What’s an Apartment Locator and Why Should Renters in Denver, Colorado Use One?

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Lacy H.
Aug 30, 2021

It’s been over a year since we expanded our services to Denver, Colorado, so we figure it’s a good time for a lil’ refresher. Sit back, relax, and get Smart because this is a crash course on apartment locating.

WTF is an Apartment Locator?

Starting off with the basics, apartment locating is exactly what it sounds like, but better! As licensed real estate agents, Apartment Locators are just like realtors except instead of helping you buy or sell a house, they help you find a new apartment and rarely ever display their headshots on benches/bus stops in the name of “marketing”.

Why should Denver renters consider using an Apartment Locator?

When someone asks what you like to do for fun, we’re betting that “apartment hunting” isn’t at the top of your list. Finding an apartment is as tough as it is time-consuming. According to Yardi Matrix, there are around 1498 apartment properties in the Denver metro, an estimated 294,829 units. Decision fatigue hits an all-time high when you consider the reality that Denver currently sits at a 95.5% occupancy rate, and in the last quarter, the average rent in Denver increased by 6.5% (source). It’s an Apartment Locator’s professional experience, network, time, and understanding that provide value and convenience during your search.

On top of doing all the hard work for you, Apartment Locators are often privy to information that can save you money as well. Apartment concessions are very rarely advertised and unless you know the right questions to ask, you might lease an apartment for hundreds of dollars more than someone who used a locator and got the same floor plan with two months of free rent. Seriously, it happens.

To recap: If you’re looking for an apartment in Denver, you’re better off using a locator.

How much does using an Apartment Locator cost?

Good news–apartment locating is a free service! The apartment properties pay locators for connecting clients with their units. As independent contractors, Apartment Locators are not paid a salary, but rather make money through earned commissions and bonuses. Some locators work for themselves and pocket 100% of the commission, while most others work for a broker, splitting commissions but receiving the added benefits of in-house marketing and finance.

How can you start working with an Apartment Locator?

All you have to do is fill out this form to get connected with a Smart City Locator and start your apartment search. However, there are a handful of other locating services available in Denver and we encourage you to do some shopping around to determine which one is best for you.

At Smart City, we’re all about hyper-personalized service, so if you’re looking to receive a general list and have very little communication with an agent, we’re probably not your best choice. If you’d like to work directly with a real person whose priority is to understand your personal criteria and help you find an apartment that meets and/or exceeds your expectations, LFG!

How can you become an Apartment Locator?

Apartment Locators are licensed real estate agents, so you must take pre-licensing courses and pass the state-sanctioned real estate exam before you can begin work as a locator. Keep in mind that you must be at least 18 years old and able to pass a background check to obtain a real estate license.

Once licensed, you can join an established team by finding a brokerage to “hang your license” under. For example, Smart City is a brokerage and all of our apartment locators are licensed agents brought on as 1099 contractors. If you want to operate independently, you yourself will have to become licensed as a broker. Find more information about Colorado real estate licensing and laws here.

As it so happens, Smart City is currently looking to add good people to our team who want to help renters in Denver find the space to be themselves. Our ideal Locators are people with growth mindsets, ready to surprise and delight our clients and change the way people find apartments. If you’re interested in joining Smart City, head to our careers page to check out a complete job description and apply.

Pro Tip: You can absolutely apply and get hired as a Smart City Apartment Locator before obtaining your real estate license, although you won’t be permitted to work until becoming licensed. On average, the entire licensing process takes around 8 weeks to accomplish–if you’re diligent. For more insight on what makes a great agent, check out  ‘5 Things to Look For in a Great Apartment Locator‘.

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