Hiring a superstar leasing agent begins with a precise and alluring job description. Don’t forget to include these 11 duties before you tap “post!”
Property owners want their units filled with tenants that pay their rent on time. They hope to maintain a clean, safe, and desirable apartment building or apartment complex. They also need to build their name and reputation in the community as THE place to live.
Property managers have to do all this — and more — to be successful and become an asset to the landlord and building.
Experienced property managers know that they can’t do it all alone. They know they need a powerful team to support them in reaching and beating these goals.
One crucial member of the property management team is the leasing agent. And to find a great one, you’ll need to look for someone with a specific (and varied) set of skills.
Are you ready to add a leasing agent to your property management team?
These are the 7 essential leasing agent duties to include on your job listing so that you can find a top-rated agent to join your team.
The primary goal of every leasing agent is to maintain high occupancy rates across the complex. To do that, you need to find qualified tenants who can become assets to your apartment community.
A large part of a leasing agent’s job is to follow up on leads for prospective renters.
Agents also show apartments and host open house tours. They're responsible for screening and vetting tenants to ensure they’re a good fit for the building, too. In some cases, leasing agents also coordinate lease signings with property managers.
Some people think that any good salesperson can be a leasing agent.
But there’s a lot more to it than that …
The best leasing agents have both hard skills and soft skills.
Not sure what the difference is?
Here are some examples of each and why both are so important for a leasing agent candidate:
Hard skills are teachable skills. They show specific knowledge of the job and reveal the level of experience an agent has in leasing apartments.
For a leasing agent, hard skills include:
Hard skills can also be technical, such as computer skills and software skills. These are essential in navigating the online community of potential new tenants. Like all hard skills, you can master these with time.
If you find an agent with the potential to be an asset to your team, teaching these hard skills is a great way to shape and mold a top-notch agent.
Soft skills are those that you cannot teach. But they are equally as crucial as teachable hard skills and sales tactics.
Soft skills leasing agents must have include:
Communication skills and interpersonal skills are more critical than outsiders might imagine. A leasing agent must be able to communicate with and build a rapport with prospective residents.
Organizational skills and problem-solving skills are also necessary. After all, great leasing agents need to organize themselves (and their schedules) to get the job done.
Adaptability and flexibility can help agents balance a hectic workload while following up with clients on time. Potential renters can be demanding and often expect their leasing agents to be available almost around the clock. But without organization, flexibility, and adaptability, this becomes impossible.
In some states, leasing agents need to have a license with the state before leasing, renting, or selling a property. If this law applies in your area, be sure to hire a leasing agent who's authorized to do the job.
Beyond licensure and certification, you may also want to establish some educational requirements.
For example, some property management companies will hire licensed agents with a high school diploma. Others ask their agents to hold at least a bachelor's degree.
When creating an online job listing for a new leasing agent, include a complete and thorough list of every task your agent will do.
In some buildings, property managers do the vast majority of the work. That alone allows leasing agents to focus on showing available properties.
In other buildings, leasing agents do far more.
Before you post a job opening online, be sure that it includes a comprehensive list of your complex's job duties and responsibilities. The more detailed your job description is, the easier it will be to attract qualified applicants with the experience and skills you need.
Don’t forget to include these responsibilities and duties!
The first step in successful apartment leasing is effective apartment marketing. Make it clear that you want a candidate who knows how to advertise and market properties, both online and offline.
Leasing agents should know how to advertise vacancies through online channels and social media. That includes expertise in offline marketing, such as local ads, physical signage, billboards, and flyers.
Of course, a phenomenal leasing agent will have experience with various marketing strategies that draw in renters for apartment showings.
Leasing agents must have a knack for showing apartments and conducting tours. This duty is the crux of every agent's job, and to be successful, they'll need to know a thing or two about real estate.
Real estate knowledge is essential for pointing out the highlights and benefits of the apartment and entire complex.
