Investors have a lot on their plates, and a big priority is ensuring that their units are filled quickly and turnover stays low so that a steady stream of income continues to flow in from their investments.
In terms of filling vacancies, there are several ways to handle it: do it yourself, outsource it to a property management company, or use a leasing agent. Let’s discuss some of the differences among these approaches.
The role of a leasing agent
A leasing agent is someone whose job is purely to show properties that are available for rent and to receive applications. They might also process the applications and make approval decisions on them, but once the leasing agent has filled the unit, their job is essentially done.
As a property owner, if you are comfortable collecting the rent and dealing with maintenance but are not so keen on going to your property 3+ times a day to show an available unit for rent, you could hire a leasing agent or property management company that offers leasing as an a la carte option and have them handle it for you.
The pros and cons of using a leasing agent
While a leasing agent provides valuable hands-on services when you are trying to fill a vacant unit, we have found some drawbacks to using this approach. A big one is that the prospective tenant is naturally going to ask a lot of questions about the property, lease, and maybe even the neighborhood and history of the property. When questions get asked, answers are expected.
If the leasing agent is operating from a one-and-done mindset, they probably aren’t going to know many of the answers to those questions, such as what can and can’t be replaced in the unit or if the person renting before them had pets. These are very common questions, and if the leasing agent doesn’t know the answers, it could be a turn-off for the prospective renter.
Which leasing service is right for you?
Depending on your situation, it may not be an issue, but we think it’s very important that the person showing the unit has a full understanding of the property and is able to answer any questions they encounter. For that reason, the people showing our units are direct employees of our company who deal with residents on an ongoing basis.
While both leasing agents and property managers work to fill vacancies in rental units, property management companies handle the full suite of rental management services including leasing, rent collection, maintenance, and everything in between.
As you consider your own situation and comfort level handling the various responsibilities that come with property ownership, feel free to reach out to us at RL Property Management with questions.