The Real Deal New York

MyGradPad preps for new office move as company grows

Square footage, staff size double at brokerage targeting college grads

March 14, 2014 10:00AM
By Zachary Kussin

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Sam Jurist, Brittny Cantor and Edward Minskoff

From left: Sam Jurist, Brittny Cantor and Edward Minskoff

It’s onward and upward for MyGradPad — a New York City-based rental brokerage founded by two friends in 2012 that caters to college graduates looking for rentals. This week, the company, which also markets to young professionals, moves into a larger office space with an expanded staff, The Real Deal has learned.

The brokerage will officially make the move to the 1,200-square-foot full-floor space at 548 Third Avenue in Murray Hill on Saturday, with six brokers in tow and eight more slated to come on board in the coming weeks.

MyGradPad, which does not disclose financials, now has 600 square feet of space at 520 Eighth Avenue where it shares space with Campus Evolution, a student housing developer.

“The move to Third Avenue was a huge stepping stone, a real pivoting for our company in allowing us the space to expand, to recruit and to set up shop,” said Brittny Cantor, one of MyGradPad’s co-founders. “We see this neighborhood as the No. 1 place where our clients are looking to live,” she said of Murray Hill.

Each broker will have their own desk inside the new space, which also has a conference room.

“They’re fortunate enough to move to another level in their business plan,” Edward Minskoff, who invested $100,000 in MyGradPad last June, told TRD. “To have a credible office space where people can come and where they can hire people to work out of is the only way that they’re going to grow further.”

The brokerage also rolled out a new scheduling feature on its website last week. The tool allows users to pick a two-hour block of time to see apartments in any given area at any given price range. A MyGradPad broker is then assigned build a “showsheet” — a shared list of city rentals that’s updated in real time when other apartments either come online or rent — based on over 10,000 listings culled from Zillow Rental Pro and the Real Estate Board of New York.

“It’s a live, living link where the broker and client can communicate,” said co-founder Sam Jurist of the new showsheet, adding that brokers are assigned based on availability, their effectiveness in doing deals and neighborhood knowledge.

The motive behind MyGradPad was to provide young users with a seamless and transparent service that guides the renter through the entire rental process, which can be a harrowing one for youngsters coming from dorms to a city where they’ve never lived before, with similarly aged brokers, both Jurist and Cantor said.

“It’s an invaluable kind of service that our [clients] find helps them understand the city,” said Jurist.

Both Cantor and Jurist have previous real estate experience. Cantor previously worked for her family’s business, Cantor Companies in New Jersey, which owns and manages industrial properties in excess of 10 million square feet. Jurist previously worked for a company called Ecological, a Manhattan-based firm that devises and implements energy efficient sustainability plans for buildings and portfolios.

“In principle, it’s a great concept that nobody else is really doing,” Minskoff said of MyGradPad.

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