Tips to secure a rental home in a tight market

Top tips for securing a rental home in a tight market

Finding a new rental home can be a challenging task at times, especially if you are moving during a tight rental market.

There are several telltale signs of a tight rental market:

  • Low vacancy rates
  • Number of listings reduced
  • Rent increasing yearly
  • Lots of attendees at viewings
  • Properties rented after 1 viewing time and within 1-2 business days

Good news is there are several ways you can get ahead of the market. We have listed our top 8 tips to stand out from the crowd when applying in a tight rental market.

1. Be prepared

Property managers request a range of information from renters during the application process to assess your affordability and suitability. Get ahead of the curve by preparing your required information and documentation early. You can start by building out your Snug profile, and when the time comes to apply, all your information is saved in your profile, and you can apply in a matter of minutes! Get started here:

2. Research the rental market

Each suburb has its own factors driving rent prices. Sometimes rapid development of new apartment buildings or infrastructure-related disruption can impact rental prices. During COVID, apartments near universities were deeply discounted and rental prices for homes in the middle suburbs went up. It’s worth considering a range of suburbs and moving away from the city by 5km can save 5-10% on rent per week.

There are several factors to take into account when considering which suburb will suit you best to live. First, we suggest looking into the suburb’s affordability; this may be looking at average rents in this area and the cost of living. Next, consider the walkability of the suburb - can you easily walk to shops, cafes, restaurants, and parks on foot rather than having to use a car? You can use walkscore to assess the walkability of a suburb or property. Further, we suggest looking at the public transport in your area and ensuring it is suitable for your needs.

The real estate institute and tenancy union in each State usually has detailed information about rental price movements in various suburbs based on the rental bond data.

3. Build relationships with local agents

Building a relationship with agents and property managers in your area is a great way to make yourself and your rental needs known to those who manage these properties. Start by popping into your local real estate agencies, introducing yourself, and letting them know you’re in the market for a rental property (let them know your budget, area of choice, and any other requirements). Similarly, when attending viewings, make sure to introduce yourself to the agent and ask questions, so they get to know you.

4. Get ahead, Pre-apply!

Pre-verify and stand out from other applicants by applying before inspecting.

For leading agents using Snug, you’ll be able to apply from their website or portal but sending a brief enquiry. Snug’s auto-responder will send you the Apply Link and the viewing times/process.

Alternatively, if the agent is not on Snug, create your profile and choose Apply Anywhere to email your application securely to the property manager. We’d also recommend giving the property manager a call or email to let them know you’ve sent through an application before inspecting.

5. Apply for multiple properties

Pre-apply and book inspections to many properties; more choice is better than less! Plus, you will also get to know the market and suburbs. All your applications and upcoming viewings can be found in Snug.

Keep in mind, the start date is the most crucial aspect for an owner/provider based on the advertised rent, as this means there is little to no vacancy. Rent bidding is illegal in most states and the agent should never ask you to make an offer for rent. However, you may wish to submit an application with a different rent in some scenarios eg. request a late start date, include garden maintenance or a long term lease with rent indexing pre-agreed.

6. Get a glowing rental reference

Contact your current or past property managers using Snug and get a glowing reference. Start by ensuring all of your previous rent is paid up with no issues and that you’ve recently had your rental home routine inspection done.

Many renters might fear letting the agent know that that plan to move, but relax, it can be helpful to discuss your reason for moving and requirements eg. affordability, needing a bigger home, noise etc. Perhaps they can help you out with a property coming up within their portfolio. Agents love to keep good tenants! They may know about off-market properties and could think of you first!

7. Add as many details as possible when applying

Make sure to include as much address & employment history as possible, plus personal references and a personalised and friendly ‘About You’ section. Check out our rental application checklist for the top tricks and tips when it comes to applying.

8. Add an Optional Background Check

You can also choose to add an optional background check to stand out amongst the crowd. A Background Check verifies important information, does not impact your credit score, and you are in control of whether you choose to include it or not. Plus, it’s downloadable and reusable for up to 6 months! You can purchase a Background Check on Snug or you can upload your own into the Other Documents section on your profile.

Once you’ve applied once using your Snug profile, you can reuse it - anywhere, anytime! Build your profile so you’re ready to apply at the click of a button. Best of luck with finding your new dream rental!