Apartment Mystery Shops: Become an Independent Contractor Mystery Shopper

Being a professional in the multifamily industry for more than 20 years, I learned about apartment mystery shopping early in my career.  Starting out as a leasing consultant, I worked my way up into management and chose to spend a few more years managing at the on-site level getting mystery shopped many times along the way.  I loved managing communities, working with amazing leasing teams and learning more and more about the industry every day.

As my career evolved over the years, policies and procedures changed and technology improved resulting in even more change…more often.  With all of the changes that continued on a regular basis, one thing remained consistent and that was the fact that no matter what position I held, I was responsible for leasing apartments.

As a leasing consultant I was shopped on numerous occasions and I continued to be shopped as a manager.  Over time there were things I came to understand about the apartment mystery shop:

  • Being shopped was not something to be afraid of
  • Mystery shoppers were not “out to get” me; they were merely giving their honest feedback
  • I could actually learn a lot from my mystery shop; it was a great training tool
  • The shopping report made it easy for my employer to see areas where I needed additional training
  •  An apartment mystery shop was truly an investment in ME by my property management company

Every company I worked for over the years has used a professional shopping company like Ellis Mystery shoppers and has consistently used apartment mystery shops for ongoing evaluation the leasing performance of all the onsite staff.

Growth and advancement go hand-in-hand with self-development

A mystery shop is an opportunity for the leasing agent. It offers the potential for:

  • Bonuses like cash incentives
  • Rewards like paid time off
  • Recognition by management and executives
  • Promotions and increased responsibility
  • And more

When I was presented with an opportunity to advance to the corporate level as a marketing manager for a large multifamily organization, I was thrilled at the chance for further advancement.  Because I had learned from people who believed in me and invested in my training year after year I was excited and confident in my ability to perform the job well.  I still believe that the most important role in apartment management is leasing apartments – no matter what position you hold within the multifamily industry.  There can never be too much training, and there are skills involved that need to be improved upon and fine-tuned on a regular basis.  An apartment “mystery shop” program is an invaluable tool for any multifamily organization to incorporate into their overall leasing training program.

The most important role in apartment management is leasing apartments

Because my individual circumstances have allowed me to take some time away from the business, I have chosen to be a mystery shopper with Ellis because of their ongoing commitment to excellence and their outstanding credibility within the multifamily industry.

I enjoy being on the other end of the mystery shop and I commit fully to each shop contract that I conduct and to every shopping report that I write.  Being an independent contractor mystery shopper with Ellis is what keeps me connected to the industry and reminds me of how much I was able to grow because of the service that they provide through their mystery shops.  As a shopper, I continue to learn and grow with each evaluation – much like I did as a leasing professional when I was being shopped. As a shopper I get to continue making a difference and contributing to the success of onsite leasing staff by providing objective feedback about my customer experience during the shop.


-Julie S