How to make money as a real estate agent: A guide

Before you try and sell off your first property, read this complete guide.

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A career in real estate requires more than knowing how to negotiate property prices. While the work can sometimes be taxing, it’s still fulfilling since you help connect people with their dream homes, lots, and office spaces. Plus, you can earn enough and then some.

If you’re wondering how to make money as a real estate agent and how you can become a real estate agent, you’ve come to the right place. Keep scrolling to find out how much you can earn, tips on how to be a better agent, side gigs you can do, and many more. 

How much do real estate agents earn in the UK?

If you’re considering getting into real estate, you’ve probably wondered how much money you can make as a real estate agent. It depends on a few factors, such as the number of real estate transactions one makes and commission fees. 

In the UK, real estate agents can earn around £37,500 per year. To give you a better overview of where the best paid real estate agents are, here’s a table of the top 5 best cities for agents in England and Scotland:


Average annual income









East London/Edinburgh


Source: Indeed

How to become a real estate agent in the UK

A job in real estate is perfect if you don’t like doing the same tasks every workday. In this industry, you’ll meet new people (clients) and visit all kinds of properties—homes, flats, office spaces, you name it. To get started, check out what you need to do to become a real estate agent.

Study at a university

woman studying and taking down notes

While a degree isn’t a mandatory real estate agent qualification, a diploma or degree will help you get your foot in the industry. You can take up courses in business, estate management, property development or management, and urban and land studies. This will help you understand how properties are valued, built, and maintained.

Learn as an apprentice

Like an assistant real estate agent, an apprenticeship involves shadowing a real estate agent, so you can learn how they work. You will not only learn secrets of the trade but practical skills you can apply in the field. You'll need English and Maths GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) if you're going to become a real estate agent through apprenticeship.

Train under a professional body

If going to university and apprenticing aren't for you, you can always get specialised training from agencies. You'll have to take some courses, which will take a few months. But after you finish them, you can find a job already. Look for classes at organisations like the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Independent Network of Estate Agents (INEA). Their college-level lessons cover negotiations, property valuations, financing, building inspections, and more.

Work towards the role

for sale sign in front of a house

If you’re currently working at a real estate agency or construction company, you can always talk to your boss about the career path you want to take so they can help you get there. You’ll learn the ins and outs of the role and grow with it, so by the time you’re promoted, you’re ready to make your first sale.

6 ways to become a better real estate agent

Making money as a realtor requires patience and grit. Since no day will ever be the same, you must adopt these attitudes and principles to make the most out of your job (whether it’s full-time or part-time).

1. Be a people person

co-workers engaging in a discussion

As a real estate agent, you’ll be talking to many potential clients, so it’s your job to ensure all their needs are met. Aside from that, you can attract more clients if you have a pleasant disposition and are kind and trustworthy, as this will help people be more comfortable with you.

2. Be flexible

A real estate agent doesn’t have a 9-to-5 job. Clients may want to book visits or set meetings on nights or weekends. The more flexible you are with your time, the more they’ll trust you and push through with the sale.

Of course, your schedule must still give you enough time to rest. Be honest with your clients if you’re fully booked for a specific day or weekend. They’ll appreciate that more.

3. Take advantage of opportunities

Notice your neighbour moving out? Go over there and ask if they’re already working with an agent to sell their house. Or if a relative recently acquired an apartment building, ask if you can be the agent to help find renters. In real estate, no opportunity should be passed up, as any leads can lead to a sale.

4. Focus on your customers

real estate agent assisting her clients

The newest house you’re selling may not be what your client is looking for, and that’s alright. What’s important is you take the time to understand their needs instead of constantly pushing a sale, so the next property you show them will be more to their liking. If it doesn’t go through, don’t worry. You can continue working with them to find the right house or apartment.

5. Look for niches in the market

Being a real estate agent doesn’t just mean selling houses to people. It also entails finding other avenues that will help you to sell.

