Apartments and houses get ever more expensive, and relationships ever more unstable. In such a climate, it makes perfect sense that many people opt for a rent, instead of getting a mortgage and becoming debtors for the rest of their lives.
Working as a leasing consultant, you will show houses and flats to prospective residents. First you will try to find a perfect match (bearing in mind their job, family situation, future plans, budget, etc), and secondly you will try to convince them to sign a lease and start living in the place you promote.
Leasing consultants do not earn a fortune. If you are good in your job, however, and get commission for each deal you close, and enjoy perks like breaks from rent, and perhaps look for a part time opportunity (many leasing agents jobs are part time), you may find this job a fitting choice.
Let’s have a look at questions you may face in your interview.
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Why do you want to work as a leasing agent?
You can tell them a story that explains how this role fits you and your lifestyle. For example you live in the apartment complex already, you work from home (or spend a lot of time at home, or do not have any job), you understand the pluses and minuses of the building, know all the neighbors, etc.
Basically if someone can sell the prospect an idea of living in the apartment complex, it is you.
Another alternative is referring to your excellent communication and sales skills. You’ve been working with people for long enough to understand their wishes before they even manage to express them verbally. You know how to lease someone more than just an apartment–a vision of a better life they’ll have if they make the right decision.
Please tell us something about your working experience
Try to focus on relevant experience–anything in sales or customer service. You should explain how your previous roles prepared you for this job–for example you were answering phone calls from potential customers, you were selling something on the phone or in person, you had to understand your customer, you had to close the deals.
And if you apply for your very first job, ensure the interviewers that you understand the expectations, that you are a natural salesman (woman), and that you heard great things about their training program, and are sure that with your talent you will quickly get ready to excel in your job.
Why should people rent houses/apartments in this building/complex/location?
Unless you understand the benefits a new resident will gain from living in the place, you will find it hard to close deals. People must feel your enthusiasm to get in the right mood to say YES at the end of the meeting. Take a sheet of paper and try to write down the benefits the place offers to the residents.
This can be anything from easy traffic connection and calm neighborhood, to wellness center and swimming pool at the rooftop.
It can be the best price but also the most expensive location, it can be an elementary school five minutes walk away or a street full of night clubs–this really depends on the tenants and their preferences. Each place has some advantages. You should be able to identify them and explain them to the interviewers, just as you would explain them to prospective residents.
* May also interest you: Real Estate Agent interview questions.
How do you imagine a typical day in this job?
First of all, you should read the job description carefully to understand whether it goes about a part time or full time position, and how wide your scope of responsibilities will be.
Secondly, you should emphasize individual approach to each potential customer. You do not plan to give the same tour and explanation to everyone who comes to see the flat.
You will point out the features and perks that may attract the particular customer, and you will watch their reactions closely and adjust your sales pitch to meet their expectations, and to improve your chances of closing the deal.
Last but not least, you may work with existing residents, you may respond for some basic marketing efforts (social media, print ads), and you will do some administrative and paperwork. Ensure the interviewers that you understand the job, and do not expect something else than they offer.
Imagine that I am a prospective resident. I work as a marketing consultant, I have a wife but no children yet. I came to see this apartment/office. Give me a tour.
When you want to test someone’s sales skills, ask them to sell you something. Simple as that. Interviewers may test you with a role play. They may ask you to give them a tour of the house, or to try and sell them your mobile phone, pen, suit, whatever.
Most job seekers are afraid of this exercise. However, you should remember that they do not expect to hear a flawless sales pitch. You do not have enough information about the apartment, and you will learn a lot of things in your training.
What they hope to see is that you have guts and basic sales skills. You should never refuse a role play. If you refuse, they won’t hire you.
Accept and start touring them around. Mention the most obvious benefits–such as location, size of the apartment, fair market price, and something that can suit them personally.
In our example (young marketing consultant who got married recently) it can be a proximity of a school, option to upgrade to a bigger apartment in the same complex (if they have children later on), subway station nearby or protected underground parking, etc. Do not forget to ask additional questions and keep eye contact with your prospect.
Doing this should be enough to convince your interviewers that you can become an excellent leasing consultant after the training (if you aren’t one already).
How would you help us promote unoccupied properties?
In most cases someone else from the rental company will respond for promotional activities, such as news in local papers and local renting boards (both online and offline), social media promotion, virtual tours, and so on.
However, this is a question of your attitude. Even when you realistically won’t do any promotional activities, it is a big plus to see that you would not mind doing them.
You can talk about ads in papers, promoting the place on your social media channels (or even creating new channels to promote it), or working with your existing network of contacts, or with existing tenants. Show the interviewers that you do not mind going above and beyond for your employer, that you do not wait for someone else to do the work.
* May also interest you: Facilities manager interview questions.
What are your salary expectations?
Leasing agent isn’t the best paid job in the city, and you should be realistic with your expectations. Typically you may earn anything from $12 to $18 per hour, depending on the location, whether we talk about part time or full time opportunity, and other factors.
What you can say, however, is that you’d love to get some commission for each deal you close, or perhaps other benefit.
This indicates your results driven personality, that you do not only want to make boring tours and collect money for doing them. Oppositely, you want to try your best with each prospect, close as many deals as possible, and both you and your employer will benefit from that. Each interviewer will appreciate this attitude to work.
Other questions you may face in your leasing agent interview
- How long do you want to (plan to) have this job?
- Tell us about your most successful sales experience.
- Would you do anything to verify the authenticity of tenant’s application?
- Describe a time when you went above and beyond with customer service (in your last job).
- What motivates you the most in this type of work?
- Do you have any questions?
* You can also download the list of all questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Conclusion and next steps
Interview for a job of a leasing consultant does not belong to difficult interviews. Role play (you play an agent and the interviewer plays a prospective agent) is often the hardest part, and you should practice it in advance (if you have someone around to practice with).
Do a good research about the properties and the company, and try to prepare some answers to the questions from this article. Last but not least, you should show some enthusiasm for the work of a leasing consultant. While this isn’t the best paid job in the world, you can learn a lot while doing it, and having it on your resume can open you some doors leading to way more interesting sales jobs…
You should also read the following articles to continue your preparation for your leasing agent interview:
- How to overcome interview nerves – Nerves can kill your chances in many interviews. Learn how to get rid of your anxiety.
- Sales Manager interview questions.
- Account Executive interview questions.