How to Become an Apartment Leasing Agent in Texas

More households are renting today than at any point in the past 50 years. Here’s what you need to become a leasing agent in Texas.
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Given that more households are renting today than at any point in the past 50 years, becoming an apartment leasing agent in Texas makes a lot of sense. It can also be a good stepping stone for people who are new to real estate and want to hit the ground running.

Sound interesting? Here’s what you need to know about being a leasing agent in Texas.

Apartment Leasing Agent vs. Real Estate Agent

Leasing agent, residential rental locator, apartment locator - no matter what title you use, the job is still the same.

What do apartment leasing agents do?

  • Find available rental apartments
  • Tour the properties
  • Compare the pros and cons of each property
  • Negotiate the lease terms

Both apartment leasing agents and real estate agents help clients find a home, but the process (and pay) is notably different.

A real estate agent is part of a property sale, which isn’t the case with a lease. Since there’s no change of ownership, rental agents don’t have to work with title companies or lenders to secure financing before the deal is done. There are also no inspections, surveys or appraisals to coordinate.

Essentially, once the client signs the lease the deal is done, whereas a lot of work is just beginning after a property sale contract is signed.

Typically, the property owner pays the apartment leasing agent 50-100% of one month’s rent in exchange for bringing them a tenant. Real estate agents that coordinate a home sale will earn anywhere from 1-3% of the sales price.

Photo by @paralitik on Unsplash

Do You Need a Real Estate License to Lease Apartments?

Yep. Unless you’re an employee of the apartment complex/property owner, you’ll need to have a real estate license to lease apartments and get paid for the work.

According to TRELA §1101.002(6), if you accept payment in exchange for helping someone find an apartment to rent, you’ve got to have a real estate license.

TREC is serious about making sure apartment locators have the proper licensing. Leasing agents face criminal charges and steep penalties if they’re caught operating without a real estate license.

How Do You Become an Apartment Leasing Agent in Texas?

Step 1 - Complete the Required Pre-Licensing Real Estate Courses

To earn a license you must first complete the required pre-license real estate courses with a TREC-approved real estate school.

Step 2 - Pass the Salesperson Pre-License Exam

After completing the required courses, you can then take the pre-license exam.

Step 3 - Get a Sponsoring Broker

To get an active real estate license, you have to operate under a broker.

Step 4 - Become a Texas Residential Leasing Specialist

Want to set yourself apart and highlight your leasing credentials? If you’re a member of the Texas Association of REALTORS you can earn a Texas Residential Leasing Specialist designation. All you have to do is complete four required education courses to apply.