First impressions are very important, so dress well. People sometimes make judgements based on “appearances”, so try to make sure you give a positive view of yourself. Think of it as a “job interview” where you need to do whatever you can to give a good impression and make sure that if you like the apartment you will be able to rent it because the landlord likes you.
Prepare yourself for the meeting with the landlord. Try to imagine what questions the landlord would ask and prepare answers to them. As a foreigner, you sometimes need to be extra convincing to persuade the landlord that you are the best person for that particular apartment. You will find that some landlords are quite happy to host newcomers, while others those with established domestic references.
Try to visit the apartment or a house that is available for rent a couple times, ideally during the day and night in order to determine the suitability of the neighbourhood for you. If you get a chance, talk to neighbours and friends about the area and the apartment to get more information and make the right decision. Watch out for areas that seem peaceful during the day, but are in an area where people go out. The opposite is also possible, as neighbourhoods that are calm in the evening/at night could be noisy during the day if they are near a highway, subway/metro, construction site or railway track.
Finally, plan your visits according to their locations. Visit apartments near the subway first because they may as well be the best located ones in terms of accessibility to other amenities. Try to see apartments in one area of the city in one trip. This saves time and money, as well as seeing a bit more of each area of the city.