Great leasing agents are the heart and soul of property management companies.
The job is a demanding one. Leasing agents must listen continuously to feedback, develop a strong personal network, and also use a variety of different techniques to ensure the property stability remains consistent.
According to the National Apartment Association, in 2019 the average turnover rate for onsite leasing agents was almost 32%. It’s not the right job for everyone, as it takes a motivated and organized person to succeed at being a leasing agent.
The first step to being a successful leasing agent is understanding the role and its demands.
What is a leasing agent?
A home, house, or apartment leasing associate (sometimes called a “leasing consultant”, “leasing agent” or “marketing specialist”) is a person who helps connect prospective renters with vacancies at properties. Some leasing agents also work on commercial real estate transactions, e.g., office buildings, restaurants, and stores.
A leasing agent is the contact and midway point for renters and property owners/managers. They ensure that property owners and property management companies have a steady supply of potential renters that can occupy their properties at any given time. They must also provide excellent customer service to keep renters satisfied and therefore stabilize occupancy rates.
Leasing agents have four main responsibilities
1. Be able to entice prospective renters
This includes knowing properties well, being able to connect sincerely with prospects, and explaining leasing terms clearly.
2. Provide excellent customer service to current residents
The majority of days are spent ensuring current residents at their properties are happy. They must make sure that renewal notices go out and spend time improving retention strategies. It’s required that leasing agents be on call to help with any concerns that current renters have.
3. Give prospects tours for available properties
It’s important that leasing agents are familiar with their rostered properties so that they can answer any questions prospective renters have as well as know how best to endear it to them. Since the pandemic, leasing agents have had to adopt a slew of new technologies to enable them to give virtual tours.
Many leasing agents are in charge of the marketing efforts for their properties. This can include managing social media strategies, hosting resident or prospect events, involvement in local neighborhood associations, and creating partnerships with local businesses.
A leasing agent’s day-to-day duties could include helping potential renters:
1. Set lease terms and pricing
2. Handle all lease documents and security deposits
3. Conduct property tours
4. Run background and credit checks to ensure move-in eligibility
Leasing agents also work with current renters to:
1. Take care of their property-related needs in a timely manner
2. Secure yearly renewals for lease agreements
3. Follow fair housing laws
What separates a successful leasing agent from the rest?
Successful leasing agents must naturally be empathetic, tenacious, hard-working, and committed. However, there are a few key qualities that must not only be possessed, but continuously improved on over the course of this career.
There are 5 key qualities that can help someone succeed as a leasing agent.
Leasing associates must be able to communicate well on both a professional and personal level when working with potential renters, current renters, and property owners. They must listen actively, be empathetic, patient, and able to break down legal documents and requirements into simple, accessible language.
2. Multitasking abilities
This role requires long lists of current and prospective renters, along with a multitude of different tasks. As such, leasing agents should be well-suited to juggling a variety of tasks and roles.
3. Problem-solving skills
There are many complex, unique situations that a leasing consultant might run into. Helping people choose and live in a home can come with a lot of stress for all involved. Excellent leasing agents keep their calm, don’t get stressed, and approach a problem by considering all input to decide on the best outcome for all parties involved.
Leasing agents must take a proactive approach when finding as well as dealing with clients. It’s also one of the tenets of a good agent-client relationship, which is tantamount to good customer service when helping existing clients.
With the multitude of tasks that need to be handled and the unorthodox hours, those looking to be leasing agents must be well-organized.
The best tools for leasing agents
Leasing agents aren’t on their own in the battle to close deals. Technology has made it easier than ever to take on the challenges that can come with being a leasing agent. Here are some of the best tools for leasing agents.
1. Property management software
Digital: CRM software
The single-most used tool for leasing agents is their property management software (Yardi, ResMan, Realpage, Appfolio, etc.). These providers typically serve as CRM management and it is crucial to know the ins and outs of these software platforms as a leasing agent.
2. Organization and time management
Physical: Binders, notebooks, daily planners, calendars.
Digital: Google Suite, Asana, Notion.
These tools are excellent for helping leasing consultants see their commitments on a micro as well as a macro scale. They keep tasks organized, allow for easier scheduling, and avoid overcommitment. It’s a good idea to use a combination of digital and physical tools, so that notifications for follow-ups and available properties can be leveraged.
Digital: Canva for content creation, social media sites for marketing.
Marketing online is the most effective way to reach a target audience of potential renters. Using the internet makes it easier to show up where prospects are and market oneself in the intended way. Leasing agents are required to follow their specific property’s branding guidelines as well.
Physical: Landline, mobile phone.
Digital: email, automated email via CRM, resident communication platforms like Qira.
It’s important to have strong communication skills face-to-face, but that also translates well over the phone and video and audio calls. Using a mixture of both digital and physical means of communication give leasing agents more ways to be reached by potential renters and close deals.
How Qira can help make your job easier
Qira is a boutique financial management platform that supports leasing agents and property managers. Leasing consultants can take some of the load off their shoulders and give it to us.
We can handle payment processing (including Pay Later), security deposits and security deposit alternatives, rent reporting, and end-of-lease settlements. We even offer a dedicated 24/7 support team for both renters and partners. Qira has a resident communication platform so leasing agents can communicate with each resident directly. Qira automates emails to remind residents when rent is due, a balance is outstanding
Whether single family or multifamily owners, operators, and managers, Qira is a customizable fit to your needs. Qira integrates with the major property management software companies to streamline your daily operations.