How to Become an Estate Agent/Realtor

Is Real Estate a good career? The answer of this question is yes. With a salary range of £25,000 to £60,000 per annum, it is one of the most lucrative careers in the UK. From 2023 to 2030, this industry is expected to grow by 5%, so there are plenty of opportunities to be had for choosing a career in Real Estate.

Considering these facts, if you are considering starting a career in the Real Estate industry and looking for a guideline for preparation, you’ve landed on the right page. In this article, we’re going to cover all you need to know to start your career as a Real Estate Agent. So, let’s start the journey!

Table of Contents

Estate Agent

An estate agent or real estate agent is a personal or business responsible for the selling, renting, or managing of properties and other buildings. Agent specialised in renting often called a letting agent or management agent.

Estate agents primarily focus on promoting and marketing properties available for sale, while a solicitor or licensed conveyancer typically handles the preparation of legal documents. 

The term “estate agent” is the prevailing title used to describe individuals overseeing a group of properties, most of which are rented under a single ownership. Depending on the historical era, geographical region, and the scale of the property portfolio in question, alternative titles for such individuals may include “factor,” “steward,” or “bailiff.”

Types of estate agents/realtors


Residential Estate Agents

  • Focus on buying, selling, or renting properties for living purposes, such as houses, apartments, and flats.

  • Work with individual clients or families, assisting them in finding suitable homes or selling their properties.

  • Often involved in the staging and presentation of homes for sale.


Commercial Estate Agents

  • Specialise in business properties like offices, retail spaces, warehouses, and industrial buildings.

  • Deal with businesses and investors rather than individual residential clients.

  • Require knowledge of commercial market trends, zoning laws, and business needs.


Rural Estate Agents

  • Work with agricultural properties, including farms, vineyards, and large rural estates.

  • Knowledgeable about land use, rural economics, and specific legislation affecting rural properties.

  • Often work with farming communities, large landowners, and agribusinesses.


Letting or Rental Agents

  • Specialise in renting out residential and sometimes commercial properties.

  • Act as intermediaries between landlords and tenants, managing lease terms, rental agreements, and tenant screenings.

  • Often handle property management duties, including maintenance requests and rent collection.


Property Managers

  • Oversee the daily operations of real estate properties, ensuring they’re well-maintained and profitable.

  • Responsibilities can include managing tenants, handling repairs, and overseeing property staff.

  • Work on behalf of property owners to maximise their investment.


Land Agents

  • Focus on the sale and purchase of land.

  • Knowledgeable in land development, planning permissions, and land valuation.

  • Often work with developers and public bodies.


Real Estate Brokers

  • Typically have more training and licensing than standard agents.

  • Can run their own agencies or work independently.

  • Involved in more complex transactions and can supervise other estate agents.


Luxury Property Agents

  • Specialise in high-end, luxury real estate markets.

  • Work with affluent clients looking for exclusive properties.

  • Require a deep understanding of the luxury market and exceptional customer service skills.


REO (Real Estate Owned) Agents

  • Specialise in properties that have been repossessed by banks or other financial institutions.

  • Skilled in navigating the complexities of REO transactions.

  • Work closely with banks and asset managers.


Real Estate Consultants

  • Provide expert advice on real estate investments, market trends, and property development.

  • May not directly engage in buying or selling but offer strategic guidance.


Each type of estate agent requires specific skills and knowledge, with different challenges and rewards. The choice of specialisation often depends on personal interests, market demand, and professional background.



Estate Agent
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Responsibilities of the Estate Agents

Estate Agents/realtors are responsible for the following: 


  • Property Transactions: The role of estate agents extends far beyond simply listing properties on the market. These professionals are instrumental in facilitating a broad spectrum of property transactions, containing the intricate processes of buying, selling, and renting both residential and commercial properties. Serving as negotiators par excellence, estate agents navigate the complicated real estate landscape with finesse. Their primary objective is to foster productive interactions between buyers and sellers, guiding both parties through the complex terrain of property dealings.


