Competition is sky high for rentals, making it challenging for residents to find a place to call home. The problem doesn't look like it will correct itself anytime soon, but that doesn't mean you're hopeless. There are things you can do to improve your odds of locking in a rental contract, and none of them require over-the-top preparation or extra capital.
Colorado law requires every residential lease to include a Warranty of Habitability. This warrant sets the minimum standards for landlords in preparing and maintaining properties, and it also establishes reasonable responsibilities for tenants.
Visit Zillow and start browsing your rental options. What do you see? Likely, lots of large apartment complexes that seem nearly identical. While there's nothing inherently wrong with this (many of us have lived in these places ourselves), they are not for everyone.