Getting into real estate investing with rental properties can provide many opportunities for income growth. However, before you dive in, you must dot your “i”s and cross your “t”s. That’s especially true when it comes to having a standard lease agreement to protect investment properties.
The process of creating and enforcing leases, maintaining and repairing a property, marketing vacancies, and finding (and retaining) tenants can be a huge challenge for many investors. That’s why one of our top tips for real estate investing is to create a community of professionals you can count on.
A leasing agent is just one of those professionals! With their help, you can streamline the rental process and maximize your profits. So what can a leasing agent do for your real estate investment business? How can you find the best one for your needs? We’ll take a closer look below.
What Is a Leasing Agent?
What is a leasing agent, anyway? You might have heard the term even if you’re just getting into real estate investing, but you might not be clear about what they do for investors.
Leasing agents are responsible for finding new tenants for vacant properties, handling all pertinent paperwork (like a lease agreement or renewal), and providing ongoing services to prospective tenants. They may also provide property investors with recommendations to maximize their return on investment.
The Responsibilities of a Leasing Agent
Specifically, a leasing agent might handle:
- Coordinating and conducting tours of vacant properties for potential tenants
- Providing relevant information about available properties for interested parties
- Performing credit, background, and reference checks on prospective tenants
- Preparing lease documents and handling the signing of the standard lease agreement
- Collecting security deposits other fees associated with tenant application and deposits
In some situations, your property manager might also act as a leasing agent. Within these scenarios, the property manager would handle the leasing process, as well as other responsibilities, including:
- Collecting monthly rent and other ongoing renter fees
- Coordinating property maintenance and monitoring the use of any community facilities or amenities
- Providing ongoing customer service to current tenants
- Notifying tenants of any property issues or changes to rental agreements
In general, a leasing agent will handle paperwork, payment coordination, and property tours. That means they’ll take on those day-to-day responsibilities that you might not have time for or excel in when operating real estate investing rentals.
How a Leasing Agent Can Help Real Estate Investors
Now that you’re clear about what a leasing agent can do, why should you work with one? One of the top tips for real estate investing is not stretching yourself too thin—especially when it comes to matters you aren’t overly familiar with.
A leasing agent should be among the group of people you add to your real estate investing team. If you find properties through the Privy platform and invest in multiple markets, you should consider partnering with a leasing agent in every real estate market where you own a rental property.
Experience Begets Growth
If you’re just starting as a beginning real estate investor and don’t know much about preparing a rental agreement (or even how to find tenants for your property), you should work with an experienced leasing agent who can take on these responsibilities for you.
A leasing agent frees up your time and brings their expertise to the table. You might know how to pick a great investment property, especially if you use a platform like Privy. However, if you’re not prepared with a tenant screening process or the right marketing strategies to find new renters, it makes sense to find someone who can fill this role for you.
Keep in mind that this expertise can ultimately help you grow your business. A great leasing agent will understand the best target renters for your property and know how to tap into those audiences with marketing and advertising effectively. They’ll know which property features to highlight and can help you price the property correctly to maximize your returns.
Handling the Nitty Gritty
Leasing agents possess experience, but they’ll also take specific responsibilities off your plate. A leasing agent can help you protect your investment with well-drafted legal leases. While you should create a template for your standard lease agreement with an attorney present, your leasing agent will be responsible for sending, signing, and filing all of this paperwork to make sure you’re covered.
They’ll also make sure you don’t miss out on any payments due to you. If you’re responsible for collecting fees and deposits from prospective tenants yourself, it’s easy to forget what’s owed every month (especially if you’re dealing with multiple properties). A leasing agent will organize all of this information and coordinate with tenants on your behalf, so payments are made in full and on time.
These day-to-day transactions are essential to the success of your real estate investment business, but handling them yourself can feel like a chore. When you don’t have someone keeping tabs on these specific tasks, you might miss out on more potential income opportunities.
Choosing a Leasing Agent Vs. Full-Service Property Management
It’s worth noting that every leasing agent operates a little bit differently. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to work with a full-service property management company instead of a separate leasing agent. This can get you more experience and services for your money.
As mentioned earlier, property managers can also handle maintenance requests and provide ongoing service to current tenants, so you don’t have to worry about those tasks yourself.
Deciding between a leasing agent vs. a full–service property management company will come down to your needs as an investor. If you don’t already have someone lined up to manage your properties, or you’d benefit from some extra peace of mind, it may be worth looking into a full-service option. However, if all you need is someone to handle the pre-rental tasks like standard lease agreement preparation and background checks, then you may want to focus on finding qualified leasing agents in your target markets.
Finding the Right Leasing Agent For Your Team
Whether you opt for a separate leasing agent or a full-service property manager, you should know how to find the right fit for your business. Here are a few tips for real estate investing when it comes time to hire the best person for this job.
- Read online reviews and ask for references from other investors you trust
- Meet with highly-ranked leasing agents and property managers in your target market
- Ask the agent or manager about their processes for finding and screening new tenants
- Inquire about their experience with standard lease agreement signing and coordination
- Calculate your budget and ensure the agent fits within it
Remember: a qualified leasing agent or property manager will typically boost your bottom line!
To Build Your Business, Build Your Real Estate Investing Team First
Whether you’re just now getting into real estate investing or you’ve moved beyond the basic tips for real estate investing into more advanced territory, you’re only as good as your team.
To build your portfolio, you need the right tools and people to find and secure the best real estate deals. Leasing agents and property managers are priceless assets when investing in the rental market. In addition to those professionals, make sure you also have the right tool to find the best properties for your portfolio! Reach out to our team to learn more about how Privy delivers the best investment property opportunities to investors.
Get more insights into building your ideal team with a free download of "Assemble Your Real Estate Investing Team: A Worksheet!”