Smart City Work Diaries – Meet Amanda

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Welcome to the work diaries of Smart City – a collection of entries showcasing the hustle and grind, rise and shine, start-your-day-with-coffee-and-end-it-with-wine individuals who make up our unique workforce in Houston. There’s no cookie-cutter process to how and who we hire, and we’ve come to find that’s our “secret sauce.” Amanda, for example – commonly referred to as “apartment lady,” and a human hub for all Houston apartment “hot goss;” is our local firecracker. You can oftentimes find her power-walking into the office at the crack of dawn ready to talk business, workouts or Leroy (her cat), and she is never one to shy away from a candid conversation. She’s always good for some unsolicited input bookended by a solid air-grab and attitudinal cranked head-nod. She’s damn good at what she does, she’s ready for anything that’s thrown her way, and she’s got the five-star Google reviews to prove it. Sales Representatives at Smart City are licensed real estate agents here to connect clients with their ideal Houston apartment. The volume is high and the requests are many, and we’ve got a few tried and true best practices to fulfill all that’s asked, but it takes a special person to be an agent. Instead of telling you, we thought it’d be better if it comes from the horse’s mouth (no, Amanda, we are not calling you a horse). So, here it is – a week in the life of a Houston Sales Representative, as told by the sass queen herself….

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luxury kitchen in Katy apartment

Four New Apartments Joining the Houston Market this Fall

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If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen that Houston welcomed 6,500 new units in the last 12 months, and plans to welcome an additional 17,700 before the year is up. That’s a big number and the only way to quote-unquote, “eat an elephant,” is by one bite at a time. So, here are [only] four fall apartment properties serving up units with the finest finishes and latest H-town amenities: Photo cred Heights Waterworks – The Heights Located in the heart of one of Houston’s most iconic neighborhoods, this new property is steps away from the Heights Hike and Bike trail, local cafes and bakeries, dessert shops and antique stores. Community features include a rooftop lounge with views of the city, an on-site pet spa and grooming station, a grand salon with private dining areas for any swanky dinner parties you want to host, and a music lounge. Heights Waterworks is currently pre-leasing and offering move-in specials.  Starting rates before applied specials are $1715 for studio units, $1785 for one-bedroom units, and $2155 for two-bedroom units. Interested in getting move-in specials without the hassle of doing all the math? Text or Call us: 713-482-1323! Photo cred Lincoln Heights – Greater Heights/ North Main Anyone looking for a brand new Heights apartment with a private yard? How about one with the option of a private single or tandem car garage? Or, how about a brand new property with tons of green space for your pup to run around in?…

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Art room amenity

Amenities Worth Moving For in Houston

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What comes to mind when you think of bomb-ass apartment amenities? Is it an infinity pool with a view? What about a 24-hour gym? Or, maybe it’s a virtual fitness trainer, and spin bikes or on-site yoga studio. While those all sound amazing and are extremely viable options, Houston actually has more to offer when it comes to amenities!  Here are five amenities worth moving for in Houston:  Washington/ Sawyer Heights Not only is this place brand new to the Houston apartment market, but it also hosts an art room for residents to use at their leisure. This is probably one of the most unique amenities we’ve seen in quite a while! If getting crafty in your apartment equates to making a mess that could leave a mark, journey down to the art room for a little more freedom in your creative journey. Timbergrove/ Heights Also new to the Houston apartment market, this property boasts all the Downtown New Orleans vibes. Chic interior finishes aren’t where it ends, though – if stepping (or climbing) up your workout game is on your to-do, look no further! This property has a rotating rock climbing wall in its fitness center. You read that right – rotating. rock. climbing. wall. So when your Tindr date suggests rock climbing as your initial meet-up, you’ll be ready. Museum District We love wine. We love when properties feature wine fridges in their units. But, we really love when properties also have their own wine tasting lounge on-site…

