You can make $1000 as leasing agent.
Our agents who follow this system make $1k a week. After about 6 months of using these techniques, you will have a sufficient number of prospective buyers and sellers you won’t have to do this grind. This is how it works…
You Must Have These With You At All Times
- Business Cards
- Smart Phone (capable of tethering to your phone – aka a “Personal Hotspot”)
- Calendar (a system you use every day, every hour – not some random phone app)
- Duties Owed (lots of copies)
- Completed W-9
- Standard rental GLVAR application (Some companies still use these.)
- Broker referral agreement (If necessary. Some companies require these ridiculous forms.)
You are probably laughing but 80% of the agents I meet don’t have these items with them. Most agents have some of these things with them and leave half of these tools at home. 90% of the agents I meet don’t have a calendar or know how to use one. Amazing. Buy a big __ss bag or purse so you can carry these things with you at all times.
Start Your Marketing.
You need 100 tenant leads a week to make a $1000 a week. If you only want to make $300 a week, all you need is 30 leads. Each lead = $10 in revenue. It’s way easier than you think. After doing these things for 2 weeks, you will get more leads than you know what do with. Do these things for at least 2 hours every morning. Set your timer. Just do it. Get a cup of coffee, plow through this and then reward yourself with breakfast or a shot of tequila.
- Reach out to 10 agents. Tell them “I want to make some money leasing. Can you give me all your tenant leads?” Most agents are too lazy or don’t know how to do this right. Most really successful agents don’t want them. They already did their time with leasing.
- Reach out to the 10 properties that are for lease in your area. Ask the leasing agent “Your property is right down the street from me. Would it be ok if I market your property?” Trust me. Every property manager out there has their hair on fire and would love to pay you to sift through all the crazies to find them a rockstar tenant. TIP: Make this a signature in your email. Include a photo of how awesome you look along with your credentials.Show off your local knowledge, abilities etc.
- Reach out to the 10 properties that are on craigslist in your area. Tell the person “Your property is right down the street from me. Would it be ok if I market your property?” Use the same signature above but add “I really enjoy finding rockstar tenants. If I find you a rockstar, you can decide later if you want to offer some type of compensation.”
Take those properties that allow you to market them and put them on Craigslist and/or Zillow if they are not already there. I absolutely guarantee you that after 2 weeks of this concentrated effort, you will get more than 15 calls a day = 105 prospects. If you don’t get 105 prospects a week after 2 weeks, I will buy you lunch. No kidding.
Pre-Screen Your Prospects.
Here are processes you can use to successfully place your prospects into a rental. These tips will save you time and money no matter what property management company you try to place them in.
Ask these things before you even schedule an appointment or provide a list of rentals. If a prospect doesn’t like answering these questions, move along as they will have to answer these eventually. You can start your conversation like this: “I am a licensed real estate agent and leasing expert. I’m here to save you money and time in finding what you want. Before I learn about your needs, I need to know more about you. Is that ok?” If they say no, let them go. You don’t have time for losers. This is a numbers game. If you want to make $1000 a week, you have to cut out the least promising prospects. The numbers look like this:
100 Phone inquiries => 9 Pre Screened Prospects => 6 showings => 4 leases = 4 commissions.
If you want to make $1000 per week, you need to get rid of 90 out of those 100 rental leads.
TIP: Print this list, laminate it and tape it on your car dashboard so you don’t have to remember these questions.
- When do you want to move? If they are looking 8 weeks out, that’s too far and tell them you will call them back in 2 weeks unless they want to pay for a whole month of a vacant property. Property managers are not going to hold out a whole month for a tenant. When they say “ASAP”, ask them “You mean like today?” to get a laugh out of them. If they need to move today or tomorrow, that’s a huge red flag. They are probably being evicted, running from the law or an abusive boyfriend. You don’t want the drama and neither does the next property manager.
- Have you ever been evicted or in the process of being evicted? This question is bold but get it over with. Anyone with eviction history is pretty much toast and you don’t have time to be Mother Teresa.
- Why are you leaving your current location? Their reason should make sense. If the answer is suspicious like “I don’t like my landlord.” or “The landlord doesn’t fix anything.” are serious red flags. Answers like “The rent is going up.” or “The owner is selling the property etc.” are all legitimate reasons to spend thousands of dollars to uproot an entire family. TIP: If they start into some long country western song, get off the phone. There is something wrong and that song is meant to cover up the real problems they have.
