Real estate is a competitive environment.
While housing affordability can make it difficult for many people to enter the market, renting can be tough too. Demand is as high as ever, and landlords have large pools of prospective tenants to select from.
However, there are five common and lesser-known tips and tricks that tenants can use to give themselves the edge over the competition and help them secure a place to live.
- Make a good first impression
Create the best possible first impression when you attend an open inspection. Renters can do this by introducing themselves, being polite and friendly and showing enthusiasm.
Real estate agents and landlords are more likely to remember renters who present themselves well. A tidy, personal appearance is a reflection on how a potential tenant may maintain the property and, of course, common courtesy goes a long way.
Renters may consider offering to take off their shoes at the door if it’s wet outside, and ensuring they or their children don’t damage any furniture. The real estate agent or landlord may be more inclined to believe these behaviours will carry over into your future care of the property, making you the ideal tenant.
- Provide the right documentation
Providing the owner with references from previous landlords can help to show that you are genuine and trustworthy. It can also show that you have a successful history in renting properties. If you are requesting a pet-friendly property, it may also pay to have proof that you have successfully rented with pets previously, especially if they didn’t cause damage or additional costs.
Payslips may also be requested by prospective landlords, as they indicate that the tenant can afford the rent and is less likely to default or make late payments.
- Be financially ready
Renters should be financially prepared when they’re searching for a property. As well as proof of income, this includes having the first month’s rent saved and additional funds allocated for the bond. This shows that you are genuine and ready to move in as soon as possible.
Offering more rent won’t always give renters a competitive advantage, as it doesn’t always mean they will be a better tenant.
- Go above and beyond
The ideal tenant is one who pays their rent on time but also treats a home as though it were their own. Landlords may favour tenants who offer to go above and beyond in the upkeep of the property.
Renters could offer to do the yard work themselves, and save the landlord the expense of a gardener, or have the floor coverings professionally cleaned. Not only do these gestures keep the property in the best possible condition but they help put money back into the landlord’s pocket.
- Be flexible
Renters should shop around in a competitive environment. There are a number of properties with many different features, just as there is an abundance of would-be renters. It pays not to set your sights on just one property, in case you are not successful in your application.
It can also be beneficial to search in off-peak times. For example, there will be more competition in January and February when students are preparing to return to or start university. Christmas and school holidays are also peak times, so avoiding these periods may bring you more success in securing the right rental.