Alexandria Apartments
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Alexandria Apartment Search Tips

Why Use A Free Apartment Locating Service

Have you ever searched for an apartment on the Internet and got listings for an “Apartment Locator?” Usually they promise “Free Apartment Finding Service” to you. But can they help you and are they really free? Let me explain what an apartment locator is, why they are free to you, and most important – how they can be invaluable in your search for the perfect apartment.

An apartment locator is, quite simply, a person who will match your apartment needs with available apartments by searching their extensive database of hundreds of apartments available. And in most areas of the country (There are exceptions) – that service is not only valuable, it is also a free service – to you, the apartment shopper.

Moving from another area, having a pet, having special needs, wanting certain amenities are just a few of the reasons people typically contact an apartment locator. There are other major reasons people to use apartment-locating services:

  1. Locators save you time – They know the areas, the apartment properties, many apartment property managers personally, so they can check for up to the minute availability on apartments that meet your criteria.
  2. Locators save you money – First, they save you money on gas, not a small expenditure nowadays. Second, apartment-locating specialists can negotiate move-in specials for you, and they know what apartments are offering incentives such as free utilities or free rent specials.
  3. Locators save you mental stress – You tell one person what you need one time. Locators get results fast. Many also provide “Valet” service. Letting someone else do the driving is especially welcome when the alternative is navigating around an unfamiliar place.

So, how many apartment locators do you need to register with to get best results? The answer is, just one. Find the right locator the first time and trust them to find you the right apartment. If you register with more, you will be faced with many duplicate apartment offerings, and looking can get confusing. So, how do you know it’s the “right” one?

Here are some guidelines:

1. Ask questions:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • How do they locate apartments? Do they have an online database?
  • How many apartment communities do they work with?
  • Do they provide other services such as utility hook-up, referrals to moving services, discount coupons, etc?
  • How familiar are they with the area you are interested in? If you are new in town, can they explain area differences, price ranges, and the general condition of the apartment complexes in those areas?

2. Look for verbal and non-verbal clues

  • Do they take the time to really listen and understand what you want?
  • Did they contact you promptly after you submit your request? Do they keep their word and produce results in an efficient and timely manner?

3. Prepare yourself to have a successful experience

  • Contact an apartment locator 30-60 days from the date you want to move. Apartment complexes don’t know availability of apartments beyond that timeframe so searching for an apartment too early won’t help you.
  • Know your credit history. If there are problems, try to straighten them out. However, if there are problems that won’t go away – don’t hide it from the locator! Credit history will come out when a credit check is conducted, anyway. If you confide in your apartment locator, he or she may be able to work with apartment communities on your behalf so you can still move into a great apartment.
  • Know what you can afford and stick to it. Also, prepare a list of creditors and your banking information. Provide names and addresses of credit references and personal references. Having this information on hand will save you time when completing your application.
  • Do some preliminary research on desired areas. You can research over the Internet or send away for material to get a basic idea of where you want to live. This will help the locator expedite the search for your apartment.

So, who pays the bill? Well, apartments in Alexandria need to fill their vacancies. So, apartment communities and apartment locating services have formed a “team” to fill that need. When your Alexandria apartment-locating specialist finds you that perfect apartment home, the apartment community as a form of advertising pays the locator. Generally, people who use apartment locators for the first time are amazed and delighted to find there really is a great person who will put in all kinds of time to find just the right apartment, just for them.

So, go ahead. Try using a locator the next time you need to search for an apartment home. You’ll be glad you did!

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