Mystery Shopping Deep in the Heart of Texas

EPMS has apartment mystery shopping opportunities available in all 50 states, but our team makes our home deep in the heart of Texas. The Lone Star state is welcoming newcomers every day, which means the apartment industry is a lively one! For anyone interested in mystery shopping for EPMS, there is no better place to do it than in our home state.

The area roughly between Austin and San Antonio, TX is known as the Texas Hill Country. It is home to many state parks and outdoor recreation areas. In the summer, many Texans escape the heat by tubing in the Guadalupe or San Marcos River. Springtime in the Hill Country brings a world class show of our beloved Texas Bluebonnets and other native wildflowers. No matter the season, Texans will jump at any reason for a drive through this area.

Daytripping? How about doing some shops along the route?

If you are a fellow Texan, or are visiting our neck of the woods, why not take on a few shops to defray your travel costs? Picking up a shop or two in an area you’d like to visit will pay for the gasoline you’ll need for the adventure. Besides San Antonio and Austin, some of the surrounding towns include Schertz, New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Buda. Those towns usually have plenty of EPMS apartment mystery shops available.

When you need to refuel!

Refilling the gas tank is probably among your least favorite things to do these days. Unfortunately, it is still a required task. Texans have found a place that makes filling up a little less painful. Right between the cities of Austin and San Antonio on Interstate 35 in the town of New Braunfels, lies Buc-ees! Buc-ees is much more than a gas station and convenience store. It is a Texas sized travel stop that almost makes the road trip worthwhile on its own! Not only do they have the cleanest restrooms (and plenty of them!), but they also have some of the best food and treats in the Lone Star State! Their beautiful gift department is where many Texans begin their holiday shopping. There are now 35 Buc-ees locations in Texas (and 8 more in other states), but most Texans believe it is not a road trip until you stop at Buc-ees!

Why not make money while you travel?

With lots of shopping opportunities, great scenery and plenty to see along the way, the Texas Hill Country is a great place to shop. If you live in the San Antonio/Austin area or would like an excuse to visit, check out all the Ellis apartment mystery shops along the way.

Need a Side Hustle?

You don’t have to be a financial expert to look around and see that prices are rising on just about everything!  This may mean that the time is right to consider a Side Hustle to earn extra money. A bit of extra income can be a hedge against inflation, a help in paying off debt, or a way to fund a great vacation!  Not all side hustles are created equal!  What are some factors to consider?

  • Do you enjoy it?  Side hustles are generally done on “personal time” outside of normal working hours.  If you are going to give up your precious time off, make sure it is something you will enjoy.  If you don’t enjoy an activity when you’re not being paid for it, you probably won’t enjoy it as a side hustle.
  • What are the costs to set up your side hustle?  Does it require expensive equipment?  Advertising?  Registration fees?  How many jobs will it take you to recoup your start up fees?
  • Will it stand the test of time?  Some side hustles may be tied to a specific season.  Holidays or the start of a school year may offer unique opportunities, but if you are looking for continuous income, you may want something you can do year-round.

For all these reasons, Apartment Mystery Shopping for EPMS an ideal side hustle!

  • EPMS Apartment Mystery Shopping is enjoyable!  We all drive by apartment communities every day.  It is fun to peek inside at the amenities and see the floor plans and features of the apartments.  There may be a beautiful furnished model apartment offering ideas for your home décor.  Perhaps you’ll even find a community you shop to be a perfect fit for you.  Some of our shoppers have been paid to shop a community that becomes their new home.
  • EPMS Apartment Shopping is free!  There are no registration costs to shop for EPMS.  You don’t have to make a purchase and await reimbursement.  You won’t be applying for an apartment, nor paying any fee onsite.  There is no out of pocket expense required to shop for EPMS.
  • EPMS has been shopping apartment communities year-round for almost 40 years!  EPMS is a pioneer in the apartment mystery shopping industry.  We have been performing onsite shops for nearly 40 years.  We shop year-round!  If you find yourself with some extra free time, you may want to take on several shops.  As a shopper, you are free to accept shops that fit within your schedule.  Some shops must be done on specific dates or days of the week, but you will always know those requirements before you commit to the shop.  There is no pressure to accept a shop that won’t work for you!

Challenging economic times call for creative solutions!  Making a bit of extra money by developing a side hustle can be one of those solutions.  EPMS Apartment Mystery shopping is an enjoyable, affordable means of boosting your income in your free time. 

To apply as an EPMS shopper, please visit:

Want the MOST Money? Ask the Expert How!

If you’re new to shopping (or even if you aren’t), we want to help you fine-tune your shopping game and maximize your income. We took some time to interview one of our veteran shoppers, Phillip, to get advice on how he makes the absolute most of the time he spends shopping to walk away with the biggest paycheck possible.

