself a favor. Focus on the areas where you really want to live. Open listings in NYC often don’t have photos and may not be advertised online at all. Take the time to dig for these hidden gems, in your dream neighborhood, instead of spreading yourself thin. If you are looking for something that does not exist, your agent should tell you when it is time to change strategies and explore a different neighborhood.

Finally, and this one is key, educate yourself on architecture. I am always surprised by the fact that people forget to consider what sorts of buildings exist in certain neighborhoods.

If you like new construction, most likely you will not be looking in the West Village. Midtown West has amazing new buildings. There are relatively few buildings with elevators in the East Village, and those that are tend to be expensive or less central. Every August people come from all over the world wanting housing near NYU and the New School in a post-war- high rise style of building that is just not dominant in that area. Stuy- town or a dorm may be the best bet. Read about the architecture and history of the areas you want to live in, use google street view to stroll. Want to live in a high rise with a great view? Make sure there are tall buildings where you are hoping to live.

Here is a quick overview of NYC neighborhoods.

New York City Real Estate Agent

Thanks for joining me!


Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


So what comes to mind when you read those six words? New York City real estate agent.

There are hundreds of hard-working, talented, kind real estate agents and brokers in NYC. But people are often a bit wary. The truth is not everybody is cut out for this job. While I would be honored to work with you,  anyone you click with, who knows the inventory, and  is willing to work hard for you, can probably find you an apartment.  People often start searching listings on their own, but the truth is at the beginning search for the right agent instead. Listings come and go, apartments rent, but a strong relationship with someone you trust is the key when you are new to town.

Most people call me because they see a listing that they like, but very rarely, does somebody rent that first apartment.  More often that phone call starts a dialogue about housing wants and needs, budget, location, and a number of other factors. While it’s possible to visit NYC for one day and find a place, it puts a lot of pressure on your trip. It’s also simply exhausting and overwhelming. Two to three days is normally sufficient. 

In the coming days I will write about some of the ways that smart planning can help make your search successful, and the pitfalls that can make it frustrating. I once got a call from a mom with a daughter who had been living in a hotel looking for a month!