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They seem to have interesting listings...but is the real emphasis on "seems like" ?
I think they are scam artists.
There are a couple of discussions about them already out there btw.
I've been renting in this city since 97, and moving every 3-4 years. I have LITERALLY never called CitiHabitats about a posted listing and had them say "You'd like to see that apartment? Let's arrange it." CitiHabitats always shrugs, not particularly apologetically, and says that "the apartment in the photos was JUST rented, so sad, but we have a smaller apartment in a worse neighborhood for a higher price, let's go see it right now!" I am so disgusted with their business practices, that I now just assume all their listings are fictional. I keep hoping they get investigated by the A.G.'s Office and shut down.
They exemplify why brokers get a bad rep...
Every trick in the book. Not saying that there are no good brokers there, but why would a good broker want to work there?
I have had consistently bad experiences with CitiHabitats and find that the brokers are not to be trusted. I would avoid them at all costs.
"The telltale sign is that most of their listings don't have an address"
Citi Habitats is probably the biggest rental broker in Manhattan. They have a lot of deals with major landlords that are "open listings" which, as I understand things, means that the landlord has given the listing to several brokers. Only way Citi gets paid is if they are the clear procuring cause of the lease transaction....which is why they don't post addresses.
If you knew the address, you could just go and see if the landlord would lease to you and cut out Citi. Or bring in a different broker.
I have no idea of the overall quality of their agents. But they do get a lot of listings in the rental market. They are owned by the same private company that owns Corcoran....NRT Realty
BTW, if anybody *credible* here has had a GOOD experience with a CH agent, feel free to share. My lease comes up this January and I will probably need to talk to a couple of rental agents in addition to my usual direct searches...
I've been working with Mike Domingo from CH for the past two weeks and he really impressed me by showing me listings that were to my exact specifications and price range. He has an easy going, no pressure demeanor and has spent a lot of time making sure that I find just the right place. I'm pretty picky and he's been really patient. I would highly recommend him.
BTW - I have also seen listings with another broker at CH and one at Bond and felt less confident about them.
Hi, I was so upset to see an apartment I was renting in a Citi-Habitat window. They were offering for 20% less than I was renting it! I went in and they told me that they had just rent this apartment but I could see some of their other stuff! COuldn't believe it.
We just rented a building that is a Citi Habitats exclusive. Although we are happy with our new place, everyone we dealt with at CH was nothing but trouble. I feel bad that they made money off of the transaction. They were repeatedly rude, incompetent, and were never on top of things. They made the process far more difficult than it had to be. That means you Sonya Smith, Luciane Serifovic, and a cast of two or three others. Unfortunately, I had to make it my personal mission to make sure these scam artists never see another one of my dollars.
Wow they sound very unprofessional. Why are real estate agents so half ass in tis town?
I saw the exact apartment I am currently renting advertised by CH with an associated address 20 blocks away. CH had nothing to do with the original rental or the building coop. I think they just shop new adds for photos then use them to freshen up their own adds. I suppose I should be thankful the photo showed an empty apartment, rather than one decorated with our own furniture. I have no idea why this didn't bother me. I think its hilarious that the rental brokerages are firmly ensconced in a pre ethical time warp and that everyone knows it and yet still plays the game.
99% of the listings on CH are fake. As I mentioned in another thread a few months ago, I have a friend who USED to work there. After he quit he told me all about the scam they run over there (not that I didnt already suspect it). As many of you have noted, you see a listing and call them up to find out that it was "just rented" or "no longer available". They then of course "offer" to show you other apartments that are "similar". In reality I think they have a pool of about 75 really crappy rental listings (yes, in TOTAL) that they trick people into going to see. Forget the 500 or so nice looking listings on their website, they are all bogus "bait and switch" pictures of apartments that dont exist.
STAY AWAY FROM CH AT ALL COSTS. You have been warned!
They are fine, just be thoughtful. Just like don't go into a back alley after midnight, don't go see an apartment that doesn't have an address. Otherwise no big deal.
in a word... no f"ing way... that's where some of the young ones are "taught" the broker speak... etc .etc... and then success ones move on to elli/C/etc
omg did anyone ever have Danny Davis there?
