Apartment Mystery Shopping: Oh no! I have to do what?

Apartment mystery shopping is a balance between providing a customer’s authentic experience with a leasing professional and that property while maintaining a “real” customer story for the leasing professional. Things to remember when conducting apartment mystery shops:

  • The leasing professional’s name: if you repeat it or use it a lot- they will know you are a shopper
  • Using industry terms: traffic source, urgency and amenities are a few of the words that tip off you are a shopper
  • Refusing to give contact information: that also can alert a leasing professional you are a shopper
    • A real customer can easily give a name, phone number and an email address
    • If the apartment mystery shop requires an on-site visit, you can use a nickname, a middle name or a play on your name such as initials for your name- remember they will ask for an ID so the name has to be similar to the ID
      • You can also use that you recently got divorced or married and that your last name has changed
    • Email addresses are readily available and free on the Internet, so create several
    • Phone numbers- there are Google voice numbers you can, for free, register for online
    • ALL on-site shops require VALID contact information!
    • Caveat for phone ONLY apartment mystery shops (where you don’t go in-person to the property): unless otherwise required to give valid information per the instructions, you can give a fake name, number and email address for those as only the phone portion is being conducted
      • If you are not sure if your shop requires valid contact information, reach out to our staff using the white envelope
  • Your story should be believable
    • Make sure the reason for moving you give could be believed by another person
    • Make sure you are dressed accordingly for on-site apartment mystery shops based on the property itself- a quick Google of the property should assist you with this AND sometimes on the property or shop instructions it will provide information that you can use
    • If you are shopping for another person (e.g., student shop- a mother for a daughter; senior shop- a daughter for a mother): make sure you easily have a story to give with their name and contact information, in the event it is inquired about
  • Let the leasing professional lead the interaction
    • You should not be asking them questions, they should be giving you the information without prompting
    • If they are not leading the interaction, that is OK! Their management wants to know that which is why they ordered the shop in the first place.
    • Go with the flow and NEVER rush a shop

Every apartment mystery shop will be a different experience. However, these helpful tips can assist you with making the process easier!