As one can see from the other comments, Brokers expect to be paid for their efforts in the manner agreed to in the listing agreement. Thus, if the client anticipates having any difficulty making payment, the problem should be discussed in advance of the listing agreement being signed.
Once a tenant has been identified, if you are nervous about paying the commission at the time the lease is signed, that feeling either stems from not having the cash to do so or from being worried that the tenant won't fulfill the terms of the lease. If cash is "tight" I might be willing to accept an interest bearing promissory note with proper collateral. However, this would be a very rare occasion. As a landlord you do not want to gain a slow pay reputation. Believe me, word will spread fast....particularly in instances where multiple agents are working together on the transaction.
On the other hand, if you are worried that the tenant will not fulfill the terms of the lease, perhaps the tenant isn't one that you want to accept. If the tenant doesn't appear to be financially qualified, then you probably shouldn't enter into a lease with them. As a landlord, if you are nervous about a particular prospective tenant, you need to take steps to see if you can get "comfortable" with them. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to ask for financial statements, references, perhaps a personal guarantee, credit reports, etc. If these items don't lend proper credability to the tenant you may want to reject them. Personally, I'd never try to talk a client into accepting a tenant that they weren't comfortable with. In fact, I've even talked clients out of leasing to prospective tenants that I felt uncomfortable with.
While a real estate broker has a wide range of responsibilities and duties to his or her client, they cannot guarantee that a tenant will fulfill each and every lease obligation. In other words, Brokers aren't in a position to provide the landlord with tenant "insurance" as a part of their services. Insurance of this nature can only be obtained from insurance companies which specialize in this field.
Jul 5, 2011