Estate agents sell and rent out commercial and residential property, acting as negotiators between buyers and sellers.
Salary range: £15,000 to £40,000
How to become an estate agent
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- training offered by a professional body
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- business studies
- civil and structural engineering
- estate management
- property development or management
- urban and land studies
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
Some estate agents offer an intermediate apprenticeship as a junior estate agent or an advanced apprenticeship in property services.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You may be able to start as a trainee sales negotiator and learn on the job.
You could also start as an administrator in estate agency or lettings company and work your way up.
Local knowledge of the area where you’ll be working would be an advantage.
You could start by taking qualifications offered by an industry body like NAEA Propertymark.
Introductory qualifications can be done whether or not you’re working in property. There are also courses aimed at people in the industry who want to develop their career.
Estate agents often work on commission which means that you have a basic salary and also earn a percentage of the sale or rental price of any property you sell or rent. You might start on a guaranteed salary for a few months and then move to a commission based salary.
You may also have the chance to add to your earnings through bonuses linked to meeting individual or company sales targets.
You can find our more about working as an estate agent from NAEA Propertymark.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- the ability to work on your own
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- persistence and determination
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have a full driving licence
What you’ll do
- visit sellers and landlords to value properties
- communicate regularly with potential buyers and tenants to share details of properties that meet their requirements
- arrange viewing appointments and show properties to buyers or renters
- get feedback on viewings
- negotiate between buyers and sellers
- generate sales leads for mortgages and conveyancing
- deal in person, on the telephone and through email with solicitors, financial advisers and surveyors
- manage auction sales
- work to meet sales targets
- update computer records
You could work in an office, at a store, at a client’s business or at a client’s home.
Career path and progression
With experience and a good sales record, you could be promoted from sales negotiator to senior negotiator and then branch manager.
Larger chains of estate agents may offer more opportunities for promotion than smaller companies.
You could also become self-employed as a partner in a firm, or set up your own agency.