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Best Happy Hours In Houston

Best Happy Hours in Houston

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-Best Happy Hours for Beer and Wine -Best Happy Hours for Apps -Best Reverse Happy Hours   If you want to be part of a lively bar scene that has a happy hour for every taste, Houston is where you belong. Houston is home to happening dive bars, upscale restaurants with variety of cuisines and everything in between. Many bars within the Bayou City have happy hours you won’t want to miss, and they’re all close to sought-after apartments. Where are the Best Houston Happy Hours for Cocktails Some of the best happy hours in Houston feature specials on mouth-watering cocktails. Houston-area restaurants, pubs and bars host happy hours that show off their specialty drinks every day of the workweek, and some of them even have happy hours on the weekend. If you’re thirsty and located in or around Houston, you won’t have to travel too far to enjoy discounted cocktails during a nearby happy hour. 1. Nobu Since Nobu opened its doors in the Houston Galleria on Westheimer Road, the eatery has remained a local hotspot that continues to grow in popularity. While it’s easy to run up your tab to well over $100 during the restaurant’s regular hours, dining at Nobu is much more affordable if you visit the establishment’s bar lounge between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. during its happy hour. During happy hour you can order specialty drinks from the eatery’s Tanoshi menu. The Tanoshi menu includes deals on hot and cold appetizers as well as…

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Metal Key

Five Professional Tips for Better Packing

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Moving is stressful; that’s a given! One way to avoid unnecessary stress is by properly packing your belongings and preparing them for the move to your new apartment. So, how do you protect everything from getting destroyed in the moving process, including your sanity? Brittany Waddell, of Allied Van Lines, shared five of her top tips to make sure your next move is well organized and easy to manage. Quality packing materials are important Skimping on the bubble wrap, moving blankets, and packing tape could definitely result in damaged belongings. Make sure you take the time to secure all your belongings, and when in doubt, buy extra! There’s no shame in double-wrapping those precious items. In fact, it gives them a better chance of surviving a move considering the number of bumps and sudden stops there are on the road (and we all know Houston has a lot). Plus, if you buy too many boxes from U-haul, you can return the ones you don’t use! Pack electronics with all cords and cables in the same box Pro tip: Take a photo before unplugging everything so you know which port or outlet each cord or cable goes into. Pack it all in one respective box, then use the photo you took to put everything back in the right connection portals–voila! Bypass spending hours hunting down instruction manuals or looking for tutorials on the internet–you know who you are! Make your labeling system super simple Use different colored markers or stickers to…

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Houston luxury apartment decorating tips

Making your studio feel more spacious – Tips from a pro

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According to recent data, “studio” was the second most popular term used in apartment searches on Google last year, and we definitely get it! Renting a studio apartment boasts some great benefits: less furniture needed to fill the space, more opportunity to live in your fav neighborhood while staying in budget, a reason to apply that Marie Kondo method, your bed is also your couch and dining room table – the list goes on and on.  So, what if you want to make that studio-piece of apartment heaven feel a little bit bigger? We asked Houston-based certified interior decorator and party stylist, Chári Herndon for her best tips and tricks to make your studio feel more spacious, and she delivered! Chári gave some amazing tips but if you’re in an hurry, just skim the bits in bold so you can get the message and get to decorating! Top five tips, as told by the pro herself: “Utilize vertical space as much as possible. Incorporate a bookshelf or mounted wall shelves to take up less space.” “Larger heavier furniture will make a small room look cramped and take up way too much space. Instead, add pieces with exposed legs. When you can see the floor in a space, it tricks the eye and gives the space a more open look.” “Don’t be afraid to use pops of color. Adding a bit of color will liven up the room. Adding a colorful area rug, throw pillows, or artwork can bring so much…

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Dog with glasses on

Taking Apartment Pups From Bored to Brilliant

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Living with a dog can be similar to having a roommate, except you’re actually the parent and fully in charge of their physical and mental health. Real talk: after a long day at work, this can be way harder than it sounds and those apartment pups need more than a daily game of fetch to tire them out. Fun fact – Dogs actually get more out of physical activity when their brains are exercised as well. You heard it here first, folks! Mental stimulation prevents boredom, increases happiness, and lessens stress and aggression. A dog who is not receiving adequate mental stimulation may resort to entertaining themselves, which comes off as excessive barking or destructive behavior. Definitely not ideal when it comes to that next door neighbor or pet deposit. Here are a few easy ways to combat those behaviors and keep your dog mentally stimulated while you’re gone:    1. Slow Feeders, puzzles, and scent games When feeding your pup, rather than simply placing their bowl down, consider purchasing a food dispensing toy or slow feeder. Your dog will have to “forage” for his or her food, plus these can also improve the digestion process for those pups who eat particularly quickly. While these designs are simple, they provide enough of an obstacle for dogs to feel rewarded. You can also try treat dispensing puzzles, which come in various sizes and can be adjusted to change the difficulty level for your dog. Talk about mental stimulation with a reward!…