For example, suppose short-term rentals are prevalent in your area. In that case, you can find investors looking to buy properties to turn them into an Airbnb spot. Or if you see many empty lots not being used, you can get in touch with developers or pitch to clients willing to build a house from the ground up. 

6. Represent rental clients

apartment complex

Many people can’t afford to buy houses anymore, which is why many rent. The good news is that renters still need real estate agents to help them find the best place to live. Before you start representing them:

  • Learn what makes a good house or apartment to rent.

  • Assess the risks and factors that dictate them.

  • Get to know your clients so you can show them the places that suit their needs.

5 real estate agent side hustles

The flexibility of a real estate agent will allow you to pick up side gigs to earn extra income. If you find yourself wanting to do more than sell properties, here are some real estate gigs you can do:

1. Manage properties

An ideal side job for realtors, especially those just starting out in their careers, since payment is more immediate. Property managers typically earn an average of £15.40 per hour. This job requires you to help property owners find reliable tenants, collect rent, address property maintenance issues, draft lease renewals, evaluate and set rental prices, and manage documents.

2. Teach courses

woman teaching a class

Why not pass on your knowledge about real estate to others for a fee? You can get in touch with your state’s real estate commission and learn how to become a teacher, whether online or face-to-face. 

3. Become a real estate Tiktoker

If you want to help raise more awareness on real estate, join Tiktok and start creating short-form videos. You’ll be able to share knowledge with not just those who want to become agents but also buyers, property owners, and renters. Once you build a following, you can expect sponsorships to come in.

4. Stage homes

a beautifully decorated interior of a home

Most developers and property owners stage it for potential buyers and renters to see themselves living in a place so it’s not bare when people visit. If you love designing spaces, this is your chance to make your interior design dreams come true without returning to school. When you do this side hustle, remember to make sure the furniture doesn’t get damaged since you’ll be renting them from stores.

5. Write articles

Marry your passion for writing and helping people find their perfect homes by freelance writing for developers and brokers. Your writing can help build their websites’ credibility and raise more awareness of the properties available for sale or rent.

Earn more as a real estate agent on Airtasker

Being a real estate agent is exciting—you can study property trends, visit luxury houses for sale, and network with people. But negotiating and closing a deal doesn’t have to end your job. You can still find a side hustle to help you save up or buy that thing that’s been on your wishlist for so long.

Sign up on Airtasker today to access hundreds of real estate gigs, such as rental inspection, landscaping, and taking property photos and videos.

Create your profile and start browsing jobs in minutes

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Frequently asked questions

This depends on which avenue you decide to take to become a real estate agent. Do you plan to get a university degree first? Or work towards the role? Maybe you plan to take courses at a professional agency. If you’re doing the latter, you can probably become an agent in a few months as soon as you finish your studies. But if you want a degree, it can take years.

Again, this will depend on which option you choose to become a real estate agent. It might not cost you much if you want to work towards the role. But if you’re getting a degree, it could cost you thousands of pounds.

Yes. Being a real estate agent isn’t a 9-to-5 job, so whenever you have extra time, you can work as a property photographer, landscaper, property manager, writer, and more. You can find other ways to make more money with a real estate licence by signing up on Airtasker.

Real estate agents, brokers, and realtors may all sound the same, but they have differences. 

Real estate agents are licenced individuals who help people buy, sell, and rent real estate. Brokers are agents with a broker license who hire agents to make sales and ensure they comply with the law. Agents cannot work directly with clients without a broker. 

A realtor, on the other hand, is a real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. If you’re wondering how realtors can make extra money, the same side gigs apply. 

Different agencies have different commission rates. Let’s say your office collects a 2% commission per sale. So if you sold a house at £200,000, the company you work for would receive £4,000. You could be entitled to 10% of that fee, so you’ll go home with £400. Of course, the more properties you sell, the more commissions you’ll take home since one sale could have a commission of 2%, while the other could be 4%.

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