Some turn up to flat viewings in suits, others arrive with professionally designed rental CVs, all in the hope of standing out from the crowds that gather for flat viewings.

There are plenty of tips and tricks that can help secure a flat, but for Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries, the most important was to act quickly.

“Begin your search early and if you see something you like get in touch with the agent or landlord straight away,” he said.

“Most landlords are getting inquiries instantly so get to the head of the queue. Also, know your budget and be prepared to put your best foot forward if you really want the house – an extra $10 a week might just win the landlord over.”

It’s worth being careful with how much you offer – efforts to outbid other tenants could be a red flag, according to property manager Lydia Deakin, with such tenants often trying to hide a bad rental history, or expecting additional services because they are paying top dollar.

Jeffries said hopeful tenants should treat a viewing like a job interview by dressing well, and introducing themselves.

“Be prepared – property agents and landlords love it when tenants are well prepared. Once you have found a property that you like and have requested a viewing, ask if there is an application form you can fill out and bring along with any other relevant documentation, such as reference letters.”

“It’s also a good idea to create a cover letter explaining a little more about yourself and the other tenants.”

Young professional Heloise Kerr-Newell has done just that, with her group of four running their rental CV past a designer, in order for it to stand out from the crowd.

As well as the standard references, Kerr-Newell said a short blurb about each flatmate helped landlords get a feel for the group.

Jeffries’ next top tip – be honest.

“It’s important to be upfront and honest with any property manager or landlord. Fudging any information like what you do for a living or providing fake references will catch up with you. An effective landlord or property manager will check those things.

“After the inspection, ensure you follow up with the landlord or property manager to show your interest.”

The Victoria University of Wellington Student Association (VUWSA) published a how-to guide last year to help student get their foot in the door.

Their top recommendation – don’t limit your search to real estate websites and Trade Me.

Facebook pages to monitor for Wellington included Vic Deals, Vic Flatmates Wanted, Flats and Rooms for Rent Wellington and Flatmates Wanted Wellington.

Similar groups have sprung up in most university towns in the country.

To make filling out forms quick and simple, it was also recommended tenants compile all of the details that are required in the Bond Lodgement Form and Tenancy Application Form, which most landlords use.

VUWSA also recommended having the whole group present at viewings to increase the changes of being picked.

Nineteen-year-old Hamiltonian Keegan Downey, who will be starting at Victoria University this year, said this was a must, with any unknowns usually being a big no-no in landlord’s minds.

For those without a strong rental history behind them, Downey said it was also imperative you attend as many viewings as possible.

“We’ve had nine today,” he said.

– Original article by