How to Own the Rental Market as a Real Estate Agent


A real estate leasing agent shows a property to a couple

Savvy real estate agents know how to change with the times. Instead of patiently waiting for changes in the Ohio housing market, consider a temporary pivot into the rental market – especially if you serve an area with a high move rate. Forming relationships with rental clients will also serve you well when those renters become buyers.

What Is the Role of a Real Estate Agent in the Rental Process?

Licensed real estate agents typically serve the rental market in one of two ways. Some become leasing agents and find qualified renters for property owners, or they become rental brokers and work to find suitable properties for rent for their clients. (However, rental brokers are more common in metropolitan areas, as many renters conduct their property searches independently in most markets.)

A leasing agent typically earns a commission once a renter successfully moves into the space. The commission varies by market but could be between 50% to 100% of the first month’s rent. Of course, some property owners need to employ full-time leasing agents.

Understanding the Rental Market Dynamics

Understanding rental market dynamics in your area is crucial regardless of what type of clients you serve. While you are already paying attention to home sale trends and up-and-coming Ohio markets, you need to add other reports to your radar if you plan to work in the rental market.

  • Rental market trends: Stay updated on rental rates, vacancy rates, and demand-supply dynamics.
  • Local economy: Job growth, unemployment rates, and wage levels impact rental demand and affordability.
  • Demand for different types of properties: Analyze the demand for apartments, single-family homes, condos, and other types of rental units in your area.

Besides being on top of the data, building relationships with landlords, property managers, and other industry professionals is also helpful.

Navigating Challenges in the Ohio Rental Market

There’s no doubt that the skills and knowledge you developed by working as a real estate agent will transfer to your work in the rental market. However, reviewing some of the rental-related topics you learned in your pre-licensing classes may be helpful. Also, consider taking continuing education courses on subjects related to the rental market.

Here are some of the topic categories that might need review.

Legal and regulatory considerations for rentals

Familiarize yourself with Ohio’s landlord-tenant laws, which govern the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Understanding these laws will help you advise clients and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Tenant screening and selection

Federal and state fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing transactions based on protected characteristics, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. While adhering to fair housing laws, you may also be required to assist landlords in conducting thorough tenant screening processes to evaluate prospective tenants’ creditworthiness, rental history, employment status, and criminal background.

Negotiating rental agreements and lease terms

Working in the rental market means that you need expertise in lease agreements, which outline the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement.

Marketing rental properties effectively

Attracting tenants to a rental property is similar to attracting buyers to homes for sale. Leverage high-quality listing photos and descriptions, virtual tours, and property signage. You’ll also utilize popular online listing platforms, social media platforms, and email campaigns to reach your target audience. And like any career involving real estate, professional networking is crucial.

Building a Rental Property Portfolio of Services

Real estate brokers who develop a comprehensive portfolio of rental property services can better expand their client base and adapt to market changes. If you are inspired to offer comprehensive client solutions for all your client’s real estate needs, consider upgrading your license to become a real estate broker in Ohio. Hondros College of Business can help you navigate this process.

Hondros College has been serving the Ohio real estate community for decades – and we can help you earn your Ohio broker license. We have a consistent record of high exam pass rates for both real estate agents and brokers and offer flexible education options, including in-person, at-your-own-pace online, or livestream courses.

Do you have a question?  Contact us at or 800-783-0097.

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