Luxury apartment hunting: Internet lags traditional methods

According to a survey of luxury apartment renters, only a small number found their apartments online.

According to a survey of 1000 luxury apartment renters in Manhattan, only 9% found their apartments online.

Gotham Organization, a New York real estate development firm, surveyed 1000 renters in three of their midtown Manhattan luxury, residential high-rises--where monthly rents go from $1700 for a studio to $6000 for a two-bedroom--and found that online apartment hunting ranked last among methods for securing their apartments, according to a report in Manhattan Living Magazine.

Responding to "How did you find your apartment?":

  • 26% said by walking by the building or seeing signage
  • 23% said through a broker
  • 19% said by seeing an ad in a newspaper
  • 9% said through the Internet

While the Gotham Organization's luxury renters may not be relying heavily on online housing listings, Manhattan real estate firms are posting hundreds of apartment listings daily at the New York Craigslist housing category, which currently reports 138,556 listings in its system.

June 15 will be a milestone day for New York Craigslist, however, as the previously all free housing category reports it is "Targeting June 15 for fee rollout" and launching a new bulk posting interface :

Most of our preparations are complete, and we are looking at June 15 as a potential new rollout date for the previously announced $10 fee for broker apt ads...

Based on feedback regarding the huge volume discounts offered by other providers (up to 95% or more), we are now contemplating offering discounted rates for pre-paid block purchases:

ads    cost     per ad    discount
125   $ 1125  ($9 per ad)  10% off
250   $ 2000  ($8 per ad)  20% off 
500   $ 3500  ($7 per ad)  30% off
1000  $ 6000  ($6 per ad)  40% off
2000  $10000  ($5 per ad)  50% off
5000  $20000  ($4 per ad)  60% off

source: Craigslist

For more on Craigslist's new fees and bulk listings system, see:

"Craigslist to begin charging for NYC real estate listings and launches RSS bulk posting interface"

How did you find your apartment? Join the conversation: "Talk Back" below and share your apartment hunting strategies.