How to Make a Good First Impression With Your Landlord

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Alright. Let’s start with a little fun fact. Did you know that according to the Association for Psychological Science, it only takes a tenth of a second to form a first impression of someone, and that’s just by looking at their face. The remaining time of that second then solidifies the impression of their character. While this is an alarming thought, can’t exactly say it’s too surprising. We are judgemental creatures. However, this can prove negative for some people, especially those trying that are trying to get someone to like them. If you have had experience looking for places to rent and being in touch with real estate, then you know how crucial it is to make a good first impression with the landlord/ real estate.

The most common reason a landlord/ real estate may have a bad impression of a tenant is:

  • If they have been unreliable paying their rent.
  • Been reckless and damaged property without paying for cleaning.
  • Unwilling to move out. (This is literally the worst thing a tenant could do because real estates need to file a QCAT application in order to remove the tenant from the property).
  • Disappearing without prior notice, or without breaking the lease the right way before leaving.

While you may be have always had a stellar record as a tenant, there are many, and we mean MANY, whom are responsible for striking fear into the lives of landlords. It may be hard to believe, but real estates and landlords are just as scared of you as you are of them. The only difference is, they have a say in evaluating and picking a tenant while all we can do is hope for the best. I mean imagine, as a tenant you are basically residing at someone else’s property, and while you do sign a binding contract, there are those people out there capable of trashing an entire place and leaving in the middle of the night without notice. So staying on your landlords good side is definitely the ideal option. There may even be perks and benefits for you if they really like you as a tenant. For example, they could agree to reduce the weekly rent by a small percentage. Other perks? If you stay under your landlords good graces and establish trust, chances are if you are running late on rent (just this once), the landlord will most likely let it slide.

There are honestly so many perks of having a healthy relationship with your landlord/ real estate. Want to throw a little party for your upcoming birthday? Knock yourself out! Need something around the house fixed? Anything for favourite tenants! Yes, everything works with a little bit of bias, but if you are a good tenant, your landlord will treat you with the same respect you give the house and the landlord. In saying this though, it is also just as easy to get on their bad side. It may have been circumstantial but you end up making several mistakes as a tenant in a short period of time, you quickly become unreliable.

So how do you cultivate and maintain a good relationship with your landlord/ real estate?

We’ve compiled a list of ways for you to develop a positive first impression, and fast. Read on to learn how to charm your way into any apartment.

Make a viewing appointment and turn up on time.

Being on time is key in making a good impression. Simply put, how is a landlord/ real estate supposed to trust that you will always pay in a timely fashion if you can’t even make it for your initial and most important appointment on time?

Pick a property you can afford

If you actually want to have chances of being accepted for a property then the first thing, the absolute first thing you need to do is to only find places you know you can afford! Because honestly, you’re pretty much wasting your time and the time of landlords by overreaching for places you know you’ll struggle to afford. While there may be some wiggle room sometimes, it is not something you want to rely on and paying for rent you can barely afford may prove to be a liability for yourself in the long run.

So how do you find a place under your price range? Easy. A general rule of thumb for calculation is:

The amount you earn per week minus the amount you spend on groceries and other extra expenses such as your monthly phone bills etc. In addition, if electricity and water bills are separate to the amount of rent, then you need to have an estimate of how much that will cost you. Whatever the leftover is now, subtract that by around $50 as you always want to stay on the safe side. Now that is the amount of rent you can afford. And you should be aiming for places within that price range.

Some other things you have to keep in mind in regards to money is the start-up cost. Most real estate agencies and landlords expect the payment of bond (4 weeks rent) and 2 weeks advance rent up front. Then you also have your moving and setting up costs. Are you hiring a removalist to transfer your belongings from one place to the other? And are you going to invest in new furniture or decor for your new place?

So basically, the more savings you have and the more time you give yourself to organise and plan, the higher your chances are of being accepted into the property you want. And the smoother you make the process for yourself, the easier it is for the real estate/ landlord to process all the documents, which keeps them satisfied too.

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Be well presented

This may seem a little silly and a little pretentious, but being well presented matters. If you come to your appointment sweating, with disheveled hair and a scruffy beard, you’re probably not going to be making the best first impression with your landlord. Clothing can really affect how people process you as a person and decide what kind of a person you are. Sounds judgemental but that’s how it works. We all do it, we just don’t admit it. Here is a little article on how clothing style influences the way people process you.

Ask questions

Even if you may not exactly have heaps of questions, be interactive. Try asking questions. This shows your interest in the property. Coming for an inspection and leaving without much communication with the landlord/ real estate may seem like you are not interested or serious about renting the property. However, it is also important to ask these questions in a polite, non-intrusive manner. If the house hasn’t been cleaned out by the current tenant yet, then ask when you could move in and when cleaning would be done instead of commenting on the uncleanliness and asking bluntly when the landlord is going to kick the other tenant out. You’d be surprised by the amount of people that come across extremely rude and intrusive when asking questions.

Be responsive

Whether or not you have a genuine interest in the property after inspection, it is important to stay on top of all your emails and texts from landlords and real estate agents. Being responsive shows reliability and just because you haven’t been interested in a property shown by a real estate agent, doesn’t mean you’ll dislike all other properties managed by them. Therefore by being responsive not only will that make a good impression on the real estate but it will open up more opportunities for you. For example, if you are not interested in a property and let the real estate know, they may offer helpful suggestions on other properties on the market. Or if they liked you, they may offer to reduce the weekly rent which may help you reconsider accepting the place.

Have all your documentation ready to go

This process can be real easy and smooth if you are prepared. All real estate agencies/ landlords require pretty much the same rental application documents. These include:

  • Your previous rental history contacts
  • Proof of ID
  • Your credit history
  • Current bank statements
  • Proof of employment or proof of receiving income.

These are the very basics many require, however depending on your application and the real estate/ landlord, you may have to provide additional documentation upon their request. If you are applying through 1Form, the process becomes much easier as your application is automatically saved online on the site, allowing you to apply for properties with just a click of a button. Isn’t it amazing how convenient everything is becoming?

Young couple is moving into new house with lot of boxes

Don’t hide important information

If you are aware of information that may affect your application, be upfront about it because either way, they will find out. And it’s better to get ahead and explain your situation yourself instead of letting your prospective landlord/ real estate assume the worst. If you have a bad reference, explain why in an attached letter. Or if you have bad credit history, explain why. While this may prevent you from being considered, there are more chances of a landlord/ real estate sympathising with you if you are upfront and truthful about your explanation instead of trying to hide it. Trust us, with everything so incredibly digitised, everything is documented and it’s just not possible to keep secrets such as bad credits and bad references anymore.

Another common thing many people tend to do is… wait for it… smuggle their pets in. If your property contract doesn’t allow for pets and your landlord finds out, you’ll be evicted before you can set up your place. And if they do allow pets, then just fill out the form, don’t be lazy about it and think you can get away with it. If you are a good tenant and have decided to keep a pet in the midst of your contract, let the real estate know. If it’s a small pet such as a hamster, cat or dog, they are usually quite lenient unless they have a strict no pets policy.

Keep your apartment in order and maintained

Once you have moved in, keep your place clean and tidy at all times. Not just to stay prepared for random inspections or even because of the hassle of having to do a massive clean before moving out, but simply for your own self. If you have decided to move into a new place, it is extremely crucial to start organised, because if you start by being organised, chances are you’ll stay organised. Keeping your apartment clean and in order also helps your mind stay fresh and active. We recommend using the KonMari method to stay organised. Here is an article on the effectiveness of the KonMari method.

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