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Is Apartment Locating Actually Free?

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Virginia English
Jan 31, 2024

Have you ever wondered about the costs and fees associated with our service? Maybe you’ve thought “is this a scam?” Spoiler alert—it’s not. While it may sound too good to be true, apartment locators are 100% free for you as a client. (And don’t worry, we still make an income.) We’re breaking down the process for you here because we love transparency, and we know you do too!

The Property Matchmaker

The not-so-secret secret to apartment locating is a little thing called the Property Marketing Budget, which is the amount of money that an apartment complex has allotted to spend in order to fulfill leases. With this budget, properties have two options: they can invest in paid advertising in hopes of attracting their ideal tenant, or they can leverage local experts in the business (i.e. locators and real estate agents) with an existing client base. Hint—most properties choose the latter option. After you sign your lease and successfully move in to your unit, the property sends the locator a little “thank you” in the form of a commission or referral bonus. At the end of the day, everyone wins.

Process Steps

Why Use a Middle Man?

Rent is probably your biggest expense, so getting the most out of your apartment is pretty important. You wouldn’t buy a car without guidance from a pro, so why would your apartment search be different? Every renter should have a professional real estate agent representing them—especially in the current market.

A few things to consider:

  • Apartment locators are familiar with average rates and current specials, and they know exactly when it’s the right time to pull the trigger on deal.
  • Apartment locators have toured properties hundreds of times. They know the local properties (and each one’s unique pros & cons) from firsthand experience.
  • Are you searching for something specific? We’ll find you the best apartments that fit your criteria and cut out the ones that don’t meet your needs.
  • Best of all, apartment locators are ideal resources for anyone relocating to a new city or state. At Smart City, we have “born and raised” agents who can give you a true insider’s perspective.

A Comprehensive Moving Service

Our work isn’t over when you sign your lease. Based on your wants and needs, our Connect team will step in to help with your moving checklist. Renters insurance is a must, so we’ll make sure you snag the best plan (psst—we recommend Lemonade, some manage to pay as low as $5/mo for coverage!). Don’t feel like comparing electricity providers? No worries, we do that kind of stuff too. Smart City will also hook you up with discounts on services like movers, cleaners, handymen, and even furniture rentals. We’ll even follow up a few months after your move to check in and make sure that you’re loving your new place. 

Graphic description of services offered through Smart City concierge services including utilities, movers, renters insurance, handyman services, furniture and appliance rentals, and cleaning services


We’re Here to Help

Now that you know how locators work and how we’re able to help you for free, we’ll leave you with this:

You could create a checklist and spend endless hours searching, scheduling tours, and reading reviews, or you could delegate that work to an apartment expert who will do it all for you—for free. 


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