How to Become an Estate Agent

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become estate agent

In the UK, moving up the property ladder is a big concern to many people. If you’re interested in the property market and want to turn your passions into paid work, then becoming an estate agent could be your next career move.

What does an estate agent do?

Put simply, estate agents market, sell and let properties. Typically, an estate agent’s day will look something like this:

  • Dealing with customer enquires
  • Viewing properties and taking photos
  • Valuing properties
  • Providing clients with sound advice
  • Advertising properties
  • Giving client’s a tour around the properties
  • Negotiating with the buyer and property owner to agree the best price
  • Managing the property

Estate agents can either specialise in residential properties and deal with private homes, or commercial properties and manage office, industrial and retail space, or they can focus on land and estate management.

What traits do I need to be a successful estate agent?

Fundamentally you need to be good at liaising. You need to communicate well with solicitors, conveyancers, banks, building societies and surveyors, as well as between the buyer and seller. Many people interested in the career may not have considered the extent of this, it’s much more complex than what it’s made out like on TV.

Let’s now consider six skills that estate agents need to thrive.

1. Persistent
Key to succeeding in the estate agency industry is following every lead through. Make the most of technological advancements with innovations like automation that can easily track any potential leads. Apps are another easy way to keep on top of leads, so ditch the notepad and embrace the digital world.

2. Hardworking
Potential clients will want to see that you have the right attitude and are committed to them and negotiating the best deal. Drawing on the previous skill, don’t give up, fight for what’s best for your clients.

3. Knowledge of local area
You need to show your clients your high level of expertise. If they ask you a question about the local area that you don’t know, they’re not going to trust you in getting them the best deal. By researching different local areas in depth, you can supply advice to your clients and they might also consider a property a bit further afield.

4. Honesty
Being untruthful and immoral in any way can ruin your career. Buying or selling a property is a big decision, so both parties are likely to do thorough research before hiring an agent.

Word spreads quickly both in the industry and in local communities and the last thing a buyer will do is pick an agent with a tainted reputation. Therefore, always operate with integrity. Not only because it’s the right thing to do but also for the sake of your career.

5. Passionate
If you enjoy what you’re doing, it really comes across to your clients. You should be eager to serve people and show them the best possible properties within or around their budget.

Have you ever seen a successful estate agent who looks angry or bored with their job?

Being enthusiastic, organised and presentable should not only fuel the success of your career, but it will also help buyers’ dreams come true.

6. Familiar with rules and regulations
These can vary between areas so an estate agent needs to check up on them. Otherwise, they run the risk of giving inaccurate information to clients. Property owners rely on estate agents to guide them through all the legal technicalities as they probably don’t possess an in-depth knowledge of real estate laws.

What is the typical salary?

Estate agents charge the seller a percentage, usually from below 1 percent to 3.5 percent of the selling price. This is how they earn their fees. Estate agents have a basic salary and can earn commission based on the percentage of sales. If you work hard, there is the incentive that a lot of money can be made.

When you have become an estate agent and are applying for jobs, don’t be put off by a position with a lower basic salary. When a basic salary is higher this often means that the percentage of commission is lower. The higher commission percentage of a job with a lower basic wage could make up for the difference if you dedicate yourself.

For a rough guide, in the UK, Trainee Estate Agents earn between £14,000 and £20,000, plus commission and Experienced Estate Agents earn between £25,000 and £60,000 plus commission. There is scope to earn up to £100,000 for estate agents in high end agencies or managerial positions.

How do I become an estate agent?

As well as demonstrating the skills mentioned above, having some relevant qualifications may also be advantageous. It isn’t essential though.
If you did want to gain a specific qualification, you could complete a Level 3 CPC Certified Estate Agent Diploma and the Estate Agency Training Course. You don’t need any previous experience to be accepted on to these courses.

Having experience in a related field would definitely increase your chances of getting employed. Such subjects include customer services, sales, administration, property law, building surveying, town planning and civil and structural engineering.

There’s certain rules and regulations that need to be followed, so having experience in the legal sector would be helpful. Make sure you’re confident with the local property market and area. This includes information like where the medical practices, emergency services, schools and shops are.

Some big agencies offer graduate schemes and apprenticeships. Or you could choose an estate agency you like the look of and work your way up. Start off helping with viewings and working on Saturdays and then if you show dedication and commit to training, you could work up the ranks in no time.

Something to remember

Becoming an estate agent can be competitive but the extent of this depends on the state of the economy and specific location. The former is directly linked to the housing market and therefore the amount of estate agent jobs.

The uncertainty of Brexit will also influence the UK economy and housing market so before deciding to become an estate agent, make sure to research if it’s definitely the right time.

If you’re already an estate agent you could start an estate agent franchise . Check out three of our top picks: Century 21, Nicholas Humphreys Estate Agent and No Letting Go.

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