How easy is it to become an Estate Agent these days?

I think that the answer to this is still very much easy with no actual qualification required in order for someone to form their own estate agency, either as a high street agency or online.

I asked this question on Twitter just the other day at from the 17 votes received, 59% agreed that no qualifications were needed along with a further 24% stating they were not really sure if qualifications were required.

what qualifications are required to be an estate agent

Speaking to connections within the industry they agree that no qualifications are required in order to be an Estate Agent, the likes of NAEA of TPO are additional bodies that are of choice only rather than requirements. Yes, a high street estate agency will want to showcase to consumers that they are fully membered up to industry bodies and will no doubt share badges in window displays, on website and other marketing literature, but is it all really necessary?

As more and more online / hybrid estate agency concepts start up easily on the likes of social media and a little bit of finance behind them to list property via portals like Zoopla and Rightmove, how irregular will the industry become? Currently there is no barrier to anyone setting themselves up as an estate agent in the UK – I would say that most consumers would not be aware of that. Estate Agents with NAEA membership will obviously use that are part of their marketing, especially if local rivals are not members, assuring the client that they are in safe hands as someone within their team holds a membership, but are consumers aware of what NAEA actually offers them?

Most certainly, when dealing with buying and selling of homes, consumers need to be protected and there needs to be a system in place that regulates the industry as a whole where all agencies, online or high street, need to abide by the same code of conduct… Maybe this will be upon us soon as more agencies are launched online meaning that we do not know actually what face / person is behind what online agency.

An interesting thread of conversation on Zoopla website I found online has some great comments from varied respected names in the industry, though posted in 2010, it is still very relevant I feel.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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