The Real Estate Institute for Western Australia, REIWA, is urging prospective tenants to be patient as real estate agencies struggle to keep up demand during the annual rental crush in Perth.

Rob Druitt, president of the REIWA, said the March quarter is traditionally a busy time in the rental sector as people make a fresh start for the year, settle into a new job, or relocate for the start of the university calendar.

"The added difficulty we have this year is the skills shortage, with many real estate offices understaffed, and a lack of property managers in WA to help ensure efficiency," Druitt said.

"This is impacting the turn-around time with the applications, as busy offices struggle with an overwhelming number of hopeful but anxious tenants. One agency reported more than 185 phone calls about a single property."

This kind of demand makes it impractical to respond to every phone inquiry, so new methods of communications have been introduced, such as bulk messaging and broadcast emails to advertise home opens.

Druitt advised both the owner and the potential tenants to fill out all the appropriate documentation correctly, and also urged tenants to be patient as the offices sort through the applications and check references.

"Owners are ideally looking for tenants who can demonstrate security of income, reliable references and that any rental history is positive. The more tenants can do to demonstrate this, the smoother the application process," he said.