Leasing Consultant Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

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A leasing consultant could earn a median annual salary of $28,000. Is it worth the training requirements needed for this job? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career outlook to decide if a career as a leasing consultant is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Leasing Consultant Career

A leasing consultant is someone you'd encounter when you move in and move out of a rental unit. Before you enter this career, you should consider the pros and cons.

Pros of Being a Leasing Consultant
This field provides job security since apartments are always needed*
A high school diploma is typically enough to get started*
May lead to a management position after gaining experience***
Provides benefits of a full-time job*

Cons of Being a Leasing Consultant
May be under pressure to keep apartments occupied**
Must know and stay abreast of fair housing and disability laws***
Keeping track of all tenant information may be overwhelming**
Judgment calls often need to be made independently**

Sources: *National Apartment Association, **Salary.com, ***U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Career Information

Job Description

A leasing consultant is a housing professional who helps in the negotiating and renewal of tenants into a housing complex. In addition, the leasing consultant must negotiate leases with potential and existing renters so that maximum occupancy can be achieved at the housing complex. In a housing rental environment, you would be the professional who interacts with the manager of the facility. Your duties could range from organizing leasing paperwork, showing the apartments to possible tenants, highlighting the amenities and processing service requests. Although you're given the freedom to negotiate leases, you might need to communicate the bounds of such negotiations to the manager.

Job Prospects and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't provide employment projections for leasing consultants, but the general field of property, real estate and community association managers is expected to rise 12% between 2012 and 2022. However, the BLS noted that apartment dwellings could experience a rise in renters. This ultimately will aid in the hiring of leasing consultants.

Salary.com splits leasing consultants into entry-level and senior positions. The website stated that September 2015 entry-level positions made a median annual salary of $28,224. At a senior level, which comes with 2-4 years of experience, the median annual salary was $34,421 during the same month.

Career Requirements

According to the National Apartment Association, having a high school diploma is typically sufficient to become a leasing consultant. Salary.com adds that leasing consultants with a few months to two years of housing experience is looked at favorably by housing companies. The BLS adds that many property workers start out by being assistants to the manager. If you can match your academic credentials with minor work experience as a management assistant, you might be hired for entry-level positions. In addition, the website O*NET OnLine, part of the Employment and Training Administration, describes that anyone working in the housing sector needs to have quality, interpersonal skills (www.onetonline.org). Highlighting this personality trait and having strong communication skills is helpful.

What Do Employers Look for?

Flexibility in hours and excellent oral and written skills are the most common qualities most rental properties look for when hiring leasing consultants. Employers typically require about a year of experience. Some positions include benefits such as health insurance and rental discount as part of their compensation package. The following jobs were available as of April 2012:

  • A Pennsylvania real estate company is looking for a leasing consultant to communicate with current and potential tenants. Applicants need to display a level of enthusiasm suitable for a community environment, while having a strong desire to maximize tenant capacity. Proficiency in Microsoft Office is required and a degree is preferred.
  • A Kansas apartment community needs a full-time leasing consultant to help with tenants. In addition to having good interpersonal skills, the ideal candidate should have some experience in marketing and sales.
  • A Minnesota residential apartment complex needs a leasing consultant that's a team player and that has prior leasing experience. The consultant needs to be able to work weekends and evenings.

How to Beat the Competition

Develop Related Skills

Salary.com highlights that leasing consultants require a level of creativity in their work. O*NET OnLine illustrates this point further by saying that alternative thinking is needed when it comes to negotiation. For instance, if a tenant comes into the office asking to negotiate aspects of the lease, you need to create some sort of compromise that's both fair to the tenant and to the rental property. Hence, developing related skills in critical thinking and negotiation tactics through training or continuing education courses on housing management may help.

Get Certified

Certification, according to the BLS, is a way to highlight your professionalism in a field. Some employers offer or can send you to work-training programs that provide you certification in a specific task within property management. This is especially true if you work for large community associations or corporate-owned facilities. Attending certification seminars or workshops, even on your own accord, not only shows your professionalism, but your desire to gain skills can also be seen as a positive employee trait to your supervisors.

Other Careers to Consider

Onsite Property Manager

If you still want to work for a property, but want more responsibilities than handling leases, you may want to become an onsite property manager. A property manager would be the supervisor of leasing consultants and other workers at the property site. Unlike leasing consultants, you would handle all the day-to-day operations of the property, such as inspecting the grounds of the property, handling all tenant complaints and enforcing all property rules and regulations. The BLS states that employers often seek property managers with a degree. A six percent job growth was estimated from 2010-2010 with an median salary of $53,000, which is nearly double than a leasing consultant's income.

Real Estate Manager

If you like working in leasing, but want to work in more real estate sectors, such as commercial property, you may want to consider a job as a real estate manager. Real estate managers may work at a residential or commercial property. They handle many of the same responsibilities as a leasing consultant, including negotiating contracts. Like leasing consultants, they may accept rental payments from tenants, but real estate managers make sure that the financial aspects of a property are paid, such as taxes, payroll, insurance, mortgages and maintenance. The BLS doesn't have a separate job outlook for real estate managers, so this field could also see a six percent job growth like property managers. This occupation usually requires a bachelor's degree in real estate management, finance, business or accounting. April 2012 data from Salary.com states that retail real estate managers made a median income of $111,000 while commercial real estate managers made $147,000.

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