If real estate interests you and you have good marketing skills, a profession you might consider getting into is that of a letting agent.
Letting agents are professionals who aim at bringing together landlords (property owners) and people searching for a property (tenants). Their primary job is to let property on behalf of the owner. Services offered by them are of 2 types:
- The tenant find or let only service in which their job is to simply introduce a tenant to the landlord for a one off fee and the landlord manages his property thereafter.
- A fully managed service in which they get both a one off fee for finding a tenant and then an ongoing monthly commission deducted from the rent over the duration of a tenancy.
Your job as a letting agent involves all the tasks related to let and they are as follows:
- Rental valuations for Landlords properties
- Marketing properties to attract tenants
- Matching properties according to tenant requirements
- Selecting tenants and preparing legal paperwork
- Collecting rental payments and forwarding monthly statements
- Meeting all legal requirements
- Arranging for repair or maintenance, if required
- Inspecting properties at regular intervals
- Keeping yourself abreast with developments in law related to letting
As a letting agent you usually work around 40 hours a week. Your work demands you to spend a lot of time in visiting properties.
As per nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk, trainee letting agents may earn around £15,000 a year. Experienced agents may earn between £16,000 and £35,000. Your earnings include a basic salary and commission you earn on generating more business.
In order to become a letting agent, you need to possess the following:
- A degree of common sense
- Great listening skills
- Ability to learn new things
- Good inter-personal skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Be able to handle work stress
- Marketing skills
- Organizational skills
Education and Training
You would normally train on the job and work towards industry qualifications. You may also be able to get into this work through a property Apprenticeship scheme. It is useful to have GCSEs (A-C) or similar qualifications, especially in English and Mathematics. If you have prior experience in marketing, it will give you an edge over other people in the same job.
While looking for work or already working, you may study for the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP) Level 3 Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management. This gives you an insight to:
- Legislation covering lettings and property management
- Residential lettings practice
- Residential property management
NFOPP - Qualifications
These are some industry qualifications that you may also pursue:
- Level 2 Certificate in Property (Residential Letting and Management)
- Level 3 Diploma in Property (Residential Letting and Management)
- Level 3 Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management (if not already held)
- Level 4 Certificate in Residential Letting and Management
On top of this, you may consider joining a professional body, such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents, to develop professional contacts and get access to further training.
Why Should you Consider Becoming a Letting Agent?
You should consider becoming a letting agent as this is an adaptable and versatile profession. There are many benefits to this business:
- No prior experience is required
- No specific qualifications are needed
- Can operate from home, office or even as an online letting agent
- Rapid start-up and immediate cash-flow
- Can trade full-time or part-time
- Booming and growing industry
- No need to invoice or chase your fees
- Recession proof business
This profession offers bright chances and ample for career growth. Based on your expertise and level of experience, you may be promoted to senior negotiator position and managerial positions. You may set up your own agency or get into partnership in a firm.
All in all this is a lucrative career that offers you an exciting and vibrant position with new challenges every day.
Image Source: The Guardian