Picture this: You’re moving to a new city in a brand new state after graduation. You have about a month until you move and need to find a place to live as soon as possible. Since you’re moving seven hours away, you plan a knockout apartment-shopping weekend, cramming in as many different showings as you can. You focus on finding a good place, but not on finding a good leasing company.

That was my mistake.

I headed out to look for apartments, thinking I had a good plan. But my excitement about finding a new home quickly fizzled that Friday morning.

Apartment Gross Showing.

The No-Show Showing

I showed up a few minutes early for the first showing: a second story, one bedroom apartment. I parked on the curb and walked around the building. “Hm, this looks okay,” I naively thought. Five minutes passed. And then ten. Then twenty. The leasing agent never showed. I called the company to find out what happened and no one answered. Luckily, I found the office address online. I dropped in and was met with bad news. The agent informed me that all three of the apartments I want to see had already been rented. My showings were canceled. Of course, they completely forgot to tell me this and sent me away empty-handed.

The Nightmare Tenants

Next, I planned to see four apartments with a new company. The agent met me at the first property and didn’t even shake my hand or offer her name. She unlocked the door and suggested I take a look around. I understand that tenants still live in many apartments while they are shown. However, this apartment was trashed: tons of toys everywhere, left-over food, mysterious carpet stains and missing light bulbs.

Apartment Search Frustrations.

The Flat-Out Refusal

We couldn’t even get into the next two apartments. The tenants were at home and claimed they’d never been contacted about a showing. I imagined myself startled by an agent and a prospective renter next year. I didn’t even bother looking at the next apartment because I now understood that this company did not value organization or their tenants.

Thankfully, I happened on a townhouse by accident that an owner was renting.

Moral of the story: do your research about the leasing agencies in your area before you waste your time on hopeless visits.

Text by Amy Haupt