QUESTIONS WE'VE HEARD
No worries. You're not the first.
Why you should use an apartment locator?
We get it. There are a lot of locators out there. So why us?
1. Experience (the kind you actually want) and proven track record... a good one, we promise.
2. Knowledgeable about the neighborhoods. We know the places you want to be seen at, and where not to be seen...
3. Driven and committed to find you what you want
4. Professional people with a fun side—think Regina George’s mom, but even cooler.
5. Rebates! Because who doesn't need a little extra spending cash.
- What does your apartment locating service cost me?
Absolutely nothing. We’re paid a commission directly from the apartment community after you move in, even though we represent you, the tenant. All we ask from you is to list us as your referral source when touring properties and completing guest cards, lease applications and leases. Under the “How Did You Hear About Us” question, put in our info as shown below and make sure to select “Locator.” For doing this, we can give you a $50 cash rebate once we are paid from the apartment community!*
- When should I start looking for my new apartment?
We suggest clients start the apartment search process 60 to 90 days before they need to move in. Apartments in the area are typically on a 30 to 60-day move-out notice with current tenants—the 60-day notice being more common. This means that the apartment communities will only know what’s becoming available within the next 30-60 days. So, why do we suggest starting as early as 90 days in advance? To give you time to start narrowing down the list of apartments that interest you. At Locate & Lease, we try to locate as many places that fit your search criteria, as we believe it’s our job to locate the places without giving our personal taste/opinion - unless you want it! We then let you rate the properties, pick your favorites and eliminate the ones you don’t like.
- How is Locate & Lease paid?
We are paid a real estate commission directly from your new apartment community once you lease and move-in. Generally, the apartment community or the property’s management company pays us a percentage of your monthly rent or a flat fee. We are only paid if you list Locate & Lease as the referral source when touring properties and tell the properties that we referred you—so we appreciate that! :)
- How does pricing work for DFW apartments?
Most apartments in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex are on a lease price optimization system. While it sounds fancy, all that means is that rent changes (often daily) based on availability, floor plans, and amenities. Think upgraded finish-outs with granite and stainless-steel appliances vs. older units with laminate countertops/flooring and white appliances. If there are several of the same exact units available, we generally see prices go down. If units are in short supply, prices go up. Another important factor is your move-in date. Moving in a few days on or before your target move-in date may have a drastic impact on your monthly rent. Because pricing changes so frequently, it’s best to have a flexible move-in date and to be ready to jump on an apartment that matches your criteria. The more information we have on what you’re looking for, the better equipped we will be to help you.
- Does your commission impact my rent?
Our commissions do not impact your rent amount explicitly, in that an apartment complex won't give you a bigger discount if you don't use a locator. They've built in our commissions into their bottom line numbers to come up with your rent amount. We do, however, know the best specials and how to maximize them, so using our services may help to get you a lower rent than the market rate.
- Did you say rebates?
Yes! We offer a $50 cash rebate after we are paid by the apartment community, subject to our Rebate and Referral Policy.
- Do you take referrals?
Yes! We love them! Nothing says we did a good job more than referring your friends, family, coworkers, exes, frenemies, etc. The Texas Real Estate Commission provides that we can give you a non-cash gift valued at $50 or less for referrals that use our apartment locating services. For referrals that lease through us, we’ll send you a $50 Amazon.com gift card once paid by the apartment community.*
- Do all locators have access to the same properties?
Yes, generally speaking. Most locators in the DFW metroplex use the same listing service. Because we use the same service, we have access to the same properties. If you’ve seen a property advertised anywhere else, let us know and we’ll get you the info on it! At the same time, we like other locators, even if they work for other brokerage firms. It's a small apartment locating community, and we all have to work together as a network of apartment locators at one time or another. [Queue: "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers]. We don't want to duplicate efforts, interfere with client-agent relationships, or anger our friends, so if you are working with another locator, be sure to let us know.
- Are there furnished apartments to lease?
Furnished apartments for lease are hard to find. We recommend renting furniture through a furniture rental company, for which we have several options. The few (and we mean few) apartments that offer furnished apartments normally charge a premium. Of course, your apartment will come with a refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave and oven that you should not need to rent.
- Does my lease term need to be for 12 months?
Nope! We can find you lease terms as short as 6 months, but understand that you will be paying extra for the shorter term. The general rule of thumb is the longer the lease term, the lower the rent. We recommend longer lease terms to get the best rates (and because moving is never fun or easy.)
