During the past couple of months I've been looking for new accommodation as the owners of the current place are returning soon.
And boy o boy has it been tough finding a rental property!
The rental market in Perth is becoming pear-shaped with huge demand and short supply of rental properties.
Rental buyers have now gone to crazy lengths to ensure they get the property they want by increasing the weekly rental asking price, paying higher bonds, paying several months in advance... etc etc - it's all getting too crazy.
In fact, my sister came up with an idea to search for a rental property together as she has currently secured a full-time job as a primary school teacher and is looking for a place closer to her work.
I stewed over the pros and cons before giving my final answer several days after voicing her idea.
1. My sister is a great cook.
2. I love my sister (we get along just fine).
3. The rental costs will be halved.
4. It will be easier getting approved because of her job.
5. My sister has some "nice" friends (who may have even "nicer" friends). ;op
1. My sister works north of Perth and the places of accommodation we'll be searching for are pretty much at the northern-most tips of Perth - family and friends will be over an hour's drive away.
2. Bringing home lady friends may be a problem. ;o)
In the end though food, easier approvals and halving costs were the clear winners, so I told her we'd do it.
And what a deadly rental-buying team we were.
We used our alluring charms on unsuspecting rental agent's of the opposite sex and by the 6th or 7th rental property we inspected we finally found one worth fighting for.
After filling out the application my sister received a phone call from one of the agent's informing her that we'd need to up our rental payment to match other prospects who similarly were vying for placement at the same place.
Initially the agent "hinted" to my sister (they can't legally tell you what to put down to be assured of getting the property - it obviously isn't fair to the others) that we'd need to write down an amount between $250-$270 per week! This was from an advertised asking price of $210 per week!!
My sister told me of the new charge and we still thought it was okay (considering that the previous properties we had been searching were in that price range anyway).
The next day when I was ready to submit the new application I received a phone call from the rental property agent. During our phone call she opened up and informed me that our application was one of the top 7, she then began to talk about price.
If there's one thing I learnt in the Marketing & Sales 101 course I did at university it was this:
There are some hot chics in marketing.
Ok, besides that it was...
Silence is golden.
After an offer is made the first person to speak...
I can remember that lecture at uni so clearly, he scared the crap out of everyone. He went something like this:
"If you're ever selling anything and you've laid out the benefits of your product at meeting the wants and needs of your prospect once you've made the offer..."
The lecturer paused, making sure he had everyone's attention.
He boomed out. We all looked around thinking that a group of people were talking amongst each other during the lecture, but the lecturer repeated what he had said, without the pause.
"When you're selling and you make your offer you need to shut up. The next person who talks loses."
After that several people left the room to no doubt go and clean their pants.
And so it was with the agent I had on the other line.
Initially she "hinted" that I place something around the range of $250, and when she paused, I too kept silent - as if procrastinating over her offer (even though inside I was bursting at the seams knowing all too well that $250 was fine and that if we didn't get this place my sister was never going to cook for me ever again!). And then when it felt like an infinity had passed she began "hinting" at a lower price.
"I suppose you could put something in the range of $230 to $240 though," she said.
It was good enough for me, but I decided to squeeze it a little more - I still kept silent, I even took a deep breath just to know that I was still on the other line.
"Or anything between $220 to $230 will be okay, but maybe not highly considered as we have applicants above $250."
This time she held.
I could sense it, but I had a price range.
It seemed the best price for us was around $230.
$220 was too low, $230 was okay, $250 was a shoe in - and considering I wanted to pay as low as possible I told her we'd apply for $230.
After that phone conversation I had a funny feeling we be approved.
And the next day I received word that we did!
On the 7th April we move in to our new place and begin what will no doubt be an interesting journey.
Here's a Google Earth map of the move:
PS - and our new place is only 10 short minutes to the nearest beach - Mullalloo Beach (which is a nice beach BTW). I might have to find a new beach jogging track again.