On New York City life brokers

Hacks Thoughts

New York City is a fun place to live and work, and absolutely anyone can make money here with professions you would never imagine could pay well.

Some of those occupations don’t even require much education, with compensations, mostly percentage based, shooting up to the sky.

One of the most profitable is of course “real estate agent”. With relation to New York City it translates into “rental broker”. With millions of people “trying to make it in the big city” and everyone looking to get a place in Manhattan, it is literally “fool’s gold” in the form of commission one makes when an apartment lease of 12 months say totaling $48k gets signed.

To those not following me – every time your client signs apartment lease broker takes 10-15% in fees, or one month rent as they simplify it to you. Doing math we get one apartment rented per month making you $3-5k, get two of those – you are in $6-10k ballpark. All you need to do, is show properties (it would be another long post here about run-down state of those) and collect people’s applications, charging them “processing fee” ranging from $15 to $150 dollars. Oh by the way, this fee is conveniently pocketed by the “background check” company which probably gives kickbacks to the agent or the agency. So even, if there is no business going on – rental agency is making money “processing” potential applicants.

I will not spend my time here frustratedly describing conditions most people live in, paying New York City rents. You can read about those in numerous “bodega” blogs and forums.

Continuing talking about another “so-cool-job-paying-dope” professions, let’s focus on “recruiters”.

I’ve only had experience working with one type, which is technical or IT staffing companies – and my rant below mostly covers that.

It usually begins with an email about “exciting opportunity” available out there I receive from a recruiter. Except that, everyone knows, there is nothing exciting about job stress in New York – long hours and tight deadlines are definitely not.

With back and forth emails going about an opening, most recruiters match you based on keywords in the resume they have obtained somewhere or your LinkedIn profile. Being not so-tech-savvy, most of them do sloppy job of figuring out if you really fit what the client is looking for. And it is totally understandable, have they known all the frameworks and languages from your resume – they would be already employed by a company making $100k a year writing code.

And here we come to the second piece of puzzle, a man on the inside. Having connections with client HR (someone on the inside) is that “magical component” which plays the final card.

In a stress-free scenario being a recruiter requires your little knowledge of IT and luck in finding the right person fitting job profile and compensation is yours! How much is it? Usually, just like with “rental brokers” – one salary or 10% of your annual income.

With most of IT jobs being in the ballpark of $100-120k placing one person a month gives you $10-12k. Not bad, right?

After all, New York City is all about connections and meeting the right people at the right time, and opportunities. So don’t be surprised, if the recruiter you are dealing with, used to flip burgers at McDonalds not so long ago.

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