Debunking apartment locator myths

Apartment locators pictured above

Courtesy photo from Apartment Experts apartment locators pictured above.

Paola Quiroz

Although uncertainty of services provided by apartment locators lurks, they provide free services to students who need advice and help when looking for a place to live off-campus.

Chris Day, office manager at Apartment Experts, said students come to apartment locators and tell them what they are looking for as far as price range, furnishing, pets and roommates. Then they will show students the options that match their criteria with a unique database created in-house.

“We will be with them every step of the way from the moment they sit down with us to making sure they are approved and moved in,” Day said.

Once the student has narrowed down the list of top choices, the apartment locators provide a free driving service to allow students to tour the properties in person.

Cody Lewis, Apartment Pros Locator, said he has noticed how often times people with aggressive breed dogs have trouble finding an apartment that accepts their dogs. They are denied many times, but when they go to an apartment locator they can easily find an apartment that will fit their unique situation.

“It can be discouraging for someone in that position to call apartment after apartment and be told ‘no no no,’” Lewis said. “When they come to us and we match them with apartments they can go to, it is very uplifting.”

Mareany Martinez, health information management sophomore, said she used the free services provided by apartment locators and went to them for advice after living on campus.

“They were very helpful,” Martinez said. “I didn’t know much about leasing, but my apartment locator went over every single page of my lease and made sure I understood and if I didn’t understand he went over it and made it more simple to understand.”

Apartment Pros and Apartment Experts are two of the six affiliates of Texas State’s Department of Housing and Residential Life through the ACT Ally program. ACT Ally members include a number of apartment complexes in the San Marcos area. The list of apartments can be found on the website.

Lewis and Day said the overall intake process takes between 30 minutes to an hour, and they can be as thorough or as quick as one needs them to be. The services are free of charge because of the company’s real estate license.

“We get paid to help people,” Day said. “The apartment community pays us in the back end so we don’t charge students anything.”

Lewis also said it is best to not make a rash decision when choosing an apartment. He said since their service is free, he suggests students hear what they have to say. Lewis said the demand for apartments has exceeded the supply, so prices do go up on a weekly basis at some apartments.

“You don’t want to wait (to sign at an apartment) because your options decrease by the month or by the week and the prices go up,” Lewis said.

Apartment hunting can be stressful, but apartment locators provide free, easy services. The Texas State Department Of Housing and Residential Life ACT Ally website offers assistance finding off campus living with its list of apartment locator affiliates.

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