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How to become a real estate agent in London

by | Nov 12, 2022

Home $ Property Management for landlords $ Is a Letting Agent good for landlords? $ How to become a real estate agent in London

Whenever looking at a property, you will most likely have to speak to an estate agent who will give you details about the property and attempt to arrange a viewing.

But how would you become real estate agent get into a career like this? And how much would you’d you earn on the job in a job market like one in London? Read our article for more information.

How to become a real estate agent in London

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 a real estate agency.

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

Step 1: Decide if becoming a real estate agent is the right choice for you

The first thing you should do if you want to be a real 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, a real 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 as quickly as an estate agent, you would have to constantly deal with people making offers and pulling out of deals

Also, as a real estate agent, if you don’t already, it is important to not take things so seriously and be thick-skinned. This is because a real 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, real 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.

An estate agent company on a UK high street

Step 2: 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 get a job.

However, if not you may end up having to resort to tactics that aren’t illegal but are considered shady in the estate agent industry such as lying about offers.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: 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 a real estate agent in London?

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

What is life like for a real estate agent in London?

A real estate agent in London is someone who helps sell a property and is typically paid a commission whenever they do so the job market can get quite competitive.

Typically, real estate agents are expected to work weekends in some cases or at least be available during the weekends because a lot of the housing activity happens on the weekend.

For instance, house viewings and calls are typically made when people are off work on a Saturday or Sunday.

This isn’t always the case though as the agent will work on behalf of a seller, buyer or both, putting themself in the middle of a deal.

This means 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 in London?

A real estate broker or property broker in London 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 property market in London and are usually more experienced as they have to operate by themself without the help of a more well-known company.

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 role in London 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.

an estate agent in the Uk earning a salary

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

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.