Understanding why a particular industry chooses to mystery shop, and how they use the results, is information rarely shared with mystery shoppers…until now. Join us each month for our Industry Insider post.
Apartments & Housing
The apartment and housing industry is a big-dollar, highly-competitive industry. Leasing and sales agents for apartment communities and new housing developments need to be on top of their game to catch the attention of prospective renters and buyers.
Property management companies and new home builders use mystery shopping as a way to understand if their leasing and sales agents are:
- following the standards set in training programs;
- offering current specials; and
- focusing on the needs of the individual standing before them.
It also helps to get an outsider’s perspective on the property.
Each prospect looking for a new place to live comes with different needs and desires. The place they are searching for is going to be “home” for a set period of time. Presenting what is available – in the best light and according to the needs of the renter or buyer – is key to having someone sign a lease or purchase a new home.
As a mystery shopper, we expect you to conduct yourself in an honest and professional manner when on an apartment or a new housing shop. It is vital for you to “have a story” prepared before you go in as to why you are moving, when you are moving, and why you might be interested in this particular community.
You are always asked to share personal information such as address, phone and/or email address. You might even be asked your salary to see if you qualify for particular communities. Sharing this information is vital to understand if the agent qualifies you and follows up with you afterward. Following up is an essential part of the sales process.
Apartment shops are higher-paying jobs than most because of the personal connection that must be made, the time spent touring a property, and the lengthy questions asked on most report forms.
Not everyone enjoys doing apartment shops because of the personal connection that must be made; however, they can be fun and interesting! We’ve even known shoppers to rent at a location they shopped!
Your feedback helps the property management and builders know which of their agents really try to close a deal, present well, and care about the people who are interested in living in their community.
Keen observation by mystery shoppers often helps identify a problem (safety issues, peeling paint, a leaky faucet) that management might not otherwise have been aware of. Or it may inform them that their property in general is truly in need of an upgrade, as it doesn’t appeal to most people.
Taking your apartment or housing assignment seriously, preparing well and reporting accurately about your experience helps all of us to live in better communities!
Tell us about your experiences mystery shopping apartments or new housing. Leave your comments below.