FIND THE RIGHT BROKER
As of January 1, industry-wide co-brokering has finally come to New York. Since virtually all brokers have agreed to share access to the same listings, “look for the agent who has the most time, energy, and connections,” says Citi Habitats CEO Andrew Heiberger.
SCOUT THE NEW STUFF
“Based on the 1999–2000 housing shortage, there was a lot of new rental construction,” says DJ Knight broker Stephen Maycock. The new inventory has made landlords keen to offer incentives—a free month’s rent, paying part or all of the broker’s fee. Some of the best deals can be found in the West Forties, Chelsea, and Battery Park City.
The soft market means there’s more room to bargain than there’s been in years. Michael Martin spent two years trying unsuccessfully to find an apartment in Williamsburg, but when he finally did, he managed to persuade the landlord to lower the rent. “I asked for a discount,” he says, “and the broker said she would go to bat for me because, well, I had a job, and she implied they didn’t see that every day. It’s the Williamsburg trust-fund bubble—a lot of parents are propping up the market.”
It’s a soft market; make the most of it. “If you find a good deal and you can get a two-year lease, take it,” says Heiberger.