Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed how we operate and forced us to consistently proceed with caution. Searching for the perfect apartment is certainly no exception. To better assist with crossing these uncharted waters, we’ve compiled a list of five easy rules of apartment hunting in a post-COVID world.
Rule 1: Research Your Desired Location
Sure, driving through the area or taking a walk in the neighborhood used to be a good idea. But in the midst of a global pandemic, reducing your carbon footprint is practically a necessity at this point. If you aren’t already familiar with the area and have the address of your desired vacant unit on hand, you can take a virtual stroll through Google Maps. For extra peace of mind, utilizing free online tools such as Neighborhood Scout, Area Vibes and City-Data.com can provide insight into overall livability.
Rule 2: Take Precautionary Measures
Sometimes being on site for a tour is an absolute must. With a new coronavirus variant rearing its ugly head, wearing a mask and maintaining a distance of six feet or more is still recommended in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Also, it’s important to call or email the property management company to ensure proper sanitation practices of the available unit are being adhered to. For example, the Housekeeping team at Millennium disinfects vacant units (including model units) before and after each tour.
Rule 3: Take a Virtual Tour
Some landlords still face logistical hurdles when trying to rent out a vacant unit. Thankfully, technological advances continue to bridge the gap between interpersonal connection and being physically present. These advances offer renters the chance to tour available units from the comfort of their own couch. While many property management companies have already introduced software that allows a user to take a 360-degree virtual walkthrough of an apartment, others have taken to video conferencing software such as Zoom, which allows a potential tenant to tour their favorite apartment and ask their leasing agent questions in real time.
Rule 4: Stay Informed
Can’t find your dream apartment? No problem. New listings are always popping up, but renters might not get the message until it’s too late. Start making a habit of snagging the business card of your leasing agent and keeping a chain of communication flowing through text, email, or both. Another great way to keep abreast of new listings and any move-in specials is by joining an email list.
Rule 5: Seal The Deal…Virtually
Hello fax machine, my old friend. I’ve come to use you again.
Okay, maybe as a last-ditch effort. There are far more technologically advanced methods to signing your lease that don’t involve showing up to a leasing office or worrying about the cost of printer ink. As a result of the pandemic, many landlords have purchased the rights to cloud-based document agreement software, such as DocuSign. From your computer or mobile device, your lease can be signed via email in a matter of seconds. The software also generates an electronic signature on your behalf. Once signed by the renter, a secure email containing the document is automatically submitted to your landlord for final review.
It’s unclear if or when COVID-19 will be nothing more than a distant memory. With evolving technology on our side, we can continue walking through life with the same ambitions we had before. Let Millennium help you achieve your goal of finding your perfect apartment. Give us a call at 216-831-1400 or send us an email using our contact form. One of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly.