Leasing agents are real estate workers who help property owners rent out apartments and similar properties or, in the commercial sector, business space. They are responsible for generating traffic to the rental properties, showing the properties they represent to prospective renters, collecting documentation necessary for applying and conducting background and credit checks and finalizing rental lease paperwork. Leasing agents usually earn low-to-mid-level salaries that usually top out around $45,000, although some very experienced agents with good companies in good locations make closer to $80,000. The process for becoming a leasing agent varies slightly by state.
Working as a leasing agent can be rewarding for the right individual. Those who are extroverted and good with the public may thrive in this role, and there are many excellent growth opportunities in property management for those who find success as entry-level leasing agents. Salary ranges vary by experience and geographic location but consistently increase for most leasing agents over time.
A leasing consultant job description includes meeting with potential tenants to give them information about available properties. They may be tasked with running credit checks and verifying the identity of tenants, as well as arranging leasing agreements. Property managers collect rent and fees from tenants, and they may also be tasked with overseeing issues among neighbors such as noise complaints. In addition, leasing consultants may work alongside or oversee maintenance projects and repairs. Most property managers work in an office setting, often right onsite at the property itself.
Though there are no specific educational requirements for leasing consultants, those who wish to enter the field may find that an Associates or Bachelors degree in a business-related field could be an asset. Generally, though, property management is considered an entry-level position, and a degree is not required. A high school diploma is typically expected.
To succeed in the property management industry, an apartment leasing agent must be friendly and possess excellent communication skills. In many cases, those who work as a leasing manager may move on to other real estate-related roles, including higher-level property management, regional managers or even real estate agents.
As of 2018, approximately 80 percent of those employed as leasing agents are female. On average, 65 percent of those filling this role have between one and four years of experience. Twelve percent have less than one year of experience, and 13 percent have between five-and-nine years. Only 8 percent of leasing agents have from 10-to-19 years of experience, and just 2 percent of leasing agents have more than 20 years in the field. These numbers are an excellent indicator that many leasing agents can successfully rise through the property management ranks and that most do not stay in an entry-level position for long.
Years of Experience
An entry-level leasing consultant who has five years or less of work experience can expect to make $30,000 per year. The average hourly rate for those in this profession is $13.55, with the bottom 10 percent of the industry at $11 per hour and the top 90 percent at $17 per hour. Property managers might expect to earn an average of $1,518 in bonuses, $723 in profit-sharing and $4,677 in commission per year, as well. Overall, the salary of a leasing consultant ranges from $23,156 to $43,121. This depends on geographic location, which has a significant impact on salary.
Those who are in the later part of their career can expect to earn 23 percent more than those at the national average of $31,000 per year. Mid-career apartment managers might earn 10 percent above that amount, and experienced workers, 8 percent more. Entry-level property managers typically earn about 3 percent less, at $30,000 annually.
Job Growth Trend
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of property management, real estate and community managers as a whole should expect to see a 10-percent growth rate from 2016 through 2026. This is faster than the average for other industries. This is based on an anticipated increase of 32,600 roles in the field. The report states that job opportunities should be strongest for those who have a college degree in business administration, real estate or a similar field. Also, the bureau expects improved opportunities for those who obtain professional credentials in the field.