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Old 04-05-2010, 01:48 PM
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
3,018 posts, read 3,567,892 times
Reputation: 1899


Here in TX we have these services that get a commission to look through a database of apartments,
call them up and find openings, take you around to them and (hopefully) get you into one.

So nice.

I wonder why Portland doesn't have one of these...or....do they?

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:49 PM
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,484,508 times
Reputation: 907
Well, yes....

But my experience it was a complete waste of time. Portland is a different social culture than Texas.

In the city of Portland, the most desirable urban locations have low turnover, waiting lists, and word of mouth so all a landlord has to do is post a sign out front and for the most part the apartment gets rented. Why pay a commission, or advertisement fee?

For other neighborhoods, mostly in the 'burbs:
Services as you describe, can be found in real estate rental adds in the local daily newspaper, the Oregonian.
Web site:
Oregon Local News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather - OregonLive.com
BTW: the Oregonian is a very good daily newspaper.

For very low end apartment hunting (so you know lower end of housing costs..) Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) and a housing database, The Housing Connection: Housing Connections


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Old 04-06-2010, 01:26 AM
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
3,018 posts, read 3,567,892 times
Reputation: 1899
'Complete waste of time'?
Really? For who? Certainly not the person doing the searching.

Or do you mean a waste of money for landlords?
But that doesn't seem right either as it's an extended form of advertising really
...fitting renters needs with landlords properties.

Any major city will have thousands and thousands of people coming and going every year, regardless of social culture.

Even 'slow growth' Portland has thousands of newcomers a year, overall, added to the ranks.
And every single place I've been to has desirable downtown locations
that people snap up and keep. Nothing new there. That isn't a PDX specific trait. Unfortunately.

I find it hard to believe that the growth rate is too low to support such a service...

But I guess you're saying it's the business end that is gumming up the works.
Landlords, acting as one, won't pay for it and I guess if only one landlord does it...
it kind of defeats the purpose because you need a good selection for your middle man (the locator)
to choose from. Maybe there's a landowners union or something up there, refusing to get involved?


Anyways, rental ads are not the same as a locator service.

These people pick you up and drive you all over town. Plus, they know the areas and apartments really well.

You guys should try it if you're ever down here...


...where the social culture's so thick you can cut it with a spoon!

Anyways, thanks for the response.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:37 AM
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,484,508 times
Reputation: 907
Yes, for the potential renter, it was a waste of my time and two phone calls here in Portland. They were in effect offering same properties as listed in the Housing Authority of Portland, and the Housing Connections database, which is free access on the Internet.

I used such a service as you described in Oklahoma City almost 3 decades ago. In the 4 states I lived in since, such middlemen services were of little usefulness. In one place, IIRC, the middleman was more a home-rental agency, focused on landlords with less only a few single family suburban homes for rent.

Anyway, Welcome to Portland. I wish you the best of luck in finding what you are looking for.

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Old 04-06-2010, 09:18 AM
Location: Beaverton
639 posts, read 1,599,326 times
Reputation: 402
I used a rental agency once in Eugene. It didn't cost anything to sign up for the service, but there was a sort of high application fee for each rental you apply to get. What I noticed was that hundreds of people were applying for each apartment and the apartment still stayed unrented all summer long (collecting application fees the whole time). hmmmm...well, that was the last time I tried to use an agency.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:18 PM
Location: Portland, OR
240 posts, read 483,298 times
Reputation: 410
Coming from Florida, I started early and used all available resources to find an apartment to rent, including Craig's List, the Oregonian, property management companies, word of mouth from Portland friends, and would have expanded my search further if I'd needed to, but did find a great apartment on Craig's List and will be moving there in just over 3 weeks. I investigated each possibility as fully as possible and feel I will be happy in my new home.

I appreciate your desire for a service such as you describe, but a little homework on your part will work just as well, in fact better, since you don't have to consider the motives and preferences of the "middleman" involved. Good luck in your search!
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