Wondering what a Touring Agent does? Start with our introductory articles on What Is a Touring Agent? and Why Should I Become a Touring Agent?, then read below for more information on the types of skills you’ll learn on the job.
Touring Agent Skills & Their Uses
In what amounts to the best part-time gig in the entire real estate industry, AptAmigo’s Touring Agents (TAs) accompany clients on tours of gorgeous apartment buildings, contributing their feedback and expertise so that clients can make the best decision about where to live next. TAs report loving this job for its flexibility, the chance to explore the city, the opportunity to spend time in luxury apartments with spectacular views, and, most importantly, the rewarding feeling that comes from supporting people through a major life decision.
Some TAs take this job as a gateway to a career in real estate because it provides valuable and relevant experience while working towards that goal. Others just love the job as a fun side hustle that helps them earn a little extra cash with the added bonus of making a difference in clients’ lives. No matter what draws them into this role, all TAs agree that it develops an entire set of professional skills with applications to other areas of their lives, both professional and personal.
To pin down which skills TAs find most valuable on and off the clock, we surveyed them to get the story straight from the source. We talked to experienced TAs to learn what skills they use the most, get examples of when they come in handy, and find out where else in their lives these abilities apply. Then, we compiled the top answers below to paint a clearer picture of what our TAs learn and do on the job.
The Most Important Skills Touring Agents Learn
- Organization – A lot happens during one tour, much less three, four, or five. In addition to managing a tight schedule, TAs plan ahead of time. According to Tiffany Lu, a TA since October 2021, they “thoroughly review the itinerary and strategically plan an appropriate break time.” Plus, on tours, they ask questions, make observations, take notes & photos, and offer regular feedback and support to the client. As Kaitlyn Dreissnack points out, “It’s a lot to keep track of while on the move, but the templates and tips provided by AptAmigo make the tours go smoothly.”
- Time Management – Keeping the day on track during a tightly scheduled series of tours is an absolute must. Showing up on time to appointments and ensuring that it all runs smoothly enables TAs to create a better experience for clients and to maintain good relationships with the company’s building partners. Timing the rideshares just right between tours is an art form all its own.
- Communication – On tour day, the TA functions as the middle man between multiple teams working to make the day a success. Kaitlyn explains how she must communicate “with the Apartment Locator to understand client needs and feedback, the client to understand how they’re feeling throughout the process, and the operations team for support managing the schedule. It’s important to make sure that everyone is on the same page so that there are no surprises, and we can give the client the best experience possible.” Additionally, at each building, the TA interacts with building staff and basically becomes the face of the company, representing AptAmigo with both clients and businesses.
- Adaptability – Unexpected events happen all the time on tour day. The client shows up late, buildings cancel tours, bad weather causes travel delays between tours, and any number of other unpredictable challenges arise. So, while organization goes a long way, the ability to adapt to a new situation at the drop of a dime also matters. As Tiffany Lu put it, TAs need “the ability to adapt and maintain composure when things don’t go as expected. Strive for organization while allowing room for spontaneity by having backup plans in place.”
- Attention to Detail – To succeed at this job, pay attention to every detail, such as the client’s likes and dislikes and how closely each building matches their preferences. Does a client’s body language change in a way that suggests excitement or disappointment when they first walk into a unit? Note that. Is the water pressure a little iffy on the 2nd tour? Jot it down. In order to assess the bigger picture, every piece of evidence requires consideration.
How Touring Agents Use These Skills in Their Professional Lives
To get a feel for what these skills look like in action, we asked our TAs for examples of when and how they use them. Most often, they employ multiple skills at once to make their tours run smoothly. Here’s how they describe some of their experiences:
While working with a client recently, Kaitlyn Driessnack explains how “Communication became really important when I left to take a client on a tour and noticed that one of the building’s units was no longer available. I immediately let the client’s agent and the operations team know. From there, we came up with a new touring plan that met the client’s needs.” As a result of events like these ones, Kaitlyn learned to go with the flow. Schedule changes happen often, even on the day of tours, and client needs change too. Adaptability on this job means consistent communication.
In terms of organization and preparation, researching ahead of tour day becomes a crucial component of building and conveying expertise to clients on tour day. According to TA Deliah Cole, “Almost always, clients will rely on the TA to know the names of the neighborhoods, current pricing, and whether there are any active concessions (i.e. – sales). This is not information you will have time to look up on the spot, so it’s important to already have this knowledge in mind before the tour.”
On a recent touring day, Tiffany Lu dealt with constant changes to the schedule as one tour ran over time and the rest of the day required one adjustment after another. Luckily, she “remained calm and focused on the client, alleviating any concerns they may have had about the scheduling and commuting logistics. My aim was to ensure that their primary focus was on evaluating each unit and envisioning themselves living there. As a result, the client ended up signing to one of those buildings.”
When she tackles days like these, she notes that “Having backup plans in place allows me to quickly assess challenges and adjust the schedule as needed. This organizational skill is invaluable to always use, so if a potential problem arises, it is resolved before it becomes a problem. By embracing adaptability and maintaining composure, I can proactively solve problems and ensure that the customer is the main focus.”
How Touring Agents Use These Skills in Other Areas of Their Lives
Naturally, the skills our TAs develop carry over into other areas of their lives because they apply to all kinds of professional, civic, and personal experiences.
Deliah Cole’s TA skills influence her habits at home: “Being Uber organized and as precise as humanly possible is not easy, but the more you make it a priority, the more natural it becomes. I use organizational skills with my personal belongings and routines, i.e. – clothing, shoes, jewelry, computer files, and meal planning.”
Tiffany Lu, on the other hand, sees value in her TA skills for her full-time career:
“I’m a Product Marketing Manager at my main job, and my TA skills have taught me how establishing open and collaborative communication channels with the Operations Team ensures a smoother workflow during client tours. This principle extends to my product marketing role where effective communication with cross-functional teams, including Sales, Customer Success, Product, and Design, is vital. By fostering strong relationships and gathering insights from these teams, I can align marketing strategies, drive successful product launches, and promote our offerings effectively.
Additionally, understanding the significance of small details, client preferences, and empathizing with their perspective is essential. This customer-centric focus directly applies to my role as a Product Marketing Manager. By deeply understanding our target audience’s needs, preferences, and pain points, I can craft compelling product messaging, develop tailored marketing campaigns, and deliver products that truly resonate with our customers. By putting myself in their shoes, I can ensure that my marketing efforts align with their expectations, fostering customer satisfaction and loyalty.”
Knowing not only what skills TAs must foster, but also how those skills come in handy will prepare you for success both as a Tourning Agent and as a well-rounded person overall. Keep these points in mind as you consider whether to apply for this role, and brainstorm out how these skills fit into your long-term goals for your career and your personal life. That way you can assess how good a fit it will be for you.
Want to Become a Touring Agent?
We’re always looking for qualified TAs to join our team. This position could become your path to an exciting real estate career, or simply function as a fun side job. Check out our job board to find out which cities we’re hiring in right now.
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.
Karrie Fuller earned her PhD in English from the University of Notre Dame. After a decade of teaching college-level writing and English courses, she brings a wealth of expertise about writing, editing, and content management to AptAmigo's marketing team.