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Property Manager Urges Social Media Cleanup for Renting Success

An individual's online presence can significantly influence a landlord's decision-making process.
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Erik Mclean
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Erik Mclean

In today's competitive rental market, securing a lease on a desired property can be a challenging task. With landlords and property managers scrutinizing prospective tenants, renters need to make a positive impression both on paper and online. In such a situation, renters find themselves compelled to go the extra mile to make a positive impression, not only on paper but also online, where their digital footprint can play an important role in determining their suitability as tenants.

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A post shared by Jessica Melling (@jessimoose_)


Jessica Melling, a seasoned property manager at LJ Hooker in Robina, Queensland, stresses the importance of presenting oneself in the best possible light to enhance the chances of securing a rental home. Drawing on her fifteen years of experience in the industry, she highlights the growing trend among property managers to examine the social media profiles of potential tenants.

"Property managers will often use social media as a tool to show the owners a little bit more about the tenants. If your social media is not private, have a look and think of it as if you're dating someone, and their parents are going to jump on and have a look," she explained.

She emphasizes that an individual's online presence can significantly influence a landlord's decision-making process. With platforms like Facebook and Instagram offering glimpses into an applicant's lifestyle and character, Melling urges renters to ensure their social media accounts are a reflection of professionalism and responsibility.

Photo by Ivan Samkov:
Image Source: Photo by Ivan Samkov | Pexels

In a rental market where vacancy rates remain persistently low, standing out as a prospective tenant is crucial. Melling advises renters, especially first-timers, to accompany their applications with a cover letter. This personal touch allows applicants to introduce themselves beyond the constraints of a standard form, providing insights into their character, intentions, and rental history.

"The point of it [cover letter] is to present yourself as best as you can and to be memorable to the property manager. If we get 30 applications but we've had someone who shows how eager they are by bringing a cover letter with them, the chances are that application is going to be easy to process," she added.

Image Source: Getty Images | Joe Raedle

Jarrod Pienaar, a 22-year-old apprentice plumber, attests to the effectiveness of including cover letters in rental applications. "I was ready to move out and starting to look for a place of my own. I wanted to find a property within the $500-700 a week mark, but there wasn't a ton on the market at the time," he said.

He found success once he began incorporating personalized cover letters into his applications. This approach set him apart from other applicants vying for the same properties.

However, not everyone in the rental advocacy community agrees with the practice of property managers checking social media profiles. Joel Dignam, Executive Director of Better Renting, argues that such actions represent an invasion of privacy and exacerbate the power imbalance between landlords and renters.

"The bottom line is this isn't relevant for the tenancy, and it's an abuse of the power that agents have because they have so many tenants to choose from in a tight market. We don't need to be tone-policing renters who are otherwise suitable," he said.

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A post shared by Jess- The Rental Lady (@rentwithjess)


Nevertheless, Melling encourages tenants to persevere and ensure their applications are comprehensive and compelling, emphasizing the importance of reliable references and financial documentation. "'The best thing you can do is even if you don't think you've got a chance, apply because everyone else is often too scared to apply."