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Getting Bait & Switched in Brooklyn

July 18, 2013

Renting in Brooklyn

I am looking for my first apartment rental in 7 years and I am making the transition from Manhattan to Brooklyn to GREAT disappointment! After all, I am an apartment rental expert - I should know where the secret units are hidden in BK.

I don't.

I launched in 2007 when few landlords were online and now there are hundreds of small, medium and luxury large with their own personal websites - 95% of which are Manhattan rentals.  What is it with BK? Are the landlords as "too cool" as the new hipster residents? Or are they still so old school that only a few select people find out and get paid under the table? (yes, this is how it used to be done in NYC- still is somewhat)

This isn't about broker vs. no broker. I am HAPPY to pay a brokers fee if a Brooklyn landlord chooses the service of utilizing an exclusive broker to showcase their apartment. But, that is not what is happening.

I was bait and switched twice yesterday by rental brokers in Boerum Hill. They had me meet them at one address and then said, "We are actually a few doors down" - a few doors down on a worse block and an older building. The broker claims this is because the landlord "doesn't want to be harassed with people showing up at their door." This is a sketchy reason at best. With Google Maps street-view I purposely looked up the building to see how the block and building looked- by giving me a false address she wasted both of our time.

What I thought I was going to see:

Brooklyn Landlords & Apartments








What I actually did see:

Brooklyn Apartments Landlords








If a landlord wants to use a broker exclusively, then 99% of people will show up when the broker dictates because we believe them to be the only access to the unit. If a landlord doesn't use a broker exclusively, then why aren't they going online with their listings and dictating when potential renters should check out the unit?

Brooklyn Brokers:

If you are a broker listing an apartment with the exact address and then taking us to another, how do we trust you?  It is better to say it is between these two streets then lie about the address. Transparency is everything! I was you, I get it how the game works. If it is a listing without exclusivity you can't say the address for the renter could go behind your back. That is fine but just be upfront about it.  Brokers are cheating the system by putting in "fake addresses" so they can be on the site without potentially losing a lead for a renter to go straight to the landlord.  I understand it is the only way to have the listing on a site that requires an address, but then say that in the description or at least when the renter calls you.

Brooklyn Landlords & Brooklyn Property Managers

There are the big luxury landlords that showcase themselves in Brooklyn including:

Manhattan Landlords & Property Managers that are online (small sample of small, medium and big)

  • Bettina Equities
  • Abington Properties
  • B & L Management
  • Duell Management
  • Pine Management
  • Zero Fee NYC
  • Page Management
  • Jacobson No Fee Rentals
  • 9300Realty
  • Related Properties
  • Tf Cornerstone
  • Equity Residential
  • Milford Management
  • Manhattan Skyline
  • Skyline
  • Algin NY
  • Sky Property
  • Lisa Management
  • Stellar Management
  • Ogden Cap
  • AD Real Estate
  • J & M Realty
  • K & R Realty
  • ATA Enterprises
  • Bozzuto
  • Broadmanor
  • Broadwall
  • Brodsky
  • Brusco
  • AptsNY
  • Hakimian
  • etc..
    • There are over 3,000 entries on HowToRentinNYC - go look for the sites and contact info!

BOTTOM LINE: Why is Brooklyn 10 years behind Manhattan? Why are bait and switch tactics still going on? I have been an advocate for transparency in renting and now re-experiencing it firsthand I will do my best to help get Brooklyn landlords and brokers on the right track!

Email info at howtorentinnyc dot com if you are a BK Landlord and we don't have your website. And for all the rental brokers listing legit listings, thank you!