Looking for a new apartment or office space? A great leasing agent can help. While many real estate agents focus on selling property, leasing agents specialize in rentals. Getting a new tenant into an apartment or rental space is much less complicated than selling properties, so this job is less lucrative than that of some other real estate jobs.
Simply put, leasing agents try to get renters into their properties. Typically a leasing agent, who may also be called a leasing consultant, works for a company that owns and/or manages buildings, either commercial or residential. When those properties have vacancies, it's the leasing agent's job to find the right tenants to fill them.
A leasing agent creates online listings for vacancies, schedules appointments with potential tenants, leads interested candidates on property tours and oversees the paperwork and logistics involved with getting a new tenant into a lease. Leasing agents have to be adept at sales because they have to make potential tenants want to sign those leases quickly and move in. They must also be extremely knowledgable about each unit, building and neighborhood so they can answer questions about things like building amenities, parking, local school districts, crime rates, area restaurants and so forth.
A leasing agent may work with a single building or company, like in the case of a large apartment community that always has vacancies, or she may split her time between many properties. Leasing agents who work for apartment complexes may do other tasks like processing rent checks and responding to resident requests.
There are no formal education requirements for leasing agents. Of course, each hiring company sets its own criteria, and it's common for leasing agent job postings to specify that candidates must have college degrees. Some companies will even require candidates to have a real estate license. But some employers don't require anything more than a high school diploma or GED. Motivated, personable candidates can usually master the necessary skills through on-the-job training.
Leasing agents work everywhere, even in small towns. The job can be somewhat unstable because it depends on the housing market. Agents typically work standard office hours but also have to do showings at night and on weekends if those are the times that are convenient for their prospective tenants.
Years of Experience and Salary
The average leasing agent salary is tough to pin down because it depends heavily on bonuses, which agents may receive for getting leases signed. Not all leasing agents receive bonuses; this depends on the employer. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't separate salary data for real estate rental agents from that of sales agents.
The median salary for real estate brokers and sales agents was $47,880, as of May 2017. (Median means that half of this group earned more than $47,880 and half earned less.) But that's high compared to the salaries commonly listed in leasing agent job postings. Many of these positions pay hourly rates of $13 to $15.
One of the benefits of working for an apartment complex is that you may be able to live onsite with reduced rent, which is another form of compensation.
Job Growth Trend
Like all real estate professionals, leasing agents' jobs depend in large part on the current housing market. BLS predicts that job opportunities for real estate brokers and sales agents will grow at a rate of 6 percent between 2016 and 2026, an average rate for all industries.