How to become a real estate agent

by | Nov 12, 2022

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Whenever looking at a property, there is often the process of contacting an estate agent who will give you details about the property and attempt to arrange a viewing and sell out a house. Overall, does a real estate agent get into a career like this?

What is an estate agent?

An estate agent is someone who helps sell a property and is typically paid a commission whenever they do. The agent will work on behalf of a seller, buyer or both, putting themself in the middle of a deal so a buyer doesn’t have to go directly to the seller of a property. It is common for an estate agent to specialise and become a residential estate agent or commercial estate agent over time.

An estate agent isn’t mandatory in order to sell a property but they are often there to help speed up the sale and get the buyer to pay a premium on the sale of a home. As a result, when the estate agent gets paid they will be paid a higher commission because the price of a home would be sold for more.

What do real estate brokers do?

A real estate broker or property broker operates in the same way as a real estate agent. They are just an independent broker who doesn’t work with a real estate agency. They will aim to have good knowledge of the local property market and are usually more experienced as they have to operate by themself without the help of a more well-known company.

An estate agent company on a UK high street

Is there a difference between a real estate broker and a real estate agent

The key difference is a real estate broker operates by themself. They will typically charge a commission on the sale of a property from the seller. However, real estate agents usually work with the buyer too.

All in all, the role is very similar and the roles of a real estate broker and real estate agent are very much interchangeable.

What’s the difference between a deal sourcer and a property manager

Like a property broker, a deal source is usually an individual or company that works with private sellers and maybe real estate agents to find investors who will buy a property. They have to be good at forming a good network with investors as well as finding good deals in the marketplace.

As a result, a deal sourcer has to have similar skills to a real estate agent only they typically will make more money as they can charge commissions as they want as well as have more flexibility. A real estate agent has to work with the properties already on the marketplace and the seller has to want to work with the real estate agent.

However, a deal sourcer can go out and make offers for deals acting like a private buyer because they know they’ll have investment from the investors they are working with. As a result, they have to do a lot of work beforehand to make sure there is finance lined up to complete a deal and they have to be transparent with the condition and price of a property with their investor too.

How much does an estate agent earn on average?

An estate agent makes a salary of £41,392 on average. Starting salaries for training estate agents can start at minimum wage and the highest earners will likely be experienced and sell a lot of properties in a commission structure that can make upwards of six figures.

Usually, to make this much as an estate agent you will have to take commissions from higher-value properties. As a result, becoming an estate agent for London’s most wealthy areas and working with buyers who are the most affluent is the easiest to make more as an estate agent.

The more a property sells for, the more an estate agent gets paid if they have a commission structure in place. A commission structure like this is common for agency business models like letting agencies for example who will charge letting agency fees.

How to become an estate agent

Whenever you are in a career you don’t like, it can be hard to envision how you will go about getting out of the role you are currently in and transitioning into a new field. Below are the steps you should follow if you choose to get into an estate agency.

The salary is well above average and for those who enjoy sales, communication and meeting the needs of people, becoming an estate agent could be the perfect way to proceed in your career.

Decide if becoming an estate agent is the right choice for you

The first thing you should do if you want to be an estate agent decides if the career is a good fit. While it can be true you don’t know until you start, you can get a good idea about how much you’d enjoy being an estate agent by looking at what the career involves.

First of all, an estate agent will be doing a lot of talking throughout the day. This can be on the phone or in person with the sellers of a house and the various different buyers of a home that includes those looking to make offers on a property, those wanting to view a property and those who enquire about it.

In addition, things can change quickly as an estate agent, you would have to constantly deal with people making offers and pulling out of deals

Also, as an estate agent, if you don’t already, it is important to not take things so seriously and be thick-skinned. This is because an estate agent can easily be the victim buyers and sellers take their frustration out on. It wouldn’t be unlikely at some point in your career you will find a seller who blames you for a home not being sold or a buyer who blames you if their offer wasn’t accepted for a property.

It would be your job to make sure the needs of the buyer and seller are met while not being afraid to upset people at the same time by remaining realistic, pricing the property correctly and being honest with how realistic a seller’s offer is or a buyer’s price. Mediating the buying process.