Phillip is a shopper who likes to travel and he makes sure to plan ahead. He’ll log in and look for shops that are available along his planned route and then pick up the ones he’s interested in. Once he’s decided on all of the shops he’s planning to complete on his trip, he checks to see which of them may be eligible for a route bonus. If you didn’t already know, EPMS will add an additional $5 bonus to shops when you’re choosing 3 or more and the following conditions are true:

  1. All of the shops are at least 20 miles away from your home address.
  2. There is not already an existing bonus of more than $15 on the shop.
  3. You reach out to a scheduler to ask for the bonus before accepting the shop.

Next, Phillip says he decides what order the shops need to be completed in based on his travel plans. He begins making calls for target shops right away, even if he will need to plan the visit on another day so that he can plan the rest of the shops around those more difficult target shops. (Of course, you’ll want to check the specific instructions for your shops to make sure they do not require a visit on the same day as the call.)

Once the calls are made and the visits begin, Phillip told us he completes the onsite visit and when it’s finished, he leaves the community parking lot and pulls into a nearby parking lot (out of sight of the community, of course!) so that he can take out his laptop and type in some quick notes while the information is still fresh in his mind. He also take that time to upload his backup documentation so he can keep everything organized. At the end of the shopping day, Phillip will go back and, using the notes he made as well as any recordings that accompany the shop, complete the report and get it submitted ASAP.

Any shops completed and accepted by EPMS by the 7th of any month will be paid on that same month’s deposit on the 22nd (unless that date falls on a weekend or holiday – then it would be the next business day). Therefore, the more shops you can get completed by that date, the bigger your check will be for that month. Knowing this information will help you plan around your expected income and make the most of your time!

Work From Home, 007 Style

Have you ever watched a James Bond movie and wished you could be a secret agent with cool tech gear? Well, EPMS gives you the opportunity to do just that AND get paid without having to be chained to a desk from 9 to 5. Amid current events, many people are facing unemployment or underemployment. Mystery shopping with EPMS allows you to earn extra money while still allowing schedule flexibility to accomplish all the other things you need to take care of. What’s more, we have shopping opportunities available nationwide with a surplus of jobs available in (but not limited to) Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas, Connecticut, North Dakota and all over Texas.

You may have already heard about our mystery shops, but you may not know about the specialty audio and video shops we offer. These shops generally pay more and often have additional bonuses attached, especially if you have your own equipment you can use. These shops are completed the same way as traditional shops (telephone call, visit, written report), but the client has asked that we capture a secret audio or video recording of the visit. We’ve been asked if this is legal – don’t worry; these types of shops can only be ordered for communities where the employees have signed an agreement to be secretly recorded, so it is absolutely legal.

For audio shops, this can be done using a smartphone set on airplane mode with the audio recording app opened and set to record. The app we recommend using is SmartRecord by ROE. There is a one-time fee for this app and you can choose the one that works for your type of device. Once captured, those audio recordings can be sent to us easily using WeTransfer. Video shops require special hidden camera equipment, but don’t let this discourage you! We have sets of equipment we can loan to you to complete the shop. You will want to make sure you have a button-down shirt with dark colored buttons you can use to house the hidden equipment. Once you’ve captured the recording, you’ll just send the equipment back to us (we’ll pay postage!) and we’ll process the recording for you. Then all you’ll have to do is complete the written report.

If you want to know more, you can find instructional videos on your shopper login page that will detail everything you need to know about using the video equipment as well as repackaging and sending back to us via pre-paid FedEx shipping label. Also, remember you can always reach out to the follow up representative assigned to your shop if you have questions or need support. If you’re ready to step up your shopping game and give an audio or video shop a try, just reach out to your scheduler! They will let you know what steps you will need to take to upgrade your profile to secret agent status!

Putting the Pieces Together – Planning Your Mystery Shopping Day

So, you’ve made the wise decision to start earning money working from home as an apartment mystery shopper! Depending on where in the country you live, such as Wyoming, Tennessee or California, you may have access to a multitude of available apartment shops. This means you may end up having several shops you want to try to complete in one day to maximize your income, so you’ll need to know how to plan your day to effectively accomplish this goal.

First, you’ll want to make sure you know where you’re going for each of your shops and, if possible, plan your route to minimize travel time. It’s also vital to review the requirements for each shop to note any limitations on the hours a shop can be completed. Each company has different requirements and you may not get paid if you do not adhere to the special instructions for each shop.

Another helpful tip is to make sure to have a notebook in the car so you can jot down notes about each shop while the details are still fresh in your mind. Keep in mind that you would want to be sure you’ve left the premises of the apartment before writing notes or compiling other data; don’t do it in the apartment parking lot! If you’ve made any special notes about the shops after having completed the telephone calls (such as reminders about your shopper story, etc.), it would be a good idea to review those before walking in for the on-site meeting.

Finally, make sure your phone is charged and has space for photos. You’ll need to take pictures of the business card and other documents you are provided during your visit to upload as backup for the shop. Taking those photos and uploading them to the shop once you’ve left the premises will help ensure that documents don’t get mixed up with shops or lost.

The more organized you can be when planning your shopping day, the more effectively you’ll be able to complete shops and make the most money!

