Any tips for leasing while practicing social distancing during COVID-19?

As a business built by Gators, for Gators, we realize the COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly stressful time for UF students and our friends at Santa Fe College. We know learning to utilize online platforms for your classes, dealing with the disappointment of ceremonies like graduation canceled, spring break plans crushed, and how to effectively practice social distancing (is it 6 feet apart?) has left your mind racing. 

We're not medical experts, like those bravely serving in our community at UF Health/Shands and NFRMC, and we certainly can't offer you advice on how to avoid COVID-19. However, we are the Gainesville apartment experts, and we can offer some advice on how to navigate touring and securing your apartment during these uncertain times. Here, we've put together a list of our best tips for how to navigate remote leasing and even rounded up a few virtual tours all in one place. Don't let social distancing discourage you from leasing remotely with confidence! UF and Santa Fe students can take advantage of the power of our platform and virtual tools to continue finalizing their housing options for any semester. While some apartment leasing offices remain remote and some have reopened with precautions, you can still easily contact any of them for a virtual tour, to ask questions, and to sign your lease remotely. Their contact information is readily available in our community listings on for quick reference. 

Start Your Search Online

You can easily take advantage of the remote tools you're used to now (Zoom meet up anyone?) to get serious about your apartment search for an apartment near UF. Hop on a group chat with your future roommates, share links to your favorites, and hash out the frontrunners for favorite amenities!

Are leasing offices open?

At this time, many leasing offices are either open with precautions in place or are still adhering to remote policies. Check our community listings for info and to get in touch with communities of interest. Leasing offices are always accepting phone and email communications. You can call to arrange a virtual tour, ask any questions you need to about a property or lease terms, and even use electronic methods to get your lease signed if you are social distancing. Easy peasy! 

When should I sign my lease?

There is no reason to wait! Generally, March and April are the best times to sign a lease for Fall semester. We can't recommend enough that you spend the time now to finalize your research using our online tools and tours, call leasing offices to arrange for virtual visits (just find their contact info in our comprehensive community listings!) Don't "wait it out". It's impossible to tell how long social distancing recommendations will be in place and we have the tools for you to take action today.

Any tips for touring remotely?

Apartment communities around UF have mobilized to put systems in place to assist you in touring their floor plans and amenities remotely! Many of the apartments have created tour videos that they can share with you and are willing to offer one-on-one virtual tours through Facetime and similar platforms. Our best tip is to contact your top 3 apartment community favorites and inquire about the options they are offering to facilitate a virtual tour.

You can easily come prepared with a list of questions during your virtual tour, just like you would if you were touring in person. Don't hesitate to ask the leasing agent to interact with the apartment on video so that you can see how things work. Here are 4 examples of things you might ask:

  • Can you open the refrigerator? I'd like to see what the inside storage is like!
  • Where is the washer and dryer located? Can you show me what they look like?
  • Can you open the closet? I want to get an idea of what the shelving is like!
  • How many outlets are there in the bedroom?

Can I apply and sign my lease without visiting the office?

Thankfully, due to the advancement in digital tools in recent years, it's common to find apartments near UF that are already equipped with digital options to offer leasing applications and digital document signing options. If you're ready to sign a lease to secure your spot, you should have no issue doing so remotely. Just ask the leasing agent what your next step is, and they'll hook you up with the online links and information to complete the necessary documents.

Any other tips?!

The SwampRentals team has produced a few Virtual Visits over the years that are a fantastic alternative to in-person apartment tours. In each of the videos below, you'll have the opportunity to see a leasing agent provide a tour of their most popular floor plan and amenities at each respective property. They'll even answer questions about the neighborhood and culture of their locations.

We are well aware that this is a big change and it's always ideal to see and feel and apartment for yourself, in person. But, we also know we're so lucky that we can harness the power of virtual tools to keep a sense of normal, just in a more modern way. During this challenging time we hope that these videos can help you gain perspective on each apartment community's finishes and features, amenities, size, and more… so that you can reserve your space with confidence!

The Ridge Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at The Ridge

Cabana Beach Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at Cabana Beach

The Nine Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at The Nine

Oakbrook Apartments Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at Oakbrook Apartments

Canopy Apartments Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at Canopy Apartments

The Wynwood Apartments Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at The Wynwood Apartments

Varsity House Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at Varsity House Apartments

The Nook Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at The Nook Apartments

The Niche Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at The Niche Apartments

Liv+ Virtual Visit

Learn More and Contact The Leasing Team at Liv+ Apartments

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of or any of our advertising partners.