In a world pre-COVID-19, if you wanted to find a new apartment, completing this task would be as simple as hopping in your car and visiting any apartment communities that piqued your interests. However, due to the pandemic, many communities have completely closed down their offices to non-residents and switched to a virtual model. This type of format does create challenges when it comes to finding a new apartment, but it does not make the process impossible. Learn some apartment shopping tips you can apply during this pandemic.
Look Beyond the Rental Website
Since you may not have the opportunity to immediately visit the property, it is always a good idea to look beyond the rental websites. Rental websites often have professionally captured images and pre-approved resident testimonials. Often these assessments are accurate, but it is also a good idea to get a less-polished view of the property.
Look online and explore some of the other non-rental company-sponsored websites that offer accurate accounts from a wider pool of residents.
Perform a Drive-By Visit
Until you have an opportunity to visit inside the units, it is still a good idea to perform a drive-by visit at any property that you are interested in. A drive-by visit can often give you a lot of information about the community as a whole. A drive-by will let you get a quick assessment of some amenities the property has to offer, as well as their parking and security setup.
As an added tip, save your drive by for the evening or a weekend. During these periods, more of the residents are likely to be at home, so you are more likely to get a better assessment of what the community is actually like.
Ask About a Self-Tour
As you are probably already aware, a number of apartment communities that would normally be open to visiting with prospective tenants are now closed, or at least partially closed. However, before you assume that the community is entirely closed for business, you should first ask about a self-tour.
Instead of the standard agent-guided tour, some communities are allowing prospective tenants to view model units on their own. Typically, all you need to do is contact the office to set up an appointment for one of these tours. Contact any of the communities you are interested in to find out if they offer this service.
As you shop for a new apartment rental, make sure you keep all of these tips in mind.