Job descriptions and industry overviews

Estate agent: job description

19 Jul 2023, 09:05

Estate agents oversee renting, buying and selling of properties.

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Estate agent : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Estate agents manage property sales and lettings, which can include land as well as residential and commercial premises. The role involves elements of marketing, sales and administration.

Typical duties include :

  • liaising with clients to market properties so that they achieve their maximum price.
  • handling enquiries about properties from potential buyers.
  • valuing properties.
  • surveying properties (if qualified).
  • producing online listings, brochures, videos and other promotional information.
  • travelling to properties and conducting viewings.
  • negotiating the sale and letting of properties.
  • carrying out administration to ensure that sales and lettings are completed legally.

Estate agents’ working hours are typically from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Depending on the employer, you may be required to work weekends.

You can specialise within a particular property market, such as commercial, residential or rural, as well as within sales or lettings.

Graduate salaries

According to property industry online news service property reporter , starting salaries for estate agents tend to be around £20,000. However, many agents earn commission as well as a salary. This can increase earnings considerably, depending on the condition of the housing market.

Typical employers of estate agents

Estate agents are typically employed by large property firms and local estate agencies, including small independent agencies or local branches of larger firms.

Qualifications and training required

You don’t need a degree to become an estate agent. However, if you are interested in working as a surveyor for a large firm, you’re likely to be expected to progress towards becoming a chartered surveyor alongside your work. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) chartership qualification process is called the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) – this will enable you to carry out full surveys and valuations of properties.

You can learn more about the role of a property surveyor here . Or, click the following link if you want to find out more about the qualifications and process of becoming a chartered surveyor .

Not all surveyors become estate agents however, and not all estate agents are surveyors. There are no formal entry requirements for estate agents in local or independent agencies, and both school leavers and graduates can apply for trainee estate agent/junior estate agent/sales negotiator roles.

Some experience of customer service work and an interest in the local property market will be an advantage, as will any studies in relevant subjects such as business, building surveying, real estate or planning and property development.

Once you’re working, you can work towards professional property qualifications. Your employer may expect you to complete these as part of your employment.

Key skills for estate agents

To be an estate agent, you’ll need:

  • Negotiation and sales skills.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to maintain positive relationships with clients and colleagues.
  • Strong organisation skills , as you may be dealing with more than one property at a time.
  • Willingness to take on responsibility, as estate agents will likely be afforded a great deal of responsibility early on.
  • Willingness to travel and spend time out of the office; a full driving licence is typically required.
  • Understanding of, and interest in, the local property market and the process of buying and selling property.

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