If you are confident, good with people and want to work in a dynamic industry then estate agency could be for you.
Research shows there are 157,000 people employed in UK estate agencies. It can be an uncertain industry, as it is heavily reliant on the state of the economy and housing market – 30,000 people lost their jobs during the first year of the 2007-08 financial crisis. However, it is also full of opportunities. Most of the jobs are meritocratic – the better you perform, the quicker you will rise. There is a wide variety of roles within the industry to choose from – which one would suit you?
In this role, you will be involved in the renting process that takes place between landlords and tenants.
The services you offer landlords can vary – you might offer an introductory package, where you find a tenant for the landlord, or you could offer a full management service, where you are in charge of the day-to-day management of the property. This includes tenant applications, rent collection and maintenance.
What skills do I need? You will need strong negotiation skills and a good knowledge of property law. You will also be in charge of letting agents, so you must have good people managing skills.
How much will I earn? This depends on the company and location, but basic salaries are usually £18,000 to £30,000. This is a commission-based role, so on-target earnings (OTE) could be as much as £35,000 to £80,000, depending on how well you do.
What’s the route into the job? You normally start off as a Letting Agent and, after at least two years, move up to managerial level. Industry qualifications, such as the NAEA Propertymark one, can help, but aren’t essential.
Web Leads Negotiator
This is an office-based role that manages all enquiries coming through an estate agency’s web portal. You will discuss properties with potential tenants and register their details on the internal database. You will also arrange property viewings, which others will carry out.
What skills do I need? You will need excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, as all of your customer interaction will be via the telephone and email. You will also need to complete basic administration tasks, so good organisational skills would be a major plus point. A knowledge of social media would be useful, too.
How much will I earn? Salaries start at around £16,000, which normally increases to £17,000 after a probation period. Commission is usually less than it is for other roles, so you could be looking at OTE of £19,000.
What’s the route into the job? You will need at least six months’ experience in residential lettings, although if you have sales experience in another industry you would also be considered. As the money in this role is not as high as in others, most people who apply want office-based work.
This role is about helping clients through the complex process of buying a property. Negotiators usually work exclusively with new properties, so they don’t have people living in them. You will work on the entire process, right down to the type of décor your client would like in their new home. Sales negotiators also sell leases on commercial buildings, such as shopping centres and offices.
What skills do I need? Long-lasting relationships are important in this role, because the aftercare is a big part of the job. Therefore, you need to be able to gain trust, build rapport and show professionalism. You also need to be a good listener and demonstrate attention to detail, so you know exactly what your clients require.
How much will I earn? Salaries start at about £15,000, but this can soon rise to the £50,000 mark, plus commission.
What’s the route into the job? If you have sales or consulting experience, this will help you to get through the door, as these roles can be very popular. A business or sales-related qualification that shows commercial awareness can also boost your chances.
This leadership role involves maximising property sales in the entire office. As the manager, you will set targets for each member of staff, and the branch as a whole, and then ensure these are met.
You will also have to win new business and build relationships with buyers and landlords. Branch managers earn a percentage of the turnover, and often the profits, of their office.
What skills do I need? You will be responsible for every member of the team, so leadership and motivational skills are key. You will need to be able to take a long-term view of the business, plan accordingly, and report to the directors.
How much will I earn? Basic salaries are between £20,000 and £30,000. With commission – both personal and office – this can exceed £80,000.
What’s the route into the job? You will need to work your way up to this role from a trainee level. The normal route is to rise from Sales Negotiator to Senior Sales Negotiator, and then to Branch Manager. A good knowledge of the local area is an advantage.
A step up from Branch Manager, you will be responsible for multiple offices in this role. You will oversee staff performance for an entire area. The number of offices will vary depending on the company and location. You will set targets for each office and communicate regularly with branch managers, ensuring they have bought into the business vision.
What skills do I need? A good head for data and figures is important, as is the ability to multi-task. Branch managers will look to you for advice, so think of yourself as a mentor, too. Depending on where your branches are located, a clean driving licence is likely to be a requirement of the job.
How much will I earn? Basic salaries are between £50,000 and £60,000. With commission, you could see yourself bringing home a six-figure salary.
What’s the route into the job? You will need to get up to branch manager and demonstrate 12 to 18 months’ success in that position. However, it is also dependent on regional manager vacancies being available, which isn’t always the case – you may discover there is a bottleneck once you get to branch manager level.