Successful leasing agents are the heart and soul of property management companies. But according to multifamily leasing agent statistics provided by the National Apartment Association, the average turnover rate for onsite leasing agents (in 2019) is almost 32%. While this statistic may seem relatively small and innocuous, it does leave two important questions unanswered:

  • What exactly keeps the remaining 68% of leasing agents in their positions?

  • What makes a successful leasing agent, well, successful?

Ultimately, leasing agents and consultants play a critical role in the NOI of property management — understanding (and thus answering the above questions) their impact starts with the basics.

The essential intel and skills of a successful leasing agent

As trivial as defining roles and responsibilities may sound, it’s a vital step in understanding the impact leasing agents and consultants have on the real estate market.

What is a leasing agent?

According to the folks at Indeed, a leasing agent is someone who “finds new tenants for their properties, handles the signing of leases, and provides customer service for existing tenants. They establish a rapport with existing tenants and provide them with personalized service. They may also follow up with prospective tenants.” 

What is a leasing agent typically responsible for?

Your day-to-day responsibilities can vary based on renter demographics as well as the immediate properties you’re working with, but overall, leasing agent tasks typically include:

  • Identifying potential renters and working with existing residents to renew leases or find new homes

  • Connecting with property managers to identify vacant units

  • Taking current or new renters on tours of properties

  • Compiling lease information and preparing it for submission

  • Staying in communication with renters regarding changes to their lease

  • Assisting with day-to-day tasks related to multifamily property management

As a leasing consultant or agent, you’ll conduct background checks or partake in various administrative tasks like phone calls, collecting application fees, apartment marketing, helping to coordinate property inspection or maintenance, and more. 

Not sure how to assess your current skill set or leasing agent work experience? It couldn’t hurt to quiz yourself and evaluate your current agility level.

What’s the difference between a leasing agent and a leasing consultant?

Leasing agents can be referred to as leasing consultants, apartment leasing managers, or real estate leasing professionals. Either way, leasing agents work hand-in-hand with a property management company, real estate agents, or a property manager to secure new renters.

With the basics covered, let’s dig a little deeper into what exactly a successful leasing agent does (and doesn’t do). There’s an immense amount of information available, so we tried to keep it as simple, relevant, and comprehensive at the same time. 

An image of an apartment building foyer where you can see green plants on the apartment balconies above

Step one for leasing agents: Familiarize yourself with the industry

Having a basic understanding of the real estate and leasing industry gives you the context needed to measure success and get renters into the apartments of their dreams (or, at the very least, an apartment that fits their budget and needs). 

Industry trends, language, and real estate terminology

Successful leasing agents don’t just walk the walk — they also talk the talk. Arming yourself with industry knowledge and vocabulary allows you to translate complicated matters into plain language. In turn, you empower the renter to make sound decisions and ensure you’ve identified a property that best fits their needs. 

Plus, using the right property management terminology at the right time builds rapport with renters (as well as your fellow leasing consultants and property managers) and establishes your expertise as a leasing agent.

For instance, here are some terms you might come across in your day-to-day duties:

  • Amenity — A desirable offering provided by a facility or property.

  • Multifamily housing — A residence that multiple tenants can occupy. Usually refers to an apartment complex or building.

  • Security deposit insurance — Insurance specifically designed to replace security deposits that protects property owners and lowers move-in costs for renters.

  • Garden community — A cluster of low-rise buildings that typically feature a green space for residents to use.

  • Perils — The legal term for the broader classification of incidents such as fires and floods. Renters with renters insurance may be protected from certain perils.

  • NOI — NOI stands for net operating income. To calculate NOI, you total all revenue incurred from the property and then subtract expenses.

Unfortunately, there’s no detailed leasing agent glossary to get you started. That’s why staying apprised with industry trends and networking with other real estate folks can help you at the end of the day.

Laws and regulations

Sometimes you need to know what exactly you can’t do before you fully understand what you can offer prospective renters. And legality specifics vary depending on a few factors:

  • Your country

  • Your state

  • Your city, town, village, or county

  • Your property type or size

Organizations like the National Apartment Association and National Multifamily Housing Council have whole sections of their websites dedicated to legal education and other pertinent research that elaborates on various laws and regulations.

