As an investor, you want to make sure you’re capturing leads quickly and maintaining your properties. If you’ve done your research on rentals, the terms leasing agent and property manager likely came up. But what do those terms mean, and how do you know which one’s right for you?
Even though leasing agents and property managers can both lease rental units, manage ongoing tenant relationships, and maintain properties, there are key differences between the two.
Let’s look at their differences, so you can decide which one’s right for you.
The Main Difference Between Leasing Agents and Property Managers
To keep it simple – a leasing agent, or rental agent and buyer agent, shows potential renters the space that could be their new home. A property manager, on the other hand, focuses on what happens after the lease is signed.
A property manager is focused on customer service and making sure renters feel happy and safe. For a leasing agent, the priority is to get a tenant into a property as quickly as possible.
The leasing agent wants to make a sale, while the property manager wants to keep the tenant happy and stay on the property long term.
Because each job is specialized, leasing agents and property managers often find themselves working together.
Can a Property Manager be a Leasing Agent, Too?
In many cases, a property manager can also fill the role as a leasing or rental agent. However, the same isn’t true for a leasing agent because they’re only placing tenants.
While some property managers excel in the leasing field, others focus on establishing a rapport with tenants and making sure any issues are dealt with promptly.
How Do Leasing Agents & Property Managers Get Paid?
The difference between pay is pretty straightforward – a property manager is paid according to the portfolio they manage, so it’s technically a salary-based compensation. A leasing agent, on the other hand, is paid a commission as well as a portion of the monthly rent.
However, some rental agents are paid a minimal rate upfront and then receive commissions when applicants are approved with signed leases.
The Question Investors Should Be Asking
As an investor, the first question you ask probably won’t be how leads are distributed or who’s responsible for filling the house.
But it should be.
Would you want your main point of contact showing a property and then not being available for new requests? Probably not.
Some property management companies try to handle the leasing themselves. This may cut down costs or seem like a streamlined way to handle rentals and keep money in house.
Problems arise, though, when your property manager is handling a maintenance emergency and a last-minute showing comes in. Either the tenant or the potential renter is going to be disappointed by their experience. Unfortunately, it’s hard to be effective when you have to be in multiple places at one time.
Another issue is some property management companies won’t list rentals on the MLS (multiple listing service for real estate brokers and agents). So, it’s likely that some properties will stay on the market longer because they’re not getting the proper attention.
So, what’s the best solution?
If you want to keep all of your resources in one place, look for property management companies that have leasing agents under their brokerage.
For example, at Leap Property Management, we want to make sure any rental agent we work with understands our process and tenant guidelines. It’s easier to have a leasing agent who can quickly identify solid applicants, so you’re not wasting time with unqualified leads.
Clear communication makes the process efficient not only for us, but also for you, the investor.
How to Choose Between a Leasing Agent and a Property Manager
When it comes down to it, choosing between a leasing agent and a property manager depends on your goals.
If you’re an investor, it may be best to choose a property management company with leasing agents. You don’t want to worry about filling vacancies or if tenants are being well cared for. It also keeps efficiency rates high for your managed rental properties.
If you decide to use a leasing agent and property manager separately, make sure you have a defined roles between the two positions. When important roles are split, it’s easy to blur lines of responsibility.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that not only is the rental process easy and beneficial for you, but for your potential tenants.
To learn more about our services and how we can help you make the most of your rental property, contact Leap Property Management today.