In such a competitive rental market, you want your application to be approved. It’s common to show up to a property inspection to find a queue down the street. The whole process can be demoralising, and the competition can seem insurmountable. Even with all this competition, there are a few simple things you can do to move your application to the top of the pile.
Complete the application in full
The real estate agent should provide you with a list of documents that you need to bring but it can’t hurt to be over prepared. It’s a competitive market, and property managers don’t have time to be following up applicants for forgotten details, so make sure all your paperwork is accounted for and clearly outlined from the beginning.
Bring the completed application with you to the first inspection
Have everything you need in order when you arrive at the inspection. If it’s possible, pre-fill the application form by asking the agency to provide this prior to the inspection. This way, you will be first in line with the application and the property manager will be able to put a name to a face.
Be well dressed
Either you or one of your housemates should attend the property inspection. When you do, be on time, and on point – dress sharp and make a good impression – it’s just another way to help the agent choose you over your rental rivals. You don’t have to wear a suit but it’s important to look presentable. Dressing in the clothes you’d wear gardening is not the best way to portray yourself. It might sound shallow, but classier attire can communicate the impression of responsibility and financial stability, two of the biggest factors landlords and property managers are looking for.
Be on time
For the purposes of rental inspections, being “on time” means being early. If you’re looking for a rental property in a particularly popular suburb, odds are there will be a queue formed before the real estate agent even arrives.
Provide a great reference
A positive reference from your previous landlord will go a long way to gaining your new landlord’s favour. Real estate agents, property managers and landlords want to know you’ll be a reliable tenant, that you’ll pay your rent on time and that you’ll treat the property as if it were your own.
Make sure to write a cover letter
Cover letters are a great way to provide more information on your circumstances. Write a few paragraphs about who you are, what you do for a living and perhaps the reason for your move. Be professional, but not so overly formal that your personality doesn’t shine through.
Take responsibility for your pets
Some landlords will flat out refuse pets in their properties due to past experiences, so find out if this is the case before applying. While it may be tempting to lie about having a pet, this may jeopardise your relationship with the property manager, making it even more challenging to rent in the future. Create a pet reference that includes the pet’s age, temperament, the fact that they’re up to date with vaccinations, that they’re microchipped, desexed, and so on. You may also want to include character references for your pet from a previous property manager, vet or anyone who can credibly speak to your pet’s behaviour and be contacted to confirm.
Follow up the application
If you have not heard back within 48 hours, follow up with an email or phone call. Be pleasant and avoid coming across as impatient or pushy, but make it clear that you’re interested in the property. They may well be trying to decide between your application and another candidate and if they receive a pleasant message from you, it might just put you at the top of their list.
If your application is unsuccessful, don’t be afraid to contact the property manager and ask for feedback on how you can improve next time.