Understanding Mystery Shopping:

The build-to-rent (BTR) sector has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity as the demand for rental housing continues to grow. BTR operators must distinguish themselves and build a strong brand presence in this dynamic landscape. One innovative and effective strategy that can significantly benefit BTR operators is the incorporation of anonymous audits during apartment viewings. This essay explores how frequent audits can enhance brand value and contribute to the overall success of build-to-rent operators.

This essay is part of the MORICON Mystery Shopping Insight initiative, a series of articles focusing on brand excellence and performance improvement in apartment viewings.

Mystery Shopping

A secret shop or audit evaluates the quality of service a business offers by deploying anonymous individuals to act as potential customers. In the context of BTR, the anonymous audit involves sending trained evaluators to participate in apartment viewings as prospective tenants. This process allows operators to gain valuable insights into the customer experience, identifying strengths and areas for improvement in their service delivery.

Building Trust and Customer Confidence:

One of the primary advantages of incorporating such audits in the apartment viewing process is its ability to build trust and instil confidence in prospective tenants. The person posing as a potential renter, assesses various aspects, such as the property’s cleanliness, the staff’s professionalism, and the accuracy of information provided during the viewing. Positive experiences during these interactions contribute to establishing trust, a crucial element in the decision-making process for potential tenants.

Identifying Areas for Improvement:

Such auditing is a powerful tool for BTR operators to identify and rectify any shortcomings in their service delivery. Evaluators can provide detailed feedback on aspects like communication effectiveness, response time, and the overall impression of the property. This constructive feedback enables operators to refine their customer service processes, ensuring a seamless and satisfying experience for future tenants.

Enhancing Brand Consistency:

Consistency is critical in building a strong brand. Testing the standards and processes allows BTR operators to evaluate whether their brand values and standards are consistently maintained across different properties and interactions. Ensuring a uniform and positive brand experience at every touchpoint contributes to brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Competitive Advantage:

In a competitive market, setting oneself apart is crucial for success. The audit provides BTR operators with a competitive edge by allowing them to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. By benchmarking against industry standards, operators can adapt and innovate, ensuring that their offerings stand out in the eyes of potential tenants. It also de-risks the viewing process by creating an ongoing set of data points which allow a constant finetuning of operational standards.


In conclusion, mystery shopping during apartment viewings is a strategic and beneficial practice for build-to-rent operators aiming to establish a strong brand presence. By focusing on building trust, identifying areas for improvement, ensuring brand consistency, and gaining a competitive advantage, BTR operators can create a positive and lasting impression on potential tenants. As the rental housing market continues to evolve, the integration of anonymous standards audits will be an invaluable tool in shaping the success and sustainability of build-to-rent operations.

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Company Information: MORICON Mystery Shopper trades under MORICON Consultants Ltd.

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