What is an apartment shop?

Apartment mystery shop

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and StuartMiles


I heard that apartment buildings get shopped.  Is that true?  Would I actually have to rent an apartment?  That just seems weird, plus I don’t have the best credit, so I would probably be denied anyway.  I don’t really understand how they would work.

-Agonized over Apartments

Dear AA,

Apartment shops are actually my favourite ones to do!  You do NOT need to rent an apartment, fill out an application, or leave a deposit to do an apartment shop.  It’s pretty simple:

You call up the apartment building and talk to a leasing agent over the phone, setting an appointment to view the apartment.

You visit the property, taking mental notes about its condition, amenities, and the condition of the apartment.

The leasing agent SHOULD try and close the sale…meaning, they’ll ask you to fill out an application or leave a deposit (unfortunately, most don’t) and you politely decline, taking mental notes of how they try to get you to lease.

You go home, and write up the form.

That’s all there is to it!  Apartment shops can get a little complicated when you have to target a specific leasing agent.  Especially when there are others who work there, and it seems like your target has an aversion to answering the phone.

But, for the money, it really is the most cost-effective mystery shop.  You’ll spend about 15-20 minutes on the property, another 40-60 minutes writing up the form, and they usually pay around $30-50 each.  It’s not a bad way to earn some extra money!


 Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company.  Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!

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