Here are the top tips we've uncovered.
1. STUDY THE AD CAREFULLY
Make sure the property is what you want, where you want, and in your price range. Do a Google map search of the house and the neighbourhood – there may be things that don't appeal and there's no point wasting your time and everybody else's.
2. GET IN EARLY
Book an appointment to view the property as soon as you can, as it may be rented before the published viewing times. A one-on-one meeting with an agent or landlord also gives you a chance to make a good impression. And it goes without saying that you need to be on time. If you get held up, let the contact know.
3. NAIL THAT APPLICATION FORM TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
You will need to put together a solid application to be in with the best shot of securing the tenancy. Barfoot & Thompson recommends adding a personal touch and going "above and beyond when it comes to details". The company says as well as providing references, employment details and previous rental history, you could consider a covering letter and a photograph. Sending a separate email to the listing agent or landlord will help to single you out.
"Make this as personal or as quirky as you like. It may just set you apart from the crowd.
"A rental property is a big asset. Landlords want to make sure you are the kind of person who will look after it. Things like spelling, handwriting, how you present yourself and not spilling your breakfast all over the form, do count when it comes to being considered."
4. BE SPECIFIC
Barfoots also recommend you are specific about the length of time you intend to stay in the property. It's also a good idea to write the ages of any children on the application form, and it wouldn't hurt to include photos of the children.
5. DISCUSS YOUR PETS
Provide all the details you can about any pets you may have. No two pets are the same and it's best to be completely upfront about your pet's behaviour and whether it lives indoors or out. Again, photos are invaluable.
6. REFEREES MATTER
Referees are everything. Ideally, you will have a reference from a previous landlord and an employer. Other options include a person of good standing who is not related to you, such as a teacher, minister or another real estate agent you may have dealt with. Make sure referees know they may be called – and they will be contacted if you make the shortlist.
7. PREPARE FOR A CREDIT CHECK
Rental Results in Wellington says credit checks are part of the process, just like referee calls. The firm recommends you let the listing agent know if you withdraw your application. "We don't want to needlessly contact your referees and waste their time. If you withdraw your application after we have conducted a credit check we may pass that cost onto you."
8. MANNERS MATTER
Being polite and considerate, even if you decide you don't want the property, will help you in the longrun. You may need to deal with the same listing agent in the near future.