From the Magazine

Love HGTV? Here’s How to Become a Real Estate Mystery Shopper

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If you’re a big fan of HGTV shows that give you a peek into other people’s homes, you can turn that curiosity into cash! Mystery shopping companies that focus on all things real estate will pay you to report on your experiences! Here’s how to cash in: 

Suss out opportunities 

Sign up with a mystery shopping firm, and you could earn as much as $50 a gig to rate the customer service skills of real estate agents, property managers, and leasing agents — and take house tours along the way! 

You can apply at sites like Second to None, Ellis, Bestmark, and Advanced Feedback

Get prepped

Your mystery shop may have a special focus depending on whom you’ll be meeting, says Daniel Bakst of Second to None. So it’s important to review the instructions ahead of time. 

“If your appointment is with a property manager, you may be evaluating how they interact with you at various steps during your meeting. If it’s with a real estate agent, you’ll measure their ability to show off properties,” explains Bakst. 

Bring a notebook

Or be prepared to take notes on your smartphone! Real estate mystery shops often entail detailed reports. “You’ll be expected to recount exactly how agents responded to specific questions provided by the scenario guidelines,” says Bakst. 

You’ll also be asked to record the timing for each section of your interaction. How long was your meet and greet? How long did the house tour take? Real estate companies want to know how efficient their employees are! 

Play the part

Real estate mystery shops can be lengthy, and it’s key to maintain your anonymity, says Bakst. Typically, you’ll get a story-like scenario beforehand (why you’re house-hunting, what you’re looking for, etc.), and, like any good stage actor, you’ll need to learn your lines.

Tip: Write down any questions you’re required to ask. Unlike with other mystery shops for, say, restaurants, real estate pros won’t find it unusual that you’re taking notes or referring to a list of questions! 

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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