Personal inspection or direct booking of the apartment?

Entrance area of a furnished apartment of City-Wohnen Hamburg - View or book?

Many people are not directly on site in Hamburg and cannot visit apartments personally. In most cases, a direct booking is no problem.


Is a personal inspection of the furnished apartment in advance necessary, or can I book the apartment directly?


When an empty, long-term apartment goes on the market, it is absolutely clear that the rental will involve a personal inspection. With a temporary furnished apartment, the situation is quite different. Since many apartment seekers come from another city or from abroad, a personal appointment is difficult or even impossible in many cases. So how do you go about it? Let us explain your options.

We at City-Wohnen suggest using online viewings via the 360° tour and/ or a direct booking in order to guarantee a quick agreement for both parties. It then only takes a few hours from the apartment search to the lease agreement.


Option 1: The classic on-site visit

As mentioned above, many people looking for a temporary apartment through City-Wohnen come from another city or country. However, there are also always people looking for an apartment who are already in Hamburg or are willing to travel for a desired viewing. These people have the option of visiting  apartments in person before making a decision. An on-site appointment is set up either with our field service team or with the lessor themself - depending on which service package the lessor has chosen.

Pros: You get to know the apartment in detail. Does it feel right? Does it meet my wishes? Do I like the surroundings?

Cons: Extra work and the delay in decision making. Scheduling an appointment can take a few days, especially if the apartment is currently occupied and the appointment must be coordinated with them as well. In the meantime, someone else may request a direct booking. Then the apartment is no longer available.


Option 2: Take a virtual tour

Für Menschen, die keine Wohnungen besichtigen können, ist eine virtuelle Besichtigung eine gute und sichere Lösung.

Some of our apartments have a 360° tour that we provide through Matterport. In this case, interested parties can navigate through the individual rooms at their leisure and view every corner of the apartment. To do so, simply click on the 360° button in the apartment profile on our website. Since our in-house photographer records the Matterport tours as well photographing all the apartments on our website, we can say with a clear conscience that the pictures correspond to reality. This creates security for apartment seekers.

If  there is no 360° tour for a particular apartment, online viewings by video call via smartphone or tablet are a good way to get to know the furnished apartement. Online viewings via smartphone or tablet take place with our field staff or lessors, depending on the chosen service package. Potential lessees can join a video call to have a good look around the apartment.

Pros: The 360° tour is super accurate and available immediately. Since the tours are up-to-date, you can make a quick and safe decision.

Cons: Scheduling an online tour via  smartphone or tablet has to be can take time, just like an in-person appointment. With an online tour, one cannot visit the surroundings. You can see a lot of the surroundings on streetview, though, and don’t forget to check out our descriptions of the different areas of Hamburg!


Option 3: Book an apartment directly

The third option is to book the apartment directly without an inspection (virtual or in-person). Based on the pictures and the apartment description, a direct booking is just as safe and is definitely the fastest solution. After a booking request, we can quickly complete all formalities. As soon as the lessor gives us the green light, we will draw up the lease agreement and send it via DocuSign. Since a direct booking is usually much faster than the organization of inspections, there is a very clear competitive advantage over other apartment seekers.

Pros: A direct booking is the fastest and least complicated solution.

Cons: Even if the photographs mirror the apartment as exactly as possible, it is still natural that the apartment may feel somewhat different than you expected.

In person or online - which option is best?

Which type of inspection is best is individual and depends entirely on the needs of the rental parties. Some lessors prefer to meet in person on site, while others are happy to accept bookings and find their new lessees quickly. In general, however, bookings come first. In plain language, this means that a virtual tour - especially a 360° tour with Matterport - ensures the deal is sealed quickly.

The early bird gets the apartment

Since City-Wohnen cannot reserve apartments for interested parties, the motto in most cases is “The early bird gets the apartment.” The process for arranging live appointments on-site naturally takes a lot longer. If a suitable booking request is received in the meantime and the lessor agrees, this booking request is given priority. Conversely, this also means for lessors that offering an online viewing or a direct booking significantly increases the chances of finding lessees for their apartment.

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