I'm sure there must a *FEW* good CH brokers, since there are so many, but all the ones I've spoken with (many, over the years) were outright liars, incredibly lazy, and not to be trusted. Their deceptive business practices assure that your odds of success with them are minuscule, so why bother? I'm really surprised that they haven't been investigated by the NY AG, since they simply lie, again and again.
I kind of put CitiHabitats and Adina Realty in the same bucket of dealing with renters who are 0-5 years out of college. So there's really 3 sides to it all, not great landlords (or properties), not perfect tenants (5 years out you could still be in frat mode, and even if you aren't you are still going out late, working late, etc. having parties, etc) and the brokers who cater to them.
Interestingly, I was prompted to look at the discussion because it was CitiHabitats and I was just curious. Last time I dealt with them I was in 1999 but didn't actually do business. And then I saw the name Danny Davis - wow, he's still there. I actually remember the guy was helpful back then and was busy busy, but would call me with new ideas and even after I signed the place I took from a woman at a very small specialized brokerage. So I was impressed back then and it makes you wonder if Citi ain't so great, why's he still there vs. going to Corcoran.
Oh, since I brought up Adina, I also dealt with them 10 years ago, and it was actually the owner who created a problem for me - I was going to be renting in either a co-op or a condo, I forget - but I had to back out of the deal that Adina was representing because the owner wasn't willing to accommodate my move-in dates. Broker had to find someone else as a result. I found the guy kind of creepy though.
Interesting memories of that whole search 10 years ago for a rental. Wasn't quite pleasant, but I had the energy to do it then, as crazy as the rental market was then and until 1-2 years ago now. Anyway, found a great place, and after 2 years, just after my renewal, the owner turned progressively more and more psycho. Such is life.
it's the sister (or child- or whatever) company of corcoran, and corcoran has turned into a bunch of ..ahem. i met with a lovely woman for CH to sell my apartment but went with another firm as a result of being so uncomfortable with CH. i think they are second rate and will only do ok in a rare, rare exception. this is not the market to be dealing with a second rate firm.
I listed several rentals recently with CH. The firm is incredinly poorly run and the agents seem
totally unrained and in at least some instances completely clueless. My agent told me he was taught to use bait and switch advertising. I've since moved on.
this is so funny.....i work for citi-habitats. i rent something in the neighborhood of 100 aparments a year (very successful) and probably sell 3-4 others. i get nothing but rave reviews from clients, get referrals from them for new business to the point that i have had to get an assistant.
as a firm we rent about 12000 apartments PER YEAR in Manhattan. that is a lot of satisfied clientele.
we have the largest listings datebase for rentals in nyc. that is a lot more than "75 crappy listings" (where do you people come up with your crap)
what's funny is that anyone working in a real business who read this kind of commentary about it would be anxious to get to the bottom of it--to do everything possible to improve its reputation. your nonsense merely confirms everything said here about you and your peers.
what did i write that is nonsense?
there are 27 comments here, on a blog full of people who love slamming people who work in the real estate industry. how does that 27 stack up to the 12000+ people per year who use my firm to find their homes (that is just on the rental side, not to mention a couple of thousand more that purchase through us)? that is not to say that all 12,000 of them are in all ways always 100% satisfied, but with that kind of volume, in what industry could you say that is the case?
I must add a comment and question about MANHATTAN CONNECTION, as well. My husband was looking on their website yesterday and found about 150 2 bedroom/2 bathroom in the UES and UWS neighborhoods that were around $4200 a month. Where did these 150 listings come from??? He checked every broker name on Streeteasy and NONE appeared! We are faithful checkers of Streeteasy on a daily (if not hourly) basis and know most of the rentals available in our target neighborhoods. But all of a sudden Manhattan Connection has 150 more that meet our criteria?? How does this happen? After reading the posts about CH, I would most likely add Manhattan Connection to this "scam" list ... unless anyone has something positive to say ...
