How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents act as an intermediary between landlords or sellers and renters or buyers. They have a client-focused role, finding the best possible solutions for both parties, and must often act as negotiators.

Real estate agents help landlords or house sellers find renters or buyers for their properties. They act as a negotiator between both parties and assist all stages of the exchange, from preliminary work to value and market the property, to as late-stage tasks such as vetting clients and arranging move-in dates. 

Throughout their job, they collaborate with other professionals in property, including mortgage brokers, banks, and building societies. Generally, estate agents will specialise in either sales or lettings. 

The duties of an estate agent include: 

  • Speaking to sellers or landlords to obtain information about a property, making detailed notes. 
  • Arranging for photographs to be taking of the property.
  • Visiting the property and estimating its value.
  • Adding properties to the website and promoting them.
  • Representing the sellers when talking to buyers.
  • Negotiating prices.
  • Monitoring sales and speaking to both parties and professionals who are involved.
  • Assessing prospective tenants, collecting references and doing credit checks on them. 
  • Making sure that properties are compliant with health and safety requirements.
  • Creating tenancy agreement contracts. 
  • Collecting rent payments.
  • Acting as a property manager and being on hand to help with any issues. 

A degree is not necessary to become an estate agent. However, because there is an increasing amount of competition for estate agent positions, candidates may find that they can enter the career at a higher level if they have tertiary education. Relevant disciplines include business, estate management, surveying, or property development.

If the candidate does not have tertiary education, they could enter the field as an administrator. They will then gain the necessary experience and subsequently progress to be an estate agent. Having a sales, administration, or customer service background can be beneficial, and legal knowledge may be advantageous and could offer a path to more senior roles. 

It is beneficial for candidates to have some relevant work experience. This could be a short period of unpaid work in a local estate agent, or customer service experience in, for example, retail or hospitality. 

To become a real estate agent, candidates should have exceptional negotiation skills. They will need to liaise between clients continually, and will often persuade landlords or sellers to lower prices or change their terms. They will also have to make sales and be able to deal with a high-pressure environment. 

Most estate agents are confident and outgoing – they should have an air of reliability, as clients need to trust them, but should also be able to maintain a good conversation. 

Estate agents work mainly in an office, but also spend a considerable amount of time visiting homes for valuations or viewings. Because of this, they will generally need to have a full driving licence and potentially their own vehicle. They may work in the evenings and on Saturdays. 

The pay will increase as the candidate gets more established in the career. Once they have relevant experience, they could work on a freelance basis or establish their own business. Their success often depends on the economic state of the property market, which can fluctuate. 

Candidates can also move into management roles in the branch, whether that be as a general manager or a head of the sales or lettings team. They may need to move around the country for career development.

What degree is most commonly held by a Real Estate Agent ?

  • Certificate of Real Estate
  • Cert IV. Real Estate
  • Bachelor of Real Estate and Property Management

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Low
While there is scope for moving around the candidate’s home country, working abroad would require learning new systems and complicated working visa processes. The estate agent procedures are different all over the world, so working abroad would involve a significant amount of re-training.

What is the Salary of a Real Estate Agent ?

Experience Average salary | year
Real Estate Sales Person 1-3 yrs $112,000 £25,000 $33,211
Real Estate Associate 3-5 yrs $145,600 £32,500 $71,907
Real Estate Agent 5-10 yrs $360,671 £80,507 $178,123

What skills are needed to become a Real Estate Agent ?

  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Negotiation
  • Real Estate
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Leadership
  • Investment Properties
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Business Development
  • Microsoft Office
  • Residential Homes
  • Strategic Planning
  • Property Management
  • New Business Development
  • Sales Management
  • Real Estate Development
  • Social Media
  • Sellers
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Investors
  • Public Speaking
  • Time Management

Real Estate Agent Courses

As there are so many essential skills that go into being an estate agent, taking relevant courses would be advantageous. At FutureLearn, we have many property courses such as environmental challenges: hierarchy in property rights and pathways to property: starting your career in real estate.
  • Environmental Challenges: Hierarchy in Property Rights

    How does language help us develop our relationship with nature and determine the rights of access and ownership

  • Pathways to Property: Starting Your Career in Real Estate

    Do you have the curiosity and creativity for a career in the world of property

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

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