Can a real estate agent also handle rentals? It’s a common question that many new agents wonder about. If you’ve never entered the world of rentals, it can seem like an unknown world, with different rules from buying and selling real estate.
So what are the advantages and disadvantages to helping clients find a rental property they love? We’ll sift through a few of the pros and cons for real estate agents to become in rental property sales and marketing here.
PRO: Generate more leads.
By offering rental placement services, you instantly expand your circle of prospects. One example is the couple who comes to you for help finding a rental. Upon some initial chatting, you find out that they are in a much better position to buy a home than they had realized. While this may have been a hard sell if they had just seen your ad for home buying assistance, because you’ve established a relationship, they trust your insight and commit to home buying with you. Another example are rental open houses, which could bring you many new leads for just a few hours of your day.
PRO: Build loyalty that can last a lifetime.
Businesses of all types want to reach consumers at the earliest stage of entry. Why? Because, just like with anything, we have a warm spot for the people and things that were with us from the start. The same holds true for real estate. Let’s take the example of a college grad relocating to your area for a new job. Helping them find their first form of housing in a new city, you become their trusted real estate resource. With nurturing marketing, in a few years when they’re ready, you’re the first person they think of when they want to begin shopping for their first house.
PRO: Turnaround time may be shorter.
Because potential tenants are not looking for a forever home usually, they can be less picky about their needs. Apartments also typically don’t have all the complexities of price negotiations, home inspections and closing phases like homes do. That means you may find renters to be a much more efficient group to work with.
CON: More time, less money.
Let’s face it, commission on renter placement is not going to be the same as selling a six-bedroom home. Typically, you can expect compensation to be the cost of between one to one-and-a-half month’s rent. So you’ll need to very much consider your time output and whether you have the flexibility to add in more demands. If moving into rentals makes you lose home buyers and sellers, it’s probably not a good financial strategy. However, if you have the free time, it might be a better fit.
PRO: Gain more reviews.
If your online reviews could use a boost, rental clients are a great way to boost those numbers. Just don’t forget to ask for a testimonial when you give a client world-class service.
PRO: Networking opportunities.
As agents, we’re always looking for new ways to expand our circle of local contacts. Assisting clients with rental placement is a low-pressure way to get your name around town and your foot in the door. You’re likely to expand your network to include apartment groups and communities, which may be a better use of your time than going to a hit-or-miss networking night where there’s five other agents and everyone just leaves with a stack of business cards.
PRO: Your business may already be built for rental business.
Do you work with real estate investors buying to rent? Your commission on a purchase could get a bonus just by also offering to find a tenant for your client. This also allows you to be a one-stop resource that some clients will find invaluable and irreplaceable.
While veteran and well-established real estate agents may not have the interest in adding the rental market to their resume, those looking to further establish themselves in the market may benefit from this often-overlooked area of business.