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8 Steps How To Become A Leasing Broker (Complete With Pictures) - How To Become A Leasing Broker - In simple terms, leasing brokers make money by finding the right rentals for others, be it an apartment to live in or computer equipment for the office. Regardless of whether you deal with real estate or business equipment, as a leasing broker you need to be self-motivated, able to thrive on pressure, and exceptional in your interpersonal skills and sales techniques. If you think this may be the line of work for you, consider how your experiences and skills suit the job and investigate the practical steps needed to become a leasing broker.

Determining Your Suitability

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

1. Gain work experience in sales or marketing. Learning to sell to businesses and/or individuals is invaluable experience. If you plan to work in equipment brokerage, marketing experience may be especially valuable, especially if you understand how to sell intangible services.

Selling anything from flowers to life insurance will enable you to gauge and develop your interpersonal skills and sales techniques. Some people may be more naturally inclined to excel at sales, but the ability to persuade others to buy what you're offering can be developed through practice.

You can gain this experience while in college or just after high school. Working in a high-pressure sales environment, such as telesales, will acquaint you with sales quotas, commissions and incentives. If you find that this constant pressure to make sales is not for you, then you are unlikely to enjoy being (or be successful as) a leasing broker.

If possible, get some experience with intangible sales. This involves selling a service, not a physical product that can be seen and touched. Examples include selling insurance or trying to sell a product based on something like its environmental benefits, or selling a service like bike repair. Intangible sales require you to become extremely proficient in creating a rapport with a customer and learning to tell a story when selling your product.

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

2. Consider enrolling in business courses. While critical, sales skills are only part of what is required in the leasing broker's toolkit. Among other things, he/she must also be entrepreneurial and know how to manage finances. You can take a course that highlights a certain subject or go to school for a degree.

In the U.S., requirements vary by state regarding what (if any) coursework you need (in addition to any licensing requirements) to become a leasing broker. Required or not, taking classes in marketing, finance, and real estate ethics, for instance, will help prepare you for the field and gauge your interest level in it.

If you want to earn a bachelor's degree, you may want to choose business administration. You can also earn a two-year associate's degree in business or business management from a community college.

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

3. Think about your options. The term "leasing broker" carries several connotations; some people, for example, associate it primarily with real estate rentals, others with leasing business equipment. There are many similarities within these variations, but also differences worth considering.

If you become a broker for residential properties — such as finding people apartments — then your people skills will be paramount, along of course with having deep knowledge of the local real estate market and establishing connections with rental property owners.

If you want to focus on commercial properties — finding space for businesses — then adding knowledge about specific business needs to your sales and networking skills will prove essential.

As an equipment leasing broker — in which you arrange agreements between businesses who need but can't buy necessary equipment, and manufacturers or retailers of said equipment — specific knowledge of, for instance, office computer equipment will be critical, as well as knowledge regarding the accounting and tax treatment of leased equipment.".

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

4. Apply for an entry-level position. Many leasing firms hire and train people who are new to the position. You may be able to apply for these lower level positions without obtaining your license, while you complete your training.

Other options, if you cannot work as a leasing agent yet, may be to intern at a leasing firm or work in an alternate position within the firm. You will still be able to observe, learn, build relationships, and further determine your suitability for the field.

Consider working for at least one year in this environment. On-the-job training will teach you about the product, whether real estate or equipment, and the clientele. You will also learn sales techniques, ethics and the law as it relates to leasing.

Starting Your Career

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

5. Follow the licensing requirements where you will work. In the U.S., each state has its own requirements (or lack thereof) for the education and certification of leasing brokers. These requirements can also vary by what type of broker you are (real estate, equipment, etc.).

As one example, in Illinois, a "Leasing Agent" license permits you to work with residential property rentals. It requires fifteen hours of approved coursework and a passed licensure exam. A "Broker" license enables you to work with commercial properties as well (and with buying and selling, not just rentals). It requires ninety hours of coursework and the licensure exam.

State licensure requirements tend to be less stringent for leasing brokers who deal with business equipment rentals, but always determine what is needed in your jurisdiction.

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

6. Consider obtaining certification from a national organization. Such certification is not a legal requirement, but will further your education in the field and open the door to wide-ranging contacts in the industry. Here are a few examples:

To obtain National Apartment Association certification as a National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP), you need a high school diploma or equivalent, six months experience as a leasing agent, the completion of approved coursework, and to pass an exam.

To join the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers (NAELB), you need to attend their week-long training school (with testing) and subsequent conference.

To become a Certified Lease and Finance Professional (CLFP), also in the equipment rental field, you need three years experience in the field and to pass an exam.

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

7. Build your network of contacts. Learning from, and networking with, others with experience in your field is critical to getting off the ground as a leasing broker. Build contacts through national organizations if possible, but also with others in your local area.

Knowledge of the local business climate is essential for leasing brokers of all varieties. In equipment leasing, you need to establish close working relationships with local lenders so they will work with you time and again. Repeat business and referrals are the lifeblood of the industry.

If you work with residential properties, establishing working relationships with the owners and managers of local rental properties and apartment complexes will be a must.

How to Become a Leasing Broker: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

8. Decide how independent you should be. Advertisements for careers as a leasing broker often point to the chance to "be your own boss," and that can indeed be the case — with all the benefits and hassles that come with it. The degree of independence you seek should depend upon local market conditions and your own preferences.

You can be an independent leasing agent (with ample contacts and connections, of course), or be a franchisee of a larger organization. It is possible that you may also be a contracted employee.

While "Going it on your own" may be your eventual goal, you may find that this is not the ideal setup when you are starting out. The more patience you can show early on, as you build up a client base and connections in the community, the more business you can potentially reap in the years to come.

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