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Answering Common Questions about Apartment Tours

Yvonne Boulay
Tour an Ori Expandable Apartment in over 30 cities across the US.

Touring an apartment is a crucial step in the apartment hunting process. You’ve done your research, compared options, and have made a list of wants and non-negotiables. Now it’s time to visualize yourself living in the space. 

Tours are great to assess the things not shown online: neighborhood safety, parking options, management company/landlord, cleanliness, mail room privacy, and any quirks about the property. It’s also the best time to ask questions, whether they’re prepared or arise naturally on your tour. Touring an apartment is the best way to learn about your future home.

How do I schedule an apartment tour? 

You must schedule an apartment tour in advance. There may be an online form on the building’s website, but it’s always best to call. This way you can guarantee to be seen and can ask where to park when you arrive. Most complexes have street parking, guest spots, or will comp your parking garage fee. 

What should I expect during an apartment tour? 

Arrive to the apartment complex and head straight to the front desk and/or leasing office. You will be greeted by a leasing agent and you’ll say that you’re here for a scheduled tour appointment. They may ask for your ID and ask a few questions like if you’re new to the area or why you’re in the market for a new apartment. Then the leasing agent will take you around to begin the tour. You will likely see amenity spaces first, and then the unit(s). 

They’re highly knowledgeable and tend to follow a loose script to guarantee you learn as much as you can about the building, but it’s best to come prepared with questions. At the end of your tour, you will return to the leasing office and be sent on your way. You may be asked for personal information like a phone number or email (if you haven’t shared that already through the scheduling process) to stay informed on any new units available. 

What should I NOT expect during an apartment tour?

Did you know there are strict laws probhibiting leasing agents and landlords from asking certain questions about you? On rental applications or on tours, they are not allowed to ask you your race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or if you have a disability. In some states, they also can’t ask if you’ve been arrested or have children! Be careful as the questions could be more subtle, such as, “Are you from this area?”, “Do you speak multiple languages?”, and “Do you have a significant other?” You can confirm with your state, but the most common laws can be found here.

Can I take a virtual apartment tour if I can't visit in person?

Yes! These also vary by building, ranging from pre-recorded 360 walkthrough videos, to informal Facetimes with leasing agents. Any chance to get to see the quirks, scale, and ask questions about a floor plan of a prospective apartment is worth it. You should feel confident when signing a lease, especially sight-unseen. 

Are apartment tours free, or is there a fee to view a unit?

Apartment tours are free! Leasing agents will gladly show you around if you schedule in advance. If a building requests a fee for tours, please note that that is extremely unusual, not the industry standard, and may be cause for concern. 

What should I bring with me when going on an apartment tour? 

You don’t need much! Just your ID and a pen and paper to take notes. Most apartment complexes will give you a folder of information and brochures upon arrival, so the paper may already be taken care of. 

How long does a typical apartment tour last? 

Apartment tours go much faster than you might think. Most people recommend scheduling for 30 minutes, but the actual tour may only take 10. The length of the tour varies depending on if the building has amenities like a pool or gym to see, and how many units you want to look at. It’s always best to show up 5-10 minutes early in case there’s a wait.

What do I wear on an apartment tour? 

It’s always best to look clean and presentable when touring. Dressing formally is not required. Jeans, a nice shirt, and nice shoes will suffice. There’s no formal dress code, but you want to look like the type of person someone might want to rent to. 

Can I bring someone with me on the apartment tour? 

Of course. It’s best to bring any roommates or your significant other if you plan on living together so you can hear their opinions as well. If you plan on living solo, you can always bring a friend along to keep you company if you need a sounding board.

What areas of the apartment will be shown during the tour?

The whole unit should be available to explore! This includes bedrooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen. Make sure to open appliances, closet doors, and turn on any faucets – especially the shower. It may seem awkward to do, but you can always ask the leasing agent before you do.

How many apartment options can I tour in a single visit? 

This is building-dependent, but they will be happy to show you any empty unit that’s available. Please note that if your preferred floor plan is currently being rented, they may show you a different unit that’s comparable in size or layout. Although this may be disappointing, it’s still a great way to see the fixtures and design of the building’s units.

Can I take photos or videos during the apartment tour? 

Of course! Leasing agents expect this and will be happy to step aside so you can get the best shot. We also recommend using an app like the iPhone measurement tool to record any measurements you may need if you’re moving with certain furniture pieces in mind.

Are there specific times or days when apartment tours are available? 

Most leasing offices only schedule tours during typical business hours. These hours may vary from building to building, but it’s common for leasing offices to be closed on Sunday’s. If you’re flying or driving in from out of town for a single weekend of tours, you may need to pack a lot in on Saturday. 

If you’re new to the world of apartment hunting, we hope this article answered some of your burning questions. Touring an apartment is a quick, low stakes process. Enjoy it!

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