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Using a Smart City Locator – The ‘Why’ and ‘How’

By | Apartment Locators, Apartments, Houston

Looking for an apartment can be stressful and it’s important to set your search expectations early on in the process, which means answering a ton of questions. What’s achievable within my budget? What’s most important – budget, location or unit finishes? Where are the best deals? Can I afford washer and dryer in-unit, or what about hardwood floors? Where can me and my huge dog live? The list goes on and on! Today we’ve set out to answer one specific question you might be asking as you prepare to move: Why use a Smart City locator? Well, you wouldn’t go to an eye doctor for a foot examination would you?! Heck no, you would go to a specialist! That’s us- we’re the apartment specialists, and we’re FREE! **Want the spark-noted version? Just skim the bold bits (no offense taken).** We’re real people! No computer-generated search options here! Instead, you’re connected to a real person who lives, works and plays in Houston! Our agents are some serious neighborhood and market experts who deliver unique apartment searches based on your needs and your priorities! “Real” also means we keep it absolutely 100 with you. We aren’t about setting fake expectations. Plus, we collaborate like crazy – If you ask your agent something, you ask the table of 10+ other agents sitting with them. Nothing is done in a vacuum, so you’re always receiving optimal information. Photo Cred We’ve got the 4-1-1!! Apartment Possible, what’s the sitch? We WANT to know what’s most important to you! Have…

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4 Brand New Properties Hitting Houston This Summer

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Houston’s housing market is booming! Properties are going up left and right, making more than 20k new apartment units available in the last year alone. Things aren’t slowing down and we’ve got details on four Houston neighborhoods gaining some hot (think: Houston summers-hot) commodities to their already-spiffy property portfolios. As if the amenities and neighborhood perks aren’t enticing enough, these new kids on the block are also ALL running move-in specials; we’re talkin’ 1-2 months of free rent here, people! The Drewery Place in Midtown Inspired by the streets of Melbourne, Midtown’s first-ever high-rise is the talk of the town, and for good reason! Conceptualized and brought to life by Caydon Property Group as the initial component of an exciting mixed-use urban development, The Drewery Place boasts a handful of high-end amenities: yoga studio and outdoor yoga lawn, pool and swim-up bar with unobstructed views of the city, and Smart home technology, including an Alexa gifted to every tenant. Located in the heart of Midtown and walkable to dozens of local restaurants, retail and parks, monthly rates for units here start at $1,735 for studios and go up from there. Starting rates for 1 bed/1 bath are $1,790; 2 bed/2 baths start at $3,530, and 2 bed/ 2 baths/ den start at $4,215. This property is currently pre-leasing for their July opening and is offering move-in specials that won’t be around for long! Want to learn more? Click here to get…

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The ‘Renting with a Roomie’ Rundown

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Renting with a roomie definitely boasts some big-time financial, social and group Netflix binge sesh benefits. But, what should you know before becoming contractually bound to another human for an extended period of time? Get out your notepads, folks; school’s in session… Running a search for roomies Honestly, we got you (for free)! Only one of you needs to slide into our DMs on Instagram or Facebook, or call/text (713-482-1323) us on the household’s behalf and our agents are good to go. Most of the Houston properties that work with us have rates for 2 bed/ 2 baths starting at $1400 and going up from there. When it comes to the apartment triangle (location, finishes and price), you typically can’t get the best of all three. So come to an agreement on which two are most important to both/all of you. Your Smart City agent will side text you to gather deets, find ALL the specials and provide a hyper-personalized list, and then help get you and your roomie(s) touring ASAP. Photo Cred Applying + getting approved Renters are typically required to show that their monthly income is at least three times the rent. Luckily for roomies, that sum is split amongst incomes of all the names on the lease! If you’re hooked on a gorgeous unit that is tied to a special or concession (aka a DEAL, aka our forte), just confirm whether you’ll be approved on what the rate typically is (market rent), or if you’ll be approved…

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