When renting in big cities like Denver, Chicago, or Atlanta you inevitably experience the task of sifting through thousands of listings, most of which are unresponsive or no longer available. If you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon a random gem that is well priced but doesn’t tick all your boxes. Or maybe you’ll meet a broker by random chance who rushes you through a few properties and then pressures you to make a quick decision.
And once another year has passed, you find yourself in the same position again. This time debating the lesser of two evils: commit to another year to your sub-par apartment, or start the dreadful process over again. You might also find yourself thinking: “There has to be a better way!”
This was the dilemma that AptAmigo CEO, Dan Willenborg, had as a renter in Chicago. After wasting countless hours on listing sites, he sought guidance from a broker. But rather than discovering his best living option, he discovered a majorly flawed system. Luckily, what manifested from this was not just another vicious cycle of the renter’s struggle, but a determination to create something the rental industry desperately needed.
There are plenty of reasons to avoid listing websites such as Zillow or Craigslist: they take way too much time, they’re cluttered and unreliable; and they lack detailed information, to name a few. And although rental brokers do provide an alternative to these options, there is still a better way.
Working with a locator team like AptAmigo solves every single problem that plagues the apartment hunting process. With access to an entire team, renters get more support than ever before. Whether it’s advice on where to live or where to find two months free rent— having one-on-one support from local apartment experts is a total game-changer.
Here are the top 6 reasons to work with a locator team:
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
It is said that “teamwork makes the dream work”, and this holds true at AptAmigo. While conventional brokerages have numerous agents, each agent is solely responsible for their own clients and all of the tasks that come along with finding them an apartment.
At AptAmigo, in lieu of having a multitude of jack-of-all-trades, there is a team of diversely specialized professionals contributing their best skill sets. Through collaboration, everyone on the team can truly own their role, hold each other accountable, and ensure nothing slips through the cracks. These contrasting business models highlight the difference between a cut-throat environment for personal gain and an empathetic environment with a common goal. AptAmigo will even go tour a place for you if you’re relocating to a new city (we have tips here for relocating in 7 days) and send you personalized videos and information for each apartment building you are interested in.
Access to Exclusive Technology
We weren’t happy with the other apartment websites, so we built our own from scratch. This is revolutionary in real estate, because the industry has been using the same database, the Multiple Listing System (MLS), for decades. This is problematic because it is only real estate agents who can access it. The original appeal of using a broker was their access to the MLS—but with the internet now at people’s fingertips, websites such as Zillow make accessing the MLS nonessential. With renters gravitating toward online listing sites, landlords now have the ability to bypass the MLS and list their own properties; and brokers use these websites as a third-party marketing tool to advertise properties that are in the MLS (and therefore hidden from the public…. thus defeating the purpose of both).
This was a great step toward a revolution, but holds its own drawbacks: In a space where anyone can post, there is no way to verify a listing’s authenticity.
To combat this, AptAmigo created its website to deliver accurate information directly to renters. It downloads availability data directly from apartment communities, and the team relies on personal relationships with the buildings to provide current concessions and rent deals. It also provides a portal for clients to interact with apartment experts who care—A true pioneer in the industry.
Transparency, Honesty, and Accurate Availability
One of the most frequently used words among the AptAmigo team is “transparency” because that has been one of their core values since the very beginning. Having exact pricing on specific units leaves little room for confusion, which eliminates one of the major headaches of traditional apartment search sites. Brokers often do not have a reliable way to clearly present information to clients, which leaves room for a lot of important details to be lost in translation or even intentionally withheld in order to close a deal. AptAmigo strives to provide a service that allows clients to sign a lease out of confidence and satisfaction, rather than deceit.
Happy Clients are the #1 Goal
A traditional broker’s top priority is to make a sale, rather than find a good apartment match for their client. Because they foot their own expenses and must balance both client-facing tasks and admin tasks, they often end up spread too thin. On top of this, they only get paid if a client leases at a place they showed them— which means they are personally losing money otherwise. This means that even if a broker is not inherently ill-willed, they are stuck in a poor system that does not allow them to cater to their client.
The team-based system within AptAmigo was formed in order to prioritize client satisfaction above all else. The process is set up to avoid any friction, issues, roadblocks, etc. Clients collaborate with their representative to hand pick buildings that fit their needs perfectly. Their hand-picked list is then relayed to the operations team, who coordinates with the buildings to schedule all of the tours. Once everything is confirmed, the client’s Touring Agent accompanies them to each property, providing paid rides and even lunch on long days. This service is free for clients, and the compensation is distributed among the team— eliminating any financial incentive for clients to sign at a particular building. By directing the focus to the client instead of the sale, everyone involved is able to collaborate and work honestly to find the one place that is perfect for that client.
Support for Leasing Staff
In the same way that careful care is given to clients, AptAmigo’s model has created a space to build genuine relationships with each property’s leasing team. Because AptAmigo spends so much time getting to know its client’s needs, they are able to bring only interested and qualified clients to each community. This provides relief for busy leasing staff, who no longer have to sort through hundreds of unqualified and uninterested leads. In turn comes a mutually beneficial relationship where both teams are happy to schedule tours and openly communicate on how to best serve clients.
This system breaks down with traditional brokers because they don’t have time to properly service clients, and consequently end up using a leasing agent’s time to grasp at straws. Empathy goes a long way in understanding the major role the leasing staff plays in making sure clients are happy not only on tour, but for their whole lease term.
Rental Market Expertise
With the shared wealth of knowledge amongst the team and the leasing professionals at each property combined with the extensive up-to-date website, there is an unparalleled expertise that AptAmigo holds over what one individual broker is capable of attaining. There simply is not enough time in one day for a single person to provide what a whole team can. The intention is to maintain a proficient and expansive understanding of the market in order to relay it back to clients. Even other real estate professionals turn to AptAmigo to help them find their apartment!
Now that you know what sets AptAmigo apart from the rest of the real estate world, we’d love to help you find your next dream home. As a team, we are committed to transparency, efficiency, and empathy—so let us take care of finding your next apartment!