Searching for an apartment or home to lease can be just as stressful and nerve-wracking as trying to buy a home. To help with the leasing process, many apartment hunters utilize the services of a leasing consultant. A leasing consultant may work for an apartment complex or other rental property or may work independently. Along with helping the renter find a place to lease, the leasing consultant also assists with the application process, hiring movers and relocation services. While not required to work as a leasing consultant, certification does give the consultant legitimacy in the leasing industry.
Only a handful of providers currently offer certification for leasing consultants, including professional associations like the National Apartment Association with its National Apartment Leasing Professional designation. Other providers include private businesses, such as Careers Strategies, Inc., which offers a Leasing Certification Workshop for all leasing consultant applicants to complete before obtaining a position. Even the federal government offers certification for leasing professionals through the National Fair Housing Training Academy and its Fair Housing Certification program for consultants interested in enforcing fair housing practices as part of their services.
The requirements to earn a leasing consultant certification vary from provider to provider, but include general qualifications such as being at least 18 years old and working for a certain amount of time in the rental industry. The National Apartment Leasing Professional certification requires the applicant to have worked in the rental industry for at least six months before applying for certification. Additionally, a certified leasing consultant may have to renew her certification every one to three years by reapplying for certification and fulfilling continuing education requirements.
Training and Testing
Most certification programs include training classes as part of the certification process. Each program's curriculum differs, but generally include topics such as leasing basics, giving telephone presentations, utilizing the Internet for leasing, leading renters through the leasing process and legal aspects of rentals and leasing. Other topics include sales techniques, closing sales, giving property tours and follow-up correspondence. Courses take place online, as well as in person and oftentimes, current industry professionals will teach the classes. Many of the leasing consultant certification programs also include a certification exam applicants must pass to earn the designation. Most certification exams take place at proctored computer-testing centers.
Along with offering the consultant legitimacy in the field, certification also provides other benefits. For example, the National Apartment Association certification comes with membership in the organization, an annual magazine subscription and discounts on industry products such as software, resources and marketing. Career Strategies, Inc. provides job placement services to everyone who participates in its certification workshops. The National Fair Housing Training Academy's program provides the professional with career advancement opportunities in other areas outside of property leasing and management.
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