When you do a search on a Search Engine for “apartments” you are going to come across two types of Website resources; apartment locator sites and apartment database sites. Which is the best for you? Well, that depends on what your needs and circumstances dictate. It also has a great deal to do with your privacy comfort level.
The Apartment Locator Site:
If you are relocating to an area of the country that is totally new for you, someplace where you are unfamiliar with neighborhoods, schools, job centers, transportation, etc., then the apartment locator may be your best choice. These folks respond to your query by making telephone contact with you. You will describe your circumstances, needs, budget and other preferences. The apartment locator is usually extremely knowledgeable about the area and the local rental market. They will be quite helpful in finding you rental accommodations that suit your particular needs. In most cases, this will be a totally free service. The apartment locator is normally paid a commission or “finder’s fee” from the landlord or rental agent. With regard to your privacy, however, keep in mind that you are required to share your telephone number with the apartment locator and be open to the idea of personal contact. You need to decide if, or how much, that is acceptable to your sense of privacy.
The Apartment Database Site:
Unlike apartment locators, apartment database sites offer a broad selection of on-line apartment listings. They give you intricate descriptions of apartment complexes including, but not limited to, maps, amenities, rent ranges, contact information, etc. Pictures of the apartment units, inside and out, are usually included. An excellent amount of data helps you decide if any particular rental unit meets your needs and satisfaction. When you are moving to an apartment that is located within your present living area or when you are relocating to an area that you are totally familiar with, an apartment database site might be the one for you. Most require a simple registration process which usually asks for name and email address. You need not submit your telephone number and you will not be contacted personally by anyone. Like the apartment locator, most apartment database sites are free to you. Sometimes you are even offered a bonus of $100.00 or more if you list their site as your referring source when you sign your apartment lease.
So, which is better for you, the apartment locator site or the apartment database site? The answer to that question is answered by your own unique needs, desires, situation and limits of personal privacy.
Good luck on your apartment search and good luck in your new apartment.