Granted, the property market is booming, and there is always going to be jobs open for trainee and experienced estate agents. The problem is that when you first start out, you don’t need to have any formal qualifications to get an entry-level position, working as a trainee estate agent, which is what makes it attractive to many, as there is potential for a lucrative salary.
To get a high wage though, it will be difficult when you first start out, as the average salary can be close, or even below the national minimum wage requirements. The reason this can happen with estate agents, and any other sales rep position, is that you’re salaried at a basic earnings level and the rest of your wages is boosted with your OTE.
OTE stands for your “On Target Earnings.”
It’s an estimate of how much potential there is to earn in your position and this will vary from one agency to the other. So too will your targets. You need to approach the trainee vacancies with caution.
Nearly every area across the region is likely to have an estate agency within it, or in the surrounding areas. In order for them to make money, they need to sell the properties that come to them.
Estate agencies rely on the commissions of the sales their agents make them, and to encourage maximum sales, they will provide generous commissions, however, those are going to be based on you making sales. It’s a target driven environment and your wages as an estate agent requires you meet those targets each week, month or quarter. Fall below your targets and you’re on a low wage.
Based on your basic salary being as low as £10’000 per annum, with the OTE making it possible to achieve higher earnings potential, it’s best to get into the property game as early as possible. Here are the current minimum wage requirements, to explain this further. (Note that these are correct at time of publication – March 2013)
Taking into account the working week will typically be around 40 hours per week, with 4 weeks statutory holidays per year. You’ll be working 40 hours per week, for 48 weeks out the year. A total of 1920 hours.
Divide your total hours with the basic salary of £10K per annum, before your “On Target Earnings” and you’re working for an average hourly rate of £5.20.
This is where age discrimination comes in with employment law, as there is a lot of red tape surrounding employers. If you’re over the age of 21 and unable to meet your sales targets for the month, you’d fall into a bracket of being below the legal minimum wage requirements.
Therefore, estate agents will be more likely to take on people under the age of 21 and let them prove their sales skills and earn their wages.
For those who are over the age of 21, employers are going to want to see a proven record of accomplishment in sales, and that’s going to be for 2 reasons.
The first stage, working as a trainee estate agent is the most difficult part of the job.
Proving your worth, working to targets, and striving to exceed them in order to increase the sales and your commissions. The more you can excel in a sales orientated and target driven environment, continually exceeding targets, the better you’ll be able to push forward in your career.
Within a couple of years, you’ll have enough experience to be able to move forward into an experienced position of an estate agent, which will give you a higher basic salary, although you might find the OTE commission structure becoming lower, to compensate for the base salary rate. So it can balance out, however, the increase in your base rate, will give a more comfortable financial security blanket.
It all depends on the company you work with, and the area and the size of the agency, in terms of the amount of sales you can make. Before you decide to become an estate agent and approach companies, you should always check with your employer at the interview stage, what the targets are that you’ll be expected to achieve in order to earn your “On Target Earnings.”
If you feel the expectations are set to a level that’s not going to accomplishable, then move onto another company, or try your hand at it on a trial basis, see how it goes and decide if it’s the right career for you.
For most people starting out in the property field, getting past the trainee stage can be financially straining, which is why there’s often a high staff turnover, leaving ample opportunity for new talent to prove their worth.
Once you have the necessary skills, training, perhaps some qualifications, and backed up with a proven track record, you’ll find that you could be earning base rate salaries anywhere from £30’000 – £55’000 base salary with OTE, company car plus an expense account.
The real salary of estate agent can be lucrative, given you can perform on the job.