Estate Agent Job Description - Requirements, Duties, Career Path
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What Does an Estate Agent Do?
The job of an estate agent (short for real estate agent) is to facilitate the purchase and sale of property, acting as an intermediary during negotiations between buyers and sellers.
An estate agent may be the owner, partner or employee of an estate agency or else work on a self-employed basis.
Real estate agents perform a wide range of daily tasks, including carrying out property searches, preparing sales and rental listings, carrying out real estate marketing, promoting property listings, performing real estate valuations, receiving and evaluating offers from potential buyers, looking after the administrative, financial and contractual aspects of transactions involving the purchase, sale and lease of land, property and real estate, assisting clients in all stages of sale and purchase negotiations and providing professional consultancy and support services in relation to all property-related issues.
Real state agents work in close contact with other people. In order to propose the most beneficial solution for everybody involved in a transaction, they need to meet with both parties, with their tasks including accompanying potential buyers on visits and describing the characteristics and merits of properties. For this reason, vacancies for positions as an estate agent require candidates to have excellent communication skills.
As sales and negotiations professionals, whose job is to facilitate property sales, estate agents are entitled to receive commission on successfully negotiated deals. The commission paid to an agent or agency is a variable percentage of the total value of the sale, meaning an agent’s earnings depend on the number of sales they manage to close in a given period. The compensation paid to agents working for estate agencies usually consists of two parts: a fixed, pre-defined basic salary, plus a variable part (called commission) linked to the number of sales successfully concluded.
Other common names for this position: Real Estate Broker
Estate Agent Duties and Responsibilities
The main duties of an estate agent include:
- Intermediating between buyers and sellers of property. Estate agents listen to buyers’ and sellers’ needs, and try to find a compromise that is beneficial for both parties
- Ensuring sales and rental advertisements receive the necessary online and offline visibility - for example through websites, social media, paper flyers and print advertising
- Receiving offers, assessing the needs of buyers and accompanying them on visits and inspections of properties
- Carrying out property valuations and appraisals
- Assisting clients with the financial and legal aspects of completing a property sale or purchase
Real estate agents also carry out administrative tasks, such as keeping customer records and information on transactions in progress up-to-date, as well as generally keeping track of all of the business of the agency.
How to Become an Estate Agent - Education, Requirements and Training
Motivation and an aptitude for the job, together with a desire for professional development, are the main requirements for becoming an estate agent. Job offers do not usually specify particular qualifications and are open to both school-leavers and graduates looking for a professional career in estate agency.
On joining a real estate agency, junior agents usually receive comprehensive real estate brokerage training and are mentored by senior professionals until they are ready to work on their own.
To practice as a real estate agent in some countries it may be necessary to obtain specific qualifications.
What Skills Are Needed to Be an Estate Agent?
What professional skills does an estate agent require?
- In-depth knowledge of the property market
- Excellent communication skills
- Knowledge of promotional, marketing and sales techniques
- Organizational skills
- Negotiation skills
- Energy, initiative and proactivity
- Client-focused approach
- Goal-oriented attitude
- Good team-worker
Estate Agent Career Path
For real estate agents, professional growth goes hand in hand with results. The best agents can expect lucrative commission packages and internal promotions up to management positions such as agency manager and, subsequently, area manager (i.e. the person responsible for coordinating the activities of all of the agencies situated within a specific geographical area).
Once an estate agent has acquired a certain amount of experience and success and established a name for themselves on the market, they may choose to leave the agency that employs them and open up an agency of their own, developing the new business in line with their own aspirations.
An alternative career path is to specialize in specific market sectors (for example, luxury properties, holiday properties or new developments) A further possibility is to specialize in foreign markets, either working on behalf of foreign clients looking to invest in real estate in one’s own territory or, vice versa, focusing on the purchase, sale or lease of property in foreign markets.
Top Reasons to Work as an Estate Agent
One of the reasons for choosing a career as a real estate agent is the speed with which you can get started, given that there are no specific entry requirements. The work is varied, fast-paced, client-facing and relationship-focused. This makes it ideal for anybody with an aptitude for dealing with people who is looking for a job that will enable them to both use and develop their communication skills.
Besides that, it’s also worth remembering the important part that estate agents play in helping people to realize their dreams of becoming homeowners.
The property sector offers great professional and financial opportunities for those with a knack for closing deals.
Finally, another appealing aspect of the job is the prospect of being able to start your own agency, becoming your own boss and deciding exactly how - and when - you want to work.