Understanding Landlords: The true “secret” to finding the best NYC apartment deals

Mario Salerno made headlines last year as the landlord with a heart. He waived rent for his tenants during the first wave of the pandemic.

So on April 15 we are seeing the most curious rental market ever. Some landlords are back to pre-pandemic inventory levels, prices are going up, concessions are vanishing. (I will miss OP being nearly universal.)

So what gives.?

There are three things that effect whether a property rents or sells–




Everyone always forgets about access, but it is currently the key.

Each landlord has their own way of doing keys, applications, lease signings, payments. Some make it easy, some not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I respect traditional old school landlording, things were done for a reason that often makes sense. (Like a signed lease without money means nothing.)

But the easy to rent crowd is doing well. I had a lovely couple lose out on an apartment. Remember when getting a place was competitive? We are almost back there. Landlords who kick it old -school still have backlogs of inventory and frankly better prices.

I hate to toot my own horn, but work with an agent who understands landlords and you will get the most for your money!

Will rents go down in NYC?

I don’t have a crystal ball.

Not really.

But there was a moment today where I seemed like a fortune teller.

A very nice client said to me right now my moving plans are a bit flexible.

Which I answered means: July 15.

She said, “Yep.”

July 1 and 15 seem to be very popular move dates, and with the uncertainty about everything people are starting early.

Landlords don’t want to hear it. To them time is money.

So will rents go down in NYC.

Probably, a bit.

Remember NYC real estate is actually a bunch of separate marketplaces. I do a lot of downtown 2 bedrooms. I have seen concessions here and there, and as always a mover with good qualifications who is going soon has power. But while there are some perks and discounts, nobody is giving away the store.

There are a lot of apartments on the market for 6/1 and we are running out of May. All those July movers may get some of those listings. We should start seeing 6/7 come on the market in the next few weeks.

September 1. We will see what happens with NYU, the New School, Cooper Union, and Columbia University housing. Will dorms become less popular? Will people want to live in smaller buildings. Will the September wave fizzle? Stay tuned.

Need a kind, honest, and hardworking real estate agent? Email Suzanne! suzfindsnycapts@gmail.com.

How to rent an apartment in New York City during a pandemic

“Necessity is the mother of invention”

So people ask all the time how the pandemic is impacting the real estate market. In rentals there is a dramatic dichotomy. Two trains running on different tracks.

On one track it is Christmas in May. We are seeing discounts that you might normally see in December.

There in another factor in play. Some landlords want to get deals done, other are feeling cautious, concerned about the financial stability of new tenants. I take a lot of pride in getting people approved.

This week we had someone rejected for a decent but not outstanding credit score. I knew instantly it was a symptom of the pandemic, a real estate cough. I get it landlords are frightened, making that tell tale swerve like people trying to socially distance on the sidewalk.

If I can get people matched up with a rare deal you know you are changing their lives for the better, it’s a great feeling. But there is an uneasy realization, those landlords offering enticing specials might be reluctant to “put a ring” on it.

We have a nice opportunity for someone who needs a nice 1BR on the Upper East Side. 309 East 61 #10. My latest listing.

Along with all of you we spend our days zooming and face timing and keyboarding, video has become real estate gold. It is a big change from the world where sometimes the best apartments had no photos. Getting customers excited to see mystery apartments was part of the game. Now it is a scavenger hunt for video.

Ironically one of the skills that no longer counts is the ability to sniff out a deal without seeing pictures, right now if a tree falls in the forest and nobody films it, it ain’t gonna rent.