When Sinatra sang that if you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere, he must have been referring to finding an apartment. As everyone knows, it's a cutthroat endeavor that can often put you at odds with dishonest brokers, sky-high fees, or a market that's changing to quickly. It's impossible to keep up.
Urban Compass is trying to reinvent the apartment rental market. "[There's] too much fraud, too expensive, and it requires way too much time and energy," said Robert Reffkin, one of Urban Compass' founders, about renting in New York City.
According to The Verge, Urban Compass hopes to fix that by offering its own verified listings and hiring full-time agents with salaries and health benefits to guide users in finding their home, all for a smaller fee. Users can search and schedule appointments online or with the Urban Compass mobile app.
Traditionally, a broker is in such fierce competition that he can't succeed being honest to clients. Urban Compass promises to shake up that culture, borrowing from the doctor scheduling service ZocDoc (ZocDoc's CEO Cyrus Massoumi has invested in Urban Compass.). Agents will receive bonuses based on their online reviews, making good customer service one of their highest motivations.
Not everyone is impressed. Anthony Lolli, the founder of Rapid Realty says the formula won't work, and that "nobody is going to do that on a salary."
Sounds dreamy, right? It could make New York City an easier place to live, but then where would the fun be? Are Urban Compass' dreams a bit too lofty? Read the full story on The Verge.