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About Newspaper Classified Ads . . .

big secret The old-fashioned method of using the real estate ads in the local paper is not as efficient in New York as it is in other towns for three main reasons:

  1. In New York, most of the ads you'll see are from brokers who will charge you a finder fee.
  2. Most of the apartments listed will be off the market by the time you read the ads. Newspaper ads have a long “lead time,” that is, they must go to the paper several days ahead of the day they’ll actually be published. Apartments are rented very quickly in New York, and what’s available on the day the ads go to the newspaper can be very different from what’s available the day the paper is printed.
  3. Many ads are used by brokers to grab your attention so you’ll call and become their client, even if the apartment you’re calling about is no longer available (or was never available).

The Biggest Secret of All . . .

. . . to finding the right apartment is this: the right attitude. Have the right attitude and you'll find the right place. Have the wrong attitude, and your hunt for an apartment can be difficult. But what do we mean by "the right attitude"?

To a landlord, renting apartments is a business, no more, no less. If you don't pay the rent, the landlord loses money. If you damage the apartment, the landlord loses money by having to make repairs. If you’re a bad neighbor, the landlord can lose other tenants because of your behavior. For small landlords, it doesn't take too many nonpaying or destructive or disruptive tenants to put their business in financial jeopardy.

The “right attitude” for you is to let the landlord know that you understand their business. Let the landlord know that paying the rent on time is of paramount importance to you. Let the landlord know you’ll be a good neighbor, and that you’ll take good care of their apartment. No troublemaker here!

You will also convey the right attitude by dressing well, by being polite to everyone you meet, and by being prepared with all of your necessary paperwork when you visit apartments.

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