Will those bargain NYC rents go up next year?

I said I didn’t have a crystal ball!

So clearly a lot has happened since we last spoke.

Currently it is a renter’s market the likes of which has not been seen in years.

So why is getting the perfect place a challenge?

The prices may be lower but the system is the same. Landlords have gotten choosier. While the rents may be lower they are still looking for well qualified tenants with good credit and qualifying income.

Then there are the CRAZY pricing schemes. I actually saw a place that has a two year lease, with a 500 dollar jump. Where do you go when you are at the bottom of pricing? One of the thing that makes clients crazy is a lot of net effective pricing. That means the landlord is discounting the rent by averaging in free months, and the regular rent. Some landlords are beginning to average this over a 12 month basis which has historically been rare.

Tenants looking for long term stability wonder what the catch is. The truth is nobody knows what will happen in a year. People are coming back to the city for sure, but are they outpacing the inventory coming on the market?

The one little nugget is that we are going in to a time of year that less inventory came on the market, for the next few months fewer leases expire. That should slow the rush of apartments on to the market. For now if you are looking to rent, realize those free months are a chance to save, invest, even vacation. Try to budget to the gross rent and you will be sitting pretty no matter what.

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 sgoldklang@corcoran.com. I promise someday will climb stairs, sip iced coffee, talk about life and see apartments soon.

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 sgoldklang@corcoran.com.

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.

EXCLUSIVE LISTINGS

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.

OPEN LISTINGS

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 Corcoran.com 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 sgoldklang@corcoran.com.

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.

MID-TOWN EAST!

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, sgoldklang@corcoran.com.

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. Realtor.com, Apartments.com, 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.

#kindnesswins