$60/hr: How can it be done?

This is an individual industry, we are in it for different reasons...while one wants to make the over used $60.00 per hour, many of us don't see that as our goal, and not willing to work so hard, routes in rural places is not for all. The first thread should be kept in meta and viewed by those that need the info., while continuing to tell us how to make all this money, many of us are not interested, don't want to do Video, or our state doesn't allow it. I always believed our income should be "our income", not bragged about, not thrown out there, keep it to yourself and enjoy it, we're all happy it can be made for those that have families and need to make a supplement income. Those that need to make more will figure it out. TMI is easily given on the forum, so for me, I'm over it.
Afterthought: Don't feed the trolls.....

Live consciously....

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15 minutes on-site for a video apartment shop would have my report looing like the leasing agent needs help immediately. First of all you have to sit down with the agent, determine what you need, what is important to you and what you must have in your new home. Then you get to go on a round-about route to view every single amenity and either an empty apartment or furnished model - room by room. Returning to the leasing office you must listen to the sales pitch. No way in H*LL can this all be done in 15 minutes with any kind of accuracy or thoroughness.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2019 03:43PM by lbtweety47.
Most leasing agents spent under three minutes assessing needs. They spend less than 10 on tour. Over half don't make a proper close. A 15 minute visit is very common.

If you have a well-trained leasing agent, the visits take longer. Most management companies do not train their leasing agents well.

@lbtweety47 wrote:

15 minutes on-site for a video apartment shop would have my report looing like the leasing agent needs help immediately. First of all you have to sit down with the agent, determine what you need, what is important to you and what you must have in your new home. Then you get to go on a round-about route to view every single amenity and either an empty apartment or furnished model - room by room. Returning to the leasing office you must listen to the sales pitch. No way in H*LL can this all be done in 15 minutes with any kind of accuracy or thoroughness.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Duplicate post.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2019 04:03PM by MFJohnston.
Unfortunately, many, many leasing agents do nothing but the tour, and very little during that. I have done apartment video since late 2015 and the distribution of times is bi-modal: a big bulge on the lower ed (18 minutes or less) and a small bulge on the high end (35-60 minutes). When a recent one took 60 minutes, I emailed the scheduler and, without my asking, she added $30 and said that the MSC would renegotiate with the client. Not counting that odd shop, the very high end has been about 45 minutes, when we had to get a golf cart and slowly make our way through a construction site to see 2 units in two, widely separated buildings.
Hint: when the shopper "picks and sticks," the tour gets much shorter. Same for new home shops.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Another thought regarding length of visit:

As the shopper, we are supposed to let the leasing agent take the lead. We are not supposed to ask questions with a lot of substance that will cause the visit to last longer. Whether or not the leasing agent takes the initiative is part of what is being assessed.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I have never done an Apt. in less than 40 minutes, walking upstairs, viewing model, walking around the building looking at the grounds/gym/pool takes time. Maybe I'm slow, but 40 minutes to an hour seems normal to me... Seems the Agent if doing a good job tells you cost and all the details, if not, under an hour....not doing them any longer unless they pay more than 40.00. CA may have stricter rules and they want to know if the Agent tells you the law, discrimination and such. There have been times when they want to know if the Agent calls back, so job not finished. Definitely from where I sit, not a $60.00 an hour job and never bonused.

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2019 04:29PM by Irene_L.A..
I have done several apartment visits in California and had the same experience.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
My experience has been opposite of wales'. I don't particularly enjoy apartment shops and generally only do 3-4 a year. A huge majority of mine run 20-30 minutes with outliers on each side. The difference is very likely in the number of shops, clients, and locations.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I have never done an Apt. in less than 40 minutes, walking upstairs, viewing model, walking around the building looking at the grounds/gym/pool takes time. Maybe I'm slow, but 40 minutes to an hour seems normal to me... Seems the Agent if doing a good job tells you cost and all the details, if not, under an hour....not doing them any longer unless they pay more than 40.00. CA may have stricter rules and they want to know if the Agent tells you the law, discrimination and such. There have been times when they want to know if the Agent calls back, so job not finished. Definitely from where I sit, not a $60.00 an hour job and never bonused.

