Finding an apartment in New York City is madness. I should know -- I just did it. While moving is hard no matter what city you live in, it's a particular dog & pony show here thanks to NYC's rental brokers. They're a monolith of compulsive dishonesty & frank unprofessionalism, the likes of which you might expect from a dude hawking Rolexes out of a trench coat, not, you know... a home. But are rental brokers really the scum of the earth, or are there market forces hidden beyond the view of John Q. Renter that dictate their rank crappery?
To help you figure out exactly who's to blame for your NYC housing-induced misery, I turned to Brandon Major, a licensed real estate agent with Nest-Seekers International. Short answer: yep, rental brokers suck. Long answer: they suck in a staggering variety of ways.
Catharsis, right this way (emphasis mine; responses edited for brevity & clarity).
On the agents themselves...
"Do you know what it takes to become a real estate agent in New York City? It's a joke. $400 dollars and 75 hours worth of classes. Oh, and now there are Groupons for $120."
"I actually chose to go to the class instead of taking it online because I thought, 'Hey, maybe I’ll meet some cool people.' WRONG. Just about everybody there was awful."
"It's not that every single broker I have met is dumb, it's just that you don't necessarily need a degree to do this job."
"Don’t get me wrong -- there are some good people in this business. The problem is the majority of rental brokers are incompetent, and people get into this business just to collect a check."
"There are zero ethics. It’s not difficult to get your license, which is probably the first problem. Second, most firms will hire you if you have a pulse, because it’s 100% commission and they aren’t paying you anything. What do they have to lose?"
"When I was a show-er [the guy with the keys], I had a broker show up to meet his clients on a Citi Bike. The apartment was on the fourth floor, and he didn’t want to leave the bike unattended, so he had me show his clients the apartment and do all the talking and answer all the questions. What a jackass."