Why Work with a Landlord's Agent
Whether you own one investment property or multiple rental buildings, it’s very important for a landlord to list their apartments with an experienced real estate broker. I personally have closed over a thousand rental transactions on both the landlord’s side and the tenant’s side, and I think that working with a landlord’s agent is a no brainer.
It’s FREE! ...usually
Let’s start by saying that more times that not, this will be a FREE service to you. The tenant typically pays a commission to the broker or broker’s involved in the deal. However, there are certain instances where it would be beneficial for the landlord to pay the commission, based on certain conditions such as a neighborhood or building that has way too much inventory, apartments that are in undesirable locations, or when the current market conditions demand it. But historically, the tenant pays.
It’s VERY Important to properly qualify and screen your applicants to make sure you are getting a great tenant, which I strongly believe is the MOST important thing. A good broker will make sure that applicants produce the proper documents that show that they are financially qualified; They’ll run a credit check, and help advise you on whether or not to approve them. It’s worth it to have an experienced broker who understands the approval process inside and out. If you sign a lease with the wrong tenant, it can cost you so much money. Again, this is the MOST important step in my opinion.
Marketing Your Listing
Brokers have the marketing power to give your listing maximum exposure.
The more people that get in to see your apartment, the better. If your listing doesn’t have a large enough audience, there wont be too much interest. When someone IS interested and there’s no other competition, THEY will have negotiating power.
The longer the apartment sits on the market, the more desperate you will look and feel. And you may need to take less than you would have liked to. However, If you have maximum exposure and drive lots of interested parties in right away, YOU will have the advantage and hopefully there will be multiple options for you to choose from, giving YOU the leverage.
I personally like to have professional photos and floor plans done and make sure that your listing is on every relevant website so that anyone searching for something similar will likely see YOUR apartment.
Now I highly recommend ONLY working with a broker who is a member of REBNY, which is the Real Estate Board of New York. There are several Non-REBNY brokers who don’t want to co-broke their listings with other agents, so they can keep the entire commission to themselves. REBNY-members are not allowed to do this, although some agents still do break the rules. But it’s important that your broker shares your listing with the entire brokerage community, because if not, they are severely limiting your audience and it’s dirty, because they are acting in their own best interest instead of yours. Disgusting! So make sure your broker is a REBNY member and understands that you want your listing marketed to everyone, including other brokers. OR, just work with me and you won’t have to worry about these things.
Pricing your apartment properly is necessary to attracting as many potential tenants as possible. When an apartment isn’t getting enough interest, an experienced broker can identify if the price needs to be changed and advise you accordingly. An inexperienced broker will likely let the apartment sit for way too long at the same price because they are afraid to admit that it’s too high. Now, I know that most landlords would like to get highest price possible for their investment; However, if you have a vacant apartment, it’s usually better to decrease the price and secure a tenant immediately, rather than lose another month’s rent while you wait. These decisions differ from case to case, but it’s important to have someone experienced who can advise you.
So I think thats a good amount of reasons to work with a landlord’s agent. There’s plenty more to discuss so feel free to reach out to me if you would like to continue the conversation.