Leasing specialists vs property managers

When growing your rent roll, dividing the salespeople and those who are more operations focused can be a winning formula.

Building your business can often be a chicken/egg situation. You would love more clients but the ones you have are taking up almost every waking hour for your property managers. If only they could forget about answering landlord and tenant phone calls to focus on building your rent roll!

Once you have over 1000 properties on your books, it can be difficult to maintain growth, even if you have world-class property managers and dozens of streamlined systems in place.

If you are looking to grow but notice a bottleneck when it comes to onboarding new landlords and tenants, you may wish to consider recruiting a leasing specialist.

The role of a leasing specialist

True to their name, a leasing specialist is like a sales agent for rental properties. They take on the responsibility of working with the property owner to prepare an apartment for lease. This includes managing any fix-it jobs or upgrades, liaising with current tenants and preparing great looking marketing materials.

Your leasing specialist will take the lead on showing properties and answering prospective residents’ questions. They’ll take applications, review suitability and check references. Their next round of responsibilities includes preparing documentation, including lease agreements.

If need be, your leasing specialist can oversee the move-in process before handing over to a property manager within your business for ongoing support of the tenant and landlord.

Why hire a leasing specialist?

Having a leasing specialist can make sense because it will ensure your property managers are not spread too thin. Too often, it is a scramble to make it to new properties for showings. As a result, prospective tenants are disgruntled before they even walk in the door.

By focusing on leasing alone, your leasing specialist can give each property the attention it deserves. They will have more time to prepare a home or apartment for viewing, ensuring it is clean and tidy and has good curb appeal.

Your leasing specialist is also a sales agent in disguise. It is their job to make an excellent first impression, to be well informed about how your business operates and to have strong knowledge of maximising the ROI of an investment property.

This expert will have a convincing sales pitch and build rapport with potential landlords and tenants. Unlike a property manager, they do not have to be concerned with every finer detail of residential tenancy laws or organising property inspections. Establishing lists of reliable tradespeople or taking emergency phone calls from tenants won’t be a priority.

What to look for in a leasing specialist

You may wish to assign someone in your existing team to this role once your rent roll hits the 1000+ mark. Ideally, they will have some experience but you could also train a motivated junior to step into these shoes.

Your leasing specialist will be confident and excited to meet new people. They will have good knowledge of the local area and love to talk real estate (of course).

If you are pitching your agency to a family demographic, you may decide to recruit a working parent who can empathise with your clients. Alternatively, a ‘young gun’ may find it easy to lock in young professionals as tenants in an urban area.

By hiring a leasing specialist, you can give your staff an area of focus and save them from feeling overwhelmed. This can improve the reputation of your agency as clients feel thoroughly looked after throughout their entire experience. You can also use this as a strategy to improve staff retention — because they are allowed to work to their skill set your leasing and property management team will be more fulfilled and likely to stick around.

BDH Solutions have been buying and selling rent rolls for over 30 years. Keep up with our latest listings here.