Why would I pay a broker fee? This has become an all too familiar question especially from those who are not from the Boston or New York area. The broker fee is a service fee equal to one month’s rent that is paid by the tenant, landlord, or a combination of both. The purposed of the fee is twofold. First and foremost, the fee is a function of supply and demand and secondly, it is a service fee for utilizing a premium service.
In a city with 85 private colleges and universities employing 70,000 people and attracting more than 360,000 students from all over the world, the laws of supply and demand are king. ( McSweeny & Marshall (2009). The Prominence of Boston Area College and Universities. Monthly Labor Review. Pg. 68) With rental demand at an all-time high and inventory at an all-time low, landlords have the upper hand. Unfortunately, this means that renters have less negotiating power. Typically, in today’s market tenants are paying 100% of the broker fee.
So what service exactly are you paying for?
Having been in the business for over 25 years, Metro Realty has had the privilege of forming numerous exclusive relationships with fantastic management companies and property owners. At Metro Realty we do our best to handpick only the best landlords. Just as in any other service industry, we put you, the customer, first. It is in our best interest to see that you are satisfied. If you are lucky, you have not experienced a “slumlord.” Unresolved issues such as leaky faucets, rodents, failed heating systems and unresponsiveness are several signs that you may not have a good landlord. Our exclusive relationships with landlords allow us to better negotiate on your behalf while also leaving you with peace of mind that you will be taken care of without any additional hassles while renting.
In addition to finding you the best landlords, it is our job to find you the best apartments. Metro Realty puts en emphasis on quality; apartments as well as agents. All bias aside, I can assure you the quality of apartments that Metro Realty represents is far superior to our competition. If you don’t believe me, try a couple other agencies first. Not only will be you be impressed at the quality of our apartments, but at the caliber of our agents. Sure, anyone can open up a door, but a good agent will save you both time and stress. We try not to waste your time by showing you apartments that don’t fit your criteria. While other agencies staff college students looking for a quick buck, Metro Realty’s agents are professionals. Most of our agents have come from a customer service background and have had prior professional experience. We are committed to finding you exactly what you are looking for while operating in a knowledgeable and honest manner.
While “No Fee” apartments may appear more attractive at first glance, proceed with caution. “No Fee” apartments in a high demand city such as Boston are few and far between. What you may be surprised to find out is that often “No Fee” apartments have the fee already built into the rent. Additionally, these no fee apartments are likely to have steeper rent increases year after year instead of the one-time fee you would have paid through a real estate broker. Of course there are always exceptions to the rules!
While the word “fee” doesn’t typically leave anyone feeling warm and fuzzy, hopefully, at the end of the day you have found value in your agent as well as some comfort knowing that you will be living in a fantastic apartment with a landlord that calls you back. Take a break from perusing through endless Craigslist ads, and let us do the work for you. This is our job and we are more than happy to assist.