The easiest way to save money is to avoid paying a broker’s fee. 'Look for a building with a rental office directly on site,' suggests architect Hayes Slade, whose Slade Architecture firm knows something about affordable housing (it won an award for its design of a Brooklyn housing project in 2010). 'That way you can negotiate directly with the landlord and skip a real-estate agent fee.' In order to ditch online searches, Slade recommends walking the streets of your desired neighborhood and looking for offices and for rent signs. That’s how investment banker Jessica Gutierrez found a studio she loves in Battery Park City. 'Ask doorman,' she says.'“I would first ask if this a condo or is there a leasing office. If it was a condo, I would ask if they had a list of owners renting out their apartments. At the ones that did, I would leave my business card, and I got a lot of callbacks from owners renting their apartments themselves.' Victoria Hagman, president of the Brooklyn-focused agency Realty Collective, hit the pavement too. 'When I was looking for an apartment,' she says, 'I would go to moving sales every weekend and ask, "Has your landlord found someone to take your apartment yet? Can I see it?”' For more tips, look for Realty Collective’s new apartment-hunting classes at the Brooklyn Brainery (brooklynbrainery.com; next class May 16, $10)."Read the rest of the article--including a final thought from The Rent Is Too Damn High's Jimmy McMillan--at newyork.timeout.com.