Looking for a Rental? Learn from Bidding Best Practice

Kelly Richmond, CP.APMP, Senior Bid Consultant

This month I relocated to the newly opened Melbourne BidWrite office, marking an exciting change for both the business and me. In the process of moving though came the inevitable house hunt and in my case, submission of endless rental forms.

At first I thought, “I’ll just quickly fill these out, turn up to the inspection and get a house”. Unfortunately, the world of rentals is a little more competitive than I remembered from 10 years ago.

On a daily basis I tell clients that it isn’t enough to be compliant in a proposal submission. Just being compliant doesn’t set you apart from your competitors, it just stops you from being kicked out of the race. Turns out this advice works with competitive house (and job) applications too.

Here I was, putting in compliant housing applications and missing out to fiercer, more seasoned bidders. Of course, I needed a new tactic. It wasn’t until I started asking the estate agents about what they wanted to see, what I could do better in my submissions and most importantly what the owner was really looking for, that I started making head way. I decided to use some bidding techniques to see if I could improve my success rate. As a result I:

  1. Stopped putting in submissions for every opportunity – just the ones I had a chance of winning and really wanted.
  2. Started asking questions of the gate keeper (the estate agent or existing tenant) and got an understanding of what the decision maker (owner) was really looking for.
  3. Tailored my submissions and included a cover letter to articulate exactly what benefits I could offer the owner (stable employment, good referees etc).
  4. Paid attention to who was at the inspection, and what they could offer compared to me.
  5. Mitigated my perceived weakness of having a dog by offering evidence of his breed as a quiet and clean type (in my final successful application I even included a picture).
  6. Provided as much evidence as possible – particularly referees and information about my employment and existing financial position to back up my claims.
  7. Followed up with calls to demonstrate my willingness to provide more information and cooperation.
  8. Talked to estate agents to understand what opportunities were coming up and what the owner was looking for.

The moral of the story is that with any highly competitive opportunity, providing compliant, generic submissions won’t make you stand out. Targeted, evidenced based, client focused, tailored submissions which address the decision maker’s issues and sets you apart from your competitors will increase your success rate.

The result for me? Well… the new tactics worked. I soon had two agents actively looking to match me with one of their clients and I ended up with the ideal house to start my new Melbourne adventures!


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