Estate agent: job description
Estate agents are employed by estate/letting agencies and property firms/consultancies. Self-employment is an alternative option for experienced employees who are capable of starting a new business. A large proportion of the work involves liaison with clients and other organisations such as mortgage companies or firms of solicitors, so good verbal communication and telephone skills are essential. Other tasks include:
- property valuations
- preparing sales brochures and promotional information
- marketing properties
- monitoring sales progress
- managing rented properties
- negotiating sales
The job regularly requires working beyond office hours to undertake property valuations and viewings. Starting salaries are often enhanced by bonuses and commission linked to meeting sales targets. There are some promotional prospects, with opportunities for managerial and specialist roles.
There is moderate competition for vacancies. Jobs are advertised by recruitment agencies, or in local and national newspapers and relevant publications such as TARGETjobs Property, Property Week, Estate Agency News and Estates Gazette, and their respective websites.
A degree is not always required for entry into the profession, but having relevant experience and/or a degree in an appropriate subject such as surveying, property, business studies, construction or architecture is helpful. Work with the general public, or experience gained in sales and/or customer service is usually beneficial.
Excellent communication, interpersonal and teamworking skills are essential. Strong sales and negotiation skills are needed as well as a good business sense as meeting targets and earning commission are key parts of the role. Most work is office-based, but property valuations necessitate local journeys so a full driving licence is normally required.