Scanning entries from many years back can be a fruitless task when I’m looking for something relevant for publication as most of the posts are either time-sensitive or too boring for repitition. But this one (which is a decade old) survives the test of time. So here goes with a slightly updated version of “HOUSING THE GOILS.”
As a division of clients scan the free alternative weeklies, companionship tabloids, websites and whatever else for hot ladies who play for pay, few consider exactly how the objects of their lust arrange for the discreet housing they provide! After all, selling “companionship” is a questionable activity and you’d think that the business of obtaining apartments for the girls would be a complicated affair indeed!
Mostly, nobody wants an escort for a neighbor! Yet incalls, spas, dungeons etc. pop up all over the city on a daily basis. And you can bet that leases get signed and deals are consummated in more or less a similar fashion – regardless of whether the applicant is selling companionship or not. So how does it happen? How do these operators obtain housing so that you, the client, doesn’t have to pull up in your car to get serviced?
Some of the answers are the same for them as they are for anybody else. Craigslist, Backpage, and Village Voice would be a good start for someone seeking housing. But right off, the boss has a problem or two that other people don’t. First, she’s conducting business (whether they’re applying for a residential or commercial lease) in an “iffy” fashion – which generally dictates that somebody else’s name has to go on the lease.
Usually, incalls have a limited life span. Within months after occupation by the tenant, the house will either take its first bust or a neighbor will figure out what’s going on and more often than not, call the police to issue a complaint. Eventually, after a few busts and/or convictions associated with the arrests, the door gets padlocked and the person whose name is on the lease gets a stiff fine. Hence, no owner with half a brain puts her own name on a lease. And here’s where the story gets interesting.
Finding somebody to sign off for the owner is a science unto itself – and it usually happens in any number of more or less standard ways. One very popular method is to find a dedicated client/sugar daddy who wants to court the favor of a girl or owner. If he puts his name on the lease for the applicant, he will gain all kinds of freebees and favors for putting his ass on the line. Of course, he’s not always aware of the risks involved in the caper. Said sucker simply sees all the free service coming down the line and only later realizes the mistake he’s made. Some guys whose wallets are emptier than their units are engorged actually take a monthly stipend in lieu of service. Either way…a slipper slope indeed as we all read in the recent Seattle case.
But if you can’t find a sucker what to do then? Well, once upon a time there was a disbarred lawyer who I’ll call Charles, a colorful and resourceful guy for sure. Charles’ self-appointed role in the real estate-for-girls-game was to find apartments for owners and rent them with assumed identities of real people with good credit! Exactly how he came upon these names, SS#’s etc. of these people is somewhat of a mystery to this writer. What I do know is that he’d go to a copy place, phony up a license with his photo and another man’s credentials, and then go rent apartments for his clients. And Charles charged only a month’s rent for this service – which is ridiculous considering he’s been in jail now for a year for this and other felonies.
So if you don’t have a sucker/sugar daddy – or anybody like Charles – what do you do? You find a realtor. That’s what you do! On balance, realtors are business people who are licensed and legal operators. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few who will see a situation for what it is and find a way to capitalize on an opportunity! Realtors take 12% of the first year’s rent in exchange for finding you an apartment. This is no secret. But let’s say an owner approaches a realtor with the truth: “We’re running a massage location and we need for you to cosign – or better yet – sign the lease for us.”
Why would a realtor want to get involved in a deal like that? First and most obvious is the commission involved. But more inviting is the reality that if the realtor establishes a relationship with the owner, he may in fact realize several commissions on an ongoing basis as a result of his doing business with one individual. Incalls get busted and padlocked routinely (as mentioned before) and all of this means that each time an owner must move, the realtor gets another 12% of a year’s rent. Like wow! Great deal. Let’s say you’re a realtor who obtains a $5,000/month apartment for an owner. Twelve percent of a $60,000 per year lease equals a $7,200! A phat commission I’m sure you’ll all agree.
But in many cases after say four months, the owner is outed and has to vacate. Voila! Another apartment and another commission on the way! So is it any wonder that there are realtors who will do business with owners of spas and the like? I’ll let you answer that question for yourself. Of course, if confronted by the authorities, the realtor has plausible denial on his side – unless of course, he’s been caught doing this kind of business for multiple owners and clearly has an MO in the area. Whatever…we can see there’s definitely money albeit a few headaches in realtors finding housing for owners of companionship-for-sale joints.
Often and especially with Asians, commercial properties are preferable. There are fewer problems with neighbor complaints as they generally rent an entire floor. And it’s not very difficult to set up a corporation as the renter! Yes, there are individuals who own the corporation but as we all know, it gets more difficult to prosecute an entity than an individual when the shit hits the fan. So commercial rentals work for many especially when they want to partition the space off and build several individual rooms. Asians will rent raw commercial spaces and within a week convert them into slick spas complete with captain’s beds and several small but comfortable rooms where a client and girl can engage privately!
Sublets are an interesting avenue for expression as well. This involves a bit of chicanery as the girl must convince the owner of the lease that she’s not an escort. Not that many operators can sell this to a careful tenant. But it has been known to happen! Occasionally, the girls can be good actresses (after all…that’s a lot of their job) and successfully pretend to be women of means and refinement! And when the original owner of the lease comes home to a padlocked apartment? Oh well.
Many years ago, a girl approached me and asked if she could do regulars out of my apartment during the day while I worked in exchange for which she would give me service every night when I got home. The answer to that question was a resounding NO! I wasn’t about to risk my rent-stabilized pad for a little nooky when I got home at night!
And finally, there’s the per diem approach. Renting an apartment involves being reasonably heavily capitalized (you need months of rent and/or realtor fees). Add to that it’s not that easy to find a place – and furnish it – and find somebody to put a name on the lease – and what you get is the old “Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn” syndrome! New York boasts hundreds of hotels, all of which have managers whose job it is to fill the rooms. And when somebody walks up to the desk with a legitimate credit card to rent a room, an interrogation rarely ensues. Hence, many of Manhattan’s upscale hotels have more than a few escorts operating out of their rooms. Renting on a daily basis can get expensive – but not cost prohibitive. On any given night, rooms go for from $100 – $300 per night. Add to that the cost of advertising (which is nominal at this point) and you realize that two clients later, she’s already realizing a profit on the day’s outlay.
Indeed I’ve known new-to-the-business and seasoned veterans alike who’ve profited handsomely from doing business in this manner. And everybody’s happy. The girl makes money. The client has his discreet rendezvous in a fancy hotel. And the manager rents his room to a paying customer!
Whatever the hurdles, pratfalls and illegalities (or at least law-bending) involved, one thing’s for sure: As long as guys want to buy a girl’s time – and girls want to profit from selling it – the providers will find a private place where they can comfortably and profitably conduct business with their clients. Whether this business of selling “companionship” is legal or otherwise, there is a lot of money to be made and spent and thus, a significant economy built around it.