May 19, 2020 4 minute read

How to Rent an Apartment Remotely

There are a number of reasons why you may have to rent an apartment without getting the chance to tour it in person. If you live in a different city and cannot make the trip to visit the apartment or staying in a hotel while you search is too costly, searching for a home remotely might be your only option.

It can be nerve wracking to move into an apartment sight unseen. That’s why here at Senné, we’ve put several practices into place to give our clients a remote experience that feels immersive and thorough to ensure that they feel confident in the apartment they choose.

When virtually searching for a home, the more information you have the better. Here are some of the ways our Senné Associates help our clients get the full picture so they can be sure the apartment they walk into on move-in day meets all their expectations.

Visuals Are Key

The first step to renting an apartment remotely is to search for rental listings online. When you’re browsing apartments online, it’s common to see listings with less than stellar photos, often taken by landlords or tenants, that make it hard to picture exactly what the apartment looks like. Here at Senné, we send in our staff photographer to all of our exclusive properties. Our photographer has the expertise to shoot each apartment in a way that accurately showcases the size and features from a variety of angles.

Some of our exclusive listings also come with Matterport 3D tours. These are an immersive experience that allows the renter to virtually walk through the property and even take measurements. For instance, if you have a large couch and want to ensure it fits in the living room, a Matterport tour can give you the ability to determine if it will fit without ever stepping foot in the apartment. Having a simple floor plan is important for finding out the size and flow of the apartment and even allow you to prepare and buy furniture in advance.

An experienced agent in the Greater Boston region has spent years searching through the existing housing stock. They have toured some of these apartments on the market multiple times over the years with prospective tenants. Our associates can give you a better understanding of the set up of the apartment that photos might not show, provide additional photos or video, and even take measurements to help you determine if your furniture will fit in the new space. There could even be the option to get on a video call for you to virtually tour the apartment.

Know Your Neighborhood

If you’re completely unfamiliar with the neighborhood you’re looking to move to, a local real estate agent can provide you with the insider information you need. At Senné, all of our Associates are long-time residents of the Greater Boston area—some even specialize in certain towns and neighborhoods. When you call a Senné Associate, you can be sure that they will be giving you accurate and helpful information about the neighborhood.

Not only can they tell you about the neighborhood’s amenities, such as grocery stores, restaurants, and schools, our associates also have the market knowledge to determine how the area is growing and how that might change prices in the future. You can count on a Senné Associate to ensure the rent of the apartment you choose isn’t inflated. We work directly with landlords to ensure rent prices are market value.

Some things we recommend doing on your own to explore the neighborhood is spending time on Street View on Google Maps. This technology allows you to view exactly what the streets around your potential home look like. We also recommend calculating potential travel times to your job, the closest grocery store, or the nearest MBTA stop to get a sense of how well-located your home is. Each neighborhood in Greater Boston has its own unique personality, the more research you can do the better you’ll have a sense of your new neighborhood.

Watch Out For Red Flags

Unfortunately, there are scams on apartment rental marketplaces that you need to be wary of. Taking the time to do your research and working with a reputable real estate company is a good way to ensure you avoid getting caught in a scam. Be sure to read any review you can find on the real estate company you’re looking to work with or even the potential apartment building you’re looking to move into for the extra assurance that you’re making the right choice for you. Reading reviews can also be helpful in getting information about how the property management company or landlord manages their buildings.

An easy way to spot a scam is if the landlord claims to be out of the country and requests a wire transfer through a company like Western Union that is untraceable and nonrefundable. At Senné, our team works to be a secure liaison between tenants and landlords. From processing deposits to reviewing leases, we can ensure that all the steps to find an apartment can be handled securely for each of our clients.

Senné associates are searching the Greater Boston housing stock day after day. With their experience and market knowledge, they would be able to quickly determine if an apartment is real or not. Working with an agent is a good way of getting realistic expectations for what different apartments in each neighborhood look like or cost.

Searching for an apartment remotely doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With a knowledgeable Senné Associate on your side, you can move into your new home sight unseen with confidence. If you want to start your apartment search, reach out to 617.314.9400 or visit senneresidential.com to get connected with a Senné Associate today.

Published: May 19, 2020


Sean Persson

Author

Sean Persson is the Director of Residential Services at Senné. In his role, he works closely with the Executive Director to implement recruitment, training, and expansion initiatives as part of the company’s growth strategy.

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