True, some people find apartments using tips from friends. That’s great if you have a lot of friends in the neighborhoods and buildings you want to live in, but it’s not very helpful if you’re new to the city or if you want to live in a new neighborhood.
About The Inside Track . . .
Don’t believe the urban myth that bribing a building’s superintendent will give you an inside track to a vacant apartment. Superintendents can be fired for taking bribes, and they often have no influence with a landlord about which renter to choose. Landlords may take several applications for an apartment and will choose the renter with the best credentials.
What it all comes down to is Time vs Money.
Unquestionably, a broker can get the job done for you. They want to. But you need to be prepared to pay them an arm and a leg - which in most of New York City means 15% of the first year’s rent.
A personal referral can be helpful, but how many of us are lucky enough to have a friend with connections in a landlord’s office?