How every high-rise renter can reduce rental service costs

Despite their wacky protestations to the contrary, rental services aren’t free, and they aren’t paid for by landlords.

Every renter in a high-rise that cooperates with brokers pays broker fees as part of their rent. In a typical building that cost can be $500 a year, or more. The cost can double in a high-turnover building that relies heavily on rental service brokers.

Are you comfortable paying $500 to $1,000 a year for a service you don’t use, that doesn’t gain you any direct benefits, and the cost of which might be keeping your building from upgrading common areas or apartments?

There are some simple steps you can take to help reduce the amount of your rent that pays for rental services.

If you’re happy with your building and it has a resident referral program (most do), learn its terms and refer any friends or acquaintances who are looking for an apartment. If they rent in your building, you’ll get a rent credit that might be as much as $1,000 and your building will save on paying a rental broker.

Use YoChicago’s comprehensive at-a-glance lists to find your next high-rise apartment, and refer your friends to our lists. Our lists link to near real-time rent and availability info, to video tours, and to objective, detailed reviews which link in turn to the building websites. Use the lists to narrow your options and go directly to the buildings without using a broker / rental service.

If you or your friends are determined to use a rental service, negotiate a rebate of a part of their commission. The commission is typically a month’s rent, but may be more or less than that amount.

You can see 100s more of our aerial views of Chicago in Flickr albums from several weeks ago and from September of 2012.

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