Recommended apartment-rental brokers

Read real New Yorkers' testimonials.

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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

3BR, HarlemBroker: Joe Davila, Fenwick Keats Real Estate (917-771-3787,...

3BR, Harlem
Broker: Joe Davila, Fenwick Keats Real Estate (917-771-3787, jdavila@fkrealestate.com)

Listed in alphabetical order

Joe Davila, Fenwick Keats Real Estate (917-771-3787, jdavila@fkrealestate.com)
"Joe was willing to work with us and advocate for us, even though I was unemployed at the time and our guarantor was out of state. Since we didn't live in the city, we had to communicate by phone, e-mail and FedEx, and he never complained." Amanda Kusek, 23, executive assistant, 3BR, Harlem

Victoria Hagman, Realty Collective (718-834-1440, realtycollective.com, victoria@realtycollective.com)
"Not to be biased or anything [because Day and Hagman, the broker, are friends], but I think Victoria has a good thing going. I know a lot of her brokers, and they're just regular people. I've had a lot of experience with bad brokers, but these are just Brooklynites from the neighborhood." Devon Day, 30; art production manager; 2BR; Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Shyda Hoque and Veronique Lerebours, Realty Collective (realtycollective.com, shyda@realtycollective.com, veronique@realtycollective.com)
"The Realty Collective website works pretty well and has good listings; it is easy to search, has good profiles. Some companies can be frustrating, and you know Craigslist—it can be hard to find out the real info. Realty Collective had all the info and got back to us quickly." James Gillespie, thirties; program Coordinator at Mount Sinai School of Medicine; 2BR garden apartment; Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

Irene Levine, City Connections Realty (917-929-4098, irenel@ccrny.com)
"My wife had met Irene when she first went to view the apartment. A few weeks later, we saw the apartment was still available, so my wife brought me back to see it. Irene immediately remembered my wife and was great to work with. She even sent us a nice little follow-up message last week to check in on how things were going." Jeff Pye, 30; IT audit manager; 1BR; Park Slope, Brooklyn

Margaret Ragosta (718-834-4811, mytwins@nyc.rr.com)
"[Our broker] did really good work for us. She was able to take care of all of the paperwork, all of the problems, and we had a signed lease the next week." Peter Knox, 26; assistant marketing manager; Junior 1BR; Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Morgan Turkewitz, Citi Habitats (516-314-6309, citi-habitats.com, mturkewitz@citi-habitats.com)
"We used a broker who was recommended to me through a friend, and she was really great," says Courtney. "She ran all over the city with us for two days straight and didn't complain once. You can tell she loves what she does. It was a really great experience, especially for someone like my boyfriend, who moved from Connecticut and doesn't know the city very well and doesn't know what you can get for your money. It's nice to have someone who knows what they're doing." Courtney S., 24, project coordinator at a marketing agency, 1BR, Gramercy

"The decision to move out was made very quickly, and I didn't have a whole lot of time to find a new place: The time span was three weeks. I knew that in order to make it happen I would need to have a broker who understood me and could work very quickly with me. Morgan was recommended to me by my friend. I gave her a list of my criteria and she was unbelievably responsive. I didn't even expect to speak to her when I first dialed her number, but I got through and she immediately said, 'What are you looking for? What area? What is your price range?' And she sent me listings in the next half hour. She's also responsive at night. For example, I contacted her this past Friday at about 8:30 or 9pm, and she responded within 15 minutes." Sarah W., 23, investment banking analyst, 1BR, Murray Hill

Zachary Uzupis, Christie Property Group (215-208-0140, christiepropertygroup.com, zachary@christiepropertygroup.com)
"[Zach] showed me plenty of places, he was very direct about what I could get in my price range. And he had some experience with the buildings, so he could tell me the advantages and disadvantages of each. He was able to get me an extra $25 off a month, and the building offered to pay the broker's fee; I think that's mostly the case down here. I would've had to pay in Brooklyn or Battery Park." Aaron Stine, 27, corporate attorney, studio, Financial District

Candice Vilaire, Brooklyn Heights Real Estate (917-405-7342, candice@brooklynheightsrealestate.com)
"[Candice] was incredibly helpful in filling out paperwork, very accessible via e-mail and phone to answer our questions immediately. In that aspect she was incredible. She also helped us negotiate our rent—it was supposed to be $2,500 and we got it down to $2,250." Andrew Karp, 23; account manager for an independent advertising agency, 2BR; Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

"Candice was able to negotiate the fee from 15 to 13 percent, and the rent from $1,450 to $1,400." Scott Rogowsky, 26; comedy writer; studio; Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Tony Wilson, Citi Habitats (646-872-9072, citi-habitats.com, towilson@citi-habitats.com)
"Tony got us in early, we were the first people to see the apartment. We had everything squared and signed, like, five weeks before we could even move in." Jessie S., 23, account coordinator for a technology PR agency, 2BR, West Village

"I used a broker; I was really busy at work, and the problem with Craigslist is you end up chasing phantoms. So I met with a broker and I said, 'I don't want to see anything that's a guess or that's crap, just because you think it has charm.' And he was great, he brought me to the right places." Robert Balog, 37, creative director at an ad agency, 1BR, Lower East Side

More brokers

Chris Bruggers, A.C. Lawrence & Company (516-978-1486, aclawrence.com, cbruggers@aclawrence.com)

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