If you don't mind dealing directly with renters this is one area that you really don't need a real estate agent. Certainly I list homes for lease and put them on the MLS. I generally find a good tenent quickly. This works very well for people who do not want the hassle of doing it themselves. I charge 6% of the first years rent and half of that goes to the agent who brings the renter.
You will still need a Property Manager unless you feel you can do that yourself as well.
But as I say, you don't need an agent to find a renter. If you advertise your home to rent on Craigs List (www.craigslist.org) and you are asking a fair rent, you should find a renter within a few weeks. You will need to take up refernces and do a credit check of course but lease agreements and applications are available from any big office supply store. I think NOLO Press have a book on hoe to go about this.
Yes, this is one area of real estate where I believe that you don't necessarily need an agent to help you. Now buying and selling a home are something else. Anybody who try's to do that without an agent needs their head examining.
Just My Opinion!
Bernard Gibbons, Realtor, e-PRO Certified Internet Specialist
J. Rockcliff Realtors, 15 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526
Phone (925) 997-1585