- How long did you live there? Anything less than a year is suspect. An ideal candidate has been living in the same place for more than 2 years.
- How is your rental history? If the answer is “I always pay electronically on the 1st, you are talking to a rockstar tenant. NOTE: If you are talking to someone who is moving out of the nest for the first time or separating from their spouse, or looking to be roommates with others, you need to be brutally honest and tell them they will need at least 3 months if not more of rent. “How much money do you have in the bank?” is the crucial question. If they won’t answer your question, let them go.
- How long have you had your job? Property managers typically screen out anyone who recently got a job or is moving from out of state unless they are a white collar professional like an accountant, manager type. Applicants from California who show up in a U-Haul with no job have completely lost their minds.
- How is your credit history? Get specific with them. Above 600? Less than 400? Good or bad is not the answer you want. If their credit is less than 700 but is related to old medical or student loan debt, that’s not the end of the world. If they don’t know, tell them they need to pull their own credit before you will assist them. Creditkarma.com is free and what your are looking for is their average score. Most property managers dig deeper into credit and are looking for recent credit problems. If a tenant prospect has just begun a financial decline, they won’t be interested in that disaster.
- TIP: Any tenant prospect with a 700 or better credit score is a rockstar. You really need to put them in your calendar for a follow up in 7 months. There is no reason they need to be renting. Leasing agents hand me these gems every day and I pick them up for free.
??? – FAQ – ??? Jim, what do I do with those 90 rental leads who don’t qualify for a cupcake?
Get off the phone with them ASAP. You don’t have time for their country western song. Tell them you just stepped in with a client and you will text them a link to your site that has a free search tool and your contact information. I recommend using your current free web portal provided by the MLS that you probably forgot you had. Do not promise to call them back. Copy and paste your signature to that portal. Done. Next.
TIP: When you get an unqualified person, save them in your phone as “Unqual” or whatever. When they call you back, don’t answer! Let it go to voicemail. It’s not illegal to dodge unqualified prospects. You will never get a love letter from the real estate division for having poor communication skills. You will get one if you screen based on gender, race etc.
Schedule a showing.
Before you go running around in the heat, you need to take your calendar by the horn so you can dictate your schedule. Do not allow tenant prospects determine your schedule!!! I call the diagram below a “Scheduling Clock” and this is what you want to do about 3 times a week. Your other 3 days a week will be spent laying by pool drinking a cocktail. Just kidding. The other 3 days are spent getting ready and following up on the other 3 days of exhausting driving and dealing with prospects who “no show” or just simply fall off the grid. Your 7th day of the week is spending time with your family, chilling with Netflix, worshipping or simply sleeping. $1000 a week is a tough grueling schedule. A typical schedule for 3 days would be something like Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
This clock may not work for you but you get the idea. Create your own clock and stick to it. For example, if a prospect wants to look at a property in Summerlin, I tell them, “Do you want Thursday at 9am or Saturday at 9am?” Do not ask what’s convenient for them. The benefit of your clock is that you don’t have to remember what area of town you will be on what day. Give them 2 choices and stick to it. If you have a tenant who can’t fit in your clock, refer them to another starving agent.
Since they have been pre-screened and have agreed to meet with you at a certain location and time, you need to follow up with this:
“Let’s look at a few others nearby. The one you want may already have an approved applicant. Please text me your email address so I can pull up similar ones and check status on the one we are going to meet up at.”
I am dyslexic and do all my phone calls on the road. I don’t want to be scribbling something down in my notebook while I’m doing 75 miles an hour. I make all my prospects text me their email address. Because you are a rock star and keep your laptop with you 24×7, you can pull up that property and a few others in between appointments. You are looking for properties that have a similar profile to the one they called on.
Prepare For The Showing
Just after you email them the few others you are going to show them, you will send them an email with the following email. Feel free to copy and paste this into your “Prospect Signature” for your email so you don’t have to reinvent this part of the wheel.
I’m really excited to show you the one property you want and a few others. I’m waiting to hear back about the availability so in the meantime, I need you do to a little homework so you can get the property you really want. Here is my rockstar checklist which almost always gets what my clients want:
- Pull your own credit at CreditKarma.com. Send me a screenshot or at least give me that number. We don’t want to be looking at properties that won’t take a certain score or below. This will save you hundreds of dollars in application fees and unnecessary hits on your credit. This is something you should do anyway as there could be some stuff on there that isn’t true and you may want to clean up later.