Apartment visits here are 45-60 minutes, sometimes more. New home visits run 1-2 hours. Not for me.
The one apartment shop that I completed was time-consuming. There were pleasantries, a tour, an attempt or three to sign me up for a place, and something else. I have forgotten what that was, but it seemed to add grace and provide a complete sales process. The shop probably lasted 45-60 minutes. There was no target to chase before the visit. There are few apartment complexes nearby, so I do not do many of these shops. The nearest assisted living apartment shops are at least an hour from home. I have nothing against these shops; I only need to remember that if I do them again I will need comfortable shoes, fair weather, and extra time-- just in case.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2019 07:59PM by Shop-et-al.
Not sure where you are apartment shopping but in the Phoenix area I have never had one under 30 minutes and the average is closer to 45 minutes - without me asking questions except the objection statement that the agent has to reply to. Again, just walking (or using a golf cart) to view amenities and get to the empty apartment/model apartment takes longer than 15 minutes. Maybe your apartments are not spread out over acres and acres -
In Seattle, very few of the apartment are spread out. Typically, most of the amenities share a building (The "clubhouse"winking smiley with the office, so we can walk through them all within two minutes of leaving the office. Typically, the apartment we view is across a single roadway - less than two minutes from the "clubhouse."

@lbtweety47 wrote:

Not sure where you are apartment shopping but in the Phoenix area I have never had one under 30 minutes and the average is closer to 45 minutes - without me asking questions except the objection statement that the agent has to reply to. Again, just walking (or using a golf cart) to view amenities and get to the empty apartment/model apartment takes longer than 15 minutes. Maybe your apartments are not spread out over acres and acres -

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
MF JOHNSON -- How about the pool(s), gym, business center, mailing room, conference rooms, and guest services? Don't any of your apartment shops have these amenities? Guess we are spoiled here in the Valley of the Sun because it is rare to not find all of these available when doing a shop.
Most of those amenities are typically located in the clubhouse - the same building in which the office is located. On higher-end apartments, the tours do take longer.

@lbtweety47 wrote:

MF JOHNSON -- How about the pool(s), gym, business center, mailing room, conference rooms, and guest services? Don't any of your apartment shops have these amenities? Guess we are spoiled here in the Valley of the Sun because it is rare to not find all of these available when doing a shop.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I made $80/hr today! But my "day" was only one hour. Hah. Still had time leftover to clean my house for $0/hr.

sestrahelena
I am curious how you folks determine hourly pay. Is it based on time spent on the shop, time spent on the shop plus travel, or shop time, travel time and report time?
If you read the entire thread that question has been answered several times. I get why you wouldn't because it got a bit convoluted there.

For me, hourly pay is amount spent travelling, shopping, and reporting.

So let's say I leave home at 8:00 and return home at 1:00 where I work on reports for 3 hours. I invoice $400 in shop fees for that day. I have "made" $50 an hour. It's what I call a billing rate. Some other's take expenses out of that as well. I do not.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
To add:
If we're talking about adding a shop then I figure additional travel time plus additional shop time plus additional reporting time. For instance, I picked up 2 Casey's General Stores shops yesterday. I timed the reports last night and they took me 4 minutes each. I literally drove right past both of them so they added about 6 minutes each (they're REALLY easy) in drive and shop time. So the 2 took 20 minutes total and paid about $20, which means for those 2 shops I made $60 an hour. That's usually my threshold for adding shops to a route.

Overall though, I honestly look more at a per day goal than a per hour. On overnight routes I need a minimum of $500 in shop fees per day and I want to work 10 hours or less per day. I don't really do local shops for the most part.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Thanks bg, my apologies for not devouring this entire post. I more or less skimmed it. A case could be made for using shop time only as the basis for hourly pay.

The only job I ever had that paid an hourly fee was when I was in high school and worked at Jones Beach for the summer. That paid me for the time I punched in until I punched out. After that I caddied at the black course at Bethpage, where the PGA is being played this weekend. You might be surprised how many duffers embarrassed themselves there just to say they played the Black. I had some basic mechanical skills and spent the next 6 summers thru high school and college cleaning and tuning oil burners, the dirtiest job available that the regular mechanics didn't want to do. I was paid per job and not hourly and socked away enough money to cover my living expenses thru college. The military was a monthly pay and my first real job was in the city where I commuted daily. I earned a salary based on the time spent in the office. I ended up as a manufacturer's representative in the sporting goods industry, which was another IC job. I was not concerned with how much I earned hourly but rather how much I earned monthly, which, for the most part, was considerable.

I retired from my last job, got quickly bored and found mystery shopping which is quite similar to being a manufacturer's rep except not close to the financial rewards. As a rep I did learn that the only productive time was time spent in front of a client. Preparation for a presentation, travel time and writing and submitting an order after a successful presentation were all necessary but not productive. This is pretty much true of mystery shopping.

