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How to stand out from the crowd: Top tips for renters

If you’re wanting to make a good impression and get into your new home faster, these top tips for renters will get you out in front.

The rental market is becoming increasingly competitive, with property managers seeing an average 20 to 30 groups of potential tenants at open inspections. So when you’re wanting to get into your new home faster, how do you make your rental application stand out from the crowd? We asked Jo Leonardis, Department Manager for property management from our hockingstuart office in Richmond, for her top tips for renters to make a positive first impression and secure your preferred property. 

Be prepared

If you are keen to get into a property you’ve seen online, prepare your application ahead of the open inspection. Selecting tenants for a rental property is often a case of first in, best dressed. So hand in your full application at the open inspection or within 24 hours - or risk losing the property to someone who was more prepared. 

Include a cover letter

You can include a short cover letter with your rental applications to summarise why you would be the best fit for the property. This can help prove yourself as a great tenant, particularly if there is crucial information that can’t be neatly fitted into the application. Keep it nice and short, with some background information on all the tenants. You want to demonstrate stability, such as holding long term jobs, a desire to follow through, and why the property suits your needs. This isn’t a job application, so it doesn’t need to be a whole page long – just highlight the most important elements of your application.

Disclose everything

Are you applying for a three-bedroom property with just two tenants, but a view to bring in a third down the line? This is important for your property management team to know up front. This is particularly crucial if there is concern that you may not be able to cover the full cost of rent with the number of initial tenants. Letting them know your plans ahead of time can reassure them you’re a responsible tenant. Having a solid rental history is helpful, but as long as you can prove that you’re able to keep up with the rent you’ll be in the clear.

Don’t bend the truth in your application

While we’re on the subject of disclosing everything, remember to tell the truth. You might think you can get away with it, but lying in your application never works. We’re serious about finding the right tenants for our properties and always do our due diligence when checking references to learn everything we can before making our recommendations to the landlord. 

Prepare your references

Make sure your references are readily available. At hockingstuart, we check all references so if someone is unable to be contacted or has changed their number, it may reflect poorly on you. Before you hand in your application make sure you check your references will be available and ensure they know to expect a phone call within a couple of days. 

Speak up

When attending an open inspection, don’t slink in and out through the shadows. Be polite and introduce yourself to the agent, because a positive first impression will keep you front of mind when assessing the applications. Use it as an opportunity to ask any questions that they may be able to answer to show that you’re serious about the property.