The secret to the perfect rental application is insanely simple.

My boyfriend and I are new to Melbourne’s rental market and have quickly learned it’s bloody terrifying.

Budgeting! Misleading photographs of (actually tiny) rooms! Inspections! Competition! Applications! Repeated failure! Bouts of depression!

We’re up against le cream of le crop at every place we visit – I’m talking doctors with a decade of FLAWLESS rental history who probably volunteer at baby animal shelters in their spare time.

And then there’s us – the 22 year olds who have nothing to show real estate agents other than our parents’ glowing recommendations and wanky academic transcripts.

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"Pls pick us bcoz we r rilly desperate." (Image: iStock)

You get my gist - it's tough out there, and we need every trick we can use to set ourselves apart.

That's why, when a real estate agent pulled me aside and shared the ~secret~ to the perfect application, I just about kissed her in her goddamn helpful face.

Surprisingly, success lies in the contact details you provide for your references.

"We don't want mobile numbers from your mate Joe Blow pretending to be your manager," the agent - like an angel sent from heaven - told me on Saturday. "We want professional email addresses, and work phone numbers, wherever possible.

"As soon as I see a work email, and a work number, I immediately see the application as more legitimate, and it'll go to the top of the pile."


LISTEN: Shaynna Blaze on how to perfectly style your rental home. (Post continues...)

Another pro tip? Attach proof of your salary (a payslip, for example) to every application - even when it doesn't ask for it.

"This just reassures us that you're transparent, and the details you've provided are true and accurate."

Huh. How very straight-forward.

Fingers crossed this means I'm not homeless for too much longer, right?

What are your tips for rental application success?