We get lots of reviews on Yelp. Many of them are terrific and some are… lacking. It particularly galls me when I see a review of us that isn’t really a review of us at all. It’s the reviewers frustration with finding an apartment. One recent reviewer panned us, because the reviewer didn’t like our sales agent who called him. Not a review of our company at all, just the unpleasant exchange with a representative. Now that will tell you a lot about the listings we have!
But every once in a while, a reviewer truly reviews our company. Here’s the latest, hot off the press today…
- 41 friends
- 34 reviews
Finding an apartment is a lot of work, so I like the idea of a broker who will help you find the right apartment for you. Unfortunately, the market in New York means that the brokers work for the landlords, not you.
Craigslist is swamped with bait-and-switch ads by brokers who make posts in the “no fee” section in order to get your contact information, then they will try to show you whatever apartments they are trying to unload that week. Craigslist’s community moderation can’t filter for that sort of thing, so you’re kind of on your own.
Rent Direct is a compromise between paying a broker fee or spending hours wading through junk craigslist posts.
I think it’s a pretty good deal: you can see all of their listings for free, without addresses. If you want the addresses, you pay a fixed amount (currently $105 or $135 depending on your price range) and then you can go apartment hunting, knowing that the listings you have are real apartments and there really will be no fee. (And if they’re not, you can report them to Rent Direct.)
Rent Direct does not have exclusive agreements with landlords — they can list other places, too — so it is risky for Rent Direct to allow you to see any of their listings for free. With a little time, you could probably guess the addresses and contact the landlord directly, without paying Rent Direct at all.
That’s why they ask for your contact info before you can search for free, and that’s why they call you and encourage you to subscribe. I think this is preferable though, because you can find out if they have any listings in the range/location you want BEFORE you pay. And if they don’t, you don’t have to pay. That is great.
When I used Rent Direct, the woman who called me was very helpful and not nearly as pushy as the “Amy” mentioned in other reviews. (Honestly, if you didn’t like the salesperson and did not sign up for the service, you should make it clear at the top of your review that you are not really reviewing the full service.) If you happen to get a rude salesperson on the phone, just hang up. You’re not a customer yet, why are you still on the line?
In my experience, Rent Direct is an honest business operating in a crummy market. If you can find an apartment through a friend-of-a-friend, do it, it’s much easier. And if you have the time to spend on craigslist, go for it, there are more apartments there (and more junk listings too).
But if you don’t have a lot of time to waste, I wholeheartedly recommend Rent Direct.
No related posts found