“Some people focus on the relatively smaller amount of income you’d make from a lease versus the purchase of a home,” says David Bradica, an agent with Keller Williams. “But with the right mindset and follow-up system, the better way to look at a lease deal is the value of the client you’re bringing in. So you’re getting paid to create warm prospects of future clients.”
Many agents even consider lease deals more of an investment than a quick influx of petty cash.
“I definitely believe there’s an advantage for Realtors to target rentals,” says Stephen Bloom, a broker with HomeLife/Cimerman Real Estate in Toronto. “Landlords do become sellers and buyers [and] a potential tenant could be a potential buyer down the road.”
But hanging on to those potential clients is a lot easier said than done. Most tenants forget who their agent was when it comes time to buy, underscoring the importance of keeping in touch with your prospects.
“Follow up, stay in contact, put them in your lead generation model,” Bradica says. “Plus, if you’re the person listing the lease, then you get the opportunity to get more leads because people are contacting you. So even if they don’t rent from you, you can still stay in contact with them for when they need to buy.”
A slowing market means agents across the country are watching $15,000 commission cheques get replaced with meagre $800 leasing deals, but brokering rentals should never be about the money, cautions agent specialists.