I don't see this as an hourly job but if a lot of discussion has been made about it and a case can be made for shop time being the sole factor for per hour income. In that case, $60 per hour is a piece of cake.
@bgriffin wrote:

I picked up 2 Casey's General Stores shops yesterday. I timed the reports last night and they took me 4 minutes each. I literally drove right past both of them so they added about 6 minutes each (they're REALLY easy) in drive and shop time. So the 2 took 20 minutes total and paid about $20, which means for those 2 shops I made $60 an hour. .

Ah yes such a wonderful Cinderella story! Not exactly the way the story goes actually! LOL! The Caseys shops pay $7 with up to $5 dollars reimbursement. As we all know $5 does not get you much in a gas station store. So lets say it is more like we would make $14 dollars and a couple of snacks. And yes those reports are very easy but lets say they take us at least 10 minutes and keep it honest. And yes it is going to take at least 35 or 40 minutes to do two Caseys shops. The client Caseys would be outraged and ready to fire the Mystery Shopping Company at the suggestion that the shopper should spend less then 7 minutes at a shop. Let us all remember that at the end of the tale all that Cinderella had left was pumpkins and mice.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2019 03:33AM by Sobrokeigot2dothis.
I am currently in the middle of a 6 week route. I bought snacks that I would have bought anyway. And yes, I was on-site about 6 minutes both times.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2019 04:04AM by bgriffin.
For those who are doing this full time without any other work, how much in taxes do you pay at the end of the year? What are you contributing to your retirement?
I pay basically $0 in income tax but I pay 12.5% of my schedule C profit in FICA. I own 1/3 of an LLC that has a substantial net loss for tax purposes. After doing my taxes with no other contributions I go back and refigure what I have to contribute to my traditional IRA and SEP to to get that number to $0. I realize I am in a much different position than most full time shoppers as I have an incredibly low cost of living (about $500 a month) and own rental property with my brothers that creates a large tax loss. That makes it pretty easy for me to lower taxable income both from a large deduction and having the ability to save during the year to make large tax shelter contributions.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bgriffin wrote:

I pay basically $0 in income tax but I pay 12.5% of my schedule C profit in FICA. I own 1/3 of an LLC that has a substantial net loss for tax purposes. After doing my taxes with no other contributions I go back and refigure what I have to contribute to my traditional IRA and SEP to to get that number to $0. I realize I am in a much different position than most full time shoppers as I have an incredibly low cost of living (about $500 a month) and own rental property with my brothers that creates a large tax loss. That makes it pretty easy for me to lower taxable income both from a large deduction and having the ability to save during the year to make large tax shelter contributions.

Fake News people!

I can see a number of things wrong with that. The self employment tax is not 12.5. It has never been 12.5%. The exact number today is the same as it has been for years and years which is 15.5%!

If one is living on less then $500 a month then they would be way way below what is considered the poverty level. We hear endless tales of how you make 60 dollars an hour and now you are here telling us you live off 500 a month. It just don't jive.
ROFLMAO.

I'm typing on my phone. It's actually 15.3%.

When my dad passed away a couple of years ago I moved in with my mom. Say what you want, she wouldn't have survived if I hadn't. Unfortunately she refuses to take any rent or or help with utilities. So my only bills are cell phone, insurance, and food. Not that any of this is any of your @#$%& business.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bgriffin wrote:

ROFLMAO.

I'm typing on my phone. It's actually 15.3%.

When my dad passed away a couple of years ago I moved in with my mom. Say what you want, she wouldn't have survived if I hadn't. Unfortunately she refuses to take any rent or or help with utilities. So my only bills are cell phone, insurance, and food. Not that any of this is any of your @#$%& business.

Health insurance alone costs more then 500 dollars a month. Help us understand how that works.
@Sobrokeigot2dothis wrote:

Health insurance alone costs more then 500 dollars a month. Help us understand how that works.

Actually car insurance is my largest expense. I am able to get my reportable income low enough that tax credits pay for substantially all of my health insurance.

Now I'm done with this discussion. You're only here to stir up @#$%&, I have avoided replying to you and am unhappy with myself that I did in this case.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@bgriffin wrote:

@Sobrokeigot2dothis wrote:

Health insurance alone costs more then 500 dollars a month. Help us understand how that works.

Actually car insurance is my largest expense. I am able to get my reportable income low enough that tax credits pay for substantially all of my health insurance.

Now I'm done with this discussion. You're only here to stir up @#$%&, I have avoided replying to you and am unhappy with myself that I did in this case.

No more response needed. We get it now. You live at your Moms house and make $60 dollars an hour mystery shopping and are on government subsidized health insurance.
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