AptStar has its own website now. Amazing.
By the middle of last year I knew AptStar had grown too large during the past 12 years to keep in the original LandlordLinks.Net website. It needed a new space just as my clients need a new apartment. AptStar grew out of what was initially an effort to help find housing and resources for Hurricane Katrina survivors in 2005 and which somehow morphed into helping renters in New York City.
AptStar remains a service that is primarily shared by word of mouth. And I love this so much.
I want to thank all my clients for making my AptStar Program such a success. I hope you like the new website as much as I do. -Kirby Sommers, January 15, 2018.
One of my newest clients sent me about seven referrals and one of these people said to me:
Wow. That's soul satisfaction.
Another client confessed:
"It's so stressful because when you find out you have to move you have like 30 days. Within those 30 days you still have a full-time job. Then you have to deal with all the fake ads and all the brokers who waste your time. I couldn't sleep at night; it was that intense, until I stumbled upon you."
In 2005 I founded Katrina Home Drive (KHD), a completely volunteer driven community of people throughout the United States who wanted to help displaced evacuees. Through KHD I was able to help people and families to new homes and a new start.
I shut down my lucrative commercial real estate office on Park Avenue and dedicated myself to helping renters in my home town: New York City. I was the first person to remove the tag along broker from the real estate transaction. I did this because with only a phone and a computer I'd been successful in helping thousands of Katrina survivors. So I implemented this idea in helping renters save on broker fees.
This lead to a stunning response from the people I helped. I did no advertising, yet my phone didn't stop ringing. Without knowing it I'd stumbled upon a need. The human connection. I don't just help people bypass broker fees, I help people bypass bad apartments and bad landlords. I look after you. I want to make sure you're happy after you move in. Brokers don't do this. They never will.
For a basic AptStar I charge $1,000. This saves each of my clients a median amount of about $4,200 in broker fees. The time that I save (because all the work is done remotely) allows me to keep on helping people who have been displaced because of a catastrophic event. Like many of the people in Texas post Hurricane Harvey. (Because yes I also became involved in helping survivors of this most recent catastrophe find new homes and new beginnings).
For me, it's personal. I created a space where people I help become involved in helping other people while receiving help themselves. A social movement where the help doesn't end. It's not just another rental for me or even for you. My clients are my biggest advocates. AptStar is unlike any other apartment finding service, anywhere.
That pretty much sums up what I am about and definitely what we're about.