Experience with Saferentals.com
April 28, 2008 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone had any success using Saferentals.com? I came across their list for NYC and their listings seems too good to be true. I'd love to hear what the hive mind have to say and your experiences with this site. Thanks.
posted by flxyp to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
All they're charging you for is a list of property management companies, which you can get from other sources as well. They sound too good to be true because they aren't actual listings...they're just samples of what buildings may have to rent, or may have rented at some time in the past.
posted by JaredSeth at 2:12 PM on April 28, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks Jared. My feeling is the same that they are just an aggregated list of management companies. But I am wondering about the quality of their list of property management companies. If they have good phone numbers to good companies, then the list has some value. Anyone out there actually tried the list out? Did you feel doped? Did you find an apartment through one of the company listed? Thanks.
posted by flxyp at 2:28 PM on April 28, 2008

These lists are almost universally a scam (or the kind of wack hustle half-hearted semi-scam that can actually be more frustrating than a real scam). Property management companies can be found by a quick google, look at the phone book, wander around the neighborhood you are interested in. Where are you looking for an apartment, what borough, how many bedrooms, price range, etc? Legwork, patience and quick decisions get you an apartment in New York, otherwise suck it up and find a broker, although many New Yorkers make it a point of pride to never ever pay a broker.

PS. Some people, including myself, might suspect that someone with no comment history and no info in their profile might have a nefarious connection to the website you list in your question. You, of course, deserve the benefit of the doubt, but I'd like you to know that you might get more help asking in a general way about the best ways to find an apartment in New York.
posted by Divine_Wino at 3:14 PM on April 28, 2008

flxyp, I've no experience with this particular list, but there are a ton of places online to get lists of property management companies, and I sincerely doubt these guys are any higher quality than those...a phone number is a phone number after all. The last time I looked for an apartment, I used the NY Bits list for at least some of the contact info.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:56 PM on April 28, 2008

Response by poster: Hi Divine Wino. Thanks for the comment about posting etiquette. Online skepticism is hard to avoid sometime for a new user, but I didn't think my post was nefarious (nice choice of word, btw). I was specifically curious about this web site and that's why I didn't phrase my question in a general apartment seeking way. Besides, there are plenty of posts on the subject of apartment hunting in NYC and being one of those who take pride in finding my last apartment without a broker's fee, I wasn't interested in general tips. I was hoping to hear other's experience with this or similar service and not just a gut reaction.
posted by flxyp at 3:59 PM on April 28, 2008

That's an incredibly scam-tastic site, flxyp. It contains classic con language.

Some examples...

Promising you a secret deal that "they" don't want you to know:
"Brokers and apartment information vendors do not want you to know their inside secret."

Avoiding verifiable lies by a misleading Q & A section:
"Q. How long has your company been in business?
A. We have experienced staff members in this business for over 5 years."

Putting the pressure on to dissuade the buyer from checking references, or stopping to think about the purchase:
"DO NOT DELAY! Great deals, like this, do not last."

More to the point, Apartment Information Vendors (AIVs) in New York are required to be licensed by the Department of State. I don't see a license number of any kind of saferentals.com, and this alone would make me run away, very very quickly.

Scam, scam, scam.
posted by minervous at 4:33 PM on April 28, 2008

Fair enough, flxyp. I have no experience with that site and I doubt you will find anyone else posting here who does, and yes it looks like a scam, from the bad design, the cheap banner ads, the vague promises and the very fact that they are offering lists of property managers, which is generally always a scam. However I haven't really answered your question, sorry.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:12 PM on April 28, 2008

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