The second most evil creatures in NYC are brokers, right behind the NYPD. These demons roam the city in decadent attire and extravagant rides. They don’t care who you are, what you are looking for, or even if you have the means to support yourself for what they are trying to (up) sell you.
All they care about is getting paid.
Let me put this into perspective. These aren’t your typical car salesmen that don’t shut up. These are people that do barely anything and get paid more than the average American.
I obviously choose the wrong profession.
A city broker is the middle man who gets paid for doing the work any normal human being who isn’t lazy and incompetent could do on their own (thank you internet and Craigslist). He takes the credit for finding you the apartment even though technically you found the landlord’s online listing, but proceeds to ask for your first month’s rent amount for his services.
He gets paid in the thousands to just open a door for you so that you can look at it.
On top of his charge, you are expected to pay the security deposit and one month’s rent to your landlord. That all equals to three month’s rent the first month you move in if you go through a broker.
Furthermore, the broker doesn’t answer his phone the first ten times, sends you on a wild goose chase to find him, and then lets you in to view the apartment by yourself so that he can double team and help another inquirer five blocks down the road.
No car salesmen tactics that make it seem like “the one for you.” No personalization. Nothing.
Why you ask? Because in the city, the demand is so high for living that losing one potential buyer is like dropping pennies on the ground to brokers.
While I viewed the “newly renovated” Astoria apartment that somehow still smelled like feces, I did the math in my head. With the lowest rent in NYC being around $1,000 in Harlem and Flatbush, an independent broker only has to lock in six leases per month to make $72,000 annually. Now factor in the million dollar condos and representing better areas in the city like the Financial District and Central Park. This was about the point my head exploded clean off of my neck.
These people are rolling in the dough for little to no effort.
Sure, your phone is going off all the time. You are meeting with client after client. And you probably have had to take a million trips to the bank after signing your name ten thousand times on all of the leases you have accrued.
Aw, my heart bleeds for you. That Bugatti Veyron probably can’t make it into the city from Queens on one tank of gas to deposit your commission checks.
Literally, it can’t. Look it up. It gets 8 miles to the gallon in the city. It only goes to show that looks don’t come with brains, even when talking about cars.
At least they aren’t false advertising – it’s all in their name. Brokers will make you broke. I keep reminding myself that you have to see the bad to know what the good looks like. Queens is definitely not our borough. I am sure that my dream place is right around the corner. I just haven’t found it yet. There has to be such a thing as a spacious, rodent free place. If not, I find it hard to believe that people of stature live in this city.