Interview the Apartment Leasing Staff

Call the leasing staff at the five to 20 apartments you have identified using the online apartment search service. Review your notes regarding the most important criteria for your apartment. Rank your criteria in descending order (most important at the top).

Review our list of questions to consider asking the leasing staff. (Link given below.) This probably will not be the ideal list for you. You should develop your own custom list. However, this will help you to think through reasonable questions to identify the apartment which is best for you.

Call all the apartments before you visit any of them. Each leasing agent will likely invite you to visit the property. They are trained to get you to agree to visit the property during the initial phone call. These initial phone calls should not take more than three to five minutes. It will be much more efficient for you to call each property which fits your criteria instead of just visiting the first 2 or 3 you call. These first apartments may not be your best option!

Apartment pricing and apartment specials can vary from day to day. No online apartment search service will have up to the minute information regarding every floor plan for every apartment complex. Part of the purpose of calling the properties is to determine which ones currently have the best specials. Some will have great specials for one floor plan but not for another. For example, some properties may have a great one-bedroom special but not had any special for two bedrooms. Conversely, another property may have great specials for two-bedroom units but no specials for one-bedroom units. Their pricing varies with the number of each type of unit which is vacant.

By calling the five to 20 apartments which seemingly best fit your criteria, you’ll be able to obtain up-to-the-minute information regarding pricing, unit availability, and the attitude and professionalism of the staff at each property. In 30 to 90 minutes, you’ll have obtained accurate and current information on every apartment which fit your criteria. This will include those which pay a locator fee and those which don’t. Although the $107 move-in rebate is nice, if you find an apartment which has very inexpensive rents but does not pay the locator fee, you’re better off passing on $107 move-in rebate. The phone research is much more time efficient than visiting each of the properties in person. It is also much more likely to result in you obtaining the best apartment at the best price. If you just visit the first several projects what you call, it is much less likely you’ll get the best available unit at the best price.