Finally, estate agents have to accept there are a few factors out of their control which will impact their ability to sell homes such as the economic climate or the time of year. Also, depending on where you are in the UK, you could also be limited by the type of property you’re able to sell.

A collection of books about estate agency

Make sure you’re the right age and have basic skills

If you are confident a career as an estate agent is a good career choice based on your strengths and weaknesses, make sure you have skills. For example, if you know you enjoy communicating but are not sure about the terms to do with property like appreciation or interest rates, getting some basic training on the property market in the UK would be a great way to start. 

In addition, estate agents must also be at least 18 years old for most estate agents. Some have older requirements but usually, if you can show that you have the skills to do the job and are good with communication, that should be enough to a

Pursue the right education in order to become an estate agent

There aren’t any requirements for becoming an estate agent. However, if you have a degree or qualification in estate agency or property in general this can help. As well as this, making sure you’re familiar with the regulation of estate agents is a great way to gain an understanding of the role and your responsibilities as an estate agent too.

Apply to a good company with good career development

The best estate agents focus on your development as a person. Allowing you to get better at sales, knowing the property market and liaising with clients. Companies that invest in their staff are also more likely to then make more sales as a result and increase their profits.

What you define as a good company will be up to your preferences but it is worth looking around if you believe you will stay at a company for a long period of time.

What skills do you need to become an estate agent?

When setting foot in a job as an estate agent, you will find the best estate agents are able to use their skills to their advantage. In general, an estate agent needs to be able to sell effectively, communicate efficiently and stay on top of numbers by having good accountancy skills.

To wrap things up, it is also necessary to be ambitious and push to meet targets. This is a trait that is transferable to any role but in an estate agency where there are opportunities to earn a salary based on commission, this is especially true.

Effective communication

Communication is probably the most important skill to develop as an estate agent’s day will involve talking to people whenever they aren’t planning or working with numbers. This is also where an estate agent gets the most important work done that really moves the needle in a business.

Chatting with prospective buyers, encouraging sellers to work with them and explaining helpfully why offers for house prices should be amended to clients is vital to ensure properties are sold. Not only will they need to get good at communication, but they also need to learn sales which is a specific type of communication and a skill in itself.

Sales technique

There is a negative association with being a good salesman. They are often associated with unwarranted requests and annoying, unwanted persistent pitches. However, the best salesperson is able to identify this and solve the problem of the client the best, understanding who can actually be sold to and who never is unlikely to ever make a decision, relating to the buyer from there.

There is also a lot of psychology involved with selling too. Some see this aspect of sales as unethical whereas others see it as part of the process. Finding the best technique for you and finding a comfortable middle ground is what you’d have to develop as a salesperson.

Account management skills

As you deal with clients and sellers, you will have to keep a record of important information like client credit checks, the sale prices of property and the offers buyers are willing to accept. In this sense, being organised and having great account management skills will serve you well.

An estate agent deciding what property management software to use

Which property management software do you need as an estate agent?

Property management software can be used to make the accounting involved with estate agencies a lot easier. For a list of generic options click here. Alternatively, an estate agent can write everything down on physical paper or use conventional software like Microsoft Excel.

Can Lofti be used to help estate agents?

Our Lofti software can be used by letting agents and property managers so is perfect for the estate agent who has a hybrid role as a property manager or is also tasked with finding tenants for landlords. Through the software, you can arrange viewings and hold tenant deposits as well as have streamlined communication within the Lofti app with contractors or tenants.

On top of this, the software makes onboarding effortless and makes the life of a letting agent easier by providing AST templates, alerting you with property issues and automating any notifications from listing portals such as Rightmove.

In conclusion

Becoming a real estate agent can be rewarding work and there is certainly the opportunity to earn a salary above average. If you are sure the career is right for you, following the steps above to become one is your best. Even if you don’t stay there for long you will develop a range of skills such as sales, property knowledge and effective communication.

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Andreas Gerazis

Experienced landlord

Andreas is a certified landlord with extensive knowledge about the UK property market as he has been actively investing for half a decade. Founder of the first three-in-one property management software, Lofti Proptech, Andreas has a brilliant understanding of the details surrounding what it takes to grow and run a thriving property portfolio.


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