If this is your first time around going through the apartment hunting process, there are a lot of steps to get your perfect place. Right now, I am going through the process of finding a new place to live. One of the essential parts of that process is viewing apartments. So you see the listing online and they have perfect photos of the apartment. You start to get excited at the prospect of having your own space, but pictures can lie. That’s why you must schedule an apartment viewing. However, before you pick up the phone, you should know that there’s a certain type of etiquette surrounding that first contact and the important questions that you should be asking. Ace this first step and you are one step closer to getting your own place.
Always make the call during business hours. Give them your name and number.
You want to remain as professional as possible. Remember that when looking for an apartment, first impressions are everything and starting with a call during business hours is a good start. Business hours are usually around 9AM to 5PM. Don’t forget to take into consideration any special directions on the ad such as to which number to call for certain days, when they aren’t available, and when they are. When you call, make sure you are in a quiet place and able to really focus on what is happening on the call. Have paper and pen handy to jot down any information you receive.
What happens if they don’t answer? Always leave a voicemail and give them the necessary information to contact you. If you don’t get a call back, there’s no harm in trying to call again.
Confirm the rent price, apartment availability, security deposits, and application process
Just to cover all of your bases, ask about the rent price along with if the apartment is still available. Inquire about the property you are interested in, and confirm some of the details you have seen in the ad. In addition, you’ll want to confirm the security deposit costs and ensure that you know what your total costs will be. This is very important. You will be spending your hard-earned money on this space and want to determine if it is affordable and most of all, if it is worth it to pursue. Some places have a specific application process as well and this can be a big part of it since there are application fees, and certain information you need to provide in order to move forward within the process.
If the place is already rented, make sure to ask if the company has other similar apartments still available.
Don’t be afraid to ask additional questions
If there is some piece of information they did not include in the ad but that is important to you, ask. It is better to ask up front than walk in blindly. What floor is the apartment on? Upper or lower level? Is there parking? Parking fees? Are pets allowed? Is there a pet fee? Of course, if you do book a viewing, have a full list of questions prepared, so that you cover all your bases.
When is the place available for a showing?
If you want to see the place, you need to make sure it is available to view at a time that is convenient to your schedule.
There is nothing worse than being late or arriving on time but in a wrong spot. Clarify during the call what the meeting spot is. Also, take the agent’s contact number in case there is any confusion.Will you be meeting at the realtor’s office? Is it through an agency or individual seller? A place near the apartment? Meet at the door?
Be prepared when you go to your apartment viewing. Show up.
Take pictures of the space. It is easy to lose track of what places you’ve seen. As I said before, prepare questions and include the ones that are crucial to your apartment hunting process. Have all the necessary paperwork ready such as your resume, pay stubs, credit report, letter of recommendation, etc. Just be ready! You never know, you might fall in love with the place and need to act quickly.
If you can’t make it, call ahead of time and cancel.
Whatever the reason why you have to cancel the appointment, be courteous and make the call or send the text. You never know when you’ll be looking again and have to contact the same landlord or broker.
Happy Apartment Hunting! Remember to think rationally and don’t fall head over heels for a place you cannot afford. You’ll be spending a lot of money and time on your space, so make smart decisions.