How to Become an Apartment Leasing Agent in New York

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Becoming a leasing agent can be very lucrative in New York. Nearly 48% of people across the state rent, and in New York City a staggering 78% of people are renters.

As common as renting is, the path to becoming a leasing agent isn’t always clear. Keep reading to learn more about the job title and what you have to do to become a New York leasing agent.

The Different Types of New York Leasing Agents

In New York, professionals that help people rent apartments go by many titles, and each one has its own requirements. Your title all depends on the role you play in the rental process.

Apartment Information Vendor

These are essentially apartment referral agencies. The State of New York defines an apartment information vendor as, “any person who engages in the business of claiming, demanding, charging, receiving, collecting, or contracting for the collection of, a fee from a customer for furnishing information concerning the location and availability of real property, including apartment housing, which may be leased, rented, shared or sublet as a private dwelling, abode, or place of residence.”

Apartment Sharing Agent

An apartment sharing agent is a type of apartment information vendor. This job title is defined as, “any person who, for a fee, arranges, conducts, coordinates, handles or causes meetings between a customer and the current owner or occupant of legally occupied real property, including apartment housing, who wishes to share that housing with one or more individuals as a private dwelling, abode or place of residence.”

Leasing Agents at Property Management Companies

If you work for a property management company that does more than simple maintenance, the company must be licensed as a brokerage. As a leasing agent of the company, you’re considered a salesperson just like real estate agents that facilitate the purchase, sale or rental of real property.

Do You Need a Real Estate License to Lease Apartments in New York?

If all of the jobs above sound really similar it’s because they are. But do you need a license to help clients lease apartments in New York? The short answer is - yes, you need a license. The real question is which type of licensure you need.

Property Managers/Property Management Companies

Property managers and property management companies that collect rent or place tenants in vacant spaces on behalf of a landlord must have a New York broker license.

Property Management Leasing Agent

If you work for a property management company as a leasing agent you’ll need to get a New York real estate agent license and the company needs to be listed as your broker.

Apartment Information Vendors and Apartment Sharing Agents

To be an apartment information vendor or apartment sharing agent you need a license from the Secretary of State. The Secretary’s office will decide which application forms are necessary.

Vendors must also have an interest-bearing account with a minimum of $5,000 in a national or state chartered banking institution that operates in New York, plus $2,500 for each additional licensed branch location. Apartment sharing agents must have an interest-bearing account with a minimum of $2,500 in a national or state chartered banking institution that operates in New York, plus $1,250 per additional location.

Keep track of your time spent leasing apartments. That experience can be used to qualify you for a New York broker’s license down the road.