Welp, ACL is being investigated by the California Dept of Industrial Relations

@shopperbob
If the reports took me that long, I would not be doing so many of them. I've only been shopping for them since 2016, but have completed over 300 of their shops - likely well over 300. I haven't counted.

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

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


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2019 05:34PM by MFJohnston.
@MFJohnston wrote:

@sandyf
To clarify: My time estimates for total shop time were for non-video. With EPMS, the video shops tend to have the same report length as non-video. (Every once in a great while, they have a no-report video shop.)

I also type very quickly, which helps with narrative speed.

Yes, the ability to type very fast is important in this job. I have never gone beyond just one step above hunt and peck. That really hurts productivity for me. At least in these days when a female graduates college with pretty much any degree they are not automatically sent out on interviews for "secretarial" jobs. Maybe if I had caved and taken one of those jobs back then I would have been better off in this narrative heavy world I am in time wise. Anyone 20 years younger than I am probably does not even understand the above statement.
Properties here are huge (massive), my Townhouse has 150 units, so doing any apartment requires parking and walking to the Agent, then an offer of water, then the rules are informed and we chat a bit before seeing the unit, which is always upstairs and taking from 15/20 minutes to get to and view. Then we see the grounds, pool, gym, party room, kids area and such taking at least 30 minutes. Then back to the office for the agreement and cost, another 15+ minute's, all this for 45.00. I say and hold firm on an hour not counting distance and report. I find it hard to believe an Apt. can be done in 15 minutes, sorry. I could skip half of the requirement's and get down to 40 minutes, and of course some places are not as large, but mostly 8 out of 10 are where I live. They do get taken, wonder how reliable the reports are?????

Live consciously....
Hi MFJOHNSTON well you've been doing it longer you're a pro. I know you do the videos. I record the sound or dialogue only. I was wondering who do you do shops for? Just curious. Do you know of any who do shorter reports? I am curious on average how long it takes most people do upload their data or evidence, write the report out online, and submit the material? Interesting conversations though. I am curious as to what other people's experiences are doing the shops. In my opinion the paperwork is a lot.

Perhaps you've figured out a way to get around it and you would like to share with us. Maybe you have a system, where someone else actually does the paperwork and you split. I don't know but I can assure you that editing or just downloading and uploaded the information takes time. How do you do it so fast?
Irene_L.A.
I agree! Exactly, there are times when I am happy to get a small complex because I know it's not as time consuming, but it still takes a lot of time.. I definitely appreciate your honesty. I was just curious about how long it takes other people because I was beginning to think that most of you can whiz through these in like 10 to 30 minutes and another half hour for paperwork.
Oh I took computer keyboard skills and before that typing. I'm a fast typer. I don't hunt and peck. LOL
Yes, typing was a required course in middle school/junior high in my day. It was my worst subject. No keyboards back then.

@scorpionshar777 wrote:

Oh I took computer keyboard skills and before that typing. I'm a fast typer. I don't hunt and peck. LOL
I frequently tour apartment with 200 units. If it is a single building, it is generally a 20 second walk to an elevator, a short elevator ride and a short walk down a hall..... If the buildings are spread out across a larger area, it's a 10 second walk to a golf cart, a short (2 minute) ride to a building and a 10-20 second walk to an apartment... Very few apartment communities are spread out so far that it takes more than two or thee minutes to get from the office to the apartment. Those that are usually can be put on a route to see the amenities. The leasing professionals are supposed to be trained to find "efficient yet attractive" paths. Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, sometimes travel time takes five or six minutes. I have never seen an apartment building where it takes 15 or 20 minutes to walk, one way, from the office to the apartment. (The average person's walking speed is 3mph. A 20-minute walk would suggest that it is a mile (about twenty city blocks) from the office to the apartment.

I do a lot of recorded apartment shops and always view my recordings to check visit duration. 15-20 minutes is very normal. I have shopped apartments in Washington (countless), Oregon (20ish), California (20ish), Illinois (3), Missouri (7), Nebraska (4), Kansas (1), and South Dakota (2).

