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Leasing Agent Career Guide

If you love helping people, and have a service-oriented personality then you may have what it takes to be a leasing agent. Leasing agents help people, or companies, find a new home or property to rent or buy. They will spend the majority of their day speaking to potential customers and helping them to understand the pros and cons of each property that they see.

They differ from real estate agents as they mostly work with rentals, whether that be shorter-term or longer-term. Both commercial and residential properties are available to leasing agents, and they earn the majority of their salary based on commission. Clients will usually pay half or a full month’s rent to the leasing agent.

Leasing agents have to be knowledgeable about the market, be one of the first people to know about new properties opening up, and have to be ready to work or show a property at a moment’s notice. Some leasing agents work in firms and show multiple commercial and residential properties. Other leasing agents may work at an apartment complex and show properties all day long.

Sample job description

As a leasing agent at [Your Company Name], you will be one of the smiling faces of our firm. You will be the main point of contact for possible tenants and the first one they meet when they come in for information or a showing. You will be assisting them through the entire process from beginning to end. Typically, the process starts via a phone call, online inquiry, or a walk-in. You will ask the possible residents key questions in order to best understand what they are looking for in their next property so that you can recommend appropriate units that are available or coming available soon. Once you have determined the best fit, you will be expected to give the future resident a property tour. With a positive attitude, and a true desire to help our clients, you will have the potential for great success in this position.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Explain the leasing agreement, financial obligations, and other pertinent information to the future residents
  • Assist current residents by coordinating maintenance issues, payment, and resident account issues
  • Follow up with probable renters 
  • Stay up to date with leads and newly listed properties
  • Have a good relationship with tenants 
  • Review bank statements on applications
  • Run background checks and credit checks 
  • For apartment leasing agents, you will oversee facilities offered like, mailrooms, laundry rooms, game centers, and fitness centers
  • Stay in communication with the tenants
  • Provide the tenants with needed assistance
  • Collect rent payments, application fees, and deposits
  • Check contact references, reference letters, and lease agreements
  • Stay in contact with the maintenance team
  • Show properties to potential tenants
  • Arrange meetings with tenants
  • Advertise properties properly

Education and experience

  • High school diploma or G.E.D.
  • Three or more years of experience as an agent or similar field
  • Understanding of the real estate industry

Required skills and qualifications

  • Work well with others
  • Strong negotiation skills 
  • Outgoing
  • Experience in sales 
  • Great communication skills 
  • Excellent written skills
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Organizational skills 
  • Time management skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Basic computer skills
  • Knowledge of real estate terminology and contracts
  • Detail-oriented
  • Proficient multitasker
  • A reliable source of transportation
  • Self-driven 

Preferred qualifications

  • Bilingual and/or multilingual
  • Willing to work extended hours
  • Degree in business management, real estate, or a related field
  • Five or more years experience

Typical work environment

The work environment of a leasing agent is typically in an office space or a lobby office where you are clearly visible to residents. You spend a good amount of time on your feet and need to have the ability to multitask. Much of the time will be spent around the property, or driving to multiple properties, giving tours of units, showing amenities, driving with clients, and showing the facilities to future renters.

Typical hours

Leasing agents’ hours can range from full-time, or in some cases, part-time. An average work schedule for a full-time leasing agent is 40 hours per week, Monday through Saturday 9 AM to 7 PM. For an agent for a firm, one may work the typical 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, but should also be prepared for longer hours as well.

Available certifications

Though it’s not required for leasing agents to have certifications, there are many available that are offered. Some of the most popular certifications include:

  • Certified Apartment Leasing Professional (Formerly known as NALP). This is the perfect certification for leasing agents who are working in apartments. This covers everything from using technology to drive traffic to your facility to how to secure lease renewals. To qualify, you need six months of experience, must pass the seven required courses, and take an exam within six months.
  • Certified Leasing Consultant (CLC). This is another certification that specializes in apartment rentals. There are multiple courses that you’ll need to take, and you’ll need to pass an exam. However, there are no prerequisites before taking the course, making this one easier to achieve.

Career path

While most leasing agents don’t require a degree, some places do prefer you to have a bachelor’s degree. In order to become a leasing agent, you will need at least a high school diploma or equivalent and a year or two of sales experience. Certifications are encouraged as it proves you have the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful leasing agent. After becoming a leasing agent, there is a possibility to work your way up to property manager.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-9141

2020 Employment364,100
Projected Employment in 2030375,500
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 3% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift11,400 increase

The apartment and condo leasing industry has undergone some significant pricing and demand changes as of late with the housing market exploding. There has been an influx of renters due to high housing costs. The methods of apartment renting and leasing have stayed very consistent over time. Although prices continue to increase, which could cause some variance in the market, the overall industry and process of renting should stay fairly consistent. That being said, marketing changes, such as online tours, social media marketing, and other online changes have been a major advantage for the industry, which will lead to more leasing agents needed.