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Why I Loved Being A NYC Rental Agent: My 2 Main Joys

Updated on August 16, 2014

Starting out in real estate I decided to focus my business on renting NYC apartments. My journey started in 2012 when I moved back to New York. I was wide-eyed and excited about my new career. Soon after I grew a love/hate (hate article) relationship with my new found profession in renting NYC apartments. There are two sides to each story so this article will be about my love for renting NYC Apartments.


Learning Neighborhoods

Not only do I love Real Estate but I love New York so the two combined, NYC Real Estate sounds like the dream job. In many ways it is the dream job. I had to opportunity to reintroduce myself to NYC; I was reintroduced to the neighborhoods, learned different names of areas and the meaning behind some.

For instance, before getting into Manhattan Apartments, I didn't know that SOHO meant 'SOuth of HOuston' or the Kips Bay even existed. The world of Manhattan apartments opened my eyes to a different but better city. It just enchants my love for the city. It made me realize that as a teen I only used a few train lines, now I'm a personal Traveling app.


At points I was just as excited to explore a neighborhood as my client. We are trained to focus on one neighborhood but, very often, people end up finding apartments in a different area from what they initially intended (something I hated too). This was cool, It made me think on my feet and I was well prepared with backup apartments because it happened so often (people know what they want but not what they can afford).

Clients not being sure what they wanted was never an issue. The issue was clients didn't know what they could afford so, I got better at educated people (Manhattan apartments eBook) on the market/ area they were interested in. When you listen to people and take heed to patterns you become better at your job- I liked that. I saved more time and wasted none of my clients. It can be very time consuming to looking for a Manhattan apartment without guidelines like knowing your mad 'price point'- the main and most important component
of finding an apartment.

Helping People Find Homes

I thoroughly enjoyed helping people find Manhattan Apartments, especially if they were from a different state or country. They were the hardest because out-of-towners usually don't know anything about NYC so I had to educate more by show&tell, as oppose to just telling. All they know is Time Square and 'The city that never sleeps'. What I mean by show AND tell is I would explain the size of an apartment and how much it cost but it wouldn't register. They couldn't believe an 2,000 sq ft apartment in Soho cost $3000. So, I would have to add an apartment to our list just to show because telling wasn't enough. I actually had fun doing that because I thought it was funny how shocked people are when they see the size of the apartments.

My favorite was college students because I just left college and I know what most have to worry about daily. One client was coming from California to attend NYU I the fall. She was so confused about the prices, sizes, insurance, consigns- everything! She actually came to NY with 3 days to find an apartment and get insurance- it was an emotional and energy draining experience but we got it done.

The best part of the day was showing people around their new neighborhood. I was able to show & tell them information that isn't on Yelp or Google maps. Anyone can google information like 'schools near me', 'restaurants near me', or 'trains near me'. They can't tell you what time of day the bagels are great at the local bakery, that the Deli owner owns a supermarket and laundromat one avenue over and if you ask for him he will give you discounts. At that point I'm the personal insider. That's why it's very important for Real Estate agents on any level of Real Estate to know their neighborhood.

How Manhattan Apartments Look lol


Referrals were a major portion of my business. I was fortunate enough to have people who believe in me and my work ethic. Now they believe in my service which is just a plus for my business, time spent learning about this industry and providing quality information. It feels good to know that people think of you when they hear trigger words during discussions. That's how it usually happens:

Lisa: "... I been trying really hard to find an apartment but..."
Becky: "Oh, contact RJ or use this eBook on amazon to help you. It worked from me and another friend"

That's amazing! It lets me know I did something right along the line

On the Contrary

Interestingly enough a lot what I said I hated about my experience as a rental agent I also liked. I mention in my hate article that I disliked that everything is negotiable. This was mostly because some new clients try to take advantage of the agent. In reverse, if you do an exceptional job and have built rapport with existing clients you can negotiate a better commission.

You can also help your clients get a lower price on a property if you believe it has been priced unfairly. The landlord is also suggested to negotiation (not as much because they hold the property- the product ).

As you can see from my 1st joy of being a rental agent, Learning neighborhoods, I had to walk to understand everything about a given neighborhood. I needed to walk to know the right people and businesses to refer. I wouldn't have met the butcher in Mid-town that needed his Commercial space leased in the coming months. I wouldn't know the landlords that still live in their buildings- or the supers.


As I reread what I have written here and on my other article- I ask myself, would I do it again?

YES!- I just might


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