Keep in mind, the world of multifamily housing is constantly changing, and staying informed and in the loop (nationally and globally) allows you to provide a better renter experience and be a more successful leasing consultant. 

An image of a pink duplex apartment building with an adorable green door

Step two for leasing agents: Use tools and tricks of the trade

Real estate marketing and tech stacks are designed to automate and streamline leasing processes for you. While metrics offer quantifiable guardrails and highlight opportunities for growth, the tools you use are intended to simplify otherwise time-consuming aspects of a leasing agent’s job. 


Metrics are intended to help you monitor and gauge your success, as well as renter leasing health. 

Some metrics you should know:

  • Closing ratio — As the name suggests, a closing ratio highlights conversions versus opportunities. More specifically, a closing ratio represents the number of leases signed in contrast with prospective renters. 

    • What is a good closing ratio? A good closing ratio is dependent on the number of prospective renters, tours, property location, seasonality, current vacancies, and signed leases. So, when you create goals around closing ratios, you’ll want to stay flexible since various factors can impact your numbers. 

  • Leasing ratio — A leasing ratio refers to the lease coverage ratio: “the lease coverage ratio is calculated by dividing the property’s NOI by the sum of the debt service payments and the master tenant’s stated lease payment.” So, what is a good leasing ratio? Like closing ratios, a good leasing ratio is based on factors that are unique to your property. To calculate your leasing ratio, we recommend working directly with your property manager. 

  • Goal setting — Setting goals is another metric unique to each leasing agent and often established every quarter with their managers. Goal setting empowers you to plan for your career as a leasing agent, track improvements or changes, and better seize growth opportunities when they arise. 


Have you ever tried to put a square peg in a round hole? It doesn’t work. The same concept applies to anything in the real estate arena, specifically to property management tech and leasing consultant tools. 

We’ve grouped tools based on the pain point they solve, so you can decide what tools work best for you, your role, and prospective residents. Be proactive as you can be when it comes to your renters.

  • The How: Organizational and time management — Tools to help you keep track of all things renter-related. Some folks elect to use a project management tool, whereas others lean toward the pen-and-paper route. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Just remember that no matter how you keep track of renter information, you’ll need to set notifications for follow-ups or available apartments.

    • Hard copy: Rolodex, binder, and/or daily planner

    • Digital: Google Suite, Notion, and/or Asana

    • Property management software: Salesforce, Yardi, and/or Entrata, to name a few 

Hot tip — If you’re unsure where to start in terms of evaluating your “How Tools,” check out our comprehensive guide to property management software and various other tools.

  • The Where and Why: Marketing and social media — You’ll also want to show up where your prospective and current renters are, so where and how you market yourself matters. It’s worth noting that we’ve got a whole blog post dedicated to social media strategies designed to help you flesh out your approach, so we’ll keep this section brief.

    • Content creation: Canva

    • Promotional: LinkedIn, Instagram, and/or TikTok

Hot tip — To stay at the top of your game, you need to highlight your best angles and unique selling points. Consider what makes your property unique. Is it in-unit laundry? Or maybe it’s security deposit insurance, like Rhino, which allows renters to make small monthly payments instead of a giant lump-sum out the gate. By leveraging these advantages, you can market your property and close the deal faster than the competition. 

  • The Who and When: Communication — Last but not least, having a solid set of communication skills is critical. Meaning you may need to expand your toolkit outside of in-person communication or standard phone calls. 

  • Phone: Landline or cellphone

  • Email: Gmail, Yahoo, and/or Hotmail

  • Instant messaging: Podium, Slack, and/or basic texting

Hot tip — We recommend choosing one or two platforms and sticking with those; otherwise, you risk option-overwhelming yourself and the renter. 

The wrap up: How to become and be a successful leasing agent

A successful leasing agent possesses core communication, project management, and people skills at the end of the day. Your ability to interact with renters, answer questions, and follow up (as well as follow-through) ultimately ladders up into successful performance metrics. Just remember: leverage the right tools at the right time, and you’ll be able to eliminate (if not lessen) the headache of conducting admin tasks.

Headshot of Monique Seitz-Davis
Monique Seitz-Davis

Monique Seitz-Davis, also known as Moe, is a senior writer at Rhino. Moe thinks glitter gets a bad rap and that security deposits are a trap. Or something. She is doing her best.