As negotiators, estate agents are responsible for balancing the aspirations and interests of buyers and sellers. They act as seasoned negotiators, experienced at harmonising the often divergent wishes of their clients. By leveraging their market knowledge, honed negotiation skills, and industry expertise, estate agents work tirelessly to bring about mutually beneficial agreements. These agreements are not just contracts but the bedrock upon which dreams of property ownership or rental are built.


  • Property Valuation: Property valuation, an essential part of an estate agent’s purview, is a multifaceted endeavour that hinges on the confluence of numerous variables. Estate agents embark on a journey of assessment, endeavouring to decipher the actual market value of a property. They meticulously analyse various factors affecting a property’s worth in this endeavour. These factors encompass but are not limited to the property’s geographical location, size, condition, and the recent sale prices of comparable properties.


Accurate property valuation is the cornerstone for successful real estate transactions. It empowers estate agents to guide sellers in pricing their properties competitively and reflects their actual market value. This equilibrium ensures sellers receive fair compensation for their investments, fostering trust and satisfaction among all parties involved.


  • Marketing and Promotion: Estate agents are the vanguards of property marketing and promotion. They don multiple hats, functioning as astute marketers and creative promoters. Their mission is to breathe life into properties, to transform bricks and mortar into aspirational homes or thriving business spaces. To achieve this, estate agents employ diverse strategies and channels.


The online realm is indispensable in the estate agent’s toolkit in the digital age. They craft compelling property listings replete with high-quality photographs that encapsulate the essence of a property, capturing its allure and potential. Detailed, eloquent descriptions are carefully crafted to convey the facts and emotions that a property can evoke.


Beyond the digital sphere, estate agents orchestrate open houses and other events to provide prospective buyers with immersive experiences. Their promotional efforts extend to traditional advertising avenues, leveraging print media and other time-tested methods to ensure properties garner the attention they deserve. Estate agents are, in essence, presentation artists, translating properties into dreams waiting to be realised.


  • Legal and Documentation: In the labyrinthine realm of property transactions, the legal and documentary aspects are formidable challenges that estate agents adeptly navigate. They don the mantle of legal guides, helping their clients traverse the intricate pathways of contractual obligations, disclosures, and regulatory compliance.


Estate agents are responsible for preparing the myriad documents that underpin property transactions. From drafting contracts that delineate the terms and conditions of a sale to ensuring the accuracy and completeness of disclosures, they are meticulous guardians of the written record. Their role goes beyond paperwork; it encompasses ensuring that every document aligns with the local regulations governing real estate transactions. This meticulous approach safeguards the interests of all parties involved, minimising the risk of legal entanglements and misunderstandings.


  • Client Relationships: Client relationships are the heartbeat of an estate agent’s practice. They are not mere transactions but enduring partnerships forged on trust, transparency, and exceptional service. Estate agents recognise that each client has unique needs and dreams. As such, they invest time and effort in nurturing meaningful connections.


Estate agents attentively listen to their clients’ desires, concerns, and aspirations, tailoring their guidance to suit each individual. By providing expert advice that is both relevant and empathetic, estate agents ensure that their clients are empowered to make informed decisions.


These professionals are not just experts in bricks and mortar; they are skilled in human interaction. They offer their knowledge and unwavering support throughout the often emotionally charged journey of property transactions. Their commitment to open, honest, and respectful communication is the bedrock upon which strong client relationships are built, making them trusted allies in real estate.

How to Become an Estate Agent?

In the UK, there’s no mandatory certification needed to work as an estate agent, nor are there formal qualifications required to begin a career in this field. To kickstart your career as an estate agent, you may consider the following typical pathways:

Completing a Course on Sales: Completing a sales course can enhance your understanding of sales practices, potentially boosting your job prospects in the real estate sector. Such training can instil greater confidence in your abilities among potential employers and clients, demonstrating your commitment to proper training. Additionally, a sales course can provide a solid base for your career, equipping you with the essential skills required for the role. Relevant courses to consider include those in real estate and property management, business studies, surveying, civil and structural engineering, and urban and land studies.

In Studyhub, we have some interactive and informative courses on sales. 

