I’m a Leasing Agent—Here Are 3 Ways to Make Your Rental Application Stand Out

published Sep 22, 2020
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As a realtor and leasing agent working in California, I’ve seen plenty of beautiful apartments come and go. My brokerage has 50 years of experience in real estate sales, leasing, corporate rentals, property management, and more. I’m the kind of person who loves helping people, so I’m excited to to share some of that institutional knowledge with you.

In the current rental market, people are constantly planning moves. Everyone is looking for the best deal, so chances are that you’re not the only one online stalking that dream apartment at a great price in your favorite neighborhood. There are surely several people applying for that one place you really want. The good news is I’m here to help you stand out in a pile of applications and tell you what’s going to make you noticeable to the admin reviewing your rental application. Here are three things you can do.

Introduce yourself

It seems like a no-brainer, but first impressions are so important—especially in a time when we can’t connect with people directly. A thoughtful introduction letter, even a short one, goes a long way. Tell them who you are, what you do, and share some of your hobbies. Maybe you’re a trail runner or water sports enthusiast and want to live close to a particular trail or waterfront community. This would be the opportunity to share that about yourself. It’s your chance to connect on a personal level with the leasing manager or owner. Share what opportunities you might be able to bring to the community. Maybe you’re a professional dog walker and this dream home is close to a dog park where you can grow your business. 

Get your files organized

As a leasing agent, I go through multiple applications per apartment. Being able to find your documents easily makes all the difference. If you have someone like me who is very thorough looking at your documents, list out what is included in your application. That makes sorting through your file much easier. If you can add a quick list in your introduction letter that itemizes your documents, you will give off organized, professional vibes.

When you’re uploading your documents, rename your file starting with your name. If there is more than one application, there will be more than one set of documents. If you label your documents similarly, the administrator can find them easily. You will have your documents processed faster because they’re now easy to read and file. Plus, having your name and document description clear will make you stand out before they even open the file. They will notice you automatically—and they might already like you for doing that.

Don’t forget to follow up

Reach out to your leasing agent the next day. They are pretty quick about turning things around, especially in bigger cities. In larger metropolitan areas, housing is more competitive and dream apartments rent quickly. If you are applying in popular neighborhoods, you want to be fast. As you know, a great deal isn’t going to last long. You want to make sure you check in after you apply. Call to follow up on your application, or send an email or a text to the agent. It’s possible your application is sitting in their inbox among a few others. By reaching out, you are drawing attention to your application. 

So, you’ve introduced yourself, organized your files, and followed up. This is a great way to get your application set up to be filed quickly and easily. Now you might be one of the first applicants the owner will consider for that new place. Time to buy yourself that new plant and roll out the welcome mat.