Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How not to rent an apartment, part CLXXI

Tip to apartment building managers: If you're going to show a "luxury" unit to a prospective tenant and your building's intercom system is broken, don't stop with a handwritten note taped to the front door that says, "Intercom is broken." Add a sentence explaining how a prospective tenant is supposed to get word to you that he is outside. (Fixing the damn intercom is even better!) And when that prospective tenant finally gets into the building by grabbing the door as someone is headed out, don't greet him with "Oh, you must be the BU professor!" -- especially when he isn't a BU professor. Instead, apologize for the broken intercom, or put the prospective tenant's mind at ease by asking, "Just how the heck did you get in here?" Also, don't chat on your cell phone while leading the prospective tenant to the apartment you're showing, as it gives the appearance that you're avoiding questions from the prospective tenant. In particular, don't say into your cell phone, "Yes, I know, I told you I'd be getting to that!" Finally, don't mention the Dunkin' Donuts a few hundred yards away as a major selling point of your building. In the Boston area, that's no more remarkable than saying that you've got indoor plumbing.

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