The apartment hunt, especially in cities, often requires comfortable walking shoes and an entire weekend dedicated to finding your next dream home. However, the reality is that touring in person isn’t always an option.
Technology and innovation have always been at the forefront of our business. From virtual tours to our Connect by Common app, Common prioritizes a convenient and technology-based approach to city living. Over the past few weeks, necessary regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have shifted the rhythms of daily life, and the apartment rental process has been no exception. For those of you interested in how virtual tours work at Common, this article has all of the information you need.
In fact, if you sign a lease the same day as your virtual tour, you’ll receive a $200 Amazon gift card from us to give you some extra cash on hand! However, there are some questions that can only be answered by someone who has already gone through the process. We caught up with one of our New York members, Aenne Brielmann, who toured Common Albany virtually in 2017 and has been happily living there ever since. Below are her insider tips on how to get the most out of a virtual apartment tour and her favorite parts about her experience at Common.
Hi Aenne! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. First off, how did you hear about Common, and what’s your favorite part of living at Common Albany?
When my current roommate in New York was moving out to get married, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. My goal was to find a place that made the moving process as easy and convenient as possible, which is what drew me to Common initially. The location was ideal for my commute, and I loved that it came fully furnished with a simple move-in process. Instead of having to worry about moving all of my furniture, I gave it to my old roommate and was able to start fresh!
My favorite aspect about living at Common Albany is that it makes my life very simple. A lot of the tasks I would normally spend my free time on, such as cleaning, restocking household goods, keeping up with utility vendors, and even taking care of property maintenance are all handled by Common. I can actually focus my time on what’s important to me, which is incredibly freeing.
Why did you decide to tour virtually, and what surprised you most about the experience?
Honestly, I was incredibly busy at the time with work, so the convenience of touring virtually is what appealed to me. Instead of commuting to a location, I connected with a leasing specialist over a video chat and was able to view the space instantly. For me, I was actually pleasantly surprised when I saw the space in person at how much more room there was! When you’re touring a space virtually, everything seems smaller rather than larger, so the space was larger than I imagined.
What’s your advice for someone touring an apartment virtually for the first time?
1. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Remember that you’re in control of the touring process and will have a more well-rounded idea of the entire space if you ask questions that align with your lifestyle.
2. Manage your expectations beforehand. Although we’re all very adapted to modern technology, it helps to remember that it can take a second to get adjusted to surveying a space virtually. The reality is that you won’t be able to get the exact experience as if you were physically in the space, however it’s definitely a close second.
3. Take space and size into account. I wish I had asked more depth and perspective questions on my virtual tour to get a better sense of the layout of the apartment. Questions such as: “How much space is above your head?”, “How many steps is it from the door to the nearest bathroom?”, or “Approximately how many hangers fit in the closet?” are excellent ways to mentally envision the space.
4. Try to virtually tour while it’s still light out. One thing that you can clearly view virtually is how much natural light a space gets. I recommend planning a virtual tour while it’s still very light outside to understand how much natural sunlight a space has.
5. Reflect on the amount of storage available. If you’re touring a coliving suite, it’s important to keep in mind that you will be sharing the common areas, (i.e. kitchen, living room, etc.), with a few other people. Asking your leasing specialist to show you how much cabinet space and storage is available per person in the shared spaces will help you get an idea of the lifestyle inside of the suite as well.