First, by “rental market” I am referring to representing parties who are searching to lease an apartment or searching to lease their property. These parties are often referred to as tenants or landlords.
From the perspective of a real estate agent, transactions in the rental market may often require the same or more work to complete (or “close” as the lingo goes) as it would a residential or commercial transaction. I think we may all agree that given the option of working 40 accumulated hours for either a $1,000 or $100 paycheck, we would choose the former. Certainly, the results are much more varied than I have described. A real estate agent may spend 60 hours attempting to sell a home and walk away with nothing when it fails to sell. In a strong rental market, a real estate agent may spend 5 hours closing half a dozen high-end rental agreements and walk away with more than you and I make in a month. Still, the generality that a real estate agent is better off with a business plan that focuses on assisting clients buy and sell residential or commercial property is true in our community.
Why then would I want to spend any amount of time working in the rental market?
In a word: Advocacy.
The greatest thing a Realtor®, like myself, brings to a transaction is a voice. A voice of professionalism. A voice of knowledge and experience. A voice of understanding. A Realtor® should wield their voice to properly negotiate on behalf of their clients. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into negotiating and yielding the best possible results. The secret: it’s not magic. The skill to effectively advocate on our own or someone else’s behalf can be taught and learned.
I think we may all agree there is significant value in being able to articulate our beliefs, needs, feelings, and thoughts. Doing so effectively is a necessary life skill. Unfortunately, there are many among us whose life’s circumstances have them situated where they may not be learning how to speak out for themselves and others. However, regardless of our circumstances, we all have the same critical need: a home. As a Realtor®, I recognize that puts my profession in a unique position.
Why wait until someone is ready to buy a home to take the time to explain how they can better position themselves for success by organizing their thoughts and preparing the proper information? If committing to a stronger presence in the rental market can reap the benefits of a more knowledgeable and better prepared adult population, I say let’s give it a try.