Let prospective agents know if they’ll need to collect rental applications and run background and credit checks.
Property managers often handle the details of vetting and screening tenants. So this isn't something that every agent has experience with. But vetting and screening tenants is an essential step in the leasing process.
To be thorough, it requires that you verify that all information provided is accurate and up to date. The best leasing agents know that it’s not about getting just any tenant in the building.
It’s about getting great tenants to sign a lease.
The good news is that the skills required to master these processes aren't too challenging to learn.
If you interview an agent that you love that doesn't have this experience, it is possible to teach them how to conduct each step in the process.
It’ll just take time and patience!
The top leasing agents know a thing or two about negotiation, and they're comfortable and confident playing their hands.
Stress the importance of negotiating lease agreements as well as the importance of tenant retention. An agent that treats tenants with respect from day one can lead to increased tenant retention rates in the future.
Strong negotiation skills are also essential for closing a deal and getting a tenant to sign a lease. Therefore, make it clear in your job description that solid negotiation skills are a must.
Do you need your leasing agent to conduct move-in and move-out walkthroughs as well?
This one is an example of how the soft skill of customer service comes into play. Agents will need to know how to handle and treat prospective renters and clients who have already signed a lease.
Do you want your leasing agent to handle financial transactions?
If so, make it clear in the job description that your ideal leasing agent will be responsible for accepting rent or security deposits.
Keep in mind that some agents have no experience handling or processing payments and fees. So it's essential to screen for this experience if you require it.
In some cases, leasing agents are also responsible for preparing a lease. Unless property management handles this part of the process, include that detail as well.
Leasing agents are not in charge of performing any actual maintenance on the property. But they are responsible for being aware of what's going on in and around the property.
Don’t forget to include the duty of reporting and informing the property manager of any issues that need addressing on the property. This part includes fixing minor problems and making significant renovations as needed.
You may also need your leasing agent to recommend updates or upgrades to tackle the needs of your tenants and rental community.
Are you hiring a leasing agent in anticipation of a complex’s grand opening? Read What is a Lease Up? [+ Why it Matters]
If you want to find the best leasing agent to work for you, you’ll need to offer a competitive salary, benefits, and other perks.
Before posting a leasing agent job description on online job boards, consider adding a few extra details to entice the best agents to apply.
It's common for job descriptions to include a generic salary note that says "competitive salary." Many employers prefer this to the alternative of disclosing a specific dollar figure.
Of course, there are benefits to doing so. Yet, there is one clear benefit of including the salary that can end up saving you valuable time and money.
We've seen many property managers find the PERFECT leasing agent online, conduct a fantastic interview, and make a job offer. Only to find out that the agent used to make far more money than they're willing to pay.
You can weed out overqualified agents who expect a higher pay rate by including salary data in your job description.
To attract top-tier leasing agents, include a list of employee benefits in your job description. Don't forget to include 401k contributions, paid time off, and health insurance.
Each of these perks will factor into the complete compensation package.
Most leasing agents work on straight salaries and don't receive commissions. Yet, if your company offers commissions to leasing agents, be sure to include that information. That is a major perk that agents may not find elsewhere.
Do you offer travel stipends to agents that visit several property locations?
Do you offer rent discounts for agents that live on the property?
If so, include those perks in your job posting.
All it takes is a simple statement, such as "opportunity for growth" or "room for advancement." These phrases can help to draw in top-quality agents looking for a long-term position with a new firm.
Great leasing agents are out there, and you can find them by creating a detailed job description.
But it doesn't matter which duties you need your agent to perform. Your job description should list the hard skills, soft skills, and type of experience you're looking for.
Are you having trouble finding your next superstar agent?
Not quite ready to bring a new full-time team member on board?
It might be time to add a virtual leasing agent to your team instead. To learn more about what it means to have a 24/7 virtual leasing agent on your team, schedule a LeaseLeads demo today!
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