An apartment tour is often a deciding factor for many renters. However, what if you cannot visit the property in person? Do not sweat it. Modern technologies help you fully digitize the rental process, from taking video tours in real-time to virtually renewing a contract. Here are seven tech-focused tools that will help you rent an apartment in a new city without seeing it.
Use Rental Listings That Enable Reviews
In the past, apartment seekers relied mostly on recommendations from friends and family. Today, they can harness the power of digital technologies. Look for the rental listing websites and apps that enable user reviews. If the apartment you are viewing has loads of negative ratings, it may be time to continue your search somewhere else. That is also an opportunity to sniff out an unreliable landlord. If they regularly ignore negative feedback, that is usually a very telling sign of an unhealthy landlord-tenant relationship.
Perform Google Search To Assess the Landlord’s Credibility
While reading reviews is an essential aspect of the apartment hunting process, it is usually not enough. You will need to perform a thorough Google search to check a property manager. For example, google the apartment’s exact address. Collect information about the building, such as its age, nearby amenities, etc.
Check whether there are any negative stories or reports about the building or its neighborhood. Past tenants with negative experiences often share their stories on forums for tenants, rental listings, local news, etc. You can also use the land registry service to check who the property’s owner is. Inconsistencies in the landlord’s name and personal details may indicate that you are dealing with a con artist.
Harness the Power of Google Maps and Street View
Google Maps are any apartment seeker’s reliable partner for several reasons. With Maps, you can determine the distance from an apartment to your key locations, such as work, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
Additionally, Google Street View lets a virtual stroll around the neighborhood. The tool offers you accurate and reliable insights into the community. All you have to do is enter the exact address of the apartment into the search box and take a walk around the neighborhood. That will give you an idea of your new area and encourage/discourage you from viewing the apartment.
Read Local Blogs To Get a Feel of a Particular Area
Renting an apartment in a new city can be challenging. For example, say you are moving from San Jose, California to Midland, Texas. When seeking Midland apartments for rent, start by searching for safe neighborhoods that meet your needs.
Read local blogs and reviews to assess your preferred area. Aside from the apartment’s location, factor in other variables, such as crime rates, the ease of access to the places you will need the most, and the average rent price. Most importantly, learn more about the rental process in your future city.
Request a 360-Degree Tour of the Home
When looking for apartments online, searchers depend on the property photos published by a landlord. That kind of content is prone to manipulation, so make sure you do not end up disappointed. For example, property managers may hire professional photographers or use photo-editing software to make the apartment appear larger or more flattering.
Now, you can avoid such scams in multiple ways. For starters, tech-savvy property managers provide 3D property tours. These technologies offer a 360-degree view of the property. That way, you can get a better sense of the apartment before you sign a lease.
Schedule a Virtual Meeting
Renting an apartment in a new city does not allow you to meet with the landlord in person. Fortunately, with the rise of cloud technologies, such as Skype or Zoom, you can schedule a virtual meeting. Do not hesitate to ask the landlord to give you a live video walkthrough of the apartment.
If they have nothing to hide, they will be thrilled to show you the place and answer your questions. Plus, they will want to meet you to ensure they can trust you as a renter. On the other hand, if they refuse to meet with you on Skype, you should be careful how you proceed.
Seek Seamless Online Experiences
If the new city is far away from your current location, going through the rental process in person is not an option. In that case, the goal is to do as much as possible online. Look for online rental websites or agencies that allow you to rent an apartment without even seeing it.
Choose a property manager or a real estate agency that can do the paperwork virtually, from signing the lease to contract renewals. Ask a property manager whether they use an online billing system. That way, they can send more accurate invoices and simplify the rent collection process.
Over to You
Virtually renting an apartment is not easy, but it is not impossible either. For starters, you will need to learn more about your new city and set realistic goals. With the help of advanced digital technologies, you can facilitate the rental process and make informed decisions.