I have had my fair share of interaction with real estate agents. I am not sure why this profession attracts such ominous people, but long story short – I’ve seen some worrying things.
At one viewing for instance, the agent greeted me rather abruptly with “what’s your budget, and do you have pets?” while at another viewing the agent looked at me, took me to the side and quietly said “you seem like a decent person” and showed me where to sign.
While it is not a profession I particularly understand the purpose of, it is clear that it is required – finding an apartment in Sydney has become so competitive that it might soon indeed be recognised as an Olympic sport. To secure the apartment, applicants desperately try to stand out in any way they can, perhaps by offering higher rent, making larger deposits, promising to never complain and sacrificing their first-born son.
Not surprisingly, the application process has become equally ridiculous, something I noticed as I crashed the photocopier repeatedly by trying to fax the 20 pages required to apply for my current apartment. It included everything from bank statements, employment reference letters to medicare cards and birth certificates. In fact, with so many applicants, agents can ask for pretty much anything, and people will obey. For this last place, I was even asked to write a cover letter, similar to a job application. The problem with that is that I know what qualifies me for a job, but I am unsure what qualifies me to live in an apartment. I mean what skills and experience could I recount to demonstrate my superior ability to reside on these premises?
Perhaps it would read something like this…
Dear Rental Apartment Sales Person,
This is a letter to support my application for the apartment I viewed on Saturday. I viewed it well, and thoroughly, one might say I was the key viewer at this event. Perhaps you noticed me, I was the most responsible-looking person there.
I believe to be very capable of living in this property, and I have experience in living in apartments. I can look after myself and will not require additional help from you or the owner. I know where everything is and I know which function each room has. I am also confident with keys and locks, and I am an expert in opening and closing windows..
I am also experienced in operating all the machines that are in the kitchen, I have used them all before, and I am experienced in using a bathroom. I can use different types of flush handles/buttons, and have some knowledge of when one needs to do a half-flush. I also understand the use of light switches, as well as any other power fittings.
I don’t know much about defrosting a freezer, but I am willing to learn and I am a very hard worker. My enthusiasm will undoubtedly see me excel at defrosting, also considering the transferrable skills I have gained from cleaning out the fridge.
I make enough money to pay the handsome sums of rent you ask for, and I have no intention of deceiving you as you know where I live and made me sign a 30-page binding document.
I’m overall a very decent human being, I don’t do much after 8pm, and I am familiar with the term ‘recycling’.
I breathe air, but I always leave enough for the other tenants.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Head of Renting