Category Archives: Rentals

Manhattan vacancy rate decreasing

According to a recent report, the Manhattan vacancy rate is decreasing even as approximately half of the apartments rented were rented with some sort of concession like free month’s rent. As inventory has increased in the last few years, landlords have adjusted their expectations and as a result the vacancy rate has decreased even in one of the slowest months of the year for Manhattan rentals.

Real Estate Weekly coverage

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

How can a landlord maximize the rent on a Manhattan studio apartment?

For many Manhattan landlords right now is a tough time to rent out apartments with approximately half the apartments being rented with some sort of concession like the owner paying the real estate fee or a free month’s rent. But what else can be done to maximize the rent for a small apartment? Here are a few quick tips.

1- Update the kitchen. If it’s a studio, a new kitchen can make a great deal of difference because most likely the living room and kitchen and together. Consider at least to change the refrigerator and perhaps add in a built in microwave for convenience. A dishwasher if there is space, is a luxury for a small apartment.

2- Install a washer/dryer in the basement of the building if there isn’t one already. Recently, I visited a brownstone where there was one washer and one dryer, coin operated I might add, in the cellar level shared by 6 apartments. This is a major luxury to have in a small building and will eliminate competition.

3- Add closets. Sometimes there is a place to add an additional closet or storage if the ceilings are high. More closets, and more storage is a major luxury. Sometimes you can add this space in the apartment and sometimes a storage locker in the cellar which is more of a condo amenity would really make you stand out from the competition and increase cash flow.

4- Make sure that you have a professional, tech savy Manhattan real estate broker who will at least have professional photos taken. Photos with a smart phone will just make small rooms look smaller. When I do a rental, I like to do professional photos and a floor plan. This really makes your listing stand out. See below link which was rented in 7 days. Recently rented apartment in Hamilton Heights

There are many other things that you can do to make your apartment, small or large, stand out and rent more quickly. Unfortunately, taking photos with a smartphone and putting it on the web is not enough these days especially due to all of the competition.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard leases pad in 72 story luxury tower in Midtown

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, aka Thor, is riding high these days due to his team’s current 9 game winning streak and major league best 11-1 record. When he wants to unwind however, he relaxes in the luxury apartment he just rented in Sky, a luxury rental building which has over 1000 units.  The building, with 70,000 square foot of amenities, has been the residence of choice for other local athletes including AJ Ramos and several New York Knicks players.

Curbed coverage

Sky website

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Manhattan property owner tip Why renting no fee is a mistake

According to a recent real estate report, nearly half of the Manhattan apartments rented in the last year were rented with concessions. The most coming seller’s concession is the owner pays the broker fee. From a small Manhattan property owner point of view, renting no fee is a mistake. Instead, it’s better to just charge lower rent. The net is the same and you may keep the tenant longer. Let’s look at an example.

You have a studio apartment that you want to rent for $2400 and you decide to offer to pay the real estate broker fee.

$2400 monthly rent
$2400 broker fee paid by owner

On a one year lease this brings your net to $2200 per month but due to fact that the tenant is still paying $2400 in a market where they can find a rental for $2200 or less they may just decide to move in a year when they lease is up. If instead you charge the tenant, $2200 or even $2100 and let them pay the broker fee, your net is the same but the tenant is locked in a a lower rate thus decreasing the chances they will move at the end of the lease. Also, you will have more room to raise the rent in the upcoming leases.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Landlord’s guide: How to manage tenants

If you own a couple of Manhattan apartments, or an SRO or multi-family , no doubt dealing with tenants can be a challenge for even the most experienced Manhattan property  owner. Here is a checklist of common sense but often overlooked things to keep in mind when renting and dealing with tenants.

1- Rent at below market or close to market rent. This will allow your apartment to rent quickly and you will have more interested potential tenants. Many times, I sit down with Manhattan property owners who want to ask for a rent that will likely lead to an apartment sitting on the market. On a $3000 lease, f you ask, $200-$300 more but lose 3 months rent, that means you lose $9,000 that you will never recoup.

2- Raise or lower rents as appropriate to keep tenants but maintain profit. Years ago, I owned an apartment on Manhattan’s upper west side on Central Park west that I rented out to a tenant. She always paid on time and never bothered me at all. She informed that she was considering to move at the end of the lease because she could save money by moving further uptown. I asked her how much she would save and she said about $200 or so. Instead of suffering a vacancy I reduced her rent by about $150 and she stayed. She stayed with me in total 7 years from the first time I rented it up until I sold the apartment. On vacancy, I would lose at least one month rent if not more, and also have to paint and fix the apartment. The cost would have been more to have the vacancy.

3- Raise the rent as appropriate. I met many landlords who are reasonable and firm and others who are too nice and feel guilty about raising the rent. When the lease is about to come up, consult with your Manhattan real estate broker to see what you can get on the open market. If the rents have gone up or are in a continued up cycle, then you should raise the rent to keep pace. Many long time owners are 10-20% below the market in the rents that they charge. There is nothing wrong with keeping pace with the market. You can still charge an excellent tenant a discounted rent but if you raise their rent and they are still 10% below market, they are not going to move.

4- Be firm and make sure that you always get your rent on time. Lease riders can have late charges for rent submitted late. Also, do not be too lax about evicting a tenant who is not paying. If they do not pay, then you need to get an attorney and move to eviction. Problems do not go away by ignoring them and this one will get worse.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Manhattan luxury rents increasing

The Manhattan rental market is now becoming the dichotomy that the sales market has been for the last few years. The luxury rental market is surging in value due to more buyers turning into renters. While the luxury sales market has been in a buyer’s market for the last 3 years,some buyers have paused and decided to rent instead. Also, as a result of the uncertainty of the recent federal tax reform, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Manhattan luxury sales market didn’t do well in November,December as the Manhattan luxury rental market surged in January.

On the other hand, the median Manhattan rental, of $3275 is dipping in price. New inventory and the market cycle has led to nearly 50% of the apartments being rented with a concession like the owner paying the real estate broker or a free month’s rent.

Manhattan luxury rental market report

General rental market conditions

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been representing clients  in sales and purchases of residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Which two nabes show most rental appreciation?

by  Brian Silvestry

Currently, the rental market in most of Manhattan is declining in terms of price and a record number of apartments are being rented with concessions either of free rent or other incentives. However, two neighborhoods in Manhattan saw increases in rent year over year. One was the Financial District and the other was Yorkville, the northern edge of Manhattan’s upper east side adjacent to East Harlem.

See report here from Curbed NY