My journey to becoming an Ellis apartment mystery shopper started when I decided I wanted to be a ‘stay at home mom’ when my kids were little. At first, I got a job at their elementary school as a teacher’s assistant. Later, I decided to find another way to make money and still be available at home. That’s when I found Mystery Shopping accidentally. Someone mentioned that they had done a few shops, I asked how to get started, and off I went.
I went to Volition.com (unfortunately the site no longer exists), which had lists of all the shopping companies. Since I had no idea what I would like to do, I took almost every type of shop that was offered. I must have registered for a hundred companies. After a while, I found that I especially liked doing apartment mystery shops, and Ellis was the company that seemed to have the most shops, the nicest and most helpful staff, and paid the most.
I found that I enjoyed visiting communities, talking with leasing agents, and pretending that I was really looking for an apartment. After a while, I learned what a great presentation was, and what was not so great. Most of the times, the evaluations were very good. The leasing agents did everything right. And occasionally, something in the presentations was lacking. I was and still am glad to be part of a team that’s involved in helping leasing professionals hone their leasing skills while also celebrating their successes.
Ellis also has phone only shops, which I find extremely easy to do. And I don’t have to leave my comfy place! I am proud to say that I have completed more than 5,000 phone shops. Also, unbelievably, I have completed more than 1,000 in-person apartment mystery shops!
Amid all of this, the unexpected happened: Coronavirus. For some time I stopped all mystery shopping on-site and did only phone presentations and virtual tour shops. I learned how to record the videos of the virtual tours, compress them, and send them in with the report. After a year or so, Self-Guided Tour shops were the new thing.
Now we are almost back to normal, and hopefully it will stay that way. There is an almost unending flow of shops that Ellis puts online for shoppers to assign. I like that I can choose to have a busy mystery shopping schedule or can take it easy for a while.
When I contact the EPMS team through the envelop icon on my shop dashboard, they are always helpful, professional, friendly, and understanding. Even when I have had to cancel a shop (which is not often) they are always kind.
My most important advice to new shoppers is to always follow the client’s shop instructions exactly. There is a lot of typing required in most of the reports and it is important to double check your spelling and grammar. I have loved when I have gotten positive feedback from the editors, who have said that they looked forward to getting my shops because there wasn’t much left for them to do. That is a great ‘pat on the back’ for sure!
I have worked as a contract apartment mystery shopper with Ellis for 22 years. I have made a few friendly connections and I appreciate when schedulers reach out to me when they have a special type of shop.
Ellis is a great company and has a team who cares about their shopper. I plan to continue with my apartment mystery shopping for Ellis for many years to come. I encourage you to do so as well!
Contributed by Sherry W