The Real Deal New York

Smaller cities embrace rental brokers

February 23, 2014 02:00PM

 As the rental market becomes more competitive across the country, more middle city citizens are hiring brokers to help them hunt down a lease.

While rental brokers are a mainstay of big cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, brokers told the Los Angeles Times that throughout the country, apartment hunters are increasingly looking for professional help.

“The main reason to use any real estate professional is to save time and utilize an expert’s knowledge of the market that can take decades to build,” Lee Lin, co-founder and chief executive of, an apartment listing sight, told the Los Angeles Times. “The best deals change daily, and market trends can be highly localized to specific neighborhoods or even streets within the same city. And every case still requires a scheduled physical inspection of the premises.”

And as the rental market continues to tighten, brokers said that landlords prefer to deal with a professional, rather than a would-be tenant, in order to streamline the paperwork and screening process. [LAT]Christopher Cameron

  • I do like how there is this perception rental brokers are “hired” when the reality is most tenants do all the research, work, and time and then show up to pay a broker fee simply because the landlord signed an agreement with a broker.

    • Victor

      Obviously you have never been a real estate broker. The great majority of them duke it out day and night fighting for scraps while creating a very competitive atmosphere that gives the renter a good benefit. So long as a market is competitive and not filled with communist rent controls then this is what it is.

      • The broker serves the landlord, not the tenant. Rental broker fees paid by a tenant should be prohibited by law. The whole thing is a scam that limits mobility of tenants, inflates rents, and serves property owners rather than the tenants paying the broker fee.

        • Victor

          There is no scam. It’s actually reasonably close to being pure capitalism which mostly benefits the consumer. The only scam that exists is any form of rent stabilization/control/”affordable housing”. That’s the scam. There were many times over the years that Landlord did pay the broker fee but economic reality dictates otherwise at this time. The broker must serve whomever pays him. You are such a communist.