Are you considering becoming a leasing agent? If this is the type of career you’re interested in, you probably need to know how to become a leasing agent. With the right step-by-step guide, you can enter this career pretty easily.
Before we look at how you can become a leasing agent, you should understand what a leasing agent does. Let’s look at the job duties for this career.
Job Duties of a Leasing Agent
As a leasing agent, you will be responsible for getting rental properties leased. You might work for a property management firm or an apartment building. You will work with prospective tenants and help market the rental properties you are in charge of.
Some of the most common job duties of a leasing agent include:
- Conducting credit checks for potential tenants
- Conducting background checks for potential tenants
- Offering tours of rental properties or apartments
- Inspecting rental units after a tenant has moved out
- Explaining lease contracts to tenants before they sign
- Helping tenants with concerns and repairs
- Marketing new rental properties through online ads, listings, and other forms of advertisement
- Collecting rent from tenants, along with deposits
- Handling renewal lease contracts
- Performing office duties, such as filing paperwork and entering tenant information into the software system
These are the most common job duties for a leasing agent. The most important thing you will do as a leasing agent is filling vacancies. You will use many different tools to fill vacancies. Your income and your job will likely depend on how good you are at filling vacancies.
How To Become a Leasing Agent in 4 Steps
Step #1 – Meet the Basic Requirements
Before you can become a leasing agent, you want to check your state requirements. Every state may be a bit different. However, most states require the following:
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must have a high school diploma
- Must pass the certification exam
While a college degree isn’t required, many employers are seeking candidates with a degree. Real estate business deals have become more complicated. With a college degree, you have a better chance of landing a leasing agent job.
Step #2 – Get a Degree (Optional)
If you want the best chance to work as a leasing agent, getting a college degree just makes sense. It can also help you advance your career.
You can get an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a real estate program. It’s also possible to get a finance degree, a degree in business administration, or a degree in economics. All of these degree types will help you land a good leasing agent job.
About 45% of leasing agents have a bachelor’s degree. This means without one, you might struggle to find a job as a leasing agent.
Step #3 – Become Certified
Every state has different requirements for leasing agents, but most will require you to become certified or licensed. The National Apartment Association offers certifications for those looking to lease apartments.
You will need to pass a certification or license test specific to your state. Before you take the steps to become a leasing agent, make sure you check with your state for the exact requirements.
Step #4 – Get your Real Estate License (in some states)
You may need to get a real estate license to become a leasing agent. It depends on the requirements of your state. If this is the case, you can expect it to take a few months to get your real estate license.
Even if you don’t need a real estate license in your state, it can be helpful. Since you will be working in the real estate industry, you can use this license on your resume to help you land a better job.
There are only a few steps in the process to become a leasing agent. Use these steps and you can become a leasing agent in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Leasing Agent
How much can I make as a leasing agent?
The amount of money you can make each year as a leasing agent will depend on your employer and location. However, Indeed.com has an average hourly pay of about $15.33. Zippia.com puts the average hourly pay at $13.99, however.
If you’re paid a salary, Salary.com puts the range at $28,970 to $35,557. In some cases, you may earn a higher rate of pay. If you work in Texas, you will likely make more than in other areas of the country.
Commonly, leasing agents make more money through commissions. Becomopedia.com states the national average salary of a leasing agent is about $62K. This is including the commission they earn and can go up to more than $100K per year in some areas.
Commissions can vary, depending on the leasing company you work for. It’s common for apartment leasing agents to get $50 to $200 per unit rented. Some companies pay commissions based on a percentage of the lease price.
What type of benefits do leasing agents get?
Your actual benefits will depend on your employer, but it’s very common for leasing agents to get a package including paid time off and health insurance. Most leasing agents will also get life insurance, family leave benefits, vision insurance, dental insurance, and access to a 401(k). Some employers provide matching for your 401(k). you may also get a discount on a rental property through the company.
What is the cost to become a leasing agent?
While you don’t need a degree, if you get one, the cost will be higher than stated here. You will have to pay tuition to get a degree, which can vary quite a bit.
However, if you just want to get your license or certification, you will likely pay around $75. It may be higher or lower, depending on your state. This is simply the fee for the application for your leasing agent license or certification.
If you want to become a National Apartment Leasing Professional, you will pay between $319 and $419 for the certification course. It can be completed online and this will give you a certification you can use to land a better job.
Are leasing agents in high demand?
Yes. Compared to the average of all occupations, leasing agents are in high demand. Over the next ten years, this profession is expected to grow by about double the average of all occupations.
How long will it take me to become a leasing agent?
If you want to become a leasing agent, you will have to meet the requirements of your state. In some states, you can get your license with just a 15-hour online course and passing an exam. In other states, it can take a few months to get your real estate license and become a leasing agent.
If you plan to become a National Apartment Leasing Professional, you will also need at least six months of on-site property management experience. How long it takes you to become a leasing agent, depends on the path you plan to take.
Will I get free rent as a leasing agent?
Of course, it depends on your employer, but this is a common benefit for leasing agents. It’s common for employers to offer leasing agents a free apartment or a discounted apartment. You may even get a choice of where you live if the company owns multiple rental properties.
Some companies will offer an incentive package with free or discounted rent after you’ve signed so many leases. They may offer a free month of rent for every 20 leases signed, for example.
What type of schedule do leasing agents work?
Most leasing agents will work a typical 9-to-5 type of schedule. Since most leasing offices keep specific hours, leasing agents will likely work the hours the office is open. It’s common for leasing agents to have a flexible schedule, too.
Is experience necessary to become a leasing agent?
While experience can also help you land a better choice, it’s not necessary to become a leasing agent. Most employers will look for experience in customer service, which can come from a job you had in high school.
With experience, you can advance your career. Entry-level positions often don’t require much experience. However, as you grow to higher positions in the leasing world, you will likely need experience.
Do I need a degree to become a leasing agent?
No. You can become a leasing agent with a high school diploma. However, you will likely gain advantages in this career with a degree.
Is a leasing agent a property manager?
No. these are two different careers. Leasing agents work with tenants to find the right home, while property managers provide support for tenants. Property managers tend to work with maintenance requests and the owners of the properties.
Becoming a leasing agent is a great career choice for the right person. If you like the idea of working with tenants, showing rental properties, and helping people find the right place to call home, this might be the perfect career for you.