The UK housing market has seen a widening supply demand gap over the past few years. With not enough new homes being built, the housing shortage problem could aggravate further in the coming years. At present, there are around 10 prospective homebuyers for every property on sale, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
While a strengthening domestic economy, easy availability of mortgage credit and declining interesting rates have helped to fuel demands for new homes among buyers, lack of supply has pushed home prices to a new high. For prospective buyers and sellers, it is difficult to land a suitable deal in this scenario. An estate agent or sales negotiator can make the job easier for both the parties. They act as a negotiator between the buyer and the seller. While helping the seller to get the best price for a property, they also assist the buyer in finding a suitable home.
If have excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to convince people, a career as a sales negotiator or an estate agent would be perfect for you. However, before you take the plunge, it would be a good idea to know certain things about the specific of this profession.
Job DescriptionEstate agents are responsible for either selling or letting properties on behalf of the owner. As an estate agent, you should know the local property market inside out, so that you can help your client (the seller) set the right price for his property, which could be anything from a piece of land to a commercial or residential property. You may also need to market the property, act as a mediator between the buyer and the seller to help them negotiate on deals, and handle property management. You can work independently or as a sales/letting agent in an estate agency, and your roles and responsibilities would vary accordingly. Duties of an estate agent or sales negotiator usually include;
Meeting clients and identifying their exact requirements and prioritiesVisiting the property in person, assessing its condition in comparison to other properties in that areaTaking photographs of the propertyDetermining an estimated value of the propertyMarketing the property for sales or rentingClarifying building regulation issues to the clientNegotiating deals between the buyer and the sellerLiaising with surveyors, solicitors, mortgage brokers and other agentsLetting propertyCollecting rent and managing the rented property on behalf of the client
Entry RequirementsYou don’t need a formal qualification to become an estate agent. However, a degree or higher national diploma (HND) in related subjects, such as, civil engineering, structural engineering, surveying, property management and land studies would definitely give you a competitive edge, during your job search. Previous experience in sales or customer service would be helpful as well. Some positions require candidates with a legal background, so that they can help meet legal requirements for property transactions. You can start as an administrative assistant in an estate agency and gradually move up the career ladder to become an estate agent.
Skills RequiredYou should have a combination of sales, negotiation and persuasion skills to excel in this career. A sales negotiator or estate agent should have the following skills and qualities.
Excellent communication skillsGood negotiating skillsGood problem solving skillsOrganizational skillsA positive attitudeKnowledge of the local property marketConfidence, determination, and perseveranceAbility to win the trust of clientsBasic IT skillsAbility to stay calm under pressure situationsAn inherent desire to build long-term working relationship with clients
Career Opportunity and SalaryEstate agents and sales negotiators usually find employment opportunity in residential and commercial property development companies. Some of the top UK-based companies that regularly hire estate agents include Crest Homes, One Kensington Gardens, St Clements, Mactaggart & Mickel, Two Fifty One, Holland Green, and Barratt Homes. You will usually earn a fixed basic salary, plus a commission on your total sales. Your salary could vary depending on your qualification, experience, skills, location and employer. Typically, entry-level jobs will offer you between £13,000 and £17,000 per year, while experienced agents can earn an annual salary of between £20,000 to £50,000, plus commission.
If you are outspoken but not aggressive, confident but not arrogant, an excellent communicator and a great negotiator, you are definitely a good candidate for this profession.