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Old 05-04-2009, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,787 posts, read 49,087,456 times
Reputation: 9483

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Is this a good way to go about it?

I took a look at the listings and by far the majority looked like they were posted by apartment locater companies.

My experience with apartment locater companies "years ago" was that they posted advertisements that were part of a bait and switch tactic. Entice the customer to come and and pay a fee, then after they have your money you find out they don't have anything like that available, and all you get in exchange is the privilege to search through their numerous listings of crappy apartments in hopes of finding a decent one.

Would one be better off using a reputable realtor for help? I'm assuming at least they might be working for you as the customer rather then trying to steer you in the direction of any apartment complex who is willing to pay them a fee for bringing you in.

If anyone has had a good experience with an apartment locator, please describe it.

Best wishes... R
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P.S. See my Public Profile for lots of useful information that I have been compiling about the Austin area.
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Last edited by CptnRn; 05-04-2009 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:05 PM
 
17 posts, read 47,037 times
Reputation: 11
I used an apartment locator to find my current place and never had to pay anything. I love the place (Archstone Monterey Ranch) but have just decided its more expensive than we want to be paying.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:35 AM
 
3,853 posts, read 12,870,563 times
Reputation: 2529
Use apartmentsearch.com and contact the owner/manager instead.

Quote:
I used an apartment locator to find my current place and never had to pay anything. I love the place (Archstone Monterey Ranch) but have just decided its more expensive than we want to be paying.
Guess it wasn't really, "free" huh?

It is like going to the car salesman and saying the car salesman showed you all the cars for free.

Also I would avoid the Realtor as well, how do you think they make a living? Commissions.

Just use apartment search, call the managers directly and use craigslist. When using craigslist you want to get in contact with the landlord. Avoid all the middle men (sales men). They'll only cost you money in the long run.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:56 AM
 
477 posts, read 1,581,664 times
Reputation: 132
Killer 2021 - you couldn't be more wrong. As a Realtor and apartment locator, my services are completely free. We have access to an apartment MLS that will tell us in an instant which properties are running the best specials. For example, I had someone call me the other day who was looking for an apartment in the arboretum/NW area. There were over 60 apartments that met their criteria. In less than five minutes, I was able to tell them that one of the nicer, newer complexes was offerring 3 months free, prorated, on their units with a 13 month lease, bringing the price down to equal that of most of the other complexes that are not nearly as nice. It would have taken hours on the phone, calling proeprty managers to figure out that information.

As far as steering people to apartment that pay the fees, of course, we're not going to work for free (who would?), but almost all apartments do pay them. It's the same as selling a For Sale By Owner home vs. one that is listed with a Realtor. We're not going to sell you a FSBO, but by all means, if you find it yourself, go ahead. It's no different with apartments.

Most of the ads on CraigsList end up being bait-and switch ads because they post them based on specials that are changing daily and don't go back and take them off Craigslist. You're better off using someone you get from a referral.

The value in an apartment locator is the time they can save you and also the first hand experience they have the the complex, which is a lot more reliable than reading "reviews" from tenants online - because who really goes on line to post about their apartment complex when they are happy with it?
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:04 AM
 
81 posts, read 221,907 times
Reputation: 91
Craigslist is an utter disaster these days. We used to use it to post availability for our garage apartment, but as soon as I post, the listing is swamped (and I mean immediately) by thousands of apartment locator listings. Literally - last week I posted my garage apartment ad, and within 45 minutes I was on page 20 (100 listings per page). It's unreal.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:48 AM
 
477 posts, read 1,581,664 times
Reputation: 132
TheCardinal - you should try BackPage.com For about a dollar a week, you can pay to have it put on the top of the page every day. I put all of my listings on Craigslist, but I put them on fresh every morning.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:07 AM
 
Location: central Austin
7,228 posts, read 16,110,862 times
Reputation: 3915
For newcomers and people without a lot of time, apartment locators can be wonderful. I never paid a cent.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:43 AM
 
81 posts, read 221,907 times
Reputation: 91
Thanks for the tip CATX. If you can't beat 'em join 'em, I suppose.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:34 AM
 
17 posts, read 47,037 times
Reputation: 11
I didn't pay the apartment locators a cent. My price at the apartment is the same price people are paying who didn't use an apartment locator (I talk to my neighbors).

However, I put my budget too high for salaries in the Texas area. I based my Texas budget on my Washington salary. I don't blame the apartment locator service for that at all.

And while I do look at Craigslist, it is absolutely worthless for finding anything because there are no addresses on 95% of the listings. So yes, I'll use my apartment locator gal again to find a different place when our lease is up on this place.

I wish I could stay here. Its wonderful, safe, and lots of free areas for my son to run.

PS I tried rent.com, apartmentsearch.com and a bunch of other places and didn't find them helpful for my situation.

Last edited by jidranth; 05-05-2009 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:52 AM
 
10,130 posts, read 19,887,517 times
Reputation: 5815
Quote:
Originally Posted by jidranth View Post
And while I do look at Craigslist, it is absolutely worthless for finding anything because there are no addresses on 95% of the listings. So yes, I'll use my apartment locator gal again to find a different place when our lease is up on this place.

I wish I could stay here. Its wonderful, safe, and lots of free areas for my son to run.

PS I tried rent.com, apartmentsearch.com and a bunch of other places and didn't find them helpful for my situation.
You should never give up on craigslist. As you noticed, 5% of the ads DO have addresses and probably are put up by legitimate landlords, not spam from locators or apartment complexes. While you have to sift through a lot to get them, these individually-owned units can be the most flexible and cost effective rentals available. And locators will typically NOT show them to you, as the landlords don't have a commission agreement with them... so while apartment locators are a necessary and valuable tool, don't forget the fact that you don't pay them means something! They get paid by the properties they are trying to get you into. You will seriously miss out on a lot of options if you rely solely on them.
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