I can proudly say my career is in property management. I never thought I would be in this field for almost 10 years but here I am LOL. I was in college at Aurora University and I had to take a semester off (I was in college during the recession) so I got a job at the local preschool as a teachers assistant. That’s how I met my best friend. Her mom is a property manager and needed a leasing agent so I interviewed and got the job! Becoming a leasing agent was probably the scariest thing I had ever done in that time in my life. Mind you I wasn’t afraid to move almost 100 miles away from home, making new friends or anything like that. I also thought that this was going to be temporary. I was going to complete my bachelors in social work and continue on that path.
As leasing agent I was literally the first person people would see when they walked in the door. My desk was in front. The property has 475 units and was half HUD. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and at the same time it is one of the most thrilling times in my life. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of logistics to worry about as a leasing agent. I didn’t work at a luxury building at this time it was a C+ and that is being generous. One thing being a leasing agent has taught me is to always be prepared. When your out on tour you come across everything:
- Extreme weather. 100 degree days, rain, sleet, snow, polar vortex. Keep an eye on the weather you still have to close that lease
- Residents! Usually residents are very nice when they see you on tour, but sometimes you get the complainers that don’t care what your doing. I even had one person follow me pretty much the entire tour.
- The client. Your always wondering if they like you? Are you mentioning everything you need to? Do the hallways reek of marijuana and pee? Ask them questions. This are just a few things that are running through my head.
- The apartments. When I was at my very first property you had to be prepared to run into anything including roaches. Yes I said it roaches! I had never even see one before I worked there. If you can overcome roaches you can lease anywhere.
- Paper work, paperwork, paperwork! Working at a property that was half HUD was hard. Shout out to those people who work at a 100% HUD property. When I took my first leasing job I didn’t know that in Illinois you have to hold a valid leasing license. You have to adhere to local, state and federal laws. Its very overwhelming to say the least. The test wasn’t too bad. I’m thinking about getting my broker license next year since it’s the renewal year anyways.
I’m not trying to scare anyone out of wanting to become a leasing agent. I believe that part of the reason I have been so successful at it is I like people. I like talking and connecting with all types of people. Not to mention the more leases you get, the more money you make! $$$ Everyone likes to make money LOL!!
Falling into property management has opened a lot of doors for me and has brought me many successes that I never thought I would have the opportunity to earn. I am still currently in the business and I will be sharing everything I know!