When markets are hot, listings come and go (some never come at all) quickly. Competition is rife. Something I was thinking was: Have very good due diligence of an area. 1.View rental listings. 2.Look for properties that suit your buying criteria. 3. Most importantly, look for under rented properties. This may be a sign that the agent doesn't know the market, they are lazy, the vendor is not on top of their portfolio, maybe all of the above. Potentially by approaching the agent you could secure a property for a good deal and not be exposed to other buyers.. I guess you could offer the rental agent $1000 referral fee for loosing a rental property... Has anyone tried this approach before?