Tips to Know Before Meeting Your Broker in 2014: Be Clear About What You Want

Posted on November 15, 2013 9:20 am

This post is the fifth entry in our series on Tips to Know Before Meeting Your Broker in 2014.  The series is based on our experiences shadowing several rental brokers in New York in late 2013.  We learned a lot about the best – and worst – ways to work with brokers. 

Tip #5: Be Clear About What You Want

You might expect to find a tip like “Keep an open mind” on this list. While open minds are great, it’s even more important to be honest with yourself and your broker about what you really want. Pretending to have an open mind about something that’s non-negotiable for you is a waste of everybody’s time. On the flip side, being completely clear about what you want means you’ll feel confident submitting an application ASAP when the right apartment comes along.

There are so many variables to consider when looking for an apartment. Budget, neighborhood, and size are the big ones, but there’s also the question of how renovated you want the apartment to be, whether you want to be in a doorman building, whether you want amenities like a gym or roof deck, and on and on. We met quite a few clients who, out of a desire to appear flexible and open-minded, inadvertently gave their brokers wildly inaccurate impressions of what they were looking for. One client said yes to viewing an apartment in Midtown East, even though she really wanted to live further downtown. Her broker put together a list of several Midtown East apartments to view, and the client went around to all of them. At the end of the afternoon, she told the broker she really didn’t want to live in Midtown East. In another case, we watched a couple spend several hours viewing apartments that were up to $800 above their stated budget, only to conclude at the end of the day that the apartments were all too expensive. Moral of the story: Know your criteria and stick with it.

Surprise!  We have a bonus tip for you.  Keep the faith – we know something great will come!   Meanwhile, don’t forget to review all of the tips to make sure you’re covering all your bases.

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