We will show you how to become a letting agent. People will always need places to live and businesses will always need premises to operate from, which means letting agents will always be in demand. If you have strong communication skills and you’re able to work well under pressure, you could be extremely well-suited to this career.
Find out if you have the skills required to become a letting agent by reading the following insightful information. You will also discover what qualifications you need to possess, what the job of a letting agent actually entails on a daily basis, how much you can earn in this profession and what work experience is beneficial for getting hired. In addition, you’ll learn how you can progress further in the career. Do you have what it takes to become a letting agent?
What is a letting agent?
The main task of a letting agent is to manage properties on behalf of private landlords. The letting agent usually deals with all aspects of the property rental. This is known as a full management service. Sometimes, letting agents simply find tenants for landlords and charge the landlord a one-off fee for the service. It’s then the landlord’s responsibility to collect rent and attend to repairs and other issues.
Most letting agents work for agencies. As well as renting residential properties like flats and houses, letting agents can rent commercial properties too. These include offices, shops and other businesses. Some letting agents specialise in renting a specific type of property, such as student accommodation.
What do letting-agents actually do?
Letting agents do more than you may think. In this role, you would have a number of responsibilities. Although these responsibilities can change depending on the specific agency you work for, your daily tasks would typically involve:
- Marketing properties.
- Drawing up letting agreements.
- Ensuring properties for rent meet all legal requirements.
- Advising clients about the process of letting properties.
- Setting up viewings and showing potential clients around properties.
- Selecting suitable tenants.
- Checking tenants’ references.
- Preparing inventories.
- Responding to tenant requests.
- Arranging maintenance work.
As a letting agent, a lot of your time will be spent in an office environment. However, you’ll also be visiting properties in various local areas most days. It’s therefore crucial you have a valid driver’s license if you want to do this job.
Letting Agent Job Description
The job description for a letting agent position generally includes the above list of responsibilities.
In addition, you need to keep up-to-date with all legal matters related to letting properties and provide rental valuations for landlords.
You’ll also need to know how to market specific properties to attract the type of tenants required. For instance, you could be marketing student properties, in which case, you need to know where to advertise in order to find tenants who are students. Other responsibilities of a letting agent include:
- Carrying out checks on tenant references.
- Preparing legal paperwork.
- Preparing a schedule of condition prior to tenants moving into a property.
- Collecting a deposit and the first month’s rent from new tenants.
- Collecting ongoing rental payments.
- Forwarding monthly statements to landlords and tenants.
- Taking actions against tenants in the event they fall into rental arrears.
- Inspecting properties at regular intervals.
Key Skills for a Letting Agent
Before you decide a letting-agent career is the right profession for you, take a minute to ask yourself whether you have the key skills required to do the job well. The role demands the ability to use your own initiative. You’ll also have to be comfortable with and good at selling products and services. Other key skills required to become a successful letting agent include:
- Business management skills.
- Customer service skills.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Literacy skills.
- Negotiation and persuasion skills.
- Excellent verbal communication skills.
- Excellent active listening skills.
- Excellent organisational skills.
- The ability to work well under pressure.
- Basic skills for using a computer or an electronic handheld device.
Useful Work Experience
Although you’re not required to complete work experience before you apply to become a letting agent, the more experience you have under your belt, the more likely you are to be offered a job. Having paid or voluntary experience in any area of the property sector can be a big plus, but having experience in areas like sales is also very useful. If you can demonstrate you have experience in areas like customer service, deal negotiation or business management, employers will see you as a good fit for their businesses.
If you want a taste of what it’s like to actually work for a letting agency, you can always independently apply to private letting agencies to see if they’re willing to give you a week or two of work experience. This will most certainly go in your favour when it comes to applying for paid positions later down the line.
Average Salaries for Letting Agents
If you’re starting in this industry for the first time, you can expect to begin on an entry-level salary of about £16,000 per year. Once you have a number of years’ experience and expertise, you can climb up the pay ladder. Currently, the highest annual salary you could earn as a letting agent in the United Kingdom is around £35,000.
If you decide to become a letting agent through the route of an apprenticeship, you’ll get paid a weekly wage while you train to become a professional letting agent. The salary you receive as an apprentice varies depending on factors like the type of apprenticeship you enrol with, the specific company you work for, and its location. Typically, letting agent apprentices earn between £160 and £300 per week.
Courses and Qualifications for a Letting Agent
A great starting points for a letting agent is studying an Online Lettings Course. Whether you have a related qualification or not, you’ll usually begin this career as an administrator with a letting firm. You will then be trained on the job to become a fully-fledged letting agent. Although employers are generally more interested in your experience and skills than your qualifications, most employers require you to have GCSEs at grades A* to C or nine to four in English and maths, or an equivalent qualification.
Additionally, it is also worth while taking online courses to become a letting agent and try to learn as much about the industry as possible.
Although you can often directly apply for letting agent positions, many would-be letting agents enrol with an intermediate apprenticeship scheme as a housing and property management assistant. To be accepted as an apprentice, you will usually need to have some GCSEs, or equivalent qualifications, including maths and English. As an apprentice, you would receive practical training by working alongside experienced staff members in order to gain the job-specific skills you need. You would earn a wage while you train and also receive holiday pay.
Higher-level qualifications are not necessary to find work as a letting agent, but if you do study for a qualification related to the sector, you have a better chance of getting a letting agent job once you have graduated. However, it’s still preferable to have practical experience in areas like customer service and negotiation as well. Employers are looking for a combination of skills and knowledge. See the full range of Online Estate Agency Courses. The Chartered Institute of Housing offers qualifications in Letting and Managing Residential Property. Alternatively, you could study for a National Federation of Property Professionals qualification in Residential Letting and Property Management.
Once you have a number of years’ experience as a letting agent, you could progress in your career by moving into a managerial role. Alternatively, you could move into estate agency work or a specific area of letting or selling properties, such as dealing solely with commercial properties. You could even set up your own letting agency or estate agency.
If you have excellent communication skills, customer service skills and the ability to negotiate, a career as a letting agent could be the ideal position for you. In this role, you would be performing a wide variety of tasks on a daily basis. You would perform administrative tasks in an office and also be driving to various properties to evaluate them. In addition, you would show potential tenants around and regularly inspect properties in your agency’s portfolio.
There are three main routes into this profession. To take any route, you will most likely need to have GCSEs in maths and English, or an equivalent qualification. You could apply for jobs directly, you could enrol in an apprenticeship programme or you could enrol with a specialist course to earn a recognised qualification.
Once you start work as a letting agent, you can expect to begin on a salary of around £16,000 per year. However, with years of experience and expertise, you can steadily increase your salary. You have the potential to earn around £30,000 per year. There’s room to progress in your career as a letting agent too. You could move into a management position, become an estate agent or set up your own letting agency.
We recommend you browse the popular online courses on The Course Mix and choose from over 450 online courses that can help you to achieve your goals. If you think this job would suit your skills and interests, start considering which route into a letting agent career is best for you.