Put out feelers
The most important first step is to notify everyone that you’re looking for an apartment. And we do mean everyone. Friends, social media networks, colleagues, people in your neighborhood (or neighborhood-to-be), doormen at buildings you’d like to live in, etc. The more people who know that you’re looking for a new place, the more likely that you’ll get a hot tip when something becomes available. With any luck, you might hear about a vacancy opening up before it’s on the market, and you’ll have first dibs.