- Gather up all your income / pay stub records. You can get in the front of the line of your competition by having this in your hand. You must bring this to your appointment. If you are afraid of forgetting, send them to me now.
- Your Photo ID. This is a safety issue. I have to tell my broker who I am meeting in case I don’t check in. Just text me a picture of your driver’s license.
- Give me your current landlords name and contact information. I am going to get rental verification now so we are not pulling our hair out waiting for your current landlord to get back to a property manager. They have a habit of dragging their feet because they don’t want to lose you!!! Before they can release that information, you will need to sign this document and get it back to me.
- If you don’t have a printer or a way to get this back to me, I will have you sign it when we meet.
Sincerely, Your rockstar leasing agent….
If they do not provide you with the credit report, ID and their current landlord contact information, cancel the appointment. This tells them you mean business and don’t have time to waste with tenants who are not prepared. You should have 9 prospects that have reached this point and you are trying to get rid of 6 who can’t follow instructions in that email. Some of these 6 are computer handicapped and/or don’t know how to pull their credit or scan their pay stub. These handicapped tenants will get filtered out by a prospective property manager anyway so wave goodbye. You don’t have time for them. Property managers are slammed. Property managers are not going to spend 5 minutes explaining a prospective tenant how to fax or take a picture of their pay stub. They are filtering out dozens of tenants. Their first filter is anyone who sucks up their time.
Prepare For The Appointment
- Check their photo ID:
- Ladies: Get in the habit of texting a friend that photo id. “I’m meeting this person at 3pm at 123 Main St.”
- Look them up on clark county records and do a quick check on them. If you are super clever, see if they have a facebook page. The difference between photos of people partying and throwing gang signs are WAY different than the photos of a happy family at a picnic. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know which ones are going to make it.
- Criminal History – If you see a “W” on their record, this means they have a warrant for their arrest. Half these people don’t know they are wanted for a speeding ticket they failed to pay. They can’t pay rent if they are in the pokey! Property managers will reject these peeps without question. Cancel the appointment if you see a “W”!!! Tell them, they need to square that away before you can help them. If they have a felony, you really need to be up front with prospective property managers. We will take felons for our multi family that are old so it’s not exactly a deal killer for everyone.
- Civil History – If you see an eviction, game over. Unless they have a bunch of money in the bank and willing to live in the hood, you can’t do anything with them. There are some exceptions so you will have to be up front with prospective property managers. We will sometimes take eviction history if it’s over 10 years old for example. NOTE: If your tenant has a common name like Bill Jones, this is nearly impossible to do.
TIP: Make sure the woman of the house is scheduled. She is the one who will really make the decision.
- BEFORE you confirm availability. Try to get that rent verification form signed and sent back to you. Property managers take days to reply to that form so get that started now. You can probably use that form for every property you attempt to place your tenant. By having that form completed, you are WAY ahead of your competition and miles ahead of Suzie and Johnny Lunchbucket who are trying to this on their own. Most property managers are slammed and will take your signed form from their current landlord as gospel.
- TIP: If your tenant doesn’t allow you to contact the landlord, let them go. You don’t have time to figure out their drama or listen to their country western song.
- Package up your tenant. When you contact the listing agent and give them the facts: “I’ve got 2 working adults making $$$ per month, 2 kids, a dog, 2 years perfect rental history with a credit score of 610.” The listing agent will tell you straight up whether they are interested or not. You don’t care. You are not trying to sell your tenant. You are trying to filter out the properties where your tenants don’t have a chance. Your goal is to come up with 3 properties in the same general area where the property manager responds. Let go of the property managers who don’t respond. They either have someone in mind or too busy to place your tenant.
- Schedule the appointment. You should be able to knock out 3 properties in about an hour or less. If the tenants are too picky or can’t make a decision on those 3, tell them you will try to put them back on your clock. Do not let tenants lead you by the nose. You have a super busy schedule and you won’t have time to close 3 deals a week if you have to drive across town for one tenant showing. This is the biggest mistake my young agents make.
- Confirm the appointment twice! Confirm first thing in the morning or at least 2 hours before the appointment. Then confirm again one hour before the appointment. If they do not respond, text them with “I’m sorry I didn’t hear from you. I must hear from you no later than ___am for me to meet you at the address ________. ” This will be your number one frustration as the majority of the tenants out there are super flakes. Super flake super flake, super flakey… About 30% of your last 9 prospects go MIA and there isn’t anything you can do about it.
