We know Maui is an extremely competitive rental market. Even though we encourage owners to put more units into long-term rentals, inventory remains low. There are effective things prospective tenants can do to make their application stand out.

Apply online in advance

If you have found a property that fits your needs, apply immediately online if the option is available. This shows the property manager you’re already a serious applicant when you visit the property. Also, the reviewer should take the first qualified applicant, so being early gives you an edge.

Come prepared

Be on time for a viewing of the rental property. Promptness shows responsibility and respect for other’s time, which are good tenant qualities.

It helps to come with a copy of your credit report, copies of your last few pay stubs, your checkbook, and a printed list of references (including your current employer and previous landlords). The showing agent may take the information or ask you to submit it, but just having it not only gives you a chance to point out your qualities, it shows you are serious about the rental. It also makes the agent’s job easier when you have more than enough information for your application.

Some tenants write a note to the landlord briefly detailing why they would make an excellent tenant. If you choose to include a note, orient it more toward benefits to the owner/landlord rather than why you need it.

Express interest

It may seem obvious, but property managers want to see applicants excited about their home rather than nit picky. Once you are chosen, you can address any issues with a move-in property condition review.

Consider the showing a bit like an interview. You will be asked questions, and pose questions about the property and neighborhood. Stay positive. All owners desire tenants that will take care and respect their home. Keep that in mind during your meeting.

Be flexible

With lots of applicants in the pool, there may be multiple qualified applicants. Your ability to move in when the unit is available or sign a longer term lease may be valuable to some property managers. Make sure to make this info known.

Be transparent

Property managers check references, so be truthful on your application. If there is something that needs an explanation, provide a brief note stating the issue, how it has been resolved and your good actions since then.

Some property owners may look at social media to get a better idea of who you are. Keep public posts positive. It should also go without saying that illicit activities such as drug use should be kept off of social media.

Follow up

After leaving your meeting with the property manager or landlord, send an email thanking them, along with asking any follow-up questions you may have. This keeps the conversation going, and provides a reminder of your interest.

In this difficult Maui market, taking a little extra time to be prepared and follow-up may just give you an advantage on your next rental home.