Real Estate Training: Professional agencies offer specialized training in real estate management, with some programs short enough to be completed within a few months, allowing you to begin your job search swiftly. Prominent institutions providing college-level real estate training include the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Independent Network of Estate Agents (INEA). These courses encompass a range of topics, such as negotiations, property valuations, building inspections, legal compliance, and financing.

Apprenticeship: Pursuing an apprenticeship in real estate means shadowing a practising estate agent to observe and learn their methods. This approach provides hands-on experience, enabling you to develop practical skills for direct application in the field. Typically, possessing GCSEs in maths and English, or equivalent qualifications, is necessary to embark on an apprenticeship. 

In Studyhub, we have courses titled Functional Skills Maths – Level 2 and Functional Skills English Level 2 for anyone who wants to improve their maths and English.

To get started, consider contacting real estate agencies in your locality to inquire if they offer apprenticeship opportunities.

Working on Entry-Level Roles: Numerous career paths can lead to becoming a professional estate agent. One option is to begin as a trainee sales negotiator, a role that equips you with vital negotiation skills necessary for real estate sales. Alternatively, starting as an administrator in lettings or real estate agencies could pave the way for promotion to an estate agent position. Additionally, gaining experience in the construction industry can deepen your comprehension of the real estate sector, facilitating a smoother transition into an estate agent role.

Required Skills

While specific qualifications might not be mandatory to become an estate agent, employers will still seek evidence that you possess the necessary skills for success in this role. Key skills that are often valued include:

Communication skills: Strong communication abilities are crucial for interacting effectively with buyers, sellers, financiers, and other stakeholders in real estate transactions. It’s important to be skilled in negotiating deals that meet the needs of all parties involved. Speaking confidently and actively listening to clients’ concerns are key to effective responses and reassurances. Moreover, proficiency in writing and presentation is essential for preparing reports, composing emails, and presenting your annual sales accomplishments.

Check out our courses on improving your communication skills: 



Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills play a vital role in virtually every work environment and are particularly critical in the real estate sector. Given the daily interactions with a diverse range of people, conducting oneself effectively is essential. Possessing solid interpersonal abilities will aid in establishing rapport with clients and facilitate successful sales.

Check out our Interpersonal Skills for Professional Development: Building Effective Relationships course to improve your Interpersonal skills. 

Passion and self-motivation: Passion and self-motivation are key to driving progress and achieving results in sales. Whether working independently or alongside a partner to inspect properties, negotiate deals, and prep clients for sales, these traits are invaluable. Moreover, the likelihood of your employer setting various targets implies that adopting a goal-oriented approach can be highly beneficial.

Sales skills: Sales skills are essential for an estate agent, as they are at the core of successfully closing property deals. These skills encompass various abilities, from understanding and conveying intricate property details to accurately assessing a property’s market value. An estate agent with adept sales skills can effectively communicate with potential buyers, aligning property features with buyer needs and desires. This ability to connect and negotiate is crucial in a field where success hinges on the agent’s capacity to persuade and influence decisions. Furthermore, sales skills enable estate agents to navigate the competitive real estate market confidently, building lasting relationships with clients and establishing a reputation for reliability and expertise. In essence, sales skills are not just an asset but a necessity for any estate agent looking to thrive in the dynamic and often complex world of real estate.

Career Progression


In the UK, aspiring real estate agents or sales negotiators often begin their careers as junior estate agents. With adequate experience gained in the industry, they can advance to the role of an estate agent. Additionally, there’s the opportunity to venture independently by establishing a real estate firm. This path is recommended for those who have accumulated substantial experience and established a network of connections in the industry, as these elements are crucial for initiating and expanding their own business.



In conclusion, becoming an estate agent in the UK offers a dynamic and rewarding career path that blends interpersonal skills with industry knowledge. While formal qualifications are not strictly necessary, investing in relevant education, such as sales courses or apprenticeships, can significantly enhance prospects. Starting in roles like a junior estate agent or sales negotiator provides valuable experience, paving the way to becoming a full-fledged estate agent and potentially even leading to establishing one’s firm. Success in this field hinges on continual learning, strong communication skills, and building robust client relationships. For those with passion and dedication, a career in real estate can be both lucrative and fulfilling.


November 22, 2023

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