move frenzy: part i
March 31, 2014
So the move is on the horizon and I have started checking out Craigslist apartment listings to see what is out there.
Wow do I hate Austin apartment brokers. Let me count the reasons why —
FIVE REASONS MAX HATES AUSTIN APARTMENT RENTAL BROKERS
1: Austin apartment rental brokers are the only people you can talk to about rentals in Austin. Unless by some fluke you get an owner privately listing and renting a single personally owned unit. Austin building management doesn’t actually put up listings for apartments. There is this whole hierarchy of apartment brokers that gets listings and then arm wrestle each other for possible tenants to rent apartments to and then I guess they get a pay off from the building people. I’m not sure how it all works but I do know, you never, when you answer a Craisglist apartment listing in Austin, are talking to apartment management. You’re always talking to a broker.
2: Austin apartment brokers don’t just put up one ad for one listing on Craigslist. Apparently they have some game going called something like “he with the most listings wins.” So they put up 10 to 20 listings back to back for one rental. Often they’re all the same ad header, in which case, you can spot the repeats and just scroll through 10 to 20 repeats of the same listing you are totally not interested in or totally not interested in seeing ANOTHER 19 TIMES and hit the next one.
3. Some Austin apartment brokers are wily and change the wording on each listing headline. Apparently thinking you will be fooled into thinking this is not the same listing you have seen 9 to 19 times already and were not interested in then either.
4. Austin apartment brokers post a bunch of photos with listings, but the photos are not photos of the rental. Instead, the photos are photos of a bunch of different apartments not even related to the listing. This can be real surprising when you show up to see the apartment and it’s not the apartment you were interested in that was pictured in the photos.
Some Austin apartment brokers, don’t do that, they actually do post photos of the actual apartment itself that is being listed. This is when you get cheerful. You like the apartment pictured. The price works. The location works. You are interested in this apartment. You email in but then —
5. As soon as you email an Austin apartment broker about a specific apartment you are interested in, they pull out listings for thirty different apartments you did not ask them about and bury you in emails with links to those listings. You’re choking for air wondering what happened to the nice apartment you emailed them about in the first place but I, because I was raised apparently to be way more polite than I should be, wade through them. Then I politely say I’m not interested in them. The real go getters then, however, will bury you in another 30 emails of listings for apartments you never asked about in the first place.
I went through the above with ninety listings with one guy. Interspersed with cheery, “Hey give me a list of everything that matters to you in an apartment” emails which he must have NEVER READ all ten times he asked for them and I sent the same list.
He finally got frustrated and blurted out, Well, WHAT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?
I said, “The apartment I emailed you about in the first place.”
He said, “Oh. Well I guess I could show you that place.”
By now I hated this man too much to ever talk to him again though.