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
The only one I ever did was in Los Angeles. We do not have vacant land so many of the apt shops that I see nearby are for older complexes that are somewhat spread out and what they show you is a re painted available apartment. In order for me to see more than one layout it meant going down a slow creaky elevator and walking over to another building (not enough space for golf carts) to yet another slow elevator and I seem to remember telling them I was not interested in seeing one particular feature there were no questions about so that cut out some time. They may have rec rooms and pools but they are not near each other and the salesperson has to remember where the open apts are today and remember to take all the right keys...and this one had laundry rooms as these old complexes do not usually have built ins. Maybe I should try another one someday but this was way too time consuming for the pay...Hey and don't forget for these old buildings with no personal laundry and slow elevators the rent for a one bedroom is several thousand a month.
@scorpionshar777
I make no secret that I shop a lot for EPMS - including some video shops. I also shop apartments for seven or eight other MSC's - some of which offered video. Nobody completes any work for me. I type up my own reports. I have invested in very good internet speed at home, so I can upload an hour-long video (new home shops) in less than five minutes. (I haven't timed it.)

Time-saving measures:
* Start uploading video/audio files first. That way you can write your reports while they are uploading in the background. If I have multiple video shops, I start uploading them all right away.
* If you are familiar with the questions, you can make a note of them during the shop (mental or otherwise).
* Write reports as soon as possible after doing the shops. This way, the visit is very fresh and you can answer the questions with minimal review of recordings.
* If you are not already one, become a really fast typist. I learned to type my senior year in high school and it was the single most valuable course I've ever taken. Last timed, I could keyboard accurately at about 80 words a minute.
* Write required narratives while listening to your recordings and don't be afraid to put in too much detail. Then, go back an answer the y/n type questions. This way, you have your accurate and complete narrative first and don't likely have to review the recording again for the other questions.
* Tackle reports one section at a time.: Type the "Greeting" narrative while listening to the "greeting," Pause the recording and answer the "Greeting" questions. Then go to the next narrative, etc.
* If needed, take a grammar course and always use great grammar when typing online (such as on this forum). This will help you to automatically use good grammar and spelling as you type, without having to spent much time proofreading.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I should also be clear: I do not do apartments shops at their initial offers. Rarely do I do them for less than $70.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I got an email today offering $10 for an apartment shop (Intellishop) and it had a target. This was for an on-site visit.
Wow...

@Niner wrote:

I got an email today offering $10 for an apartment shop (Intellishop) and it had a target. This was for an on-site visit.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
The difference in time blows my mind as it's not just you alone, maybe the Agent is slow and finishing up with another, so many variables, I still hold firm on an average of 40 minutes to an hour just on site, report another 40 minutes and I do re check my work as a slip of the finger can and does happen. I love typing so not that slow, many years ago while being trained by IBM and their first computer (key punch keys), I was pretty dammed fast, report time will vary, hell i go to ask a question to my Homeowners and I'm there 20 minutes waiting for the right person, just sayin....but I guess MJF your the "golden boy".
p.s. I couldn't stand to do more than one a day, now not doing any, my choice, and we don't get $70.00 here in LaLaland.
Niner...Intellishop has reached a new low, poor chap that takes it.

Live consciously....
If you look at the EPMS job board in the LA area, there are currently quite a few non-recorded apartment shops at $55. There are also a couple of video shops that have been recently taken (but you can sign up for as a backup) for $110. A bit outside of town there are audio recorded shops at $90 - something around which I would attempt to make a route. I recognize that apartments are not for everybody - especially through EPMS, but there is decent pay available, even in Southern California. I don't get emails for that area, so I have no idea what they might actually be desperate to fill. (I get most of my well-bonused shops for EPMS over email.)

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I type 80-90 wpm. But, I talk faster. Most computers and cell phones have voice to text functions. Proof-reading is required, but completing reports is still faster.
You keep talking about Video to those that don't do it as it has to be approved by both parties in CA, and many just don't do Video or want to....40 minutes for an Apartment report is really not a long report, look at Coyle's.
Never timed my talking, what the.....

Live consciously....
@Irene_L.A.
I know that you don't do video. However, when I mention dollar amounts on shops I do, it would be disingenuous not to point out that some are video. I have spoken about written, audio and video recorded posts in my posts. If somebody wants the dollar amounts for non-video from my previous post, s/he can ignore the $110.

Yes, California is a two-party consent state. So is Washington. Video and audio recorded visits can be done if the subject of the recording has consented to it in his/her contract with the management. That's why MSC's are able to offer such shops in our states - though there are not as many as what can be found in one-party consent states. I know that they have done so because, when I call apartment communities for which I am doing recorded visits, they always have voicemail messages that state that the calls "may be recorded for training purposes."

