Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn and you need an apartment, right now. In the United States alone, almost 7.3 million people have been displaced by natural disasters alone in the past 10 years.
When things happen beyond your control, being able to quickly and easily find available places to live in your area is essential.
How we help tenants find an apartment fast
Guide to apartments and our sister brand Rent.com, understand the struggle that displaced people face in these circumstances. There is nothing more important than finding a safe place to live for you and your family. We therefore make it easier for tenants to identify apartment communities with homes ready to move in immediately.
If a natural disaster (hurricane, flood, tornado, winter conditions, etc.) displaces residents, we will post messages on the property pages of our websites to notify tenants that these communities have housing available at this time.
The messages will look like this example after the ice storm in Texas in February 2021:
Messaging will vary depending on the situation, but you will easily be able to see if the desired property has availability. You may even be able to take advantage of special move-in offers, depending on the length of the lease you want.
What this means for tenants
The availability of apartments will always vary from property to property.
In your research, you might find a community you would like to live in, but then find that all units are currently full or uninhabitable due to the storm. In this case, the first availability may not take place before the start of the new month after the expiration of another tenant’s lease. Depending on when you do the research, it might only take a few days or a few weeks, but neither option is favorable when you need something right now.
This new post saves you time in your apartment search by showing you at the top of the property page on Apartment Guide or Rent.com if there are any immediate openings.
Then you can take the necessary steps to contact that property to discuss your options.
Other tips for finding an apartment quickly
While the ready-to-move-in posts will help tenants locate properties with availability, it’s not the only way to find apartments quickly.
Here are some other things renters can do to find an apartment quickly.
1. Be prepared
While you might not have all of your essentials on hand during this time, there are a few important documents you need to have on hand to ensure a faster process if you find the perfect place. Especially if you find yourself in a market saturated with other tenants who are going through the same experience, speeding up the review of your rental application is a definite plus.
Be sure to bring the same set of documents with every apartment visit or have them ready to email a property manager at any time. You will want to have:
- Proof of employment: This is either the last few months of pay stubs, a letter from your employer, or your last tax return.
- Proof of finances: Pay stubs and a recent bank statement can work together here.
- Veterinary records (if you have a pet): Your future property manager will need proof of vaccination before they can have a pet.
- Proof that you are ready to rent (if applicable): Share documentation from your former property manager that explains why you can no longer live there and confirms that you have been released from your previous lease.
- Proof of your situation: It never hurts to provide a letter documenting your situation so that a property manager has a complete picture of you as a tenant and your situation.
Another document you can bring with you to really speed up the review of your rental application is a credit report. While this is something a property manager can access on their own, putting it back for now saves a lot of time.
2. Know what you are looking for
The perfect way to search for apartments is online. At Apartment Guide, we allow you to refine your search criteria to improve results. We’ll help you get to the neighborhoods you want and only show ads that match your list of desired amenities.
Find exactly what you want with True Search
The easiest way to get started is to simply use the True Search feature on our website.
Looking for a one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta that accepts dogs and is close to public transportation? Just type that in the search bar and boom you’ll see all of the one bedroom apartments in Atlanta that are dog friendly and are close to public transportation.
How about a studio in Houston for under $ 1000 with stainless steel appliances? Same thing.
True Search can help save you time so you can find your apartment ready to move in even faster.
Use filters to your advantage
If you prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, you can still use manual filters to help with your search. To find the filters on your mobile device, click on the Filters button at the top right of your screen. You can then select your custom search filters.
To best narrow down your results, it’s important to filter your search into as many areas as possible.
- First, define your price range and be realistic.
- Choose your favorite bedrooms and bathrooms.
- Click on the pet filter if you are taking an animal with you.
- If unit laundry is your absolute convenience, then make this choice. If not, ignore this option and you will get more results.
- Click on your ideal list of additional amenities, but be selective and choose only the best choices. You’re in a rush after all, and it helps find areas where you could compromise.
- Make sure the results are set to be sorted by best match.
From there, you can click the heart icon (if you’re signed in) to save the searches you like and keep a full list.
As you click on the hearts, call up the listings to inquire about availability. Do not complete the online form if you are looking for immediate results.
3. Take virtual tours
When you can, visit an apartment community in person. But, if you want to find an apartment quickly, virtual tours will be a faster option.
Most of the communities on our website offer you the following virtual tour options:
- Visits and 3D videos: Use interactive 3D features to virtually explore a unit at your own pace.
- Recorded video visits: Watch a pre-recorded video tour of a rental agent walking through the unit.
- Live video tours: FaceTime or Zoom with a rental agent who will guide you through the unit and the grounds. This option allows you to ask questions in real time.
You can find the virtual tour options under the Visit of the house section of the property page on our website.
4. Shop the promotions
It is also beneficial to look for special offers when trying to find an apartment quickly. From free rent to big discounts, every dollar you can keep will help cover the extra expenses of moving and replacing your belongings.
This is easy to do when you search with the Apartment Guide. Find the filter called Good deals. Adding it to your search criteria prioritizes rentals with special offers. When you click on a listing with a Hot Deals tag, you’ll see the special’s details at the top right.
Be sure to mention the deal when you call the property manager. Let them know where you saw it and make sure it is still available if you come to sign a lease.
Find your apartment ready to move in today
Helping tenants find their apartment ready to move into is the goal of Apartment Guide. We are here for you, with a complete search, whether you are in a hurry to find an apartment quickly or taking your time. Either way, we understand the importance of having a home that works for you on all levels.