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Aussie property manager reveals why they must judge tenants at viewings

'Perception is key' according to the property manager.

As tensions between real estate agents and renters remain high, an Aussie property manager has hit back with reasons why she has to judge appearances at rental inspections after potential renters allegedly attended one of her viewings "drinking alcohol" and wearing pyjamas.

Alicia McColloch, a Perth-based agent trying to offer tips to "help tenants secure homes" shared online a "friendly reminder" that "appearances do matter when attending viewings".

She claims a pair attending one of her viewings showed up with one of them drinking alcohol from a can and the other wearing their pyjamas — a move Alicia claims does not "set a very good impression".

"I know it's really hard at the moment so you want to do everything you absolutely can and [this] doesn't present well," she said. "Perception is key."

Left image is a screenshot from Alicia's TikTok showing a close up of her talking to the camera. She has brown hair and brown eyes. The right image shows a long line leading to one rental viewing.
Australia is currently in the middle of a housing crisis with low vacancy rates seen across the nation. Source: TikTok/AliciaMcCullochRealEstate

After being questioned as to why she has "the right to judge" anyone by some people responding to the video, Alicia explained the owner had "engaged" her and her agency "to represent their property and their best interests".

"That includes making judgements and presenting the best applications to the owner for their consideration," she continued.

Mixed reactions from Australian renters

Many admitted they had to agree with her. "I was ready to not be on your side but alcohol and PJs in a competitive market is a bit..." one said, while others agreed.

However, some were infuriated by the concept. "I cannot wait to the day when there are more houses than people looking for them, and all of these real estate agents be begging," one responded.

Others commented on how the process can easily become unfair due to natural biases when it comes to personal perceptions, particularly for those more vulnerable. "Perception is subjective and introduces bias. Run an equitable process and select the applicant that meets the key selection criteria," a person suggested.

Real estate agent shares tips on how to stand out

As the relentless housing crisis is hitting renters hard, Alicia recently shared with Yahoo her top tips on how renters can stand out from the crowd when applying for properties.

Some of the suggestions include:

  • Personalise your application

  • Don't leave any gaps in the timeline

  • Follow-up after sending an application

For more tips, click here.

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