Finding a rental property these days is getting to be quite the competition. You know you have to be on your game and application ready when a decent property comes onto the market. You turn up to the inspection with what feels like fifty others and battle to check the place out as comprehensively as possible whilst keeping an eye on the property manager and making sure they aren’t getting on too well with any of your competition. If it is the property you want, the challenge is then on to be sure you’re the one who leaves the best and most lasting impression with the property manager when you give them your application.
If there was an easier or better way to find a rental, would you do it? Of course! Take a look at some of these tips.
1. Know and understand your rental budget
Make sure you are aware of types of properties that are available in the market a couple of weeks in advance and at what cost. This is going to let you know before you actually need a property whether or not the rent you have budgeted for is actually going to get you the type of property you really want.
2. Check out surrounding areas
Look at more than just the properties in the area you are interested in. If you plan to use public transport, see what’s nearby and if it will realistically work for you.
When searching a suburb on homesales.com.au, tick ‘include surrounding areas’ in your search. You may find a nicer property within your budget one suburb over that has less competition. Make sure to sign up for property alerts too. This will let you know of any new properties that come on the market. Have your ‘must haves’ list set so that you don’t waste time chasing properties you don’t really want anyway.
3. Take advantage of your contacts
Mention to friends, workmates and your wider network that you are looking for a rental. It’s amazing how many people know someone who is moving or is looking to rent a property out. It’s a great way to get a lead on property before it hits the rental market for all to see. Contact your old real estate agents if they’re in an area in or near where you are wanting to move. Remind them of who you are and your rental history with them. If they have a property for rent that fits your needs this can be a great lead for you. If not, be sure to ask if they’d mind being a rental reference for you.
4. Have your application information ready and on hand
Some agencies make their application forms and processes readily available on their websites. Take advantage of this where possible by having your application completed when you’re at the inspection. If they don’t offer this, have all of your information ready. Work references, rental references, copies of your identification should all be on hand so that you can fill in the application form the property manager has with them on the day. This will not only show them you are organised but that you are enthusiastic about renting the property.
If it’s at all possible, try to take 1-2 days off midweek to look at properties. This can often make a huge difference to the amount of competition you encounter as many people will wait for the weekend to look for rentals. Check ahead with agents in the area you are interested in to see which day is best for viewing rentals midweek. This will also give you the opportunity to ask the agent more information about the property and potentially save time should you discover it really doesn’t include all of your must haves.
6. Don’t wait
If there is no inspection time listed online, don’t wait. Give the agent a call or send them an enquiry to find out if they would be willing to hold one ASAP. Hopefully they’ll let you know about one that is coming up soon or would be willing to give you a private viewing. Don’t forget to ask the agent if they have any other properties available or becoming available soon. You never know what they may have on their list which could be just what you are looking for.
7. House hunting days
The number one tip here is to be prepared. There’s a definite theme here. Have your shortlist of properties prioritised so that if you’re running short of time for any reason, you make sure to get to the ones that will most likely be the best. Have all of the property details written down or download the property brochure on homesales.com.au to use the map, address and agent information there.
In addition to having your application information ready, think about having enough cash on hand to pay for the one week deposit. Some agents require this at the time of applying however some may prefer that you visit the office to make the payment. Either way, having the cash on you at the time is going to speed up the process.
8. Be yourself and be friendly
A simple one but it can’t hurt. Property managers are often very busy people so be sure to be polite and friendly when asking them questions. Seeing how they respond to you will also help you gauge how they are likely to be towards you in future if you had any maintenance requests as a tenant. Put your best foot forward and you may find that the agent will keep you in mind for any other properties that become available too.