- What will my administrative fees, application fees, and deposits cost?
It’s standard practice to have some upfront fees at the time you apply for the apartment and before you move in. Typically, you will have an application fee when you apply to lease your apartment, ranging from $50-$150. With that application fee, you’ll likely be required to pay an administrative fee ranging from $50-$300, which helps cover the cost of running your credit, doing a background check and performing other administrative tasks incurred in getting you approved. Then, once approved, you may be required to make a deposit for the apartment, that may or may not be refundable depending on the property. Credit history may impact the amount of the deposit. If you have pets, be prepared for a pet deposit that may or may not be refundable ranging from $250-$800 (in addition to pet rent).
- Do apartment communities offer specials and Preferred Employer Discounts?
Properties frequently run specials and offer concessions to new residents. We’ll keep you posted on what specials are being offered by the properties you’re interested in. Specials change often, so it’s important to take advantage of them when you can! Specials can run from discounted rent to waived or reduced application and admin fees!
It’s important to note that some properties also partner with certain employers and offer specials for certain occupations. The same applies for students at certain institutions in the area. The more we know about you, the more we can help you take advantage of everything available!
- Are utilities usually included in my rent?
No, typically, you’re responsible for utilities. Water, trash, pest control and gas (if any) will be billed through your apartment and added to your rent. With respect to trash, note that many apartment communities now have mandatory valet trash, which is usually an extra $25 a month. Electricity, cable and internet are usually separate. Fortunately, you get to choose your own electricity provider in Texas. We recommend researching on powertochoose.org or contacting our friends at Utility Concierge. They can also help you shop for cable and internet packages. Availability of certain cable and internet service providers does depend on the complex and location.
- Do I need renters insurance?
Renters insurance is another standard requirement for DFW apartments. Premiums depend on the apartment and the insurance requirements, but generally are $175-$250 for the year. We’re happy to refer you to the insurance brokers we use if you don’t have one.
- Do you offer movers?
No, instead we offer a cash rebate. Free moves offered by locating companies usually come with a lot of strings and hidden fees. So, just like guac, this is extra. We recommend thoroughly researching moving companies and reading reviews to determine which is the best for you. We’re happy to share our
experience, but we would feel terrible if we recommended a mover that broke your goods.
- What if I want to renew my apartment lease?
We hope that we find you a place you love so much that you renew your lease for another year. When you renew your lease, expect a price increase. The amount of the increase varies just like pricing, and is influenced by the property’s occupancy at the time of renewal.
Why does it matter? Specials. An apartment may offer one month free and allow you take that free month of rent and prorate your monthly rent, effectively lower your monthly payments over the course of your lease term for that first year. Come renewal time though, you’ll likely see a price increase off of the market rent, not the effective rent (a.k.a. reduced rent due to that special). Knowledge is power, and we believe that setting expectations will enable you to pick a great place to stay in long term! If you don’t like it, though, we are more than happy to help you find another apartment!
- Is there parking?
Most apartments don’t charge extra for it, unless you want a reserved spot. In newer buildings, it’s common to have shared, private gated garages, whereas in older buildings, it’s common to have open, non-covered general parking. If you want to be in Downtown or Deep Ellum, and some buildings in Uptown, you’ll likely have to pay for each parking space.
- Do you find houses and condos for lease or can you list my house or condo?
At this time, no. House/condo leasing differs greatly from apartment leasing. We focus on what we know--apartments. For leasing houses and condos, we recommend going to an agent that specializes in home/condo sales.
- I want to sublease my apartment or sublease from someone. Is this where I should go?
Subleasing an apartment is really negotiated directly with the tenant and sometimes the landlord, and agents are typically not involved (womp womp). To find a sublease, you can often call a particular apartment complex and ask if they know of anyone looking to sublease and check out outline resources (like CraigsList).
- Will you find me a roommate?
We love to play apartment matchmaker, but we don't want to responsible for playing roommie matchmaker. If we hear of someone looking, we're happy to put you in contact. Roommate choice is important so we encourage you to really get to know who you are sharing your home with before moving in together (wait, are we giving dating advice or roommate advice...?).
- Do you work with second chance leasing clients?
Second chance leasing (bad credit, evictions, criminal history records, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and broken leases) present some tough issues for us as apartment locators. We typically aren't able to provide apartment locating services to second chance leasing clients because the apartments that allow second chance tenants don't usually work with locators. Give us the details, and we'll be upfront and honest with you as to whether we think we can help.