Career Guide

Estate Agent

Ben Maples  · Oct 23rd 2020

If you ever want to live somewhere and not have to live with your mum and dad anymore (Which most people who aren’t Buster Bluth probably want to do), then you’re going to have a tough time finding a place to live, without an Estate Agent!

Estate agent signs. Houses for sale.

An Estate Agent is one of the most sought after jobs in the UK today and has always had a lot of people clamouring for the role.

But what is an Estate Agent and how do you become one? Well, we’ve got a useful career guide for you below, which should answer some of your questions, so let’s jump in, shall we?

Estate Agent Career Guide

What is an estate agent?

An estate agent job involves valuing and marketing properties with the primary goal being to negotiate the best price for your client by the end of the journey. The estate agent career covers liaising with solicitors, clients, and property professionals to negotiate lettings and sales on commercial and residential properties.

Let’s take a more in-depth look into the real estate agent job description. We find that individuals tend to specialise in either sales, letting, businesses, land, commercial or residential on behalf of clients. You’ll communicate with building societies, banks, solicitors, mortgage brokers and surveyors during the process. Estate agency jobs can also include handling property or land sales taking place at auction. Jobs in an estate agency can see you specialising in the five different areas; you may have an idea of what area you’d like to work in before entering the career or it might appear after a few years of experience.

The real estate agent salary in the UK typically starts at about £14,000 with the potential of earning £20,000.

What does an estate agent do?

What are the duties of estate agents on the job? Now we understand the estate agent job description more; we can look at the daily tasks you’re most likely going to complete in this chosen career. An estate agent role involves collecting information about a property or land, arranging photos to be taken or taking them yourself, talking to sellers and taking note of unique features and estimating the value of the property for the listing.

The estate agent job role also covers marking and promoting the properties, monitoring sales as they proceed and negotiating with prospective buyers while representing your clients. Some may not know that real estate agent jobs encompass advising and helping buyers to decide what they want to purchase or if the property is right for them. The estate agent responsibilities don’t end there, as individuals should keep up to date with trends in the property market to offer the best service to clients and buyers. It’ll also help in spotting new and upcoming properties and potential clients.

Working in lettings will lead you to vet potential tenants, collecting references, conducting credit checks and drawing up tenancy agreements. You’ll need to ensure properties meet legal and health and safety requirements and collect or organise rent payments. Estate agents tend to act as a property manager and work to resolve issues if and when they arise.

Estate Agent Career

How to become a real estate agent in the UK?

It’s important to know that degrees or particular estate agent qualifications are not essential for this career. However, competition for vacancies within estate agent careers means having a degree, higher national diploma (HND) or foundation degree can offer an advantage against others applying for the same job.

Candidates dreaming of working as an estate agent who have qualifications in relevant subjects can stand out from the crowd. The subjects include civil and structural engineering, estate management, surveying, property management/development, business studies, and urban and land studies. It’s also helpful to have estate agent work experience under your belt, whether you took on one or two weeks at a local agency during college or university.

You don’t need to have a postgraduate qualification either, and you can undergo professional exams after accepting a job, either a course offering a broad education or specialist training such as for a sales negotiator estate agent.

Most enter the career as an administrative role before progressing through different positions while gaining experience and learning on the job. Having a sales, administrative, or customer service background can help you hone the necessary skills. Any knowledge of legal work will be seen as an advantage as the amount of legislation you need to work with is increasing. Most estate agents start their career at the bottom of the ladder in an agency within a trainee role before. After gaining experience in particular areas and showing where your skills lie, you can progress to an estate agent and eventually obtain more or higher value properties.

Individuals tend to specialise in either sales, letting, businesses, land, commercial or residential on behalf of clients.

What skills are useful for estate agents?

Other skills that are sought after by employers include a confident and outgoing personality, someone who can build rapport quickly with clients and earn their trust, negotiation and persuasion skills, commercial awareness and the ability to achieve their sales and lettings targets. Employers want candidates who are determined, patient and focus on keeping clients happy, as well as excellent communication skills. IT skills and understanding marketing techniques are also beneficial to the role.

If you want to find out more about the role, you can seek work experience in customer service or administrative careers before applying. Also, you can contact local firms to ask for opportunities to short or long-term placements or shadow an estate agent.

Can you work as an estate agent remotely?

Specific responsibilities can be performed remotely, like setting up meetings and corresponding with clients and banks regarding properties. However, a common task is to visit properties, meeting with clients face-to-face and attending team meetings. Therefore, the role cannot be done from home entirely.

Estate Agent

How much do estate agents earn?

The real estate agent salary in the UK typically starts at about £14,000 with the potential of earning £20,000. Trainee estate agent salary is usually around this amount if they achieve their targets. An estate agent’s salary can increase with experience, running between £25,000 and £60,000. However, the estate agent pay is commonly supplemented with commission rates on sales. The average wage of an estate agent is generally in the mid-range of this level plus their commission.

Earnings that include commission are usually based on the percentage of the sales. Some employers offer guaranteed initial commission for those starting to allow you to gain experience in securing sales. In some cases, your commission rate may decrease as your salary increases. Particular companies may offer you a choice between a higher fixed salary or higher percentage in commission, the suitable option for you is depending on whether you have confidence in being able to make those sales.

Looking at the higher end of the scale, the real estate salary in the UK for management roles can be up to £80,000. The estate agent wage can be even higher, as much as £100,000, for those working in London. The average estate agent salary in the UK is determined by location, training, the size of the firm, the economic climate and how successful you are in negotiating.

Degrees or particular estate agent qualifications are not essential for this career.

What are the prospects for an estate agent?

Prospects for estate agents usually involve moving up the ladder in a firm or company, from that initial search of ‘estate agent jobs near me’. Most individuals start as a trainee, lettings negotiator or within assistant sales before moving up to a senior position. While working as a senior lettings negotiator or sales role, you can build on experience for different types of land and properties or properties with a higher value.

Estate agent prospects usually start in-house, as organisations offer training on the job - from short courses to professional qualifications. This route is beneficial if you want to venture into a particular area, whether that be leadership, law for residential estate agents or having a client base that solely revolves around rural land. Another prospect is an independent estate agency that you set up yourself after gaining valuable experience.

After a time, you can progress to a branch manager of a small firm, and following that move onto a firm that covers a large area. It is possible to move up further, through the position of an area manager where you look after several branches. If the self-employed route doesn’t interest you, there is the opportunity to become a partner in the firm.

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