- Show up on time. Seriously. If you can’t show up on time after all that hard work, you need to find another profession. Managing time is the most important habit for a successful agent. All the agents who I have seen turn in their license were ones who could not show up on time. If you can’t show up on time, just get it over with and turn in your license to division and go back to job you had.
- Take care of the paperwork before you open a lockbox. Remember those things you needed?
- Signed rental verification form.
- Picture IDs of all the adults.
- Duties Owed
- W-9 => package that with your tenant so you get paid faster!
- TIP: Camscanner is a super awesome app for your phone. Scan all that stuff at once and email it to yourself.
- Let them loose in the house. There is no reason to follow them around. Return your phone calls, answer emails, scan those documents and confirm your next appointment. Keep your mouth shut. Making derogatory comments like “the kitchen smells” or upselling the home is a waste of time. If you really want to chatter, ask them about their profession. If they sound passionate about their job and/or if they start asking you specifics about the application process for that particular home, you are going to close.
Close The Deal NOW
- Pull up the property on the MLS and check status. You would be surprised at the number of agents who call me and are shocked to find out the property they just showed was taken the day or hours before. Property managers do not take the property off the MLS until a deposit is received. Rentals usually go from “ER” to “L” in one step.
- Contact the agent again. Confirm that you have a chance of getting the property and give them the highlights of your client. Some old school property managers still force tenants to drive across town to fill out an application and pay the application with a cashier’s check. Don’t worry, those companies will get eaten eventually by savy companies like us who offer online applications. Whatever the process, make them do it now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. NOW.
- Complete the application NOW!! If the application is online, just do it NOW. Because you have your laptop with you tethered to your smartphone, you can navigate to the property manager’s website and make them do it NOW. For every property I list, I get about 2 more applications that dribble in days after it was taken. I really feel sorry for those leasing agents who went this far only to have the tenant dilly dally before the finish line.
- Prepare a back up plan. Since you showed them 2 others, make them pick their second favorite property. If they can’t get their first choice, you need to get ready for “Plan B.” Get them mentally prepared for their second choice now. Develop a contingency to get it or you will be all that work again.
- Did I tell you property managers have their hair on fire? We get about 80 inquires and 6 applications for each property we advertise. This is on top of our daily issues of leaking toilets, evictions and other miscellaneous tenant drama. Leasing agents who have their tenants packaged, application completed and have everything in order get priority. They are not interested in your tenant’s country western song so don’t even bring it up.
- Check application status about every other day. Every hour will just piss a property manager off. A friendly “Hey, I was just checking to make sure you got their completed application. Is there anything else you need?. A simple status check is all you need. There is a 95% chance they are waiting on a rental verification. If that’s the case, have the tenant call the landlord and rattle their chain. Getting rental verifications from those large apartment complexes takes a HUGE amount of effort. Make your tenant sit on their desk until it’s completed.
TIP: Those other days you are not in the field are perfect days to follow up.
After The Deal
- Stay out of the property manager’s business. Everyone has a different process and you don’t need to be another cook in the kitchen. Tell your client to call you only if things go completely non-linear. Tell your client there will be issues. Brace them for it. Make them create a list of problems or issues with the property as they move in. Calling the property manager everytime they find a flaw won’t fix the problem any faster unless it’s something major like the HVAC not working.
- Tell your clients to get pictures or video of existing damages. Unfortunately, there are some really bad companies out there who will bend your client over at the end. Making notes and/or pointing to the problems can save your client money when they move out. They will appreciate your advice later.
- Put your clients in your calendar for a follow up in 9 months. If they are considering purchasing a home or finding another place to live, you are ready to help them again. “Hi Mary, I helped you find your rental 9 months ago. Are you going to renew your lease or would you be looking for another place? Have you considered buying?…” You worked really really hard for this client so don’t let them slip away to some fancy agent on Zillow! Trust me. If you did everything above correctly, 1 out of 5 of your leasing clients will buy a property and you can stop this rental grind.
- Follow up with the property manager. Make sure they have everything you need to get paid. There is nothing more frustrating than following up in 2 weeks to find out they needed some ridiculous form filled out. Paying you is not high on their list. Put in your calendar the property manager’s phone number and client name in 2 weeks. If they start dodging you, enlist your broker. Your broker should be on your side!
Want to learn more on how to be a rockstar?
We are looking for potential rockstars. I wrote a book on property management and have helped agents become rockstars. If you think you have the potential for being a rockstar, contact me. You may be a perfect fit for our team!
- Jim Eagan
- Broker / Coach / Author
- (702) 287-1092