Ahh Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world… & what feels like the most highly competitive rental market in the world too.
As a serial mover (7 moves to be exact) I’ve experienced it all. From share-houses, to wanting my own bathroom again, to falling hopelessly in love & taking that next big step with my partner…
But making my perspective even more unique, is I’m a Property Manager too, so I see both sides of the fence & boy, can I teach you about the do’s & don’ts. You wouldn’t believe how many people miss some of the most crucial steps & even though they might be a tenant made in rental heaven…the other guy gets the property because he did his homework.
To impart my rental wisdom onto you I’ve put together an official ‘Dream Rental Hunting Tips’ divided into 3 sections that explain what to do before, during & after you’ve submitted an application.
Crunch the numbers
Before looking at rental properties, know your budget. This will save you looking at properties and realising down the track you can’t actually afford them. Break down all your costs, not only how much you can afford on weekly rent, but calculate your bills, your expenses & work into your budget any big items you may need to purchase such as a fridge or washing machine. Calculate both an ideal budget and a slightly higher end budget – just in case you come across the place of your actual dreams & don’t want to pass it up.
Also, be ready to pay the bond and first months rent, because you’ll be expected to pay it usually within 3 days of being accepted as a tenant.
Identify your deal breakers and nice-to-haves
Personally, if a place doesn’t have a dishwasher or they have one of those kitchens with a small space of tiling which then turns into the carpet of your lounge room, I’m out. Make a simple list of the absolute must-haves and beside it the deal breakers and below that, the nice-to-haves such as a bath or high level apartment with view, the things you’d love but could let go of.
Prepare, prepare, prepare your paperwork to perfection!
If you’re serious about securing your dream rental, don’t even bother looking unless you have 99% of your application complete. If you’ve rented before, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of ‘OneForm’. This bad boy changed the game for Property Managers making the application review process one that was so much easier and seamless. Here at R&H Brunswick and across the board, both hardcopy applications and digital applications must be looked at and we’re strict on that, however the reality is, a lot of offices aren’t. Meaning a Property Manager will likely look at the ‘OneForm’ applications first.
+Please make sure your application includes ALL your documentation from the get go! Because if its out of someone who has everything there and someone who’s forgotten to include something which needs to be chased up…who would you preference? The organised person of course.
Don’t forget your glowing references!
The differences between good and incredible rental applications are the references. If you have a rental history, before your lease is up don’t be shy to ask your Property Manager for a written reference, or alternatively to make it even easier for them, write one up, send it via email in an editable document & ask them if they could read it, make any necessary changes & sign it for you. If you don’t have a rental history, collecting references from your current employer vouching for your character goes a long way.
Don’t leave the ‘Why is this property for you’ section blank
Whyyyyyyy do people leave this part blank? Us Property Managers are human beings too, meaning if you have a chance to emotionally connect with us, why not?! Often there’s a really special reason why you so badly want to live in a certain place. It might have something to do with your job, your children, the lifestyle the area offers, whatever it is, take the time to thoughtfully explain why you want this property. There is a character limit too, so take your time writing it to ensure you get the important points across. Don’t be shy to say how much you love and adore a place too, if you want it badly enough, tell us, tell the landlord (who sees your application too). For example recently I presented two top applications to a landlord, one had this section complete and the other didn’t. Aside from this, both people had sparkling rental histories…the landlord in the end chose the person with the little bio because they felt, they wanted the place more.
Stay on top of listings
Every day, several times a day new rental listings go live online. These days, REA and Domain both have apps which allow you to easily scroll through properties, saving them and you can even set up notifications for properties similar to your searches. My advice is to check these platforms morning, afternoon and night just to be sure you haven’t missed any newbies, and since you’re one form application is 99% complete, all you need to do is update the ‘Why is this property for you’ section & apply. Word of advice though, only apply before seeing the property if you are 99% sure about it, as we all know, its one thing to see a property and another entirely to visit it in real life. And legally, you need to know you cant be approved for a property until you have inspected it, however it won’t hurt to apply a couple days before the inspection if you really do think its ‘THE ONE’.
First impressions obviously count
This don’t turn up late, means dress smart, turn on the charm factor (not the stage 5 desperato). Introducing yourself and telling the Property Manager that you do love the place and either have already or will be applying can go a long way. Working in at RH Brunswick we have a team of 30 and there are so many times someone will come in from an inspection and say, “I met the most beautiful couple today…” And detail something that was said and the same goes for someone who makes a bad first impression.
Seek and you shall find! Follow it up!
It is totally okay to call the Property Manager (and leave a voicemail message if you miss them) and send a follow up email to ask about the progress of your application. Keep it short and sweet. When to do it? Well that depends, if you applied before you inspected, following it up 24 hours after is fine. If you inspected and then applied, again, wait a day before you reach out.
And that’s it guys! If you follow the tips above you’re application is already going to be part of the top 2% of applications. All the best and if you have any other questions relating to renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to us whichever way is most convenient to you (Facebook Message, Insta DM, Phone Call, Email, Pop into the office).
P.S If you’re wondering if you can offer more money for a rental property to sway a landlord, know that its illegal to do so.
Big Love, The R&H Brunswick Rental Team