Property Grunt

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Holy Grail? More like Holy S**t Part 2

There has been a tremendous amount of acrimony regarding my critique of Ms. Bandon’s article regarding her experience with finding a rental through brokers. It is unfortunate there is so much negativity associated with my profession and I hope through this discussion that we can at least vent out our frustrations. If that does not happen, well at least I can amuse myself by sparring through print. I had to select only a few comments because I exhausted myself executing my patented ripping a new orifice technique.

Here's the line that made me stop reading:
"The most valuable resource a broker has is their time and it is something they hate to waste."

Right there, proof positive that brokers are self-obsessed, overpaid, uneducated morons who don't understand that everybody's time is valuable. And actually, other people's time is probably MORE valuable than theirs since they eat their young and feast on the blood of innocents for a living.

Your self-pity is akin to retardation. Get a real job.

I agree with you on all points except for the overpaid part. There is a significant minority who makes a ton of money and which probably accounts for the eating of young and feasting on the blood of innocents. However, the rest are thrown to the wolves to the marketplace where they will either survive or do a run down washout lane.

There are many brokers who would relate to your description since it sounds like a lot of rental clients they have worked with. Because a ton of clients have unrealistic goals in what they can get for their money, it is the broker’s job to educate them. This is often a painful process and what usually ends up happening is that the client ditches the broker and hooks up with another agent. Those clients are ideal because they have already been educated on someone else’s time.

Your self-pity is akin to retardation. Get a real job

And your self- loathing is akin to a 35 year old virgin who thinks they are an expert on all things related to sexual intercourse when all their experience amounts to is the hours spent trying to find free midget porn on the Internet. As for getting a real job, what would you know about that since you are a 35 year old virgin spending all your time finding free midget porn on the Internet?

One of the main problems with brokers and agents is that their interests are at odds in significant ways with their clients' interests; their main incentive is to make a quick sale, minimizing the time they spend on a transaction and maximizing the rent the client must pay because that's often tied to the brokers' fee. Their existence creates unnecessary transaction costs that are not in my experience justified by the costs that would be incurred if an apartment seeker conducted the search on their own. That's why I feel no sympathy for agents like the one above who puts out the plea that s/he needs to make a living too. My response: you and all other real estate companies have created an industry that makes it almost impossible now for individuals to look for homes on their own--you've imposed yourselves between me and the object of my search without giving me an option to go around you, except with great difficulty. So the more you suffer, the more likely it is that your profession will die, and the happier I will be. Hopefully more people will stand up against agents' extortion, and that will drive out a number of the parasites in this profession, leaving behind a smaller number of agents who will be able to effectively serve those home seekers who actually want to use them.

Great presentation skills in your writing but I recommend you go to an accredited law school next time instead of the ones that advertise through pop up ads because your logic is quite flawed.

Yes. Every rental agent wants to knock out those quick easy money deals because rentals are designed that way. The process of doing credit check, presenting three months rent and signing leases are the easy part. The hard part is finding the right apartment for the client. The only way the agent gets to the quick and easy phase is when they find the right apartment for their client. That is why client's interests always go first. You can’t put the cart before the horse. You savvy?

In other areas of the country the concept of 15% broker fee is completely unheard of because those areas aren’t Manhattan. This is an island people. That means there is always going to be a physical constraint in terms of what is available for housing and a ton of demand for those who come to live, work, go to school or just want to look really, really cool. So there will always be a ton of constraints associated with finding an apartment. That is until we start building out into the sea or get those huge saucer towers with flying cars that we see in the Jetsons. Consider it karmic payback from the Indians that exchanged Manhattan for some beads.

Landlords utilize brokers to delegate the task of filling up their apartments with qualified tenants. And until all landlords pay in full for these services, the cost will always be passed down to the client. It is the way the business works. If agents were truly acting as barriers to entry then Manhattan would be littered with vacancies. The fact of the matter is that the difficulties of finding an apartment are so many that to blame the rental agent faction is complete bulls**t.

I believe that you misread her comment of "Oh, I don't know, I'm in no rush."

It's obviously sarcastic and said in an exasperated tone.

It's symmetrically attached to a previous "annoying" question and sarcastic response. Plus it ties into the whole previous paragraph regarding the short period of time apartments on the market and the not-mentioned but usual state that people seek out apartments when their old lease is ending or when they are compelled to move for another reason.

Bullies are actually easy to spot because they answer questions with questions. "What exactly are you looking for?" they say when you ask about a listing. Gee, I think, I'm looking for something kind of like this ad I called you about. "When do you have to move?" they ask. Oh, I don't know, I'm in no rush.

And I believe you completely misread my response.“Oh, I don't know, I'm in no rush." Whether she was being sarcastic or not, the end result was aggravating the broker. Which is the reason why they were so abrupt with her.

"Plus some people could not get a apartment without a broker anyway."

Huh? Like who, comatose patients? My advice to you brokers is this: If you're looking for sympathy, don't bother trying to find it outside this little insidery blog. Because out here in the real world, NOBODY VALUES YOU. Just because a job *exists* doesn't make it noble, or even necessary. I've lived here 5 years and still have stomach-churning memories of the broker who "helped" me get my apartment. What an oily, waste-of-space leech. Brokers contribute nothing; they just insinuate themselves into what *should be* a simple transaction, bluster around a little bit, shuffle some papers and then demand a ridiculous amount of money. What a scam. Even brokers themselves, deep down, must know that we'd all would be better off without them.

Let’s get something clear Einstein, rental brokers don’t want your sympathy and could care less what you think of them. All they want is your money. I don’t think they should apologize for that since they provide a service that very few people have the stomach or wherewithal to deal with. Landlords need brokers because maintaining a property requires a tremendous amount of time and energy so they outsource the task to finding qualified tenants to brokers. Sometimes it takes a broker to properly present the client to the landlord because some clients have no clue how to put their best foot forward.

In terms of what we contribute it really depends on the broker, I know some brokers who constantly pound the pavement and get those sweetheart deals and I know some who are complete wastes of space. As for your stomach churning experiences with that broker if you want me to apologize for that person, I’ll be more than happy to when you apologize for every client that has made my life a living hell. I have had some stomach churning experiences with clients but I still work with them. One of my first clients was straight out of Scarface and my manager at the time made sure to keep close tabs on me while I was out with him since he was concerned with my safety, but are all clients like this? No.

I think the world would be better off without whiny little people who are eager to blame others for the difficulties they have encountered in their lives instead making an effort to make the wrong the things right through positive action. But I think you have clearly shown that world is very far away.

Exact same experience as the above poster: went to a building, was referred to an exclusive broker, saw the apartment for 10 minutes. Met for another 10 minutes to sign the lease a few days later. Bam, almost $3000 to the broker, for 20 minutes of work. Not a bad hourly wage. And no sob stories about lots of wasted hours with other customers - when you're an exclusive broker for rent-stabilized luxury studios, I don't think you have to show an apartment too many times before you get a taker.

There is no hourly wage for a broker. What we kill is what we eat. And if we don't kill, we go hungry. For every one deal this broker closes he has to do maybe over 100 showings. Which means countless days of showing apartments and money out of their pocket to pay for ads. Just remember, for every easy day there are a hundred hard ones.

Good people, remember that the majority of the population looks for a new apartment every couple of years. A rental agent has to do this everyday. Feel blessed you are not in their shoes.