Moving is a complicated and difficult process, and people want it to be as painless as possible. Relocation specialists make that happen by managing their clients’ move for them.

What Does a Relocation Specialist Do?

A relocation specialist is a licensed real estate agent trained to help clients with every aspect of their move. They may:

  • Put a family’s existing home on the market to be sold,
  • Scour the new city for the best schools and amenities to match the family’s lifestyle and needs,
  • Vet and hire packers and movers for the family,
  • Book transportation of the family’s possessions,
  • Assist with international visa paperwork needs,
  • Find and assist in purchasing or renting a new home,
  • Provide curated lists of everything from the closest grocery stores, to local, top-rated doctors.

Essentially, relocation specialists work with families to set up their life in a new area. Thus, their responsibilities extend much further than a traditional real estate agent, who assists only in buying and selling homes. In order to provide this comprehensive service, they rely on years of on-the-job experience backed by certifications.

Relocation specialists tend to work with clients on major moves, rather than with people moving locally – i.e., to a new apartment or house within the same or a nearby city. For instance, they may help corporate employees starting new jobs across the country or in a new country altogether. Likewise, they might make arrangements for a military family changing bases. The ability to lean on a specialist during these stressful times means clients get peace of mind and need to make fewer decisions. Overall, relocation specialists save people time, money, and worry.

Is an Apartment Locator the Same Thing as a Relocation Specialist?

In short, no.

They do share some similarities. Both apartment locators and relocation specialists assist clients or families in finding new housing when moving to a new area. This means they both need to get to know their clients inside and out to help determine where exactly in that area they should live.

Other than that, they’re mostly different. 

How Do They Get Paid?

Relocation specialists can help buy and sell homes, whereas most apartment locators just deal with rentals. Apartment locators can earn referral commissions when clients sign a lease, which occurs on a weekly basis, whereas a relocation specialist might wait months to sell a house for their commissions. 

Is It Expensive to Become a Relocation Expert or an Apartment Locator?

Relocation specialists must put a large upfront investment in training and licensing as well as gain years of experience and additional training to be certified, whereas, in some cities, apartment locators can start with little to no real estate experience and still attain rewarding careers.

What Skills Must Each One Have?

Apartment Locators

As with any job, becoming an apartment locator requires certain characteristics and skills to lead to success. First, apartment locators must be good listeners. Listening and showing empathy to a client helps them really feel the depth to which you understand them, and they’ll develop confidence in you as a result. A good first impression builds instant rapport, an important consideration because your clients will only have a short time to get to know you before deciding to work with you or agreeing to your suggestions.

Good apartment locators remain relaxed when working with clients, from the very first phone call all the way through signing the lease. This calmness combined with clear and constant communication improves your ability to pay attention to the details and stay organized while working with multiple clients and managing their information.

Seize opportunities when they come. Reaching out to leads speedily will get you ahead on the apartment locating career path. Apartment locating is also a fast-paced career that requires you to adapt to sudden changes. Other apartment locators will tell you it’s all worth it in the end, though.

Relocation Specialists

Relocation specialist positions share many of the same characteristics and skills as apartment locators. Agents must build rapport with clients quickly, stay organized, be detail-oriented, and communicate clearly.

Since becoming a certified relocation specialist requires many extra steps, they also learn how to navigate certification and training requirements. They should be someone who enjoys studying for tests and continuing with their education yearly. And, they should be patient since starting a career as a relocation specialist takes years of dedication to come to fruition.

How To Become a Relocation Specialist

To start off, you must become a licensed real estate agent. This process entails its own set of steps and requirements as well as an upfront cost for training and licensure. After you become a real estate agent, you’ll want to find work at a brokerage that specializes in relocating clients. Many relocation-specific agencies will want to see between one and three years of experience in this specialty before hiring an agent.

Real estate agents will also need to become certified through Worldwide ERC with a Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) designation. Earning certification involves first becoming a Worldwide ERC member for one year, then sitting the examination or requesting a letter of recommendation for you to sit the exam from an established member. During the exam, you will have three hours to answer 125 multiple-choice questions. Once credentialed, you can find a relocation firm that matches your needs and kick off your career.

Relocation specialists may also choose to specialize in helping military families by joining the National Association of Realtors and completing a Military Relocation Professional (MRP) course and exam.

How to Become an Apartment Locator for AptAmigo

Becoming an apartment locator is very different from becoming a relocation specialist. You can get started without months of training and exams and without high up-front costs. Read more about how to become an apartment locator. Then, check out our open positions to start your career. We help you through every aspect of starting your new career, from training you to get your first clients, to providing ongoing support on our blog. Don’t hesitate to apply today!

AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.

About the Author
Jeanette Smith

Jeanette Smith is a writer, editor, and freelancer based in Dallas, Texas. Find out more at