Our Guide For How To Secure A Rental In Australia

We know what you’re thinking… why we would move during Covid and during lockdown into one of the most popular places in Australia right now?! I know it sounds crazy and doesn’t make a lot of sense especially when we’ve pretty much escaped most of lockdown life in our little remote Aussie beach town of Agnes Water in Queensland.

After 18 months of staying in this slice of paradise, we’ve decided to spread our wings and head down the coast. It’s been an incredibly difficult decision because we know how good we’ve had it to live in such a special place, even if we were only meant to originally be here for three months for a pet sitting job. But, as travellers at heart, the timing felt right to move on. Or so we thought.

One day after we told our landlord we were going to move, South East Queensland went into lockdown. We panicked. We thought we had made a bad judgement to leave a small and safe town, in return for life in lockdown. We had planned to head down the coast that weekend to find somewhere to live, but with that out of the window, we had no choice other than to try and find somewhere sight-unseen.

We Were Offered Both Of Our First Two Applications!


We knew the competition would be tough, especially given that most rentals were seeing at least 50 applications per place, unseen. We started thinking of backup plans and decided that at worse, we would end up staying with Steve’s mum back in Newcastle if needed.

So, I got onto the phone to real estates to find out that competition is fierce in the Sunny Coast. I asked them, how can we stand out?

It turns out, the first two applications we put in both got approved. This means we beat hundreds of other applications to be the first choice for both properties. We couldn’t believe it.

Before we knew it, we had to decide between two properties both based in the popular Sunshine Coast suburb of Buderim. It was a really hard decision as both had pros and cons, but we just felt incredibly fortunate not only to have a new place to live in, but to have two to choose from.

So, what did we do to stand out amongst the rest? We asked both real estates what made us stand out, and here are the reasons why.

1Form Is Torture, But Put The Effort In

When you’re trying to get a new rental in most places around Australia, they ask you to fill out a 1Form application which is the application form everyone has to do. It’s a really painful experience to fill out, but once you have done so, you can use it to apply for most rentals and it even stays on file for a year.

The problem is, there are so many real estates that have their own application process and it can be so time-consuming to apply for a place before you’ve even seen it.

We spent the whole evening putting our 1Form together and have some tips on what you need to include to help you stand out.

Be As Thorough As Possible


When I asked the real estate what would help us stand out, they suggested adding as many forms of ID into our application. While you only need 100 points which generally includes a passport, driving licence and a medicare card, we supplied over 240 points each. We included payslips, written rental references, work references and more.

Write a Conscise But Descriptive Bio


I wrote a descriptive bio that didn’t waffle too much and made us sound like the best candidates for the houses we chose. Because both houses we applied for had gardens (a necessity for our little dog), I talked about how Steve got right into his gardening when we did pet sits up and down the coast.

I mentioned how Steve and I met, what we do for a living (Steve works full time, and I work part-time on this site and part-time freelance) and what kind of people we are. I made sure that I mentioned how we love helping other people because we genuinely do.

When I asked one of the real estates why she picked us, she said it was because of our bio and the section you have to fill in about ‘why this property is right for you’. In this section, I wrote about how we could see how much this property has been loved by the owner and how we too would be house proud. I said this because a lot of the rentals we found were once a family home so we wanted to make the owner aware that we would treat it like they have done so too.

I also mentioned more about the kind of things we’re into and made it clear that our partying days are over as we love to spend the weekends exploring and hiking.

Include An Introduction Video


We made an introduction video with our dog and uploaded it to Vimeo and included a link in our bio and in the Why This Property Is Right For You section. You can make the video private so the only people who can view it are the people who have a link to it.

We simply introduced ourselves and our dog and basically reassured the real estate and owner that we would be reliable people within the 1-minute video. One of the real estates told us that she and the owner loved our video so they could see that we are genuine people, regardless of not having met us in person.

Ring The Real Estate And Introduce Yourself


Whether you turn up with 30 other people viewing the property or you’re applying sight-unseen, make the effort to call the real estate after you’ve applied. You want to make sure they remember you and it shows that you’ve made the effort to stand out amongst the sea of applications.

I would also always call the real estate before even applying for the property because they have a habit of keeping the properties up on the real estates sites, even when they’ve secured a lease with someone else. I would make sure they are still taking applications before even applying.

How To Find A Rental Right Now

We found our rental through Domain.com but we also checked out Real Estate, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace as well. The latter two are a great way to avoid real estates and go direct, although always be careful before handing any money over. We literally checked all of these sites out all day every day which helped us get a place within days of looking. I know we were really lucky but I doubted getting something as I was only on a part-time wage when we applied and we had a dog.

I did ring around no dog-friendly rentals thinking I could totally convince them that our dog would be OK, but it was a waste of time.

One thing to note is, if you have a dog, don’t tick the pet-friendly box because they don’t filter properly. Some rentals might have not ticked the box yet in the description it will say ‘pets considered on application’.

Ask The Real Estate To Film Inside The Property Before You Sign The Lease


When we secured one of the properties, we asked them to film inside it before we took it. Surprisingly, they were happy to do so and the tenant did a walkthrough for us.

When they filmed it, we had the lease ready to send off but backed out in the end as the bedrooms were tiny. We ended up going for the cheaper house which has more rooms. Although we’ve not seen a video of it, it’s a risk we had to take in the end.

If you’ve found a house you like, Google the place so you can find more pictures of it. We found that Real Estate tends to have more photos than Domain does for each property.

What To Do Next

Once you’ve secured your rental, there are a few things you’ll need to do.

Finding A Removalist

Watch our video of when we moved our belongings from Newcastle to Agnes Water with Grace Removals.

We rang around a few local removalists, but they were all charging nearly a third more than Grace Removalists, who we have used before when we came to Agnes Water. We actually found Grace Removalists through our own removalists page on this site and we highly recommend them. You should check out our removalist page for finding a removalist anywhere in the world, especially if you’re moving to or from Australia.

Sourcing Furniture

Our next obstacle will be sourcing furniture when we arrive to our rental because we’ve been living in a furnished rental for the last 18 months. We will sleep on a blow-up mattress for the first night, then hire a van and simply drive around the area hoping to score basics from Facebook Marketplace to get ourselves up and running!

We hope these moving house tips have helped you feel rest assured that you too could secure a fantastic home, even if you’re up against hundreds of other applications during Covid.