In the 1990s a man broke into my apartment and held me captive for five days. I was a regular New York City apartment renter. I didn’t know what my rental rights were. I didn’t know the difference between a good landlord or a bad one. This experience led to my search for other places to live and introduced me to brokers.
I didn’t like any of them. Mind you, I became a commercial real estate broker much later, but this experience jarred me into the reality of living in New York and the lack of information for the rental consumer.
It led me on a quest for information which I began to gather and compile. In 2005 I became involved with helping Hurricane Katrina victims relocate to new states and cities across the United States. Initially I used this information to help them through a vehicle I founded called ‘Katrina Home Drive’.
And then I began to focus on New Yorkers. An under-served community. This was way before landlords began to have bogus “rent no fee” websites used to lure unsuspecting renters.
I separated landlord information into neighborhoods. I excluded the really bad landlords. Let’s face it all landlords are in it for the money. In my opinion, no one is really what I would call a “good” landlord. But some are better than others.
I removed the broker from the rental transaction. I was the first person in the real estate rental industry to do this. I shared information with people who were searching for an apartment through my Landlord Links guides. And the response with phenomenal.
Some people still contact me directly to help them. For this I started my ‘AptStar Program’. I have met a lot of really amazing people and got to see from their vantage point how stressful the rental process really is.
Over one decade and counting it is still a daunting task. Finding a new apartment. A new place to live. Trying to get a good deal. Trying to get a good landlord. Trying not to be fooled by a broker.
A corporate executive at a Fortune 400 company confided in me that he’d lost 10 pounds in his previous apartment search because of the agents and brokers he encountered who confused him and who had him apply for apartments that were not available.
Another woman pretty much went into hiding for 7 months after her last encounter with a broker. These aren’t extreme situations. Finding the right apartment is stressful.
My goal with Landlord Links and my AptStar Program is to help you. To relieve the stress as much as possible. To help you rent a better apartment with a better landlord in a timely manner.