The process of finding an apartment to rent in a city goes something like this:
- scour the big real estate websites looking for whatever it is that you’re looking for
- contact the agents for the places you’d like to view
- visit the apartments at the arranged time
- rinse and repeat
Pretty straightforward. But here’s my advise: expect nothing from real estate agents. Don’t expect them to return your calls. Don’t even think about emailing them. Don’t assume that they’ll show up at the viewing time.
Now don’t get me wrong - not all realtors are useless. In fact some of them are bloody brilliant, and that’s kind of the point I’m heading towards. Last time I went through this I viewed two apartments in the same building. They were identical units, with the only differences being the floor they were on - one was on the top floor of the building with slightly better views that the other one, and the rental price reflected this.
But the realtor for the more expensive apartment was shit. She didn’t care. Conversely, the realtor for the identical-but-cheaper unit was brilliantly eager to show us around and tell us all about the area.
And here’s the punchline - we would have absolutely gone for the more expensive apartment if the bubbly realtor was the agent for it. There’s no way we wanted to deal with her competitor. And if I was the owner of the more expensive unit and ever found that out I’d be super pissed off about losing potential tenants like that.
So real estate agents, how about being a bit nicer to potential clients eh?