probably a handful of listings being posted over and over by a pool of their brokers.
if there are 10 listings, being posted by 15 brokers you will see 150 when in fact it is just 10.
and, of course, the jerk-offs in your operation never do that?
we all advertise the same open listings. if ph a is available for rent at 100 w68th st, than whomever wants to photograph and put the listing on our website is entitled to do so (i think we cap it at 5-6). so there is some redundancy. that doesnt make the listing fake, or the practice unethical.
so one firm having multiple ads for the same property is helpful to people who want to find a place? please tell me you're kidding.
if there are 12,000 apartments available for rent (per SE) you are saying there is enough turn over that crappi-habitats does 12K a year?
How about you go take a picture of penthouse and hop off that beautiful balcony afterwards
it may not be particularly helpful, but i dont find it unethical. if someone wants help finding an apartment, they should pick up their phone and call someone, or email.
obfuscation is a fine way to run a business.
this is great. "it may not be particularly helpful?" you set a very high standard at your place.
you're just the poster child for brokers, aren't you?
WOW azmini76- you are proving the point everyone made. Not often you get a live demo on a blog!!!
I can tell you this, I will never use a broker ever again. When I finally decide to leave my current place I'll do the searching on my own.
And I imagine more and more people feel this way
Hopefully azmino will be at Penn Station selling pencils in a mug at that point
well, as i stated, i am pretty successful. and i didnt get this way by having alot of people unhappy with the job i do.
so yes, a poster child for good brokers.
and you must be a poster child for a malcontent?
you are a poster child for an out of work broker, sitting in his robe, with mustard stains on the lapel, posting away, trying to get some of his issues out.
your crappy habitats numbers made no sense. how many apartments have you rented this month? 25? 50?
go call agent rachel you hot dog
no...we're all called customers. foreign term to you.
lol, it's the abuser insulting someone again
lol, it's the hot dog back for more mustard
back again so soon? what happened to your large hole identity?
lol, its the ketchup reminiscing about being a tomato
i said i rent about 100 per year, this month so far 6, with 2 or 3 pending. (average of about 8 a month x 12 months is around 100 apartments)
i am in fact in my office waiting for a client (customers are people who buy things, clients are people you provide a service to) to send over the paperwork for deal number 7. she is actually a good example of a client who saw something she liked, but has yet to act positively to help herself secure it. i'm not worried though, as i have shown her multiple apartments that fit her criteria, so if not this one, then another. i have no idea who agent rachel is.
the only stains i ever get on my clothes are sweat stains from running around trying to help people find their homes...it's hot out there!
do you realize you are causing your firm to loss any new potential new biz by demonstrating what a tool you are
everyone on here has already demonstrated a lack of interest in doing business with my firm. as long as my clients are happy with me and the service i provide than i am not worried. again, 12000 rentals per year, plus sales business means a lot more to me than a few silly bloggers.
so...why did you come here and strut your stuff in the first place? aren't you far too busy servicing your many unhappy customers to waste time here? or, is it true, about the mustard and the hotdogs?
read the above....in my office waiting on paperwork...i could be waiting at home, but i prefer to come in early today and avoid the office altogether tomorrow as my meetings are not near my office location. this is actually a pretty amusing diversion. and i can multitask, this takes no effort whatsoever
well, certainly more effort than your so called job.
you really do not get it!!! there were people on the fence about your firm..... you pushed them off.
sweetie- it's not all about you- you also screwed your firm. guess you can't see that
i don't think anything in i have said in this forum will put a dent in our productivity. we already have the lion's share of the rental business. we have made more money than last year (in a down market). we have 800 agents, and yes, some of them suck. but again, find an industry where that is not the case.
do you really have no idea of how obnoxious and condescending you sound? still can't understand why you would willingly add one log to the shitstorm around brokers and your firm in particular. remarkable.
yes, we do very very poorly. blogs like this do sooooo much to damage our business. i may sound obnoxious, but you are very arrogant if you thinks this effects my industry (or my firm) one little bit. you probably live in some shit little walk up (because you can't afford a good apartment), are unhappy because of this, and blame your frustration on others.
