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Selling New York - Apartment Broker Courts Agents New York Habitat featured in Travel Weekly

Travel Weekly
May 16, 2005
Section: Selling New York

NEW YORK - The New York Habitat, a specialist in brokering short-term rentals of apartments here and in other cities, gets less than 5% of its bookings from travel agents but is looking to boost that piece of the business, said COO Nicholas Borg.

The company, which pays 10% commission, traditionally hasn't pursued agent participation, he said, but is now seeking support from agents and tour operators. In particular, Borg said New York Habitat wants to identify big producers in the U.S. and overseas. Borg said New York Habitat represents owners or leaseholders of about 2,000 New York condo, cooperative or rental apartments, each of which is available for short-term rentals when owners or leaseholders are not using the apartments themselves.

Rentals can be from one night to several months, and per-night rates in Manhattan vary from $85 for a studio to more than $600 for a luxury penthouse.

For the budget-minded, New York Habitat offers some units in New York's outer boroughs, Borg said.

The firm reported that its business for short-term rentals (three nights to one month) in New York was up 28% in 2004 over 2003, reflecting the continuing recovery for the travel business post-9/11 and a growing interest in apartments over standard hotel rooms.

The majority of customers for New York apartments, Borg said, are tourists, and about two-thirds of the clientele is from overseas.

Bookings can be made by phone at (212) 255-8018 or via the Web at www.nyhabitat.com.

Nadine Godwin