Here are a painful lessons i've learnt in the last 4 days..
- Get used to the whole house/apartment public inspection, only in a blue moon will an agent give you a private viewing for a place. Makes you wonder what they actually do at all.
- Chances are you won't have employment yet, on your application make it clear you are prepared to pay atleast 3 months + bond upfront, of not the whole tennancy. We had a couple of applications rejected even though we offered to pay 6 months for a 6 month contract upfront simply because having arrived a few days ago we weren't employed. Makes no sense whatsoever, but it is just like that.
- Use the fact that you aren't working to your advantage, any inspections after 5pm on a weekday or on a Saturday anytime will be popular (alot of places we viewed must have had over 20 people there), so unless it is breath taking concentrate on those showing 10:00 - 16:00 Mon-Fri, then apply straight away.
- Hand deliver rather than fax applications, found applications got much further if i had a chance to speak with the real estate agent face to face, also led to them telling me about upcoming apartments.
- Each applicant needs 100 points of proof, i was carrying my passport, copy of bank statement, copy of credit cards around with me the whole time, means i could quickly make new applications if an agent showed/suggested a new property.
- I created a google docs spreadsheet aggregating all the properties i wanted to view for the day. Could access all the details i needed for properties from the published page on my pda, saved so much time when travelling to and from viewings. Retrieving property infomation, agent contact details using domain.com.au or realestate.com.au mobile search is very slow and frustrating.
- Don't bother visiting real estate agency offices unless you are dropping off an application, all the properties they have will be on domain or realestate. I found using realestate's OpenInspection tool most fruitful.
- Phone up an agent before going to an inspection, a couple of times no one turned up and i wasted time and money getting there. If i had my way, those agents would have be hung drawn an quartered.
In the 5 years I lived in Sydney prior to returning i never remember the rental market being so fierce, like a pack of wolves chasing down a small rabbit. Saw people viewing a property for the first time for barely 10 seconds before handing a prefilled application form to the real estate agent. I wonder what buying a place is actually going to be like?
In other news, here are some of the New Zealand pictures, what an amazing country.