cc, are you still looking for a rental? because i know where you shouldn't go if you are.
so...lets see 800 agents doing 12,000 rentals a year---that works out to: 15 per agent? and with you doing 100 yourself, that makes it even lower. so what do you clear on average for a rental: 2K? so the average gross is $30K per agent? and I'm living in a shithole?
some people do very very little business. some people focus exclusively on sales. some people focus at the very high end of the range, and maybe only do 3-4 transactions a year, but net out pretty high. I don't really worry about what other agents earn, 30k might be about right for the bottom 30-40%. But I am in the top 3-4%. And if you can do math, you can see that 100 X 2000$ (which is low, but let's just for fun call it that) = $200,000 per year. And don't forget the listing fees (when other agents rent a landlord listing of mine, I get 10% of the rent), AND of course sales commissions.
you think i can do this well but not doing a good job? seriously?
That's called a kinckout blow.
Knockout. That's what you get typing while eating a choco croissant and coffee with iPhone
I think you are full of shit, with mustard and relish stains on your robe.
And I wouldn't exactly say you've stirred up a frenzy...I think everyone is getting a good laugh, so from all of us, Thank You
I needed a good laugh today hot dog boy
upperwest, exactly. one can only get so many laughs from petro, and alpie seems otherwise engaged. a self-aggrandizing rental broker from Shiti was just the ticket.
it must be horrible to actually have a dialogue with someone in such a reviled industry. i think it all stems from insecurity. someone must have been very mean to you and know you vent on a blog than no one other than people who are trying to save their little pile of pennies (or those of us looking for comic relief) ever use
i just told my husband to give up the partnership. real estate is obviously superior to the law.
I'm confused, two people have been accused of being the hot dog vendor. Who is right or is this just some swipe and the working class?
it can be about as lucrative...but talk about scumbags! lawyers? you have to be kidding
he's a hot dog....not a vendor
please don't shit on hot dog vendors here...we take kindly to mean statements on hot dog vendors
the think its pretty clear the answer to OP is no.
this needs to stay at the top
I am very new to this industry (only been working about 6 months) but what my own personal experiences are with citi is that they list real available apartments - at FALSE prices.
Just last week I had a client who wanted to view a 2 bedroom unit I had. The price was 2000 a month. No Fee. They asked if the rent was negotiable - I said, "I am sure we can negotiate a bit, it's ultimately the landlord's decision"
Then they sent me a link to a citi habitats craigslist ad - for the identical apartment - with a price of 1700 a month no fee. They then insisted they would view the unit with citi habitats because they were "asking" 300 dollars less a month for the apartment.
While I haven't used a CH agent, I know two of them on a personal level and would totally trust them with my real estate transaction. I have looked at many, many properties over the last few years (and even was in contract for a building that never got completed but fortunately got my deposit back) and I will say the vast majority of agents I have dealt with from Corcoran (and elliman to a lesser extent) have been very sleazy and I wouldn't trust them at all. Most have the preverbal "shiny-suit" and think very highly of themselves and think of potential clients as an interruption to their day (I think many of them spend a good portion of the day staring at themselves in the mirror saying "damn I look good!" but that is another story). When I went into contract for my last apartment, I made the mistake of thinking I could get a better deal without an agent - I won't make that mistake again and plan on using on of my friends from CH. I'm sure there are some bad apples at CH, but based on my experience, far less than at Corcoran.
Azmino76, you definitely have lost a potential client of Citi-Habitats. I'm moving to NYC next fall and have been formulating a spread sheet with different brokers on it. I've been recommended two at Citi-Habitats and have crossed both off the list because of your unprofessional comments. There are a lot of options in the city and if I have a choice as to where my money goes it will not be to a place where there is such openly unprofessional behavior.
Lowndes, Citi Habitats sucks, but you are a loser. You'll be eaten up. Whether it's Citi or another broker. First it'll be the mosquitos, and it will progress, eventually the dogs and ultimately the vultures. Eat you up. You can't make it in NYC. Stay in Philly.
