Leasing consultant training and coursework is available as part of family and consumer sciences, business, apartment management and housing economics programs that focus on RPM and related housing fields. Courses are offered through certificate, associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs and provide training in areas of business law and legal issues in RPM, leasing strategy and property marketing. Some programs include hands-on activities and simulation exercises.
Some programs include options for students to prepare for certification exams, such as the National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) and the Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) exams. Courses are offered at community colleges and universities. In addition, the National Apartment Association (NAA) offers training for NALP and other housing professional designations for candidates who have completed required coursework and worked in the field for at least six months. Here are a few common concepts taught in leasing consultant classes:
- Structural maintenance
- Economic strategies
- Multiple properties
- Software relating to financial documentation
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List of Common Courses
Basic Housing Options Course
In this course, prospective leasing consultants and other housing professionals are introduced to the various choices in housing and the importance of housing availability. Instructions in housing options are often included in many RPM certificate and associate degree programs and are sometimes required prior to beginning a master's level program. Topics include property ownership, renting, location and structural style as well as special needs for the elderly and disabled.
Introduction to Property Management Course
This introductory course is usually included in RPM certificate and undergraduate degree programs. It is often a prerequisite to many master's degree programs. Instruction focuses on many of the duties and responsibilities of a property manager. This course also discusses a variety of other RPM career options, including leasing consultant.
Property Maintenance and Operations Course
Property managers, leasing agents and other housing professionals in managerial positions are often responsible for maintaining a property's structural integrity and operational systems. Students learn the basic principles of property operations, such as the electric, water and sewer systems. They are also instructed in techniques of personnel management, which is required when working with maintenance workers or subcontractors.
Approaches to Leasing Properties Course
Students in both graduate and undergraduate programs learn to use various leasing techniques in order to maintain a property's profitability margin. Topics include marketing, budgeting, customer service and leasing renewal strategies. Some programs offer opportunities for hands-on activities, such as interviewing prospective tenants.
Property Management Technology Tools Course
Technology offers housing professionals many options for increasing their efficiency when managing multiple properties. Topics include marketing and financial management software, geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-generated layout designs. Some master's degree programs include simulation exercises to give students hands-on experience using such technology tools.