While leasing agents are not strictly necessary for all real estate property transactions, the expert property managers at PMC Property Group explain that there are many advantages that a good leasing agent can bring to the table. In certain situations, in fact, the right leasing agent can become an invaluable asset to property managers looking to get the most out of their rental properties.
But to know whether or not they require a leasing agent’s services, says PMC, property managers first need to understand what it is that a leasing agent does for their properties. Below, the experts at PMC explain how leasing agents help the real estate process and how to spot an effective agent from a subpar one.
What Leasing Agents Do
“Basically,” says PMC Property Group, “a leasing agent is a middleman between the property owner and prospective tenants. As such, they do most of the hard work introducing the two in a mutually beneficial rental arrangement.”
This means that leasing agents, once hired, have the following duties:
- Advertising the property for prospective tenants
- Finding and meeting with interested renters
- Interviewing and screening prospective residents for proper qualification
- Signing qualified tenants to leasing agreements on behalf of the property owner
- Taking care of all other necessary leasing agreement paperwork
Leasing agents may work on their own or as agents for a company that in turn works with multiple rental organizations.
The Advantages of a Good Leasing Agent
“The biggest advantage that most property owners find in hiring a qualified leasing agent is a substantial savings in time,” explains PMC Property Group. “Locating, attracting, screening, and signing potential residents all take a great deal of time and effort, sometimes several weeks’ worth. Good leasing agents can make this process go much quicker and smoother, freeing up landlords to focus on other important aspects of their property management duties.”
Leasing agents also conduct all communication and negotiation with prospective tenants, which again comes to benefit the property owner. “An effective leasing agent will most likely be a more skilled negotiator than the property owner him- or herself,” explains PMC Property Group. “Because they work for the landlord in this transaction, they will ensure that all lease agreements are structured as such to appropriately benefit the property owner and protect their interests. And if the leasing agent is bilingual, then they can draw in and effectively negotiate with many more possible tenants than the property owner could have done.”
For those property owners managing properties with multiple rental units, the benefits of a leasing agent increase exponentially, saving landlords even greater amounts of time and money.
The Disadvantages of a Bad Leasing Agent
“Most disadvantages of hiring a leasing agent come from the fact that doing so removes the property owner from the leasing process,” PMC Property Group explains. “Even so, this only becomes a true drawback if the leasing agent in question is lacking in skill or effectiveness.”
Subpar leasing agents, for example, may be less scrupulous in screening potential tenants. A bad leasing agent, says PMC, may sign on a prospective renter just to fill the space, regardless of missing qualifications or poor references. They may also not be able to commit their full attention or talent to their clients if they are also working with several other clients. “Good agents can please all of their clients effectively,” says PMC, “but bad agents may focus on whichever client earns them the most commission and leave the rest with lackluster service.”
To prevent the potential disadvantages of hiring a leasing agent from occurring, says PMC, it is important that property owners hire only the most proven effective and skilled agents for their properties. Below, they explain what qualifications make a leasing agent great and worth a property owner’s time and money.
“First and foremost,” says PMC, “leasing agents are negotiators. As the middlemen in the leasing process, they are in charge of making sure that both parties, renters and landlords alike, can come to a mutually beneficial agreement. This means assessing the wants, needs, and worth of each prospective resident and balancing those against the needs and desires of their property owner clients.”
Not every tenant that shows interest in a property is a good fit for that property and its owner. “Bad leasing agents may let any interested renter sign a lease for your property,” says PMC, “but a good agent will be more discerning. They’ll be able to recognize tenants that are likely to be more trouble than they’re worth and weed them out. This will help save time, money, and stress all around for tenant and property owner alike.”
Leasing agents are also in charge of advertising and selling the property to its audience of prospective residents. To do so effectively, says PMC, agents must be able to grasp the relevant information about the property, including its pricing, square footage, zoning restrictions, and so on.
When all of these qualities combine in an experienced leasing agent, PMC Property Group believes they can be worth their weight in gold to property owners.