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@sandyf wrote:

We enjoy many more benefits that our taxes pay for. I have never heard of anyone paying 70% in taxes. Read the news. The top tax rates are only paid on the top part of your income. So if you are in the top bracket you pay that only on that part of your income which is over the top, not all of your income. Statistically the overall rates are much lower. So you may not be interested in all the benefits of living in Calif but for now my adult daughter has health and dental insurance for free while she is in school, Many other states do not offer that. I pay taxes for that and many other things that I sometimes can find useful and very helpful .
Not free; taxpayer-supported. There is no such thing as a free lunch. SOMEone is paying. I'm doubting that as a mystery shopper, you made enough to even pay for her government school costs, let alone her "free" health and dental insurance. Those government schools in CA are funded largely by the state's wealthiest earners (source: [ed100.org]).

I predict if ACL loses, their headquarters will move to a more business-friendly state.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Perhaps having a thread especially for Video would save us non-Video folks the time of reading all this. i know you do well, more power to you, I'm over it, last post on this subject, have a good one....

Live consciously....
@iShop123 wrote:

@sandyf wrote:

We enjoy many more benefits that our taxes pay for. I have never heard of anyone paying 70% in taxes. Read the news. The top tax rates are only paid on the top part of your income. So if you are in the top bracket you pay that only on that part of your income which is over the top, not all of your income. Statistically the overall rates are much lower. So you may not be interested in all the benefits of living in Calif but for now my adult daughter has health and dental insurance for free while she is in school, Many other states do not offer that. I pay taxes for that and many other things that I sometimes can find useful and very helpful .
Not free; taxpayer-supported. There is no such thing as a free lunch. SOMEone is paying. I'm doubting that as a mystery shopper, you made enough to even pay for her government school costs, let alone her "free" health and dental insurance. Those government schools in CA are funded largely by the state's wealthiest earners (source: [ed100.org]).

I predict if ACL loses, their headquarters will move to a more business-friendly state.

Oh yes, if you want to put it that way her health care is not free. I paid for it because even though I am a mystery shopper you may be surprised to learn that some of us are in the top tax rates. I probably pay more in taxes than the group of mystery shoppers you seem to think I belong to earns a year. But yes, her health insurance is free. Just like if I go to Costco and get lunch on their freebies that is free too. But yes, the companies providing the samples are paying, however I have never heard anyone say they are paying for those samples they are eating when they buy the product but that is probably true. And these things are much more free than the free meals we get mystery shopping. And I paid for her to go to private college. My children did not take advantage of the great colleges in California, which by the way are not free. I am not sure how much it is now but it was close to $25,000 a year when they were going to college. And yes the education is subsidized and is half of what the private schools cost. But I am one of the people subsidizing that education.

I did not know that ACL had headquarters in California but it does not matter where their headquarters are. They still need to play by the rules of the state they hire people in.
I went to community college in LACCD . There we're many students who can't get into UCLA or Cal State college. For those of you who don't know it takes five years to transfer from a LACCD college to Any California university. They have a path to university.. many use up their SL money on community college and then no funds for a Cali university.
Scorpionshar, several of my friends kids did the Community College route and it was a 2 year stint before transfer. One of them took about 10 years but that was due to him dropping out several times and taking years off in between. Most went to Santa Monica not LA community college. He just graduated last year from UCLA after finally getting serious about school.
@scorpionshar777 wrote:

For those of you who don't know it takes five years to transfer from a LACCD college to Any California university.

Despite SMCC having the best stats for transfer in the state, it's my understanding that ALL community Colleges work on the 2-year system for full-time students to transfer out to a university. That may not be the statistical reality, but it's the plan.

@iShop123; The article you linked to is specifically about funding for k-12...not universities. A large percentage of the operating expense for CA universities comes from tuition, and I also pay much more in state taxes these days than I ever did for tuition when I was at a state school. And I'm happy to have that money go toward Sandy's children's education.

