RE tech startups think rental brokers are passé

"There are a couple ways that renters are getting screwed."

TRD New York /
Aug.August 17, 2016 09:40 AM

New tech startups are trying to cut out the middleman: New York City rental brokers.

Companies like Joinery, PadSpin and FlipLease have launched platforms that allow renters to sidestep broker fees, Bloomberg reported. Joinery, which launched last year, allows outgoing tenants to find their own replacements by posting a listing for the apartment directly to the company’s website.

The tenant who is leaving gets a 5 percent fee and Joinery receives a smaller one. The idea is to help renters avoid broker bait-and-switch tricks and exorbitant fees, which average in New York to roughly $5,600, said Julia Ramsey, co-founder of Joinery.

“There are a couple ways that renters are getting screwed,” Ramsey told Bloomberg. “The sheer amount you’re paying a broker is probably the biggest one.”

Another company, Loftey, acts as an intermediary between the landlord or broker and the tenant. Loftey gets a portion of the commission, then helps negotiate rental discounts or covers the price of moving. [Bloomberg]Kathryn Brenzel

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