Research Reports and Evaluations - Page 30

agents to refer to, and providing advocacy on behalf of clients. It is clear from all consulted that the program has been successful in building more effective collaboration with real estate agents and this has been central in being able to gain the necessary leverage to access properties. All groups consulted considered the cultivation of strong relationships with real estate agents as being central to overcoming the barriers to private rental access and to also addressing tenancy issues early on before they become unmanageable. All clients reported that the two way relationship between the service and real estate agents have been critical in assisting them to secure their properties. …the character of the tenant is decided upon based on an initial gut feel or impression. It is not enough for low income tenants to have a reference, the tenant needs to be made more attractive to the prospective landlord. They have to feel that they and the property will not be put at risk by giving someone a go [External stakeholder]. However, it was reported that effective relationships take time to cultivate and to sustain in the longer-term and that this is an area requiring further two-way development. From the perspective of the real estate agent it was reported that services need to have clear communication about the types of clients that they work with – who they target and make assurances that those who are referred to the agent have been thoroughly assessed for their capacity to pay and their prior history of renting. It is really important to not focus on the negative but to present the client in the best possible way – usually providing advice to the client on how to deal with the real estate agent and how best to present themselves in their application. We try to emphasise that a Centrelink payment i