Tips to Know Before Meeting Your Broker in 2014: Remember That Not Everything Is Your Broker's Fault

Posted on November 14, 2013 9:19 am

This post is the fourth 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 #4: Remember that not everything is your broker’s fault

Even the best apartment searches in New York involve some frustration. It’s easy to blame your broker, but she’s just the most visible face in a complex, quirky, and flawed system. Inaccurate photographs, an apartment that’s supposed to be unlocked but isn’t…these are two of the many frustrations for which your broker doesn’t always deserve the blame. Before you decide your broker can’t be trusted, ask yourself: Is this really her fault?

Everything was going smoothly with Jae Manion’s newest client, Hyojin. Manion, of Ardor NY, had showed Hyojin a few apartments and they’d started to build a good relationship. Then Manion found what looked like a great apartment for Hyojin. It was listed by another firm as a 1-month OP, a popular incentive where the landlord pays part of the broker’s fee. Hyojin loved the apartment. But when Manion double-checked with the firm that listed it, it turned out the apartment was listed incorrectly—it didn’t come with an incentive after all. Hyojin thought Manion had tried to trick her, and she stopped working with her.

There are many parts of the process that are beyond a broker’s control. The landlord, not the broker, often provides inaccurate or deceptive photos of apartments. And nearly every broker we met lamented that while it’s nearly impossible to update their postings on rental advertising sites in real time, potential clients who call in about a particular listing think the broker is trying to pull a bait-and-switch if the apartment is no longer available.

Our next tip: make sure you’re clear about what you want in your next apartment.  While you’re at it, why don’t you review all of the tips?

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