Learn How To Haggle
Make an offer that is considerably less than the asking price. The landlord might meet your half way depending on how eager he is to fill his vacant apartments. Many times the landlord's willingness to negotiate depends on different factors. By doing some research, you (the prospective tenant) can gain the upper hand. Start by asking how many vacant apartments are in the complex. Sometimes an apartment manager will be more willing to bargain if he needs to fill more apartments. Remember not to act too interested in any particular apartment because this will affect your bargaining power.
Do Your Homework
There are many sites online such as apartmentfinder.com that allow you to look at more apartments than you would normally be able to visit in one day. Print out information for apartments that fit your needs. You may be able to use this information to get a better price.
Many complexes offer promotions during certain times of the month or fixed extended leases that will allow you to save some money. If you are moving into a new complex, ask for a discount for having to deal with construction noise. The old saying "it doesn't hurt to ask" definitely holds true in this situation.
Read Before Signing
Review the lease carefully with your landlord and discuss anything that you may not understand. If you don't agree with something on the lease don't be afraid to bring it up. Be sure you both agree with the terms of the lease and don't be afraid to walk away if your offer is turned down. Call back a few days later and try to make another offer if you really like the place, but don't settle on a lease you don't think is fair or you can't afford.
With a little effort you'll find that perfect apartment at just the right price.