Well, I am highly predisposed to believe that a broker accused of being a sleaze-bag is a sleaze-bag, BUT...this comment falls into the self-discrediting category:
"I'm moving to NYC next fall and have been formulating a spread sheet with different brokers on it."
That might well be the first such spread sheet ever so formulated. I don't see the need. But then I don't do spread sheets on restaurants I might eat at either. Or places I might buy shoes. What other spread sheets do you find useul day to day?
Dooper, never been to Philadephia.
jimstreeteasy, this is actually the only spreadsheet I've ever formulated for something like this. I do admit that it is dorky, however, a couple of people have given me recommendations on brokers they had a good experience with and brokers they would avoid if renting a place again. I feel like this is useful information and worth saving. I'll only have about a week or so to find a place when we move so don't want to waste my time with crappy brokers. Created a spreadsheet seemed appropriate.
jimstreeteasy, actually I might be a bigger dork than previously admitted. I actually don't keep a spreadsheet but I do have a list on my phone that I add to occasionally of restaurant recommendations.
Lowndes, so fake. You are moving to NYC next Fall ... 10 months away, and spend all this time 8 months before you need to creating a detailed spreadsheet on brokers in NYC, and so much time on Streeteasy, even in on a Saturday morning and on a Saturday night? Nice try.
I was the op here but didn't think I had ever received any responses. Having just stumbled upon the thread, I'm delighted for a) the excellent advice (which confirmed my suspicions about C-H) and especially b) the rollicking good time I have had reading through this thread.
I think I will be skipping all of the C-H ads here and in the NYT as I have been doing. When I see their name on a listing I won't even bother to clicky.
Thank you all!
ok for what, the term is relative, put some context in buddy
How about Nest Seekers? http://nestseekers.com/
I had a fine experience with them (and any one who has spent any time on these boards KNOWS I am no broker lover.)
They were no worse or better than anyone else in terms of showing me places.
That having been said, they are not the sharpest pencils in the cup. There associates at Corcoran are a bit more...polished.
citi -- several years ago -- stood me up for a mtg and then brought me only to no fee buildings where I would owe them in lieu of going directly. To me -- they smell like rotton eggs.... Useless
Can someone please please PLEASE do a undercover op like those republicans did with ACORN? If you can get them on video admitting that they have multiple false listings, maybe the AG would be spurred into action. I (like to think) have good ideas, but no time or energy to implement ideas. Would anyone like to step up?
liberal_pitbull: "There [sic] associates at Corcoran..." Pencil, meet cup."
Right. Because spelling errors entirely negate the truth of whatever anyone on the internet is saying, and so if you are busy defending Hitler and say the Earth is the center of the Universe and i attack you online but misspell something, that makes Hitler a saint and Copernicus totally wrong.
Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies
Has anyone complained about them?
I've dealt with a few over the years but they weren't bad. I can remember one who is hot (AF) ;
They have a big sign outside my building saying "Apartments for Rent" even though there are no apartments for rent.
Bait and switch. Classic.
Bait and switch and pray you don't get a newbie agent from them. You'll never see the apartment in question.
Citi is not worse than most of the other brokerages. My personal experiences put them in the "average" pool.
I find Bond NY and Manhattan Apartments to be so bad, I would never go to a listing no matter what.
Thought I found someone worse than Citi the other day but then it turned out to be Citi in disguise!
I am actively looking and finding the whole experience very disheartening. Bait and switches last two times I was meant to go out. Have no idea where yesterday's was meant to be (didn't go) but I found today's listing at a rental building instead of the condo address it was listed under.
Management companies don't seem to have much in the way of large apartments these days either.
Food for Thought!
Everyone: Thank you for all the feedback!
Topper: Yes! I have seen a building with their sign and just thought it weird. As in 'what building would allow them to do that?".
truthskr: Thanks for the tip. I had wondered about Manhattan Apts, too, since they have sooo many ads in NYT online.
lol888: Ditto on the disheartening. Apt-hunting has never been fun, especially with a tight budget, but nnowadays it is double-plus un-fun. Good luck with your search.
