We've done a few posts in and around this general vein, including:
- When looking at apartments, what questions should you ask them?
- Do we pay you or do you pay us, or how does this locating process work? (Hint: we pay you.)
- Trusting the process: Finding apartments in times of COVID
- What if you haven't rented in a while? Or never rented?
- What factors is a complex evaluating you on?
These types of posts are all meant to help you understand the process, how it works, and why a locator service might make sense. Obviously millions of people every year around the country find an apartment without a locator service, so is what we do essential? No, not on face. We'd argue it's essential because, well, we basically take the busywork from you, know the complexes, can help you with logistics and deals/specials, and then pay you money at the end of everything. So, yea, we're essential. But obviously you can find an apartment without us ... so what type of person might be the best-suited to work with a locator? Let's look at some factors.
Work with a locator if --- >
- You want to move. This one is pretty logical, right?
- You have a general time frame for that move, and ideally a specific time frame: We can work with general time frames, but specific time frames ("I need to move on the weekend of November 14") allow us to pin down complexes on specials a little bit faster.
- You're a busy person. One of our greatest value-adds is helping busy people. We basically do the legwork and give you the numbers, then you go look at the complexes of interest in a set time frame. It's like a virtual assistant for an apartment search; we're doing some home searches now too, but that process is a bit more IRL-involved just because of the costs on the table.
- You're relatively well-organized: We've worked with organized and less-than-organized people since we've been doing this, but because we send you lists of complexes that may be spread out (as DFW is) and may have different price points and square footages and amenities (as apartment complexes do), it helps if you have a central way to organize the info we're giving you. We present it easily for you, but if you want to pull up Maps or Sheets or another window to plan a Friday morning of looking at places, that helps too.
- You like making essentially free money: Most should qualify here, we'd hope. If you list us on your card at the complex (how it works), basically we get paid by the complex -- we brought them a referral, i.e. you -- and we pay you out of that. You don't pay us. Again: YOU DON'T PAY US. So basically, for just searching for an apartment and following up on our legwork, you can make money. You can choose to roll that money into a moving truck, or go out with your friends, or see if Tenet is any good. Are we allowed to go to movies? Unclear still.
- You need some guidance on the whole process: Whether that involves locations, the best complexes, finding certain amenities, finding things for dogs, new to DFW, new to renting, worried about credit, worried about something else ... a locator like us is just someone who has done this thousands of times for people in all different spots in their life. We can get you through it.
if you don't fit these above criteria, you could still holler at a locator, for sure. But these are generally the ways it works best.
Let us know, as ever, if you have any questions.