Broker's fees are one of the most popular grifts in the city, so it was only a matter of time before someone came up with an app enabling us to avoid that racket. It's no Leftover Swap but...nothing is.
Padspin doesn't actually cut the fee entirely, but it does put it back in the hands of actual renters—apartment seekers are required to pay a referral bonus upon securing new digs, which both incentivizes renters to use the app to advertise their apartments, while still keeping costs relatively low for tenants.
"Our goal is to ease what is often a stressful process by bringing much needed transparency and accountability to the housing market, and reduce unnecessary expense," founder Jeff Segal says on the company's website.
The cost of the bonus is tied to the cost of the apartment, but generally amounts to "a few hundred bucks," according to Padspin's FAQ page. The fee for a $3,000 per month apartment, for instance, would be $350, and outgoing tenants would get $270 for posting. An equivalent broker's fee would cost an estimated $5,400.
The app is still in beta, and only covers a handful of ritzy Manhattan neighborhoods. But if you're in the market for a new Chelsea penthouse—who isn't?—give it a whirl.