Monday, September 27, 2010

Rental Inventory - Facts and Myths

Myth – it is absolutely impossible to get a rental.
Fact – rental inventory is really tight right now, but a smart renter with a good broker will take advantage of any opportunity and can find an apartment with relative ease.

Myth – unit availability is on a decline, fewer and fewer units are available.
Fact- while it may feel like inventory is declining; the figures given in the recent rental market report released by The Real Estate Group NY indicate an upward trend of rental unit availability. In fact, availability is up 1.7% for doorman units and up 3.6% for non-doorman units all across NYC.

Myth – inventory statistics are hard facts that the renter should live by.
Fact – inventory statistics are almost always estimates. As any broker will tell you, there is no one central rental tracking system in New York City. Even though you can now get more information than ever from online sources, rental inventories are still in their dark ages. Until New York City landlords agree to a central rental tracking system, inventories will always be incomplete.

Myth – landlords often over-report their inventories. All inventories in New York are over-reported.
Fact – Most inventories are very under-reported. A large portion of mom-and-pop rental agencies have units that aren’t even tracked in the first place. Manhattan is a large city with an incredibly large number of landlords, and the units of the smaller landlords are very rarely fully represented. Furthermore, bigger landlords often do not fully represent their inventories in fear that a large availability will lower prices across the board. It is in their interest to show less of their supply to up the demand and to keep prices high. If people think there are few available units, they will be more likely to pay more for those units.

Myth – when searching for a property, it makes sense to go online, look up a large number of listings and send them to your broker. It makes even more sense to attempt to handle the negotiations alone once you find the right property.
Fact – you employed a broker for a reason. Odds are, most the listings you will find on Streeteasy, Craigslist or similar web sites are already rented out or are simply not available. An experienced broker will filter through those situations and only provide you with real possibilities. You are not an experienced broker, and will likely not be able to decipher the realities from old or fake listings. Sending him listings may give him an idea of your preferred criteria, but typically these listing are misleading and this simply slows the process down. Your broke has access to all of the current listings in the city and if he finds something good it is important to make time so someone else doesn’t beat you to the punch.

Myth – as a potential tenant I am looking on line and seeing some listings before my broker sends them to me. It doesn’t seem like he is looking out for my best interest. I have a better selection on line and am able to gain access just as quickly as a broker.
Fact – each landlord has their own marketing plan. Some landlords will send their listings to the brokerage community instantly and others will hold them for a few weeks put them up on their own websites (sometimes these web sites re scrapped or getting direct feeds) before they share the listing with the brokerage community. The number of landlords that do this is small but they each have their own approach to pricing, incentives, internet marketing and working with the brokerage community. Brokers have access to almost all of the listings and receive them in a very timely manner. If you are seeking something specific and/or want to have an edge over other renters seek a good broker to represent you.

No comments:

Post a Comment