1. Realtors help save time. Searching for a new place to live can be a full-time job in and of itself. Using a realtor can help cut that time down significantly. Once they know what you are looking for in an apartment, they can sift through the available rentals for you and narrow it down to the few that meet your specific needs. Showings will be coordinated for you at times that fit your schedule. In a competitive environment, the realtor can even view the property for you if you are unavailable. 2. Realtors may help negotiate your rent. Renters who approach landlords or management companies directly may be at a disadvantage. Those companies are just looking to fill a vacancy and may not have the renters best interest in mind. Using a realtor can help protect your interests and negotiate better terms. Realtors will be able to guide you through the rental process letting you know red flags of which you should be aware. There are many rental scams currently on easily accessible websites. An unknowing renter may be asked for all kinds of financial information prior to viewing a property this is a red flag. Using a realtor will eliminate these kinds of risks because they will know how to find legitimate rentals. 3. Realtors make the lease signing process easier. Your realtor will also know the ins and outs of the lease agreement you will be signing. They will be able to explain the risks and terms involved. They will also draw up the documents you will need and most times they have access to secure online file sharing systems that make signing paperwork a breeze. A realtor will also help you compile everything you will need to obtain a rental property. This is important in our current competitive market. I have seen unheard of rental bidding wars right here in Houston! Most rentals require certain documents before they will accept an application. These required documents often include W-2s, bank statements, pay stubs and photo ID. If you are ready with all the paperwork you need, you will be able to submit rental applications more quickly. 4. Realtors are knowledgeable about the neighborhood. If you are moving to a completely new area, realtors are an excellent resource. They will be able to familiarize you with the location as well as recommend schools, daycares, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, dog parks or whatever may fit your lifestyle. They also often have relationships with utility vendors and can help you set everything up for your new home without the hassle. 5. Landlords will generally pay for your realtor. A common deterrent from using a realtor is the misconception that it would be an added expense. In many cases, such as listings in the MLS, the landlord will actually pay the realtors commission. When you start working with a realtor, the commission arrangement should be disclosed. If the landlord does not pay a commission, be aware that the realtor may charge you a months rent or a percentage of the rent. Talking to a realtor to find out if it will be beneficial for your apartment search costs nothing. They will focus on your needs and protect your interests. Doing so may save you a lot of time and energy as well as make the process seamless. The rental market currently mirrors the low inventory that the sales market has experienced over the past 24+ months. You must have a realtor that is aggressive and efficient to get the property that you want.