How Do Apartment Locators Work?

If you’re looking to move downtown or to another city, apartment locators are an invaluable tool.

As long as you know what you want, they can quickly tell you where to go.

Best of all, apartment locators are all licensed real estate professionals, so you know you can trust them.

How Do Apartment Locators Work?

Apartment locators are licensed real estate agents that specialize in their city’s multifamily market.

They know where different types of people live and what those neighborhoods offer. 

More specifically, they also specialize in rentals, such as townhomes, condos, and rental homes. It’s a big plus if they have personal experience in many of these neighborhoods.

They’ll usually first ask you what you want out of a rental.

A locator will initiate a phone call or send you a checklist of items you might like.

After that, the specialized search begins.

When Is It Best to Use an Apartment Locator?

Apartment locators are available for any rental service you may require. Most people use them when they are unfamiliar with a city or town.

They also help if you don’t know where to begin.

If you’re short on time when it comes to finding rentals, they might help too.

You might have an emergency that requires you to move out quickly. Locators work easily under time constraints.

You might also find yourself in a city with tight rental competition. Using an apartment locator can put you ahead of other people looking to rent.

Where to Start With Apartment Locators

You’ll need to provide them with specific criteria for what you’re looking for.

Talk to them about location, parking, rent, what amenities you’d prefer, and if you have pets

Also, you should let them know if you have special needs and accommodations.

Apartment locators can speak with landlords to see what is available based on your needs.

Another benefit to apartment locators is they know the neighborhood ins and outs in your chosen area. They can tell you what the crime rates are and where certain people congregate. 

If you want information on public transportation, schools, and shopping centers, they can provide info on those too.

Will I Need to Do Some Research Alongside the Locator?

No doubt, an apartment locator can do a lot for you. However, it might still be helpful to do your research. 

See what listings are available, and then let the locators comb through the listings. Who knows if there are any excellent listings you might have missed?

Apartment locators have access to databases and other apartment locators with inside information. They’ll likely find something that your research couldn’t yield.

Often, these databases are updated long before any generic public listings are.

Can Apartment Locators Set Up Meetings with Landlords?

Indeed, they can. Part of an apartment locator’s job is making sure you’ve found the perfect place for you.

If you want to meet with a landlord and scope out a suggested rental location, you’re more than welcome. They can also ask questions to landlords if they don’t know the answers. 

Sometimes, when you call a property’s website, you’re directed to the off-center leasing office. Apartment locators have the direct phone number for the landlord, streamlining communication.

Apartment locators should also be good at answering any upfront questions of yours. If they can’t, they’ll direct you to a source who can.

Can My Apartment Locator Confirm Details Before a Tour?

Before they confirm a finding, apartment locators will also confirm details with landlords. They want to make sure everything from rent to amenities is up to date and fits your needs.

Most of the time, an apartment listing will only give you the rent. Apartment locators can find out a whole lot more for you, like pet fees, trash, parking, and storage. A full picture is always great!

As a bonus, some apartment locators will also escort you to the tour. That way, you can save on gas money and time. Plus, you’ll only see the apartments that could turn into your next home.

If you’re fortunate, the apartment locator will pick you up and drive you straight to the location.

Can an Apartment Locator Save Me Money?

In many ways, yes. Some apartment locators don’t charge you for their services, but that varies between states. They’ll also save you from driving around to places that don’t suit you. 

Sometimes, they’ll negotiate with a landlord to get you a lower rent. In some cases, they might even make a deal, so you get the first month rent-free.

That’s not to say that apartment locators don’t get paid at all. When a client signs a new lease agreement, the new property pays the locators through an approved broker.

If anything, the locator will ask that you name them as your referral.

How Will My Apartment Locator Communicate With Me?

That depends on the service provider. Many apartment locator services use a combination of phone calls and text messaging. Email is never off the table, either.

If you’re lucky, the apartment locator will give you the choice of how to contact them. You can text, call, email, or simply book an appointment at their office location.

It also bears mentioning that whatever info you share with your apartment locator will be kept confidential. The info you provide to help specialize your search stays between you and them.

How Do I Know If My Apartment Locator Is Any Good?

There are a few ways of knowing if you’re getting your time’s worth on an apartment locator.

They Take Fast, Urgent Action on Good Rentals

The last thing you want to do is get stuck with a list of outdated rental prices.

Your apartment locator needs to have a tremendous sense of urgency. Rental changes on different properties change daily. They must keep up with that to help you schedule a tour.

You might have a locator who always asks about how soon you can tour a property. If that’s the case, you can bet they’ve found the best match and are excited for you.

They’ll also be knowledgeable about when people are likely to rent or move in your area. As a general rule, spring and summer are primetime moving seasons. 

Only when you stay on top of the best prices available can you find the right place. Your locator will be deliberate in helping you make a decision rather than being harsh or pushy.

Willingness to Be Candid

An apartment locator will do their best to meet a client’s needs. However, not every single one of a client’s needs is feasible where they’re looking.

Both the client and the apartment locator have to compromise to find the best deal. That means finding out what is most important to the client and letting the rest go. 

An apartment locator must educate their clients on what’s available right now. More importantly, the client must understand that things change quickly. Hence our previous point about urgency.

If you have many things you want, but maybe they won’t be in one place, your locator must say so. Unrealistic expectations must end to get the best outcome for your needs and budget.

In a nutshell, a good apartment locator must be realistic about what’s available for the client. It’s nice for clients to get everything they want, but compromise is almost always needed.

Active Communication

An apartment locator needs to be active not just in searching but communicating with you. Such a trait goes hand-in-hand with staying on top of the market.

Once you’ve contacted an apartment locator service, they should usually reach you within a day unless it’s a holiday. At that time, they’ll ask you how they can best serve you.

A good apartment locator will introduce themselves and ask several questions. They’ll also want to know how they can best communicate with you and respect your time.

Establishing a time to talk initially and regularly checking in helps you feel more at peace. It means the locator is continually searching as you need and has fresh updates.

On the same note, they’ll also have listened attentively to what you want. If so, they’ll cater their search as precisely to your needs as they can. They may ask more questions in that regard.

You may find some online assistants that ask you to check boxes for what you want. While that is great for getting ideas for what you like, a human resource is extra helpful.

They’ll also stay in contact with you until after you sign a lease. If you run into any trouble or have last-minute questions, they’ll be on hand to answer them.

Why Do I Need to List My Apartment Locator as a Referral?

While you can use apartment locator services for free, the locators still require payment. That payment usually comes out of the property’s marketing and promoting budget.

The property will know which apartment locator company to pay through the referral section in your lease. All locators work for a commission by finding you an apartment.

In some cases, both you and the agent will receive a bonus for signing a lease.

Other articles you may also like: