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How to Become a Leasing Agent (All You Need to Know)

Last updated on September 11, 2023

How to Become a Leasing Agent (All You Need to Know)

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So, you want to become a leasing agent?

We’re here to help. 

In this article, we’ll cover A LOT about this profession, including:

  • What a leasing agent does
  • Pros and cons of leasing agents
  • How to become a leasing agent
  • Tips for a successful leasing agent career
  • FAQs on leasing agents
  • And more!

With this, you’ll know everything you need to know. 

Sounds good?

Then let’s get started!

What is a Leasing Agent?

A leasing agent helps property owners lease their properties to tenants. 

Since this is more of a sales role, you may have to do some marketing to attract clients, handle leasing contracts, and tour possible renters to the property. 

In most cases, leasing agents are responsible for helping new lessees fill up the application forms and facilitate the payment for the initial deposit. 

Is a Leasing Agent the Same as a Real Estate Agent?

Both are similar — but not the same. 

One key difference is in the word “leasing”. 

Leasing agents primarily look for clients who want to rent out a property or those who want to be lessees of properties. Real estate agents, on the other hand, are more involved in the buying and selling of properties. 

What’s more, leasing agents don’t need a license in some states. But real estate agents are always required to carry a real estate license. 

Lastly, leasing agents often work for leasing companies or property owners. Real estate agents can build their own real estate firms or work for brokerages.

Is a Leasing Agent the Same as a Property Manager?

Leasing agents and property managers are more different than they are similar. 

Leasing agents are concerned with finding people to lease out rental properties while property managers are concerned with the general satisfaction of the lessees. 

There are times when a property manager may perform sales duties and offer available leasing properties to prospective lessees. However, the reverse doesn’t happen for leasing agents. 

Pros and Cons of a Leasing Agent

Now that you know what a leasing agent is and is not, let’s talk about the pros and cons of being one. 

Is it worth it to pursue a career as a leasing agent?

Let’s find out. 

Pros of Becoming a Leasing Agent

Here are some of the best reasons why a leasing agent career is an excellent choice: 

  • The eligibility requirements are little. You can start even without a college degree (though it’s best to get one). If you’re eager to get your career started, you can apply right away. 
  • You are paid on a salary basis. Unlike real estate agents where most income comes from commissions, most leasing agents will have a fixed salary. 
  • You get incentives from your employer. This includes fuel discounts, dental insurance, paid time off, and referral programs. 
  • Discounted lease. This depends on your employer, but if it’s included in your benefits, you will be granted a discounted price for leasing a property they own.
  • It’s flexible. Leasing agents can be part-timers and full-timers, depending on your availability. If you gain more experience and skills, the job becomes less challenging. 

Cons of Becoming a Leasing Agent

Here are the downsides to this real estate career:

  • You have to deal with a lot of interactions. If you’re not too keen on making a lot of conversation and being present for a lot of possible lessees, then this job is going to be very challenging. 
  • Frequent fixing and preparing leased units for visits. This can be tough when the previous lessee did some damage to the property. 
  • You may have to be available on weekends, evenings, or holidays. A lot of your communications will have to depend on the availability of prospective lessees. 

How to Become a Leasing Agent – The 4 Steps

Okay, okay. 

You already know enough about leasing agents. 

Now, let’s walk you through the steps on how to become one. 

Here are the 4 steps: 

  1. Complete relevant education
  2. Get a real estate license
  3. Do on-the-job training
  4. Advance your career

Let’s get to the details, shall we?

Step 1: Complete Relevant Education

Get this. 

The only education requirement for a leasing agent is a high school diploma or equivalent GED. 


Getting a college degree in a relevant topic will help you greatly. 

For one, a lot of employers want to make sure their leasing agents are equipped with the knowledge needed. And a degree can help prove that. 

Also, gaining as much knowledge as you can is always a step forward. 

So before anything else, work on your Bachelor’s degree in business, real estate, sales, marketing, or any other relevant topics to real estate leasing. 

Trust us. 

This is important for your future career. 

Step 2: Get a Real Estate License

Not all states require leasing agents to hold a real estate license. This includes states like California, Illinois, and Michigan. 

So if you aren’t sure if your state requires you to have a license, you should check that out first.

But again, even if it isn’t required, it’s best to still get one. 


Well, employers will find you more attractive if you have a real estate license. 

But more importantly, even the states that don’t require a license say that some leasing agent activities need a license. So if you want to be able to take part in all leasing agent duties, you should get a license. 

To get a real estate license, you can check our complete real estate license requirements per state here

Here are the general steps you’ll need to take, though:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements 
  • Complete a real estate pre-licensing course (each state will have a set number of hours)
  • Pass your state’s real estate licensing exam 
  • Apply for a real estate license with your state’s regulator 
  • Find a broker sponsorship 

From there, you can work on your real estate broker license — if you want a more advanced license type. 

