Pound the pavement
Know where you want to live and have some time? Go there and walk around. Look for “For Rent” signs, walk into apartment buildings and ask if there are any upcoming vacancies, etc. Yes, people really do find apartments this way in New York, and sometimes they’re of the big and/or cheap variety.
Got cash? Try TripleMint.
If what you need out of your apartment search is efficiency and some white glove handholding, TripleMint may be for you. Founded by two Yale grads, the service enables you to search every available NYC property and pairs you with your very own TripleMint broker. (TripleMint’s reps are salaried and receive bonuses on customer satisfaction, not commission.) The service claims this system results in a 33% price cut on the average broker fee. TripleMint also provides its clients with discounts on all sorts of bougie services such as Blue Apron, Uber, Handy, Drizly, and Equinox through its “Moving Concierge” service.
Offer to move in early
You might be able to get a bit of an edge by offering to move in on the 20th of the month rather than the 1st of the next one. It shows you’re serious and puts a little extra cash in the landlord’s pocket -- which, you know, never hurts.
Don't B.S. your broker
Virtually every industry pro we talked to stressed this. Be upfront about less-than-perfect credit, your dog, your hatred of the Upper East Side, your unwavering need for a doorman/golf-simulator/gym in your building. Surprises often mean wasted time, and in this city, that’s one thing no one can afford.
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Mimi O'Connor is a freelance writer and editor who rents across the street from a zillion-dollar condo in Brooklyn that used to be a Parmesan cheese factory. She wrote The Dictionary of Corporate Bullshit and other titles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.