We get Move Out Notices when rent comes in and immediately post an ad unless the place needs to be refurbished a lot...So, the first week of the month before you want to move in is critical. Have everything ready to go. If you can't find your social security card, it takes 30 minutes on El Camino Real near Oceanside Blvd. (Oceanside, CA) to apply for a replacement...go do it!
The other thing is, I screen HUNDREDS of phone calls, plus emails and texts on just two units...(actual count 432 before I found approved renters!) I get back to everyone. Some time spans are tricky because there is a group of applications in and the owner has not decided yet. We organize showings until things are rented but don't want to waste your time looking at something that is only 'technically' available if we have strong candidates in who have not signed a lease yet. If they fall out or back out, we are on the phone at least telling you it is play.
I don't charge an application fee...I don't need beer or rent money from people who will not qualify, I sleep VERY WELL at night. My application process requires computer skills and attention to detail. Ask questions, don't slow down the process. If you can't do that then get some help with it, I can not wait, ask for fix-its days later or hold anything, your place will be gone.
ALSO, before you call! Do your due diligence and look up the location on Google Maps, 'drive' the area on Google street view...look for burglar bars on the neighbor's houses, look for deferred maintenance, etc. Drive the area and listen for incessantly barking dogs or neighbors that are obnoxious or trashy.
This sounds too harsh, but, it does take so many phone calls, long conversations and time that it is absolutely the only way we can get a place rented that is good for you so you will stay a long time and thrive! And, so that our Owner does not have a revenue loss!
Hope this helps.~n