Depends on where you are looking in Boston. Back Bay, Business district, North End is a different market than Fenway, Allston, Brighton, Brookline. Downtown area will advertise on MLS more than Fenway, Allston, Brighton, Brookline. If you're looking in FABB there are many companies with exclusive listings and they share a bunch of listings as well. My advice is take one day and walk into as many offices on Comm Ave as you can for the FABB area. Look on MLS for downtown, although you will also notice that offices share and have exclusive listings. It's very fast paced, so be prepared with a deposit and documentation for application. 8/1-8/15 move in dates aren't as common as 9/1 so your options may be limited. Hope this helps.