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Renting in Manhattan for the Frugal Renter: Gems on a Budget Finds


A lot has happened since The Daily News contacted Manhattan real estate broker Kirby Sommers in June 2001 (story ran on July 1, 2001) to ask her if she could help a guy named Rudy Giuliani find a two or three bedroom apartment in a high-rise building with a doorman on the Upper East Side since he was checking out of Gracie Mansion, but still wanted to be near his kids.

His budget? Between $3,000 and $5,000 at a time when apartments fitting that description were going for $10,000.

“It was an eye-opener for me. Everyone is looking for the best deal in their price range. If the Mayor of the New York City wanted to save money, that meant everyone, regardless of income, wants a gem on a budget find.”

So what did Kirby Sommers do? She became an expert in ferreting out these gems. And, then she went one step further.

For the last 3-4 years, she’s been busy developing unique Renters Services. “Every time a prospective renter steps into an apartment with a broker, they’re essentially giving up their ability to negotiate a month off their rent.” Kirby’s quick to note.

Sommers’ services are based on the concept of real “no fee” -- which means no fees -- hidden or otherwise. In fact, she passes on her commission to her clients, many of whom get as much as 1-2 months free or lowered rent.

Kirby also prepares her clients thoroughly for winning over a landlord with her budget finds. “I coach my clients and teach them how to stand out from the crowd so they get that deal.” she adds. “Because finding the gem is one thing and getting it is another thing entirely.”

Sommers Renters Services are available in two formats:

A basic do-it-yourself package called Landlord Links that are ideal for people who are familiar with the city. Landlord Links zap renters into landlords’ available apartment listings databases.

The other is Kirby’s personalized AptStar handholding service where renters tell her what they’re in search of, and presto, she finds it!

Sommers charges a modest one-time charge which is payable in advance, and according to her clients whose price range is anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 it’s worth the investment as their savings exceed the cost.

“Kirby Sommers is like the Costco for renters in Manhattan,” says Dan who has a job in the financial sector and who had to give up his expensive habits when the market caved in. “I needed a cheap apartment, however, I still couldn’t give up certain things. Kirby delivered. And, I even got one month free. I had everything to gain with her service, and I’m really happy to have found her.”



 Kirby Sommers
 Landlord Links
 no fee apartments
 real estate consultant

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