Paula - I own ApartmentNinjas.com. Unfortunate for us, we're an Austin based start-up and naturally generate more Austin leads than any other Texas city. This is quickly changing though. Anyways, locating in Austin is a waste of time. Inner city apartments such as West Campus, Barton/Zilker, Central, Riverside Student Housing places barely pay locators, if at all.
That being said, apartment communities pay broker's whatever the set commission rate is at the time the client submits an application. I split commission 50/50 with agents because we provide them with company generated leads, which cost money.
Moving along, apartment communities have the upper hand and do whatever they please and pay locators whenever it's convenient for them (not all property management companies are like this, but most suck even the ones that act like they're locator friendly). I've had leasing agent's steal my referrals, waited well over the 90 day time limit to receive commission checks, been lied to, and so on. Locators need more protection against shady communities, such as those of the Bethany Group. In a nutshell, what I'm saying is that it seems like a lot properties try NOT to work with/pay locators whenever possible and it pisses me off.
In conclusion, I would never in a million years escort a client to a property that was paying anything under 100%. 25% of $1030.00 split between agent/broken doesn't add up in my book, but I'm a ninja. I hold a grudge against all apartments that offer crappy commission rates and definitely those who offer flat rate fees AND even worse those who offer 0% commission if you don't escort.