Maximize Your Mystery Shopping Income

Nothing is more frustrating as a mystery shopper than working to complete a shop, only to find out you neglected to fulfill the terms of the contract and your shop will be cancelled without pay! In this blog, we’ll discuss 3 ways you can help ensure an acceptable shop completion to earn the maximum pay. Continue reading “Maximize Your Mystery Shopping Income”

Making the Most of Your Holiday Hours

Along with the joy and cheer of the holiday season can come some added financial considerations. Many of us look for ways to bring in a little extra income to cover these costs and apartment mystery shopping can be a great solution! However, with all the activities with family and friends, it can be a challenge to find the time to do it all. When you have many shops to do, you will need to do some planning to maximize your time.


With Ellis Mystery Shopping Company, the apartment shops you choose typically have a window of a few days for completion. Once you dig deeper, you will see that some shops can only be shopped on weekdays while others may have weekend only specifications. In order to make sure you can compete the shops you assigned to yourself during the time you have available, make a note of the times the apartment shops can be completed.

Also, if you choose a shop with a specific target agent, you should start making calls from the time you assign the shop, even if it isn’t due for a couple of days. After completing the calls, you will have a better idea of the best order to complete your assigned shops based on distance and due dates.

Of course, you should complete the shops with dates coming up soon. If you need more time, you can reach out to the team at Ellis and they can help. However, some clients have time constraints and need shops completed by the deadline, so extensions are not possible.

In conclusion, you can make the most of your holiday earnings if you identify your availability and then pick up the jobs that work best with that timeframe. When you successfully stack your shops for streamlined completion, you maximize your potential earnings.

Apartment Mystery Shopping is a Job You Can Be Thankful For

There are plenty of reasons to be thankful to have a job in the apartment mystery shopping industry!  In this blog, we’ll explore 3 reasons why apartment mystery shopping is a great choice for you to earn extra money this holiday season and all year round.
Continue reading “Apartment Mystery Shopping is a Job You Can Be Thankful For”

The Holiday Hustle

The holidays are fast approaching, so it’s time to start thinking about that holiday hustle. You can set out to secure a part-time seasonal job with set hours or you can pursue a more flexible way to earn extra cash – apartment mystery shopping!

If you choose to get started with apartment mystery shopping, you will be able to complete shops on your own time; you can forget the time clock! You are sure to find jobs near you as EPMS offers shops all over the country, from Erie, Pennsylvania to Amarillo, Texas to San Diego, California. This will allow you to earn as much or as little as you need to get you through the coming holiday months.

Below are two ways to increase the chances of securing more apartment mystery shops.

Check the Site Often

Check the EPMS apartment mystery shopping page often. Doing this gives you the best opportunity to pick up the apartment mystery shops you want before someone else does. The best times to check for new available shops is on the first of the month and the middle of the month. Later in the month there may be fewer shops, but there are often additional bonuses attached at that time, so it would be to your advantage to check late in the month if you have a few days free to shop.

Another important note: do not forget to respond to the emails you receive from the EPMS staff. Often, they will reach out to solicit for shoppers to complete shops coming due soon and these shops generally have additional bonus pay attached.

Choose to Be a Backup Shopper

If you check the site and only see the backup option, take it! Why? You never know when the original mystery shopper may need to back out of the shop and when they do, the shop is yours!

By volunteering to be a backup shopper, you will be of service to EPMS and the mystery shopper who needed to drop the shop, not to mention, you will be able to make some extra quick cash.

These are just two of many ways to increase your holiday cash while still operating on your own time.

Go over to the EPMS log in page now and see what is listed in your area today. Happy shopping!

Maximizing Mystery Shop Volume

Mystery shopping is a great way to work from home!  You stand to make the most money when you are able to complete your shops quickly and efficiently. Here are three suggestions to help you cut out the excess and streamline your shopping process. 

Be Receptive 

Work to present yourself as open and receptive to what the leasing agent has to offer. If you are able to make them feel comfortable, the process will flow organically and it will encourage them to give their best presentation. Although most leasing agents receive similar training, each puts his or her own “flavor” on their sales technique, so it’s best if you can go with the flow and let them take the lead. 

Be Natural  

Excessive talking and over-explaining can cause a mystery shop to take more time than necessary.  Remember, your job is to evaluate the leasing agent’s performance in trying to convince you to lease. You will not actually be leasing the apartment you are being shown, so there is no risk in showing interest in a community or apartment you may not actually be interested in a real scenario. Be mindful not to over-explain your shopper story as this can tip the agent off that you are a shopper and could cause your shop to be invalid.

Let the Leasing Agent Shine 

Allow the leasing agent to lead the tour.  A good leasing agent will walk ahead of or near you during the apartment mystery shop tour. Along the way, he or she will ask you questions to determine your needs and wants in a new apartment home and will know what to say and how to respond to your needs. You will want to be sure to let the leasing agent lead the both phone call and the onsite apartment tour.

The more you can relax, the quicker your mystery shops will be over time, which will allow you to complete more shops each month.