Income and Qualifications
Leasing agents usually earn salaries plus commissions. Their annual commissions can sometimes meet or exceed their annual salaries. For example, Chicago Apartment Finders reported average leasing agent incomes of $35,000 to $40,000 annually -- with top agents earning over $100,000. The average annual incomes for leasing agents was $46,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Simply Hired. To become a leasing agent, you need at least a high school diploma and one year of experience in sales or customer service. Some employers may prefer that you have an associate's or bachelor's degree in real estate, business or finance, especially if you're leasing commercial property. You also need physical stamina, an outgoing personality, valid driver's license and organizational, persuasive, communication, problem-solving, math and computer skills.
Income by Region
Average salaries for leasing agents varied significantly within certain U.S. regions in 2013. In the West region, they earned the highest salaries of $52,000 in Alaska and California and the lowest of $37,000 in Montana. Those in the South made between $36,000 and $72,000 per year, respectively, in Mississippi and Washington, D.C. If you worked in the Northeast, you'd earn low and high salaries $41,000 or $56,000, respectively, in Maine or Massachusetts. In the Midwest, you'd earn the most in Minnesota and the least and South Dakota -- $49,000 or $36,000, respectively.
You may also earn more as a leasing agent in certain industries. For example, in 2012, real estate sales agents -- who also lease residences and office buildings -- earned some of the highest incomes of $75,930 with the federal government, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also earned above average incomes of $54,090 working for residential building construction companies. You can also earn more by asking all of your clients for referrals.
The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for leasing agents. It does project jobs for real estate sales agents -- a similar career -- which will increase 11 percent in the next decade. Although this is a relatively average growth rate, you should find more job opportunities as a leasing agent as the construction industry continues improving from the Great Recession of 2007. You'll likely find more job opportunities where real estate is booming, such as in Sacramento, San Francisco and Phoenix.