Smart City Agent FAQs

Is this a commission-only position?

Yes, it is—but don’t click away yet. Most commission-only sales jobs require you to go out and get your own leads, but that is absolutely not the case here (we hate cold calling, too). Plenty of people reach out to us through our website, social media, and other marketing platforms in search of their next place—we connect them with you, and boom. Leads aplenty.

If this job is commission-only, how do I get paid during my first few months?

It can take a sec to get your footing as an agent. To help with your first 90 days, we have a draw program to help you get paid on your referrals faster. Assuming you lease at least $500 in revenue within each two week period, you’ll get $1500 out of your commissions, which will be paid back to the company as your regular checks start coming in. We also have an advanced pay program that gives you 30% of your commission upfront on your clients’ move-in days.

In a traditional real estate job, it usually takes at least a year to ramp up to a regular income—in an effort to help speed up this process we provide you the ability to receive $1,500 after leasing just $500 in revenue within your first few weeks at Smart City, often resulting in a consistently higher paycheck around the 5-month mark.

Speaking of money, how much will I make as an apartment locator?

It all depends on where you live, the work you put in, the lease amounts, and property commission rates—but this is what we typically see:

TEXAS, ATLANTA, DENVER
Based on the current average rental rates in our core markets, we’ve found that if you’re leasing 12 clients per month, you’ll bring in around $80k/year. Ramp that up to a higher number like 20, and you’ll hit $120k+ annually.

CHICAGO
Based on the current average market rates, we’ve found that if you’re leasing 8 clients per month, you’ll bring in $80k/year. Ramp that up to a higher number like 12, and you’ll hit $130k annually.

Am I eligible for benefits in this position?

Since this is a 1099 contract position, we are unable to sponsor or contribute to agent benefits directly. Instead, we have partnered with the Marsh & McLennan Agency to provide a resource for agent benefits. Our agents are eligible for medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug benefits through this program at competitive monthly rates. Coverage is effective on the first of the month following enrollment. See the Agent Perk Sheet linked here for more details.

Are there career growth opportunities in this job?

Absolutely! After your first 90 days as an Apartment Locator, you’re able to apply for any position that opens up within the company with priority consideration. When we hire Sales Leaders, we always look internally first! The skills you build in this job are universal—wherever your next chapter takes you, we support our people, even if that means helping you prep for an interview for your next big role.

How does apartment locating work?

People contact us when they’re ready to find their next apartment. We help them sort through their options by walking them through every step of the moving journey—from navigating pricing, touring, applying, and ultimately landing a place they love. Properties pay a referral fee out of their marketing budget as long as your name is listed on the application as the locator—this payment is usually between 50% – 125% of the first month’s rent.

Clients need a great place to live, we need an income, and apartments need tenants. Win-win-win! You can learn more about our process right here.

How do agents get leads?

Our marketing efforts and Customer Experience team generate and qualify leads for our agents, which you can access through Smart City’s custom CRM system. These leads are un-capped, meaning you can hop on the round robin-style rotation and take as many as you can humanly handle—we once had someone get 80 leases in 1 month. 

Have an existing network? You’re also able to bring in your own leads! We offer a higher commission for referral leads, however, less than 1% of our agents focus on prospecting for their own leads because of continuous access to company leads.

What are the work hours?

We want to set every agent up for success and be wildly transparent here. There are no set hours, so if you’re looking for a job that fits neatly into the 9-5 box, this won’t check that box for you. Your hours are determined by when your clients need you, and the majority of clients need apartments on the weekends. Saturdays are huge touring days, and nights are typically when clients have the most time to respond.

While this position may seem very flexible, it requires a greater ability to BE flexible. Responding to a high volume of clients each day in a timely manner is critical to being successful at Smart City. This is nearly impossible to do while juggling another job, part-time or full-time. So if you are looking to get into real estate as a side hustle, we may not be the brokerage for you. We are looking for agents who are passionate about our mission and are committed to crushing goals together!

Am I expected to come into the office, or can I work from home?

We know working remotely has been a huge draw for many. And while this position is semi-remote (outside of touring clients) after time, it certainly is not in your first 3 to 6 months while you learn the ropes.

