Property Grunt

Monday, September 12, 2005

Medical Hunt and a salute to Property Day

I think this was the funniest hunt ever by Joyce Cohen because there are certain points that resonate with my experiences in rentals

For Two Sisters, Real Jobs and a Real Apartment

The sisters wanted bedrooms of roughly equal size, and a kitchen with plenty of cabinet and counter space. They wanted to stay on the East Side, near their offices. Their price range was $2,300 to $2,600.

"I had no idea what kind of apartment you could get for the money," Dr. Chung said. So she was disturbed when brokers were dismissive. The first one "laughed at me and told me, 'You are going to have to move to the high 90's or 100's, or change your criteria.' I don't mind when someone tells me the facts, but I don't like it when they talk to me as if I am a total idiot in this condescending way. He never called me back."

Of course they didn’t call her back. First of all her expectations were unrealistic and although I do not justify the agents behavior I understand why they acted that way because not only what Dr. Chung was asking for was laughable, it would require an investment of time to educate her and chances are she might ditch them which did happen.

Dr. Chung's sister was growing frustrated. "I wanted to get the whole process over with and was willing to bite the bullet and just pay the price," Ms. Chung said. "Sun was the voice saying, 'No, there is stuff out there and we can find it.' "

Never say die. That is the attitude you need to have when you are looking for an apartment. She is going to be a great doctor.

"That price range is for shares who have to sacrifice a lot, and they weren't willing to do that," Mr. Hochlerin said. So he grilled them about what they did want: a real apartment in a real building, not a tenement. "I call them 'adult' apartments," Mr. Hochlerin said. "I said, 'I will show you exactly what you want to see, but it will cost you.' "

The more money you spend the better apartment you will get. That is the rule of the rental jungle. When you are looking for an apartment always expect to go a couple of hundred dollars over your budget.

He had a few near misses. He took Dr. Chung to one apartment on East 65th Street that rented for $2,700. It had been converted from a one-bedroom, making the living room small and dark.

Immediately afterward, Dr. Chung had an appointment with someone else. "I felt I was betraying Doug," she said. "I said: 'Doug, I have to tell you. I am going out with other real estate agents.' "

Yes. You did betray Doug. But he forgives you. There is a saying in the business that you never want to be the first broker and this is the reason why. At least she was honest. I have been in many situations where I find out my clients have been cheating on me when I have spoken to other agents in my office and finding we have been working with the same person.

It was a brilliant strategy on Doug’s part to let Dr. Chung go off on her own albeit risky because she might do a deal with another broker however she might become frustrated and go back to Doug which is what happened. However doctors are fantastic clients because they are flush with cash and are willing to pay a premium for an apartment. And landlords love doctors since they are never around because they are so busy which means usage of their property will be drastically reduced. Which is the reason why Doug overlooked her discretions. Besides she’s really cute.

The other guy met her a block away, and took her to the very same apartment. She was indignant. "He was trying to make me think it was in a high-rise on a nicer block," she said. "He was misleading me."

This is another reason why one should stick with one agent especially one who is part of a large franchise company because thy all have access to the same listings database. So it is counterproductive to use multiple agents unless a particular agent has insider knowledge that no one else has.

Another item on my s**t list on rentals was showing the same apartment they have seen with another agent. Whenever that happened it filled me with a sense of dread since I realized it was pretty much futile showing them anything else. And unless the client was willing to take drastic action e.g raise their budget or look at another area they were pretty much spinning your wheels.

I would also like to take this moment to salute a site has come to my attention called Propertyday. No. It has no association to the Property Grunt. Straight from Jolly old England this is a real estate news site that covers all four corners of the world and every aspect of the industry from commercial, residential and REITS. I highly recommend this site for those who are starving for real estate news from around the world.