Everyone wants to have a successful mystery shop the first time they attempt it. One of the key items to look for to ensure your shop is successful, is making sure you are shopping the property during their business hours as well as the times that the customer has outlined.
It is easy to pick up a phone or virtual tour mystery shop and think oh it says, “Anytime”. However, “Anytime” does not mean “anytime”. It means any time that the property is open for business and/or during the hours specified by the customer. You MUST be mindful of the time zones. If you do NOT call during the property’s business hours, your shop call will be considered invalid. For example, if you live in California and your shop is in Florida, that is a difference of 3 hours (3 times zones). If you wait to call at 3PM California (PST) time to call Florida (EST), it will be 6PM in Florida and it may be past the property’s open hours for business.
One helpful practice is to print out or save a time zone map of the US on your phone and/or computer. Another option would be to Google in the search bar the name of the city (e.g., “What time is Chicago, IL” ) and then Google will tell you what time it is in Chicago, IL.
There are apartment mystery shops available throughout the US – including Alaska and Hawaii! If you pick up a mystery shop and realize the time zone difference will not work with your schedule, you can decline the shop f you do so quickly so another shopper can accept it. If you pick up a shop and can’t determine what the time zone is, feel free to reach out for assistance.
Last thoughts on how to have a successful apartment mystery shop based on time: Make sure in addition to contacting during the property’s business hours that you also look at the specific instructions to see if there are specific times you are not supposed to be calling. For example, “Do NOT call between 12 and 2” or “Best time to call is between 2P and 6P”. These are time requirements from the customer. Again, if you have any questions about the specifics for a shop, you should ask instead of assuming.
Time zones are very important! Following the time zones will help you:
- to fulfill the customer’s requirements
- to be successful with reaching a targeted leasing professional
- to reduce the number of attempts made to reach an on-site leasing professional
- get your shop accepted and get you PAID!!!