To be a successful agent at Smart City, make great money, and thrive, you will need to tour every client in your first 90 days. This will allow you to understand the process better, learn market knowledge faster, and make it easier for you to lease people. In addition to touring, agents who come into the office Monday through Thursday during the day have a much higher rate of passing their 90 day trial at Smart City. The data is staggering, which is why we wanted to let you know this upfront to encourage your chance of success.

As an agent who makes over $60,000 per year, you can expect to work with 30-50 clients at a time. You can imagine the amount of time and activities that go into managing this quantity of relationships. Our most successful agents come into the office 3-4 days a week, tour as many clients as possible, and respond to clients within minutes.

Since this is an Independent Contractor role, am I required to attend meetings?

In order to promote a high level of support and teamwork, we host weekly huddles and learning opportunities for all agents and encourage you to have weekly 1:1 coaching and goal setting sessions with your sales leadership team for your personal and professional development. In addition, we also have monthly all company meetings in the spirit of creating a culture of transparency and strong communication.

Do I have to tour every client?

You will need to tour as many clients as possible in your first 3 to 6 months as an agent to gain market knowledge for this position! Not only are you able to create an incredible experience for your clients when you tour with them, but you will also see a greater return on your time; statistically agents have a higher chance of closing clients they have toured. Also, it is common for properties to require locators to tour with their clients in order to receive full commission.

Am I able to use my real estate license to sell houses while I'm contracted with Smart City?

Unfortunately not. You will have to accept sponsorship from our Broker and CEO, Cassie Brown, meaning you will hang your license with Smart City. Therefore, you would only be able to conduct real estate transactions related to apartment locating until your contract is terminated.

Can I work as a leasing agent while I'm an apartment locator?

Unfortunately, no. While we love our property partners, to be sure we’re operating in the best interest of our clients, we consider working in property management a conflict of interest.

Are there opportunities for ongoing training?

Absolutely! We’re always leveling up our skills at Smart City through training opportunities, seminars, and 1:1 coaching with sales leaders. We’re here to share our best practices and support your growth in every way possible.

Why do people fail at this job?

It comes down to personal drive and prioritization. No one is telling you when to work like a traditional 9-5 or service job—you’ve got to truly want to wake up, take leads, and take care of your clients on your own terms. We can coach you and give you all the support in the world on literally every other aspect of this job, but we can’t make you want it. In addition, it has been proven to be exceedingly difficult to balance another job or other obligations that restrict the time you can dedicate to your clients.

So, what makes people successful then?

4 things: Intuition, work ethic, accessibility, and a positive attitude.

Intuition: You’ve got to be able to listen, and then take action toward how each individual client can be best served.

Work ethic: Maintaining a strong, evident drive to succeed is crucial to delivering the best experience to your clients and growing in your role.

Accessibility: No one likes a spotty texter. Clients notice and appreciate it when you respond quickly.

Positive attitude: Full transparency, this job can be a rollercoaster. There will be days when a client you ran 4 searches for ghosts you completely. Rolling with the punches is imperative to not experiencing burnout. There will be better days, and better clients right around the corner.

Can I really bring my dog to the office?

Our Smart City pups are some of our favorite coworkers—just double-check with your Sales Manager for the protocols.

Who do I contact with questions about getting started?

Once you land the role, you’ll be connected with a member of our agent operations team. They’ll be your go-to for any questions you may have!

What tools do I need for this job?

You’ll need a real estate license, a car, a laptop, and an iPhone (sorry Android advocates—our custom software only works on iOS).

Do I need to have my real estate license before applying?

Nope, no need to get your license before applying—but you will need it to start taking leads. We’ll walk you through the whole process using our partnership with Aceable.

What will my first few weeks look like at Smart City?

During your first week, we’ll get you onboarded. Expect to learn a TON—for the first 4 days, we’ll walk you through our systems and processes to prep you to take on your first leads that Friday. We’re big believers in learning by doing, and your manager will be there to help you every step of the way. During the following weeks, we highly recommend hanging at the office to learn as much as possible.

Is there a probationary period for new agents?

We do have revenue and closing rate expectations as well as rewarding milestones throughout your first 90 days to make sure you’re tracking and reaching your full potential. Everyone takes a second to ramp up momentum in a new job—we’re here to help you as much as we can.

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