Flip Lease is a NYC based startup that is all about living flexibly. That means that they focus on short term rentals and helping tenants sublet or break their existing leases. Their main offering is the flip apartment marketplace, where you can find short term rentals.
Flip Lease has done a lot to try to create a full-stack, end to end solution for anyone looking to get in or out of a short term rental. They offer a variety of services, from listing marketing and applicant screening to sublease agreements and rent collection.
While this all sounds great, it’s essential to understand that for all these features to be of value, the flip rentals marketplace has to have a robust amount of supply and demand. Otherwise, there aren’t enough listings to provide value to anyone that’s in the market for a sublet, while there also aren’t enough prospective renters to get listings subleased efficiently.
Reviews for flip.lease are generally mixed. A lot of praise comes from users who like the design and intuitive user experience, but there are also numerous complaints.
The most common complaints are from people advertising their apartments for a flip sublet and are generally regarding an inability to find a renter or a total lack of any interest.
Some other complaints are from listers who have gotten unsolicited emails from Flip Lease via Craigslist or other platforms.
Additionally, there are numerous complaints from listers about Flip Instant, a program in which you pay a fee to let Flip take over the apartment lease, which we’ll go over just below.
Flip Instant is a new program in which you can essentially pay Flip to take over your lease. They’ll assume full responsibility for it and make payments to your landlord while they market it to renters as a Flip sublet apartment. The fee is generally 1-1.5 months rent. While this might seem overly expensive, it can be an excellent option for anyone that’s relocating and simply wants to break their lease without any hassle. Landlords often charge a similar fee to let you break a lease, and there are landlords out there who won’t even let you break a lease for a fee.
Most complaints about Flip Instant are due to what users perceive as a lack of transparency. Essentially, many feel that the program is marketed in a way that makes it seem like it’s available everywhere, when in fact, it’s only available in select NYC neighborhoods.
The flip side is that many renters find that the rentals available via Flip Instant provide them with great value. This is because flip apartments that are available through this program are usually subsidized and, therefore, possible to rent for a below-market price. As flip lease charges a relatively hefty to the person they’re assuming the lease from, the discount can often be significant. If you’re in the market for a sublet, Flip Instant is a great way to score a deal on an apartment, but availability might be very limited.
Right now, it’s free to create a Flip sublet listing, so there’s no real reason not post on the website. It’s always better to have more marketing. That being said, don’t necessarily expect to find a renter through Flip Lease. You’ll likely have a better chance using craigslist, Facebook marketplace, or Facebook groups like Ghostlight Housing, all of which get exponentially more traffic. You can also try local sublet websites like LeaseBreak in NYC.
While the Flip Lease website is really nice from a design perspective, the fatal flaw is a lack of web traffic and, more specifically, high-intent traffic. For example, in NYC, a website like LeaseBreak gets over 10,000 monthly organic visitors that are searching for terms like “NYC sublet,” “NYC short term rentals”, and “Sublet apartments NYC”. Flip, on the other hand, gets around 10,000 visitors nationally, meaning that they have very little traffic in any market. Ahrefs, a tool that estimates organic web-traffic, shows that flip.lease averages closer to 900 visitors in NYC, and that’s their biggest market. In Los Angeles, that number is only around 400.
While most Flip Lease reviews make it clear that it’s a well-designed platform, we’d mostly recommend it to folks that are interested in a sublet in NYC. That’s because there are more flip apartments for rent in NYC than any other market. Another major perk is that the Flip Instant program means you can get a great deal, and it’s only available in NYC. Finally, rental transactions involving flip sublets are always smooth, professional, and landlord approved, so you won’t have to deal with unforeseen headaches or surprises.
If you’re looking to find someone to sublet your apartment, Flip Lease is worth considering, but it’s not worth banking on the site to find a tenant as they have a limited audience. While flip rentals offer you a significant upgrade in terms of design, convenience, and peace of mind, compared to a website like craigslist, unfortunately, the traffic isn’t there. And without robust traffic and a large userbase Flip Lease isn’t nearly as useful as it can be.