Archive for March, 2009

“How to Reduce Your Rent” via the WSJ

Clicking around today on Curbed, I came across a link to an awesome letter that a Wall Street Journal blogger wrote to her landlord when they received a lease renewal with an increase this past winter.  How did the blogger get a $300 rent reduction? By writing a rational, well-researched letter. She spoke to recent arrivals in her building to find out what they were paying, checked out Craigslist, cited articles in the newspaper and in the end was happy with her savings.


WNYC Radio Report on Rentals

radio1Listen HERE to‘s editor Lockhart Steele discussing the rental market, including the issue of negotiating with your landlord or moving out into a more affordable unit. There’s a lot of great stuff as readers share their experiences in the comments section.

Further Tips on Negotiating With Your Landlord

Right now it is a very real option to negotiate with landlords to get a lower rent and as lease renewal season is upon us, I’m sure any tips are welcome. Successful negotiation with a minimum of anxiety and bad feeling is something of an art form, and THIS factsheet from offers some great tips and tricks that can help you to arm yourself better for what could prove to be a difficult or stressful discussion.

As a broker, negotiation is a big part of my job and I would also like to offer some negotiation advice for those of you who are moving and looking at new apartments as well as those of you looking to change the terms of your current lease.

1) If you see an apartment that you like and want to negotiate on the price, be prepared to submit your offer along with an application that includes a credit check and supporting documentation. This is not a trick to get you to apply for an apartment–the broker and landlord are not trying to force you to take it. The fact is that people make crazy offers all the time and most of them never follow through. If you are serious then prove it and submit an application! The stronger a candidate you are, the more favorably a potential landlord will view your offer.

Continue reading ‘Further Tips on Negotiating With Your Landlord’

Renters are Smiling? No Need to Ask Why

smiley-faceOnce again, this weekend’s NY Times real estate section’s lead story covered the declining rental market but this time with a positive spin–the tenant angle. The Times is reporting on the fact that tenants are getting more for less, while uninhabitable craphole apartments are sitting empty (as they should). Young couples are no longer forced to live in cramped and tiny studios, recent college grads no longer must travel the farthest reaches of the L train to find an affordable Brooklyn share. Things are looking up.

I was particularly interested to read the Times coverage of the impact that owner incentives may or may not be having on the current market, with landlord’s paying the broker’s fee on an estimated 30% of all apartments and many more offering some kind of free rent incentive. You can read the full article HERE.

Brownstoner coverage of this article can be found HERE.

Links to further NY Times coverage of the rental market price decline can be found HERE.

Citi Habitats Releases February Market Report

Prices for studios, one bedrooms, two bedrooms are lower than they were in December but three bedrooms held somewhat steadier–no surprise as shareable three-bedroom apartments represented better value from the outset.


Citi Habitats February Market Report: Vacancy Rates by Neighborhood

This past month, the East Village had the highest vacancy rate in the city and vacancy is down in Soho/Tribeca. Are you all finally moving into your soho dream loft?


Manhattan Vacancy Rates Still Going Up

For the 9th straight month in a row, the overall vacancy rate in Manhattan continues to rise, although we’re not yet touching 3%.


About Me

Michelle Erfer is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in New York City.
» About this blog
» See my latest listings
» Email me: