How to become an estate agent
Estate agents help people to buy and sell their houses. As a property purchase is one of the largest investments a person will make in their lives, it is important that they are able to access the advice and support of an experienced professional and estate agents serve to protect buyers and sellers in their transactions.
£15,000 to £40,000
What it takes to have a career in estate agency
Responsible for helping sellers to market, advertise and promote their property, an estate agent will help the seller secure the highest price for their home. Buyers will also seek out the support of an estate agent by giving them a brief of their requirements and asking them to help find the perfect home within budget.
Estate agents will help their clients negotiate the best deals and will try to ensure that there are several properties and buyers available at all times. This is a demanding profession with the potential for large rewards depending on success levels.
What qualifications will I need to become an estate agent?
There are no formal qualifications or entry requirements for estate agents. Instead, you will need to meet the requirements set by your employer. It is likely that any employer will require you to have:
- Customer service experience.
- A sound knowledge and interest in property.
- A strong understanding of budgets and value.
- A thorough knowledge of the local area.
- Usually, a driver’s licence will be required.
Some estate agent firms will take individuals on as an apprentice and will help them learn everything that is needed from the base level.
Essential Skills for Being an Estate Agent
There are a number of essential skills that will help you become the most successful estate agent you can be. You will need to draw on a number of skills in order to help you balance the demands of this career and successfully negotiate the inevitable multitasking that will be needed.
The skills that will benefit you greatly include:
- The ability to absorb the ideas and desires of others and strive towards transforming them into realistic and impressive options.
- Excellent communication skills – both written and verbal.
- A continuing enthusiasm and interest for the local property market.
- Excellent negotiation skills.
- Superb time management ability.
- Selling skills and the ability to overcome buyer’s obstacles.
- Maths and financial skills.
- Strong administrative abilities.
- Confidence and eagerness to achieve the best deals.
- The ability to encourage others to think about alternative options.
- Some employers may request that estate agents have a check through the Disclosure and Barring
- Service. This is to ensure that they minimise risk to any vulnerable clients they may have.
Day to Day Work of an Estate Agent
Estate agent’s days are varied and allow for the opportunity to interact with a host of people, negotiate a number of deals and spend time in the local area. Estate agents strive to secure the best deals for their clients and this is challenging but can be extremely rewarding.
Some of the likely daily tasks that you will undertake as an estate agent include:
- Meeting new property sellers and buyers to ascertain their needs and discuss the services and support that you can offer.
- Negotiating the best outcomes for your clients. This may mean that you are asking a buyer to sell their property for a lower than asking price, or that you encourage a buyer to be more realistic about their desires because their budget won’t accommodate.
- Helping buyers to understand the additional considerations of buying a home such as offering insurance quotes, discussing energy certificates and considering the potential return on investments.
- Giving valuations on properties.
- Being present at a property auction and helping clients at auctions, whether buying or selling.
- Updating records on sales and properties on computer systems.
- Obtaining feedback on viewings.
- Conducting ‘open house’ viewings or closed viewings to one buyer or buyers at a time.
- Offering advice to sellers about how they might sell their home more quickly or make the property more appealing to buyers.
- Generating leads for mortgage advisers and life insurance brokers.
- Carrying out credit checks for renters.
- Chasing up references for renters who have made an application.
How much does an estate agent get paid?
An estate agent will usually earn a basic salary and then have additional bonuses based on sales and/or performance. The starting salary for a new estate agent is usually around £15,000 per year.
With experience, the salary of an estate agent is likely to increase to between £20,000 and £25,000. If you become the manager of a branch, you could expect to earn up to £40,000 per year.
As well as earning commission or bonuses, many estate agents receive attractive benefits such as:
- A company car.
- Favourable rates on financial products.
- Generous holiday entitlement.
Career Progression for an Estate Agent
Estate agents will be able to progress their careers further once they have gained more experience. Some estate agents will consider moving into more specialist positions such as selling commercial properties, management positions or training roles.
If you work for an estate agent firm, you are likely to find that career progression is easier than it would be in a self-employed role. A business is likely to have greater opportunities for managerial roles or specialist property listings.
Working Hours and Working Environment for an Estate Agent
Estate agents must be prepared to work a variety of hours in order to accommodate the needs of their clients. This may mean that you will conduct viewings in the evenings or at weekends.
If you are self-employed, your time will be shared between your office and the properties that you are managing. If you work for an online estate agent business, all of your work will be conducted from an office.
High street estate agents will spend time in the local area, visit clients where necessary and work from their branch.
Because you will need to travel to various properties, you will also spend a good deal of time in your vehicle.