How to become an estate agent: Samantha's story

Meet Samantha, 24, from London. She is an estate agent for Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, helping people find their ideal property. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"Take subjects you enjoy and the subjects you could maybe see yourself doing as a job."

What is your job?

My job as a lettings negotiator for KFH is matching people up with their dream property and helping them through the rental process. We start with a meeting about the previous day's work. We discuss any positive viewings that we had, so if clients were happy with the properties that they were shown around, or any feedback that we got from our applicants that we feel is important for our landlords to know. In the morning we discuss new properties with applicants and find out how their search is going. In the afternoon we book out viewings.

What skills do you use in your work?

My most important skills are my interpersonal skills. It is really important to build good relationships with applicants and landlords as well as current tenants. Organisation is a big skill as well – you are booking viewings with people, so you need to make sure you’ve told them the right place to meet.

What subjects did you study?

At GCSE I studied all the standard subjects, as well as French, Drama, German and Geography. For A-level, I did German, Maths and Psychology. I did an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a placement year. I completed a research project in Australia for a year, went on to work in psychology and then came to work as an estate agent, where I’ve taken a qualification in lettings.

What subjects do you draw on?

One of the subjects I studied in school was Psychology, which I found fascinating. It teaches you a lot about how people react in certain situations and what the reasons are behind their decision making. This is really important in working in property.

Is this the job you always knew you wanted to do?

If you had told me two years ago that I'd be working as an estate agent, I’d have told you you were mad! Just by chance I had a friend working at an estate agent and she said: "they’re hiring and I think you’d be the right person for it", so I sent in my CV and got the job.

Samantha showing a property brochure to a client.

Top tips

  • Take subjects you enjoy and the subjects you could maybe see yourself doing as a job

  • My top advice is, if you can go to university, then go! It’s such an exciting time in your life. For me it was one of the best times in my life. Hopefully it will land you in a job you love but, even if that’s not the case, it gives you so many important skills for later in life.

What to expect if you want to be an estate agent

  • Estate agent salary: £15,000 to £40,000 per year
  • Estate agent working hours: 35 to 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be an estate agent?

  • Typical entry requirements: Some estate agents offer an intermediate apprenticeship as a junior estate agent or an advanced apprenticeship in property services. You'll usually need some GCSEs (or equivalent), including English and Maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship. You may be able to start as a trainee sales negotiator and learn on the job. You could also start as an administrator in estate agency or lettings and work your way up. It’s important that you are able to drive to be an estate agent because you will need to travel to different addresses to look at homes.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of an estate agent.

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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