How to Become a Leasing Agent in California
A real estate agent means more than being a real estate agent.
It also means you can become a leasing agent in California.
Leasing agents have the responsibility of finding new tenants for their properties, providing customer support for them, and handling the signing of leases.
Let’s talk about what you need to do to become a leasing agent in California.
Do You Need a Real Estate License to Become a Leasing Agent in California?
Leasing in California falls under the property management category. You don’t need a real estate license to act as a property manager or lease agent for your properties. But there’s a catch.
There are specific leasing or property management activities that require either a real estate license or a broker license.
Here’s a list of leasing activities that require a license:
- Collecting rents
- Leasing or renting a property
- Soliciting for prospective tenants
- Placing a property for rent
- Negotiating rental leases
Leasing agents have more power and freedom with a real estate license. They can’t compete in the market without it.
What are the Steps to Become a Leasing Agent in California?
The first step of becoming a leasing agent in California is to get a real estate license. This guide gives you instructions on how to get your real estate license and become a leasing agent.
Step #1: Meet the Requirements to Become a Leasing Agent
To become a licensed leasing agent, you need to:
- Have the legal age of 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or a GED
- Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
If you meet these requirements, you can get hired at a real estate brokerage and practice leasing.
Step #2: Enroll in an Accredited Real Estate School
An accredited real estate school is required to fulfill your pre-licensing education before getting a real estate license. A real estate school will provide three required courses for students:
- Real estate practice
- Real estate principles
- An elective of your choice
Each course will help you understand real estate as a practice and efficiently do this job.
Step #3: Collect All 3 Real Estate Certificates
After you pass an accredited real estate class you get a certificate of completion, which will serve as proof of completion. To schedule your California real estate exam, you need to collect all three certificates.
Step #4: Schedule and Pass the California Real Estate Exam
This is your final step before getting your real estate license. Schedule and pass the California real estate exam. Students must apply for the exam before scheduling it.
The application must include:
- Completed live scan form
- State exam fees
- 3-licensing course certificates (proof of course completion)
- Completed RE Form 435
After putting together the paperwork above, you can mail your application to the DRE (Department of Real Estate).
Step #5: Hang Your Real Estate License at a Brokerage
Leasing agents must hang their license with a brokerage, which simply means committing to work with a brokerage. After passing the state exam, the DRE will mail your real estate license. The license is required to sign with a brokerage.
If you don’t want to sign with a real estate brokerage and represent yourself, you can get a real estate broker license instead.
Step #6: Get Your Leasing Agent Certificate
The next step you need to follow is to get a leasing agent certificate in California. This is how you become an accredited leasing agent. A certificate is proof of proper educational training and accreditation.
Getting your leasing agent certificate requires more schooling. You also need to have six months of leasing experience, which can be obtained while taking the course as well. You must pass the examination within 6 months of declaring candidacy.
Step #7: Get Experience As A Leasing Agent
Leasing agents are hired without experience and they receive the training they need from the brokerages. This experience will be needed to get the leasing agent certificate as well.
The additional on-the-job training leasing agents receive helps them learn the specific skills and systems they will need to use in their careers. This training is often part of the leasing agent’s hiring process at a new job. On-the-job training can last anywhere between a few weeks to months.
Customer services and sales experience is handy when becoming a leasing agent.
The average salary of a leasing agent in California is $17.79 per hour in 2021 according to Indeed, and you can find full-time and part-time positions as well.
What Does a Leasing Agent Do?
Leasing agents have many responsibilities.
They meet with prospective tenants and take them on tours of the units, highlighting the benefits of the property.
Leasing agents also deal with preparing and executing lease documents, conducting credit and background checks of potential tenants, and collecting payments such as monthly rental payments from existing tenants and security deposits from potential tenants.
They also have the role of informing residents of any upcoming issues with the property or changes of their rental agreement and monitoring the use of common areas and community facilities.
Leasing agents create promotional materials to advertise vacant units on the properties they manage.
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Leasing Agent in California
Becoming a leasing agent is a long process that requires a lot of work. But the results you get in the end are fulfilling.
If you always wanted to be a leasing agent and land a job in this field, now it’s your opportunity. Getting your leasing agent license involves schooling and on-the-job experience, but you can build a career that is both rewarding and well-paid.
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