How Much You Can Earn as a Real Estate Agent in the UK in 2024

By: Matt Giggs | May 20, 2024

How much can you earn as a real estate agent in the UK in 2024? You're here for a reason. You're either thinking about this as a career or you're comparing your salary to the rest of the market. You want to know whether you're getting the rewards that you should be getting for the work that you're putting in.

By the way when I'm looking for people. I'm looking for people that are happy, but they don't feel like their potential is being reached where they are. If your potential is not being reached where you are, you're not going to be earning and getting the rewards and the return on your investment at the right level.

There are three stages in estate agency that impact what you can earn. They’re being;

- employed,

- self-employed, and

- a business owner.

These are three very different roles, so let me break that down for you.

Stage one: Employed estate agent

Over your career as an employed estate agent, your salary will be somewhere between £25,000 and £100,000 on average. Probably between £40,000 and £50,000 if you're in a senior role selling houses, with a base salary plus commission. Early on, it'll be lower.

When I look back to 1996 when I first started as a trainee, my basic salary was £6,000. I had to pass my driving test to get my licence so I could then go from that to an £8,000 base salary with an OTE (on-target earnings) in year one of about £10,000 for 100 hours a week. At least that's what it felt like, but I absolutely loved the job. I passed my test the first time, I got my increase, I started earning commission, and off we were going. Now that was in 1996, 2024 is a bit different.

You'll probably find in a lot of employed roles in estate agency you should be earning OTEs of anywhere between £25,000 and maybe even up to around £100,000, but that really does depend on the impact your role has on the bottom and the top line.

So if you're bringing into your business £300,000 and you're earning £25,000, you're not on the right salary. But if you're earning £300,000 for your organisation and you're getting £100,000, you're about right in my opinion. It all depends on your experience.

Most juniors would come in on a fairly low base salary between £16,000 and £18,000, with enough commission to take you past £20,000. That’s because year one is where you learn, learn, and learn. Year two is where you really implement what you've learnt to then start to earn the salaries that give you the rewards.

Think about your income in relation to your impact. The more you impact, influence, and help the business achieve its income targets, the more valuable you will become.

Act like you’re self-employed

Over the years, people have said to me, ‘I want to earn more. How do I do that?’

It’s a simple question in estate agency. To earn more, all you need to do is sell more. That's the deal.

You should be very, very, very clear about this: estate agency is like being self-employed in any of the roles that I discuss in this post.

Always think, even if you're employed, that this is your mini business. You are your mini business. That's been my experience of almost 29 years of working in this industry. I've always looked at every role as if it's just Matt Giggs, his business.

Even when I was new to the industry, my vision was to give every client the best experience and wow service. I knew if I did that, they’d come back at some point. They’d recommend me at some point. And further down the line, in 2012 when I launched my first business in the town that I first started in, I had people coming back to me that much later. That's the impact. That’s the most special thing about being a great estate agent.

Want to earn more? Don’t be a typical employed estate agent

What does being an employed estate agent look like? It looks like you coming in, ready to show up every single day to implement what your company teaches you. That's where your return of investment will grow.

It won't grow with you just sitting there waiting for roast duck to fly in your mouth. We're in a commission industry, a performance industry. This bears repeating, it's important you understand that being employed in estate agency is like being self-employed, regardless.

Don't think ‘Oh, I'm employed. I've got no real income to achieve.’ Or, ‘I can't earn as much as I need to eat.’ Bullshit.

I've worked in employed roles for many, many years, decades in estate agency. I've always generally earnt my value. If you're not earning your value, find somewhere that will give you that return. Because believe me there are very few great agents in the UK.

Great employed estate agents earn more

What I mean by great estate agents are people that add value and influence. They generally create and generate income.

Instead, there are a lot of people who turn up every day, scroll on their phone, send a few emails, and answer phones to arrange viewings when the clients contact them. There's loads of that going on.

That's not estate agency. You're not a customer service agent. Providing customer service is expected, but that’s not all you’re here to do.

Let me tell you right now, it's about the experience that you deliver and how you make people feel. Simply facilitating appointments isn’t going to leave people feeling ‘wow’ at the end of the exchange.

The trouble with this employed mentality is that such employees go in with this perception that ‘I'm here to be told what to do.’ Bullshit!

You're there to achieve your goals. Your goals should be linked to the business goals. You're here to deliver an experience for everybody that gets in touch with you. You need to deliver that experience in every email, every message, every time you go out there in the field.

What can you achieve? Well the main thing to achieve is to leave that person thinking this word about you: wow. Because wow is the goal. That's the experience. That's where the Holy Grail is. That's where you'll be earning extremely well as an employed agent.

