Mar 122012
 
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I recently came across a press release where Prudential Preferred Realty introduced a new feature on their website that helps match prospective buyers with compatible Prudential agents, similar to how a dating service works (check it out here).

Interesting concept. And why not? After all, finding a house or even an apartment to rent is very similar to dating in that both experiences can be very rewarding. Or terrible.

5 Ways Finding a New Apartment is Like Dating 

Did she find the perfect date, or the perfect apartment?

You only get one first impression. Which is why on first dates people get all gussied up, and apartments are cleaned up and staged with furniture. It just takes one dirty t-shirt—either on a person or on the floor—to turn people off permanently.

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Sure, for homes brokers sometimes bake cookies to get the best-smell-in-the-world/like-mom’s-house-feel out there. Just like first dates when you go out to dinner—if you’ve already talked to the person already. Food is sort of a commitment—that you’ll stay around for at least an hour in each other’s company. But if you’re trying to gauge your reaction—maybe you’re not so sure if you like the person or apartment—a cocktail will do the trick. A vodka for the date, or a glass of champagne at the open house, and suddenly things are looking a lot more attractive.

Pictures are worth 1,000 words (unless they’re a lie). When I look for a new apartment online, I’ll only browse entries that show photos—interiors, exteriors, all that. Same rule applied for online dating (though I wouldn’t need X-rays or anything. But certain photos were an automatic “no,” such as if the person was shirtless in a non-beach setting or something). Photos make it easier to narrow down the prospects, so you can see if you have an automatic “No!” or “Definitely!” reaction. Unfortunately, in real estate and in dating, sometimes the photos are misleading. Maybe it’s a picture of the holy grail of NYC real estate—a two-bedroom apartment in The Village with a doorman, in-unit laundry and a terrace—that doesn’t really exist. On dating websites, it could be a picture of someone that is from five years ago and doesn’t account for the new hair plugs. Note to real estate brokers and people on dating sites: Be truthful in your pictures. It will save everyone a lot of heartache.

The grass is always greener. Ever date someone a long time, and it’s fine, but now, all of a sudden, people are hitting on you? You start to think, “Maybe I should break up with this person and see what’s out there.” Same with apartments. For example, my husband and I live in a perfectly nice place out in Queens. It’s not that small, it’s convenient enough, it’s…well, it’s just not Manhattan. So we started looking at apartments on the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side and the very-hip-right-now Financial District. And the apartments were smaller. And they were far from the subway. And they were, of course, much more expensive. Is it worth it to dump our “nice guy” equivalent of an apartment for the “dreamy rebel who no one can tame except us” place in the city? No, of course not. Although, there’s no harm in looking. (We’re only human, right?)

When you find the right one, you want to skip a night out on the town and just cuddle up on the couch. When a night in is suddenly more appealing than a crazy night out, you know you’ve found the right person or apartment.

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: badahos

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  3 Responses to “‘What Renters Want’ with Jessica Fiur: 5 Ways Finding a New Apartment is Like Dating”

  1. Very clever and oh so true. You are right about the similarities and they are striking.

  2. This article was fantastic and we would like to reprint this in our association publication ” Top Storey”. You can contact me at the email I provided. Thank you

  3. Good article. You only attract the tenants your property warrants.

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