Are people starting to move apartments again now?

May 26, 2020 by Ted Bauer

What we know

We do know that Americans -- and DFW residents -- are starting to "move," as in get out and about, more based on data from Apple and Google Maps. Anecdotally, this weekend I was along the Trinity Trails on Saturday and it was very crowded, then at HopFusion Brewery in the late afternoon/early evening and it was also crowded, with social distancing enforced using orange yarn on tables. So people were clearly "out and about."

As for the actual process of moving from one home to another, or one apartment to another, there is some low-grade intel out there showcasing that it's happening. This article on Vogue is insufferable in parts about a couple trying to move in together in NYC, but it showcases some of the "new normal" around leasing, buying, and moving. Namely:

  • Leasing agent was not doing tours, so he provided a video from the most recent tenants.
  • The complex had an IG feed people could check out. 
  • They sent you "virtual walking tours" via Google Streetview. 
  • For the actual move, there were different provisions and time structures you could utilize to minimize human contact during the process.

Now, according to one apartment listing site at the end of March -- so at a time things were closed, but it wasn't deep in terms of COVID time-wise -- 60% of renters planned to go through with their existing move. We had seen similar numbers externally: 40-60%. In terms of clients we worked with, it was a little bit higher, and it's trended up as COVID has gone on. More and more people seem to be realizing that it's not an ideal time to move, no, but that complexes and landlords have put precautions in place -- as have moving companies -- and it's a potentially good time to find deals and spend a little extra time researching what you want. Here's a good thread on how some people are approaching moving right now.

What questions should you be asking if you're moving now?

We covered this a bit before, but some core questions you could ask us include:

  • What complexes seem to be taking the most precautions?
  • Are there any complexes with more space or area between units?
  • Are there any major deals out there or move-in specials to boost demand?
  • What's in each neighborhood that's walkable?
  • What options are there for dogs or other pets? {We have covered this before}
  • Are there any complexes with flexibility programs in case there are future layoffs?
  • Where should I be considering that I'm maybe not right now?

As for a complex? (And we can talk to a complex for you, as an intermediary initially.)

  • What did you do in mid-March when COVID first rapidly scaled?
  • How have you maintained social distance in the complex?
  • Any illness or anything like that?
  • How often do you clean and what's the general protocol there?
  • What about shared amenities like pool, gym, game rooms, etc? Are those open? Are they cleaned with the same frequency as the rest of the complex?
  • How's the Internet speed/connectivity, broadly?
  • What's nearby amenity-wise/food-wise that you like?
  • Has this complex and your parent company been pretty flexible with any individual economic reversals due to COVID?
  • Any COVID-friendly move-in precautions?

Bottom lines here: if you don't like where you're at or want to chase a better deal, avoid stasis in the moment and let's find you a better place! And realize that the panic has level-set a bit, and complexes have been dealing with virtual needs for close to three months now, so we have processes and protocols in place to achieve success here.

Are people moving at the old levels, say, last almost-June? No. But are they still moving? Yes. And it can definitely be done.

About the Author

Ted Bauer

Ted Bauer is a writer/editor for White Rock Locators focused on as much cool content about the DFW Metroplex rental scene as he can possibly find week-to-week.