Starting out as a rental agent

5 Replies

I had my real estate license for a while now but, I have not really put to use as of yet. I have been doing CMAs and analyzing BPO reporting for a while now (over a year). I finally made the decision to jump to real estate as a rental agent since the turn around time to get paid is much faster. Plus I work in the heart of the city of Boston which is big. Rentals around the area are fairly high. Since this is my first time starting, does anyone have any tips on how to market themselves? I have just establish a page profile on Facebook to help get the word out. I know just enough on how to use Facebook as a marketing tool. So, I have been using that for now. I tend to read a lot of blogs online in regards to real estate but, the main thing that I keep seeing is that it is always best to get a mentor. Someone that can provide some advice on the ins and out of the industry. I wanted to get some advice on ways to market myself and bringing in some leads? Any help would be appreciated.

@Johny Michaud There are those who specialize in rentals, but I'm not one of them.

Rentals require almost as much time and effort as selling SFRs and MFRs and sometimes more.

The following numbers were pulled live from MLS PIN just now.

In the last month, there were 477 properties in Boston that were rented.  Average rent was $2,671.

Split that between two offices, that's $1,335 per office.  Then apply your in-office split and you're most likely earning something about $934 in commissions.

Compare that to selling SFRs.

In the same period, there were 82 SFR sales, averaging $792,176. Let's be conservative and say that the average commission is 4%, split evenly between two offices (average is probably 2.25%).

2% of $792,176 is $15,843 per office.  Apply your in-office split and your commission (at least in my office) is $11,882.

That means that you have to complete almost 12 rentals to earn as much as you would on one SFR sale.

Seeing as how you're in Randolph, the entire south shore is open to you.  While the number of rentals exceeds the number of sales in Boston, the Plymouth County numbers tell a different tale:

125 rentals, 544 sales.

The opportunity is there for you to focus on the long game - selling SFRs.  I'd recommend making a gradual transition - keep chasing rentals to keep the wolf from the door, until you have a safety margin built up.  Then go all-in on SFRs to make some real money.

Hi Johny,

Excuse my lack of info/profile picture, I have "lurked" on the site for about a year now and this will be my first post.

I work primarily as a rental agent in the Boston area and think it's a great idea to get your foot into a very lucrative market.

The best part about doing rentals in Boston is that so long as you have a computer and work for a "rental focused" agency, there isn't much self-promotion required other than utilizing free services such as Zillow/Craigslist and your agency's already established database. Most agencies in Boston are connected to independent landlords and large management company's through a network that isn't the MLS and most deals are done on this network. The reason I mention this is because there is no co-broking involved in these deals, letting you collect a full fee.

The long-term benefit to working rentals is you can develop relationships with landlords and assist them in purchasing new investment properties and selling their existing investments as well, which tend to have high price tags = higher commissions than condos/SFR.

Also, it's a great way to be someone's first interaction with a realtor (college students/young working professionals) and so long as you can nurture that relationship and maintain contact, guess who they're calling to buy their first condo? You guessed it! Renters turn into buyers, buyers turn into sellers!

Hope this was helpful, and welcome to the game! Student season is coming up in a few months with big-money 4-7 beds that will net you $4000-$10,000 in fee per deal, now's a good time to learn the basic so that you can hit the ground running.

Good luck!

Very insightful posts here. Thanks Charlie and Ryan for reaching out and sharing your knowledge

Hello Guys,

So sorry for such a late response.  But,  my year anniversary is coming up and it has been a incredible learning experience.  I did better then I initially thought.  I have a strong team support from my office.  It was a bit rocky but, once the season picked up, it was none stop showing.  The summer was great.  We are entering the slow season now and now I am ramping up my marketing to keep things going.  I am looking into sales in the south shore as well to make a slow transition since the market there is more favorable.  Thank you for the advice on that part.  It really had help.  

@Johny Michaud   Good job on surviving your first year!  Most new agents can't make it past 18 months and it sounds like you're well on your way.

SFR sales will typically slow down a bit in the November - April time frame, so you should keep your rental work going for a bit, but make plans to ramp up in the spring.

Feel free to reach out if I can help!

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