The Inside Edge
If you are just starting out in your career or thinking of a career change, becoming an estate agent could be for you. It’s unfortunate that some individuals have given the profession a bad name, and indeed the large majority of estate agents today are honest, hardworking, and ambitious to learn more about their industry and how they can help their customers more.
Before we talk about a typical life in the day of an estate agent, it’s important to know there is never a typical day, and this can make the role exciting, challenging, and perfect for somebody stuck in a rut and bored with their current job. If you are serious about a job as an estate agent, property negotiator or lettings agent then why not pop across to our Property Jobs board to find some inspiration and browse hundreds of jobs across the UK. You could find a local role that’ll take you out of the daily humdrum and push you into the exciting world of property negotiation!
Okay, let’s take a look at the role in a little more detail…
Getting the Day Started
Your working day will probably start off in the office where your start time will usually between 8.30am and 9.00am. A morning meeting is usually held first thing to kick the day off, discuss new properties, give updates on existing listings and transactions, and talk about any other business that anybody wants to discuss. Once the meeting has finished, your day as an estate agent will commence!
Playing Catch Up
A lot can happen in a day and you’ll be spending a large amount of your time on the phone catching up with a variety of people. In addition to dealing with paperwork, existing accounts and advertising new listings, you’ll also be taking calls from anxious clients and dealing with potential new buyers and sellers walking in off the street. The morning is a great time to make phone calls as it’s usually a little quieter. A large proportion of your time will be spent calling solicitors to check the stages of each of your outstanding purchases and sales, and if you are also handling lettings, dealing with tenants and landlords to get lettings paperwork, tenant agreements etc. finalised and agreed.
Perfecting the Sales Pitch
Another large part of your role will be to inform any buyers on your books about new properties that you think might be of interest to them. This involves giving out property details and liaising with the vendor and the buyer to set up appointments for viewing. A major criticism of estate agents in the past is a breakdown in communication levels and it’s vital that you interact with your existing clients regularly. A large aspect of your role as an estate agent will involve a lot of ‘selling’ – you need to make a property sound attractive to a buyer and in some cases you also need to ‘sell’ a buyer to a vendor. For example, first-time buyers are always highly sought after as the property chain will be invariably shorter.
Build a Rapport
Paperwork and phone calls aside, it’s the property viewing where an estate agent really comes into their own. This is the point where you can really push the good points of a property to make that all important sale or encourage a letting. Accompanying applicants on property viewings will take up the rest of your day and it’s important to build a rapport with your client straight away. Find out what they are after, what they don’t want, and what is likely to tick all the right boxes for them. You’ll be expected to have your own car in most cases and a clean driving license. Carrying passengers is also a requirement from time to time.
If the applicant falls in love with a property then they will usually make an offer. This is the time to close the deal and it can take a lot of hard work and negotiation on behalf of both parties to do this. Once an offer has been accepted, it’ll be your responsibility to handle the transaction and see it through to exchange of contracts. This will involve lots of liaising with financial advisors, solicitors, surveyors and of course the clients themselves and anything can happen at this stage! Pre-empting or preventing problems is one of the many skills you will learn as an estate agent.
Is It For You?
In summary, the role of an estate agent is an exciting one! The atmosphere in the office is usually charged with adrenalin and moods can sometimes fray, but when you make a sale it can put you on top of the world. The job can be challenging and frustrating, but helping a client move into their dream home, is ultimately very rewarding!
Remember, you can view lots of new estate agents jobs on our Property Jobs board to find out more about the role and whether it’s for you. We’ll also be featuring lots more articles and guides on a career in property so watch this space!