Step 3: Do On-the-Job Training

It’s time to get started with your new career!

As you’re still new, this is the time to gain as much experience as you can. 

For job opportunities, you can look to leasing companies and work as an on-the-job trainee. From there, you’ll learn everything you need to know to be your own leasing agent. 

You can even work as a real estate agent first to get more expertise in the industry. 

See, this is why a real estate license is significant. 

Now, when choosing a leasing company, you can consider these factors: 

  • Compensation and benefits
  • Learning opportunities
  • The reputation of the company
  • Culture

These factors can serve as a guide to knowing which company will give you the best growth. It will also help to identify what your priorities are when looking for a leasing agent job. 

Step 4: Advance Your Career

After a few years as a leasing agent, you may want to advance your career. 

Maybe you want to work for individual property owners instead of a company. 

To do that, you must have a solid network. This is so you can easily reach out to potential property owners looking for a leasing agent. 

You’ll also need a good reputation as a leasing agent. So make sure you always do your job well. 

And for even more credentials, you can get certain certifications to add to your resume. 

Certifications can include Certified Leasing Professional (CLP), National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP), Certified Specialist of Occupancy (CSP), etc…

Just check out these certifications and see how to get one. 

That will surely attract property owners to you. 

Plus, not only are they impressive to see, but they can also be used as a bargaining tool when requesting a higher salary. 

Tips to Becoming a Successful Leasing Agent

Want to know how you can be an excellent leasing agent? 

Check out these tips:

  • Identify your niche. Having a niche will help you focus on a particular segment. You can choose to focus on commercial, industrial, or residential leases. With that, you can become an expert in your market — which makes it easier for you to close deals and advance your career. 
  • Use social media. Speaking of marketing strategies, leveraging social media will allow you to reach more people in a more efficient way. 
  • Be alert and observant of the needs of your market. Always be mindful of what the prospective lessee is looking for in a property so you can show them relevant options. 
  • Practice your social skills. Let’s face it, talking to a lot of people can be challenging. But you can lessen the challenge by learning a few techniques for communicating with property owners and lessees. 
  • Build relationships with property managers. Always remember that property managers are responsible for the satisfaction of the lessees. Plus, you can also ask them for people looking to rent properties in the area. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Leasing Agents

For even more information, here are some FAQs that we answer!

Do you need to be a college graduate to become a leasing agent?

No. A college degree isn’t required to become a leasing agent. 

However, it’s very crucial for you to have one. 

Many employers prefer leasing agents who are graduates in business, marketing, and real estate, just to name a few. This makes you more equipped to apply sales and marketing knowledge. 

But if college isn’t an option, you can still be a leasing agent with a high school diploma or GED. 

What are the duties of a leasing agent?

Here are just a few of the duties that a leasing agent does:

  • Finds potential tenants for a lease 
  • Prepares the property for a visit
  • Provides property tours for possible lessees
  • Coordinates with the property management on the maintenance and cleaning of units
  • Screen prospective lessees
  • Facilitate the lease of the property e.g. deposits, contracts, and move-in requirements

What are the skills needed to become a good leasing agent?

To excel as a leasing agent, you need to develop these skills: 

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication and customer service
  • Sales and marketing
  • Computer proficiency 
  • Time management skills
  • Organizational skills 

How much does a leasing agent earn?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of leasing agents in the country is around $37,642 per year (as of July 2023). 

What are the highest-paying California cities for leasing agents?

ZipRecruiter lists the highest-paying cities in California. Check the chart below. 

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Mateo, CA$40,780$3,398$784$19.61
Boston, MA$40,569$3,380$780$19.50
Green River, WY$40,483$3,373$778$19.46
Daly City, CA$40,213$3,351$773$19.33
Renton, WA$40,160$3,346$772$19.31
Berkeley, CA$40,013$3,334$769$19.24
Santa Monica, CA$39,985$3,332$768$19.22
New Rochelle, NY$39,659$3,304$762$19.07
Lowell, MA$39,377$3,281$757$18.93

What is the job outlook for leasing agents?

According to Zippia, the number of leasing agents is expected to grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028. It’s not too late to become a leasing agent. 

Do I need a real estate license to become a leasing agent?

In some states, a real estate license is required to become a leasing agent. For others, it is not required. 

However, it’s best to get a real estate license either way. This is so you won’t have to worry about certain leasing agent duties that do require a license. 


And that is how to become a leasing agent. 

It wasn’t so hard, right?

Becoming a leasing agent has very few requirements. 

However, if you want to reach the top, then you should follow the 4 steps that we detailed here. 

Just make sure to take the steps slowly but surely. 

Soon enough, you’ll be able to work with individual property owners and earn a bigger salary. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Time to check out your state requirements and get started!

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