Nowadays, whenever there’s a half-decent rental property listed online, it seems every man and his dog rocks up to view it.

While a solid turnout is a great outcome for the real estate agent and offers some comfort to us knowing that we’re not the only people renting later into life, having a load of people turn out for the same inspection can also be a bad thing for your application.

Essentially, the more people apply, the stiffer the competition is for the place – which is really crap if you fall in love with the property. But rather than just giving up because you don’t think you stand a chance, pull up your socks and get ready to play the property game.

To that end, here are a few clever tips to help set you, and your mates or partner, stand apart from the rest of the pack when applying for a rental property.

1.  Rock Up On Time To The Viewing

The earlier you get there, the more chance you have of forming some rapport with the agent looking after the showing. It also demonstrates sound time management – a very important characteristic of paying rent.

2. Dress The Part

It might seem bloody obvious, but this ain’t the occasion to show off your brand new ink or bold, edgy graphic tee. Treat the property agent the same way you’d approach meeting your partner’s super conservative parents for the first time: don’t do anything to make them think you’re anything other than a super predictable, dull individual. In fact, applying for a lease is probably the only occasion where it’s beneficial to come across as a painfully bland, sensible bore.

3. Hand In Your Application On The Spot

This might seem overly keen but ‘playing hard to get’ is not a mantra that translates into the rental market. While printing off an application and handing it at the viewing requires quite a lot of effort, that’s exactly what will make you stand out for doing it. It goes a long way to show the real estate agent that you’re prepared, keen and, most of all organised – a landlord’s dream. It will also help them recall you better when sifting through applications after the fact because they were able to put a face to a name. Granted, you might get to the viewing with your application ready to go, only to realise that you don’t actually like the place. In that case, just don’t hand it in.

4. Respond In A Timely Manner

In the same way playing phone tag or chasing up on emails at work can be a total pain, real estate agents feel the exact same way about slow responders. If you take too long to get back to them on things, they might just end up going with someone else who’s more reliable. Of course, you won’t always be sitting at your computer waiting for their messages to come through, but it’s always good to keep it in the back of your mind in case you need to follow up with them.

5. Offer To Pay A Few Weeks Or Months Worth Of Rent Upfront

If you’re in a position where the real estate agent is tossing up between a few final candidates, volunteering to pay rent upfront is a bloody genius idea. Aside from proving that you’re financially stable (a term that is music to a property manager’s ears), it also offers them an opportunity to go back to the landlord with something that’ll pique their interest above the other applicants.

So there you have it, a few handy dandy tips to file away for next time you’re searching for new digs. Godspeed mates.

Image: MGM / [Legally Blonde]