...and last I heard, AC was headquartered in GA, not CA. They are simply doing business here.
Many students who enter the community college system in Los Angeles and nearby do not have the proper pre requisites to start as a college student. They have not taken and passed the math and English courses they need and some have other deficiencies in their high school transcripts.
The community colleges are set up to cure these holes in the high school transcripts and this often takes two years of remedial classes before they can even start their college. There are many causes for this but this gives the students a second chance if for whatever reason they did not take and pass the required classes in high school. Others flounder around for a while trying to figure out what to major in or just figuring out that you actually need to pay attention to get a college degree, while some others have to work while at school and do not go full time. If they enter with full high school credentials and score high enough to get into the college track this takes two years full time and it is far easier to transfer to a UC than those applying from High School. Those students who graduate from the college track with decent grades are guaranteed a spot in a UC while those spots are very competitive to those coming from High School.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@scorpionshar777 wrote:


Despite SMCC having the best stats for transfer in the state, it's my understanding that ALL community Colleges work on the 2-year system for full-time students to transfer out to a university. That may not be the statistical reality, but it's the plan.

@iShop123; The article you linked to is specifically about funding for k-12...not universities. A large percentage of the operating expense for CA universities comes from tuition, and I also pay much more in state taxes these days than I ever did for tuition when I was at a state school. And I'm happy to have that money go toward Sandy's children's education.

...and last I heard, AC was headquartered in GA, not CA. They are simply doing business here.
Hi SandyF!
Wow that's great. Yes so you already know the process. The Santa Monica College is very popular too. They as well as LACCD have these programs for High School Students who if they make good grades are able to take some classes via the Community College system and their High School. In other states like Texas for example students don't have to go to a 2 years school a.k.a. Community College for 5 years. In DFW (Dallas/Ft.Worth) there are many Californians in the area because of the college situation. For example, students can go to two year school and knock out the basics and then transfer to a University in Texas. However, what I noticed and I grew up in Texas. They make it super difficult to be considered a In State Student. Just about all the colleges want OUT of STATE and OUT OF Country Students so they can charge the Extra money. But did you know that Americans can go to school in like Italy or Finland for free but they just have to pay for living costs. When I lived in SoCal a lady I knew couldn't afford to wait for her son to go to LACCD so she figured out a way to send him here [aur.edu] I have to admit I would be scared to send my 18 year old abroad alone with no family. but she claimed his father lived there so he would at least know someone.

P.S. I forgot to add one of reasons it takes some people a long time to get through LACCD is the classes fill up fast, they don't always offer courses students need so they have to go to both LACCD and Santa Monica. It's too many students, not enough teachers, budget cuts, and the big schools are over charging prices. No joke.

Thanks for sharing info!

Cheers,


sources:

Transfer Credits from Community College to Uni in CA LACCD
[www.lacitycollege.edu]

Finland Study Abroad [www.studyinfinland.fi]

Rome, Italy Study Abroad [aur.edu]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2019 06:24PM by scorpionshar777.
As a note: You have to be very careful with this. There are at least a few MSC's that state point-blank that they do not want you to do this. And, as you said, if you choose to use this option, you need to be sure to proof-read well.

I use this sort of technology to text my wife while driving... The spelling issues and lack of punctuation would make the proofreading in a narrative-heavy report too much of a bear for me, so I am much happier just typing.

@Mert wrote:

I type 80-90 wpm. But, I talk faster. Most computers and cell phones have voice to text functions. Proof-reading is required, but completing reports is still faster.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
My daughter spent a year of undergrad in France where tuition was free. Unfortunately most of her classes did not help her graduate after she changed her major from French. But she got a great education in sidewalk wine bars.

@scorpionshar777 wrote:

Hi SandyF!
Wow that's great. Yes so you already know the process. The Santa Monica College is very popular too. They as well as LACCD have these programs for High School Students who if they make good grades are able to take some classes via the Community College system and their High School. In other states like Texas for example students don't have to go to a 2 years school a.k.a. Community College for 5 years. In DFW (Dallas/Ft.Worth) there are many Californians in the area because of the college situation. For example, students can go to two year school and knock out the basics and then transfer to a University in Texas. However, what I noticed and I grew up in Texas. They make it super difficult to be considered a In State Student. Just about all the colleges want OUT of STATE and OUT OF Country Students so they can charge the Extra money. But did you know that Americans can go to school in like Italy or Finland for free but they just have to pay for living costs. When I lived in SoCal a lady I knew couldn't afford to wait for her son to go to LACCD so she figured out a way to send him here [aur.edu] I have to admit I would be scared to send my 18 year old abroad alone with no family. but she claimed his father lived there so he would at least know someone.

Thanks for sharing info!

Cheers,


sources:

Finland Study Abroad [www.studyinfinland.fi]

Rome, Italy Study Abroad [aur.edu]
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