What is a Self-Guided Apartment Tour?

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Self-Guided Apartment Tour | Man Viewing Apartment | www.phillyaptrentals.com

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With the advent of technology, self-guided tours have risen in popularity among apartments nationwide.

What is a self-guided apartment tour?

A ‘self-guided’ apartment tour or ‘self-tour property’ is exactly what it sounds like: a way to tour without the presence of a leasing agent (yes by yourself) at an agreed-upon time of your choosing.

A similar concept existed long before it came to the apartment world, in the single-family housing world. The Seller broker/realtor would make appointments with a prospect and leave a key in a lockbox outside the door.

The realtor could give the code to the lockbox the potential buyer and then the potential buyer would go through the house, on their own or with their own realtor.

In this article though, we discuss how self-guided tours work in apartments.

How Does a Self-Guided Apartment Tour Work?

If offered, these types of tours usually need to be scheduled in advance.

Usually, you will need to provide a copy of your ID in advance (which will be verified) as well as credit card details in case of damage.

Then, once you arrive, there is usually an automated kiosk to check you in and verify your identity.

What is a Self-Guided Apartment Tour | Woman Checking In at Kiosk | www.phillyaptrentals.com

Keep in mind that not every apartment complex offers this, so you will need to check in advance whether you have this option.

What are the Advantages of Self-Guided Apartment Tours?

Benefits of touring the apartment on your own include:

  • You can tour the apartment in your own free time without having to change your daily routine.
  • You are not put under any pressure to make an instant decision and can take the time to consider your own thoughts.
  • You can tour the apartment on your own and don’t have to share the room with other potential renters
  • You can take your time inside the apartment.

What are the Disadvantages of Self-Guided Apartment Tours?

  • There is no one to ask questions to as you go through it
  • You may miss out on features and amenities, or other helpful information that the leasing agent can provide
  • You may have to wait to hear about availability, specials, and application
  • It may not be as fun to interact and enjoy a great apartment complex with an energetic, passionate leasing agent.

Consider the pros and cons, and if self-guided apartment tours are right for you. The good news it that, if offered you can mix and match. Perhaps you want to do a self-guided tour, but then schedule another follow up with a traditional in-person apartment tour.


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