The phone portion of the mystery shop is a vital first step. You typically cannot complete the onsite visit until you have made the phone call. The call allows the leasing agent to get to know you and your needs better and set up your visit. It also allows them the opportunity to give a sales preview of what their community has to offer, so it is an important tool in the overall performance evaluation.
If you have a target agent, make sure to pay close attention to the name of the person as you make your calls. Often, the leasing agent is so used to saying their opening greeting, they may say their name faster than you were prepared to hear.
If the person answering is not your target agent, find a reason to get off the phone quickly without raising suspicion.
No Target Agent (meaning Anyone)
If you do not have a target agent, you can begin the shop with whoever answers the phone. This is one of the easiest types of shops to complete.
The leasing agent should invite you for a tour during your phone conversation. Accept this invitation and be prepared to shop this same person onsite. If the call is nearing the end and you have not received an invitation, let them know you’d like to stop by that day to have a look and pick up information.
Anyone Except (Name)
This means that any leasing agent who answers the phone other than the person specified NOT to shop will become your target agent. If the person you are to avoid answers, make an excuse to get off the phone.
Overall, do not complete an onsite visit before you complete the phone call unless otherwise directed in the special instructions for the shop. It is important that the leasing agent exhibits a warm personality, inquire about your needs in a new apartment home and offer you the opportunity to tour their community. Making the telephone call is their first opportunity to do this!