These B&Sers have ruined craigslist - it is no longer of use as an apt-hunting resource.
It's hard to fathom why anyone would list with any of these shady outfits. . Likewise hard to understand how their business-model (lying) is successful but they have been around forever so it must.
Oh- lo888...who was the Citi in disguise?
I have a wonderful Citi-broker...no joke. I think people make the difference, not necessarily the parent company...but they do get stuck in stereotypes becasue of their co-workers. Every person I have referred her to is happy as well.
Here's a broker from Bond New York I can recommend:
Joshua Hebert Greenwich Village Office 212-672-6350 firstname.lastname@example.org
Patient, prompt, showed me what I specified in the midtown west and Lincoln Center neighborhoods I wanted to live in.
I specified "no fee" for me to pay.
We also just had an awful CH experience. They advertised a 2br 2bth with a price reduction. The broker took my husband to see a small 1br 1bth that was tiny tiny with beautiful finishes. A fight between the landlord and the broker ensued and my husband rushed on out leaving them to hash it out. Unreal - they never change. I've had numerous bad experiences with them in the past as well. In 2002 we were going to move to the village and we were ready to go to contract on a rental and the broker then said it was given to someone else.
As Ronald Reagan said "Facts are stupid things"
I'm a newly licensed agent and just joined Citi Habitats even though I've seen many comments like the ones on here before... I did it because after interviewing with several brokers, they had a lot more to offer and were very professional (even if there were some jerks and/or not-so-friendly people along the way).
Even though I'm still in training, I've been surprised because the trainer is doing an amazing job. I say this as someone with a strong corporate background. He constantly emphasizes ethical ways of generating calls and knowing your inventory as an agent. I think the problem comes in because he's also stressed to make sure you have several comparable apartments to the one you are advertising so that the client has choices available (even gave price ranges that are reasonable).
I think the problem is that a lot agents get lazy and start finding shortcuts that they think will work for them. The trainer spoke abt that too, saying that it'll only hurt you in the long run, but what's actually worse is what's going on here, since it's affecting the view of Citi overall.
I can say this much. A lot of people in this industry are very arrogant, and I think it gets worse when they join a place like Citi because of how large it is (numbers-wise) and the fact that they DO make a lot of deals. They get lazy, and at times, that ends up in sleazy or sloppy work.
It's hard to tell if this is how they've always trained agents or if it's some new initiative to start cleaning up, but there is absolutely nothing sleazy about them internally so far. I'll come back and leave an update after I start working at my office. In the meantime, I'd just suggest being very careful about the agent you work with. If you don't like something you see, tell them what you want. If they give it to you, they are doing what they were trained to do. If they're not listening to you, find a new agent.
Citi-habitats is one of the largest companies in Manhattan. Of course you will have some bad agents within the company. There are also some experienced and wonderful agents. Overall I've had a great experience. These forums are way too negative and stereotype a bit too much.
I thought citi had a very good training program..most of the agents are rental agents, and they preach a hybrid business model of sales/rentals...why not right? sales takes a while to get started and can get slow at times. its a agent eat agent world out there and you get the usual slime that comes in any commission based industry where the self employed fights for a slice of the same pie. There is shadiness at all levels and in all firms...not sure what the firms can do about it because the model usually is to retain as many agents as possible therefore increasing the volume potential and exposure of your firm. This industry has hardly any regulation and as a result, ethical issues are rarely enforced. As for quality of listings, either the industry self cleanses (i.e., a lazy/shady agent gets fired by the client resulting in less business for the poorly managed agent) or the employing firm has to spend money for resources to oversee its agents and its listings. And that presents a problem. The first thing I would like to see is some form of regulation or standardization for all listings in this market. That way we could measure the market properly.
Im finding out the hard way, after 10 months of work on a new data platform, that the data is far from good. In the end, that hurts all of us.
Prudential Elliman's broker suck too.
They are lazy, and are liars.
Will never deal with them again.