Same s**t. Differnt Day.
No need to explain.
This is the latest New York Times article on the difficulties of finding an apartment.
How to Be a Brainy Renter
I have discussed this topic ad nauseum in the past and all I have to say is that the clock is ticking on the viability of rental brokers due to the arms race to circumvent the rental broker.
With the current state of the economy, money is very tight and that is not a good thing for rental brokers as I have indicated in this interview with Joyce Cohen
Affording the Broker's Fee
It happens all the time where people have to choose between covering the fee or the capital outlays for renting an apartment. Whether they don't have the money or just don't want to give it up, this current economic climate does not give them any incentive to pay up.
Of course the broker are not to crazy about that. So what does broker do? Kill the deal. I'm serious. They cut their nose to spite their face. If they can't get theirs, why should anyone else.
Do landlords care about this? It depends on the landlords. If the landlord has armies of qualified renters knocking down their doors, they are not going to care. If the bank is knocking on their doors asking about the rent roll, it is likely they will be pissed at their broker.
What will determine how much of a haircut rental brokers will get is if they are acting as a barriers of entry for landlords because they are unable to collect their fees. Once that happens, the s**t is really going to hit the fan.
That is when these alternative sites will start to pick up more steam and then someone decides to pull a Firefox and create a free site that lists all the rental buildings in Manhattan. Which is entirely feasible. All the information is out there and all it takes is a couple of programmers, a case of red bull and renter's rage to consolidate it all in a site that is accessible to the public. When that day comes, there will be blood on the streets.