How to Vet Your Leasing Agent
You’ve compiled a shortlist list and completed your initial background check on the top referrals for leasing agents from your trusted resources. Now it’s time to take your research to the next level. Once you’ve put in the time to find the right leasing agent, the best way to narrow down the field is to follow a quick 1-2-3 screening process.
1. What is Their Communication Style?
Your narrowed down list should only have leasing agents who have listed their phone numbers on their ads, website or marketing material. Give them a call! Play the part and inquire about a property and see how they talk about it. An excellent leasing agent should be asking the right questions and be able to weed out tenants that aren’t a good match within moments. Remember, this is how they will be screening and communicating with your potential tenants.
How a person verbally communicates shouldn’t go unnoticed. Does the language they choose exude confidence and interest? Or does it appear to be generated by uncertainty? Just as you would present yourself professionally to the people you work with, your leasing agent should be a seasoned expert whose presence and diction inspire, motivate and instill confidence in their skills.
2. Are They a Dedicated Leasing Agent?
Cut your list down to people who are leasing agents ONLY. This means a leasing agent who is not also a sales real estate agent. Having a rich history that includes experience as a real estate agent is valuable, but you want to make sure your leasing agent is dedicated to only one avenue in the industry. If your leasing agent also sells, the probability that they would prioritize your rental concerns over a sale are low. Your leasing agent needs to be 100% devoted to your rental needs.
Your leasing agent should live in the area of your rental property. If the property is far from where they reside, it could impede the process dramatically and jeopardize placing the right tenant in your rental. You want your leasing agent to be able to show your property at the drop of a hat, not at their own convenience.
3. Do They Have an Impressive Set of Skills?
When you’re putting your financial future on the line, there isn’t time to settle for the status quo. If you aren’t immediately impressed with a leasing agent, they aren’t your perfect match. An optimal leasing agent comes with a skill set that includes the ability to provide relevant market news and trends about the neighborhood and city your property lies in. They should have specific strategies for renting in each season of the year, be able to think creatively to optimize your property’s potential, and provide solutions in any market condition.
If you own or are thinking about buying an investment property, your leasing agent should be giving it as much attention as you are. Taking the time to research a leasing agent is nonnegotiable to a successful financial future.