Professional real estate brokers, and agents the specialize as apartment locators have the benefit of working with, and growing well groomed business relationships with local apartment managers, and owners. These locator services are essentially third party marketing and service fulfillment companies that work from the front end of the available apartment communities that want to use this process to facilitate in keeping their rental units as full as possible at all times. This is a free service to the public, and the agent that you are assigned to will help you from beginning your initial search down to assistance with getting your rental contract approved.
There are many apartment locators in each major city, and care should be taken when approaching these services. Many newer, and lesser-known agencies will over promise and under deliver in order to get business coming through their door. This is an unfortunate situation, as the firm will interest the apartment searcher with a promised reward for using them, and following some simple instructions when they are filling out the rental application at each apartment complex. This will ensure that they are paid by the complex manager in a few weeks, and then the agency should cut you a check for what was pre-agreed upon in the beginning. This is where they will not always follow through, and hope that you have forgotten about the money.
Usually if an apartment finder service has been in business for more than five years the previously mentioned issue will not be a problem. A reputable locator service will be very professional in the way your needs are handled, and they will provide exceptional customer service through the entire process. They not only want to get you in an apartment that you want, but want to keep you as a client for life.