When you wow your clients, your company will pay you the big bucks because they will not want to let you go. There's not a company in the UK that employs estate agents that has someone in their team that delivers results and a wow experience and they'll just go let them ride. No! If you can do that, they'll look after you. They'll nurture you. They'll give you the rewards and everything you need to continue on your journey to excellence.

Stage two: Self-employed estate agent

Let’s look at the second stage: being a self-employed estate agent. Oh my God there’s a lot of bullshit out there about how this works. We’ve all heard it:

Just turn up every day to cash some checks for £100,000, do an hour's work. Maybe have a coffee and pop into town to play some squash. Have a little jog around the car. Make a quick £5k. Come back to send a couple of little emails. Maybe I might just hop on and do a little cheeky video, and there's my £100 grand year.

That is such a load of bullshit.

If you're going to earn £100 grand a year in any area of estate agency around the UK, you're going to have to work your socks off. Because even if you're in the higher end market, you're talking at least four or five completions a year, since on average you’d make £20 to £25 grand on each one in fees. That means you’ve got to be charging in the region of 2%. To do that, you need some guts, experience, and something that's going to be valuable to the customer who's going to invest in you.

If you're going to be doing it across the middle or lower markets, you’ve got to increase your volume. You're going to be doing somewhere in the region of 30, 40, 50 completions a year to give you the return.

Even then, you don’t just earn the £100 grand and put it in your bank account. You’ve got to pay tax. Then you've got to pay for your car and your phone. Then you’ve got to pay tax on your car, and pay for your insurance, your tires, and so on.

I know it sounds like an amazing dream: go and work on your own, sit on your own all day, and earn yourself £100 grand a year. But this isn’t for everyone.

A lot of estate agents are better off when they work for a decent employer. Would it be better for you to work for an employer who will invest in you, give you all the tools, training, support, and guidance you need? An employer who will elevate you to that place where you haven't got the stress of paying your own bills on top of your own earnings.

If you’re going to go down this route of self-employment – and some should for sure, if it fits your needs you should do it because you will earn more in that model – remember that it's not for everyone. Doing it all on your own isn’t sustainable.

Don’t buy the solo self-employed estate agent bullshit

Ignore all this bullshit and commotion on social media that says you need to be self-employed so you can pick the kids up, you can drop them off. I'm telling you now, this lonely self-employed estate agent thing that everyone's trying to sell out there, don't fall for it.

Some of the best experiences I’ve had have been when I’ve worked in a team with a group of people that are like-minded. They love what they do. They work well together. They listen when you're having a bad day. They're there to support you on the good ones. They're the ones you go out after work with, you have get togethers, you become friends.

Your environment is critical to your success. The energy you get from others in your team is vital. We are in a people industry. If you're not around people, feeling that energy and that vibe, what are you around? No one. You’ll just have the news on the radio, the dog, the cat, the postman delivering your latest order from Amazon.

When I first started Giggs and Co., within a year I had a team of six. When you’re self-employed you have to look after your environment and build your team. You can’t just go it alone.

Within that first year I hired a manager, and then I started to step into the next level, which is business ownership.

Stage three: Estate agency business owner

As a business owner I've earned a lot in some years and a lot less in others. When you earn less, you’ll have to make cutbacks. Sometimes you have to accelerate forward during those markets and just hold your nerve.

Being a business owner doesn't necessarily mean you're going to suddenly make millions and millions of pounds. It's a different role entirely.

As an owner of an estate agency business, you're coming away from the front line and you spend most of your time working on your business, not in it. When you're in the business you're more agent, when you're working on it you're more manager/leader.

If you're a business owner, you've usually got someone in your team that can manage the mission, the things that need to be done consistently well for you to achieve and to attain that vision that you've set for your business and your team.

I know business owners in estate agency that are earning well in excess of a million pounds and they've built themselves a really solid foundation.

Now in business ownership in estate agency is probably the biggest, most volatile up and down scenario that you can imagine. It’s where you can feel like the loneliest person in the whole wide world, which is why I mentor up to five business owners every month.

I am their secret weapon. I'm in there behind closed doors. No one knows about me. I'm their silent partner. I'm the one that they go to. I had a call this morning from a business owner because he and his business partner have had a bit of a falling out. Within an hour, he's gone back to the business partner, had a conversation, and everything’s rosy, everyone's moving forward. Get in touch here if you could do with this kind of support.

It's not easy. None of the levels are easy. Estate agency isn't easy. But real estate agency is not dead, it's very much alive.

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