You can’t afford it

The fams went to go look at apartments yesterday in Jersey City. Yes – we’re contemplating leaving the city (with mixed emotions of course as it’s been 15 years).  We saw a somewhat nice place yesterday near Grove Street Path station which was one of the better places we’ve seen. Far from perfect and pretty drastically overpriced versus the market but nice given the general lack of supply in JC.

Within a few seconds, I could tell the broker sized us up and had determined we couldn’t afford the place. And then throughout the showing, he mentioned the price every 3rd sentence. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and just assume he didn’t have a good understanding for how expensive Manhattan is compared to Jersey City.

I thought a few things as this happened and after:

  1. Yeah – I prob need to dress better.
  2. We won’t rent this place even if we love it because of this guy so he just cost his client a potential tenant.
  3. This guy has some fuckin’ stones assuming anything. (I thought of nastier things at the time probably)
  4. I totally understand his need to qualify his leads. We have to do this in our business all the time.  You don’t want to waste time on shitty leads. I get that. But there is a way to do this.  He could have asked “Is there a budget you’re working within as we have a few units available?”  That would give him the data and make him much more consultative than combative.
  5. Once someone says they have budget, assume they’re telling the truth and get into sell mode. This guy saw us with our daughter so he could mentioned the Montessori School right freakin’ across the street (we stumbled upon it when leaving) or such and such an area in the apartment might be good for her toys. His job is to make us mentally move into the place and any broker who I’ve ever met who isn’t bush league always attacks the kid angle as that is a good string to pull on. He could have and should have painted that picture.  He was young and probably didn’t have kids but his job is to get into our skin and sell.  Unfortunately, he sat around telling us how much the place cost and being generally unhelpful.
  6. Since the rent was clearly above market, I told him and asked “what’s flexibility?” and he replied “Make an offer and we’ll talk.”  That’s maybe an ok line of response but again, tell me first why its appropriately priced based on comparables, the apartment finishes, etc. And then tell me “I think there is some flexibility so if you give me an offer, I can see what I can convince the building management of.”  There is only upside if he makes us feel like he’s on our side advocating for us. We know better, but that trick works. Trust me.

I think this place had a shot of us renting it but by the time we finished brunch after the showing, we’d mentally checked off the place because the price and primarily because of the broker.

Selling is hard enough. Don’t make it harder by being a douche.

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