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The ultimate guide to virtual apartment tours in New York in 2024

March 13, 2024

Finding an apartment in New York City can be difficult. Here is your guide on how to tour apartments remotely in 2024.

Only 1.4% of New York City’s rentals were available in 2023, the lowest portion since 1968. If you’ve ever apartment hunted in the city, this stat probably comes as no surprise. The demand for a semi-affordable NYC apartment has absolutely skyrocketed, as the vacancy rate of apartments that rent below $1,650 was less than 1% in 2023. Finding a New York City apartment is difficult. Finding one when you’re from out-of-state is even harder. However, this doesn’t need to be the case.

You don’t need to travel to the city to spend time in lines at open houses. In 2024, you can use Gander to tour apartments for you. In this article, we’ll break down how you can tour apartments virtually and why this may be in your best interest. 

Let’s get touring! 

Advantages of virtual apartment tours

In a highly demanded city like New York, virtual apartment tours offer several unique advantages. Here are just a few:

  • Time and convenience - New York City's real estate market moves quickly. It’s not uncommon for apartments to be rented within hours of being listed. Virtual options can allow you to quickly schedule tours without having to travel into the city. This speed is crucial in a market where apartments can be leased almost immediately.
  • Increased reach and accessibility of apartment listings - Similarly, even if you do live in the city, hiring a company to tour apartments for you enables you to explore more options. You’re busy. But finding the right rental for you is important. Remote tours can allow you to view options you don’t have time to view yourself. 
  • Peace of mind - Relocating to New York City can be overwhelming, especially for individuals moving from other cities or countries. Virtual tours alleviate some of the stress associated with finding housing in an unfamiliar city. Virtual tours can provide a convenient and accessible way to explore apartments from afar. This can streamline the relocation process and help you feel more confident in your housing decisions.
  • Thoroughness - New York is an amazing place, but unfortunately if you’re not careful you can get scammed. A virtual touring company can ensure you don't miss important details. These companies have extensive local knowledge about the city's neighborhoods, rental market trends, and common issues found in rental properties. This expertise allows them to identify potential red flags or hidden gems that you might overlook as an out-of-town renter. This is especially important if you’re making an international move. 

How virtual apartment tours work

Different touring companies have different processes. However, at Gander, the process is simple. It goes like this:

1. Schedule a showing - Schedule an apartment showing with the listing agent or the management company of the apartment you are interested in touring.

2. Book a tour - On Gander website, click "Book a Tour" and submit a form including the time and place of the showing.

3. Receive Zoom link or request a video - Once the form has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link for streaming into the live tour. If you can’t make a live Zoom meeting you can also request a video. 

4. Dial in or receive video - At the time of your scheduled tour, simply use the Zoom link to dial into the live tour. If you are not able to dial in at this time, Gander will record and send detailed videos straight to your email. 

What’s the best part? You’ll also receive a “tour report” breaking down the details of the unit and the entire building. Gander asks real estate brokers questions you might not think to ask. This is also an advantage over AI-style virtual tours where you can’t see all the details. For example:

  • Is there a live-in super?
  • What's the water pressure like?
  • What is the view like from each window?
  • How much natural light does the apartment get?

And so much more! 

How to make the most of your virtual apartment tour 

This is an easy process. But how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your virtual apartment tour? Let’s break it down. 

Essential tips  for a virtual tour

Before your virtual apartment tour, it's essential to prepare by creating a list of your must-have features and desired amenities. If there’s something you specifically want to be shown in the tour, let your Gander tour guides know. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the apartment by reviewing floor plans and photos provided by the property management company. If you’re tuning in on Zoom, make sure you have a stable internet connection for the duration of the tour. Additionally, consider taking notes or screenshots during the tour to help you remember important details later.

Questions to ask during the virtual apartment tour

During the virtual apartment tour, it's important to ask questions that will help you make an informed decision about the property. Some questions to consider asking include: 

  • Can you provide more details about the apartment's utilities, such as heating, air conditioning, and internet services?
  • Are there any upcoming renovations or construction projects planned for the building?
  • What is the process for repairs and maintenance?

By asking these questions and actively participating in the virtual tour, you can gain valuable insights into the property. This can help you determine if the apartment meets your needs and preferences before making a decision.

Have your paperwork ready to go

Once your tour goes well, and you decide to apply to a listing, everything happens very fast. In order to secure that apartment you need to have all your paperwork ready to go. To stay organized, keep a folder on your computer with PDFs of all your documents. While specific requirements may vary depending on the landlord or management company, common necessities include:

  • Proof of income that’s a minimum of 40 times the monthly rent in an annual income
  • Identification
  • Recent pay stubs
  • W-2 forms
  • Tax returns 
  • Recent bank statements
  • Letter of employment
  • Letter from past landlord 
  • Application fee 

It's important that you carefully review the application requirements provided by the management company. Having these documents prepared in advance can help streamline the application process and increase the chances of securing the desired apartment.

Start virtually touring apartments today

Working with a service to tour NYC apartments remotely can save you time while providing you with the most information possible. Choosing where you’re going to live is a huge decision. From the neighborhood and amenities to your budget, there are a lot of decisions to be made. Let Gander take one off your plate by providing excellent touring services for your convenience.  Book a tour here today to get started. 

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