How to get into real estate in the UK

If you regularly find yourself scouring the property markets, you may be wondering how to get into real estate in the UK.

If you're thinking about become an estate agent, the good news is that this is relatively simple in the United Kingdom – you won’t require a qualification or a licence to market and sell houses. Instead, all you’ll need is a passion for property, and a willingness to work hard in order to make your new career a success.

Becoming a property investor needs a bit more capital, but it's still very realistic to get started as a property investor in the UK in 2021.

In this article we'll look at both approachs to getting into property in the UK.

How do I start a career in UK real estate?

There are lots of ways to begin your career as an estate agent in the UK. While a degree in Estate & Property Management or similar is not a necessity to become an estate agent, you may find that studying property investment at college or university will make you attractive to employers and clients alike, and provide you with a strong foundation to build upon.

Alternatively, many property franchise operators offer opportunities to start your own real estate business, complete with full training provided. If you feel like you’ve got the relevant experience and would rather go it alone, it makes sense to work on your communication skills to ensure you can liaise effectively with clients.

As an estate agent, you’ll spend a lot of time working face-to-face with a variety of different personalities. To succeed, you’ll need to be a good listener, be available during standard business hours and quick to respond to client emails and calls. At the same time, you can use these skills to benefit your own real estate investment in the UK.

Do UK real estate agents get paid?

On average, residential estate agents in the UK earn just under £41,400, which is well in excess of the average annual salary. With a bit of experience, the sky’s the limit: successful real estate agents can expect to earn anything between £50,000 and £100,000 per year on commission.

If you’re wondering how to invest in real estate while working as an estate agent, the good news is that you can put any training you undertake to good use and spot great investment opportunities - not just for your clients, but for your own individual property portfolio.

Is estate agent a good career UK?

Working as an estate agent is a great career if you’ve got the skills required to perform well. Most estate agents work on commission, which means you’ll need the people skills and practical experience required to ensure those all-important sales go through.

If you’re sales-oriented and willing to put the work in, becoming an estate agent can be a fantastic career opportunity. Estate agents earn approximately 25% more than the UK national average wage - which is reason enough to consider a career in real estate.

How can I get into real estate with no experience?

There are several routes into real estate as a profession. It helps to have a background in sales (if you’ve successfully worked in sales previously, many estate agencies will consider your application for a position even if you don’t have any relevant qualifications).

Of course, even if you have a natural aptitude for sales, you may feel that some training or education could help to provide you with the skill sets you require to succeed in real estate. There are several courses in property sales and management that can be undertaken from home, and at your own pace.

What to consider when becoming a property investor

These four things are worth thinking about if you want to become a property investor in the UK in 2021:

  • Location: Location is the most important factor in property prices. A small flat in Mayfair in London might be worth five houses in Bradford! Research local areas and market trends to find areas that meet your criteria.
  • Short-term vs. long-term : Do you want to flip properties (hard in the more expensive parts of the UK thanks to stamp duty), or build a portfolio over the long term to help you generate cash flow and build income. We prefer the latter approach!
  • Capital: Your purchases will be limited by the amount of money you can invest. Investigate the finance you can get to help your money go further. Consider looking for higher yield areas to boost your income.
  • Your time: Think about the amount of time and effort you are able to devote to the management and operation of your properties. Tenant management and project management can take up a great deal of time.

What is the 70% rule in house flipping?

When enquiring about how to invest in real estate, many potential investors come across a term known as the “70% rule”. If you’re buying a home with the intention of selling it for profit, the plan is simple: buy cheap, fix it up, and sell at a higher price than you paid for it.

The 70% rule states that an investor should be willing to pay no more than 70% of the after-repair value of a property (minus the cost of necessary repairs) when purchasing a house.

For example, let’s imagine a scenario where you’re scouring the latest property listings, and you spot a property that could be worth £250,000 after it is renovated. At first glance, renovations are likely to cost in the region of £10,000. In order to ensure you make a worthwhile profit, you should be willing to pay no more than 70% of £250,000 (and renovation costs) for the property prior to renovation.

Therefore, an investor working to the 70% rule would be willing to pay no more than £165,000 for said property (£175,000 is 70% of £250,000, minus £10,000 for the repairs).

How do you survive your first year in real estate?

Whether you want to be an estate agent or a property investor in the UK, the following ten tips will help you survive your first year:

  1. Expect to work long hours.
  2. Be prepared to spend a lot of time marketing yourself to prospective clients / investors.
  3. Set realistic goals.
  4. Be prepared to travel.
  5. Have an alternative income plan, or consider becoming an estate agent on a part-time basis first while continuing in your existing job.
  6. Learn from your mistakes.
  7. Keep a positive mental attitude.
  8. Become an expert on your local area - get to know the local schools, amenities and even crime rates by postcode.
  9. Network with mortgage lenders, structural surveyors and other professionals within the industry.
  10. Use PropertyData to gain access to real-time property information, up-to-date prices, purchasing opportunities and more. It’s free to to use on a trial basis for two weeks.
Sign up to PropertyData for free

How PropertyData can help you

I'm an investor I'm a developer I'm an agent

Limit reached

Sorry, you've reached your monthly search limit. Upgrade your account today for more searches!

Upgrade

Upgrade to download PDFs

There are many places in PropertyData to export data as well-formatted PDF files, including Local Data, Plot Map, Valuations, property reports and more.

Basic


No PDFs

Pro


Download PDFs

Max


Download PDFs


Branded PDFs

Start your free trial now

Transparent data promise

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We use proprietary technology to read the square footage of properties from agent floorplans. Although we cannot determine the square footage for all properties, we can usually get sufficient coverage. Agents are sometimes known to inflate square footage, and this should be borne in mind as a weakness of this data.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2022-03-31, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry, and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data provided by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We match the Land Registry data to EPC data provided by the MCHLG. Due to the fact that not all properties sold have had an EPC and vagaries of addressing in the UK, we are not able to determine the square footage of all properties, but we can usually get sufficient coverage.

How often is the data updated?

The private paid data is updated once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month. The energy performance certificate database is updated monthly.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2022-03-31, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Room let listings on SpareRoom, the UK's biggest room letting website.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from SpareRoom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from Zoopla, Rightmove or Spareroom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale. For the SpareRoom data, hypothetical properties consisting of two to six average double rooms with shared bathrooms are used to derived average rent. For all sources, listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

Zoopla Zed-index

What time period does the data cover?

The data covers transactions in the last six years

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

The price paid data shown goes back to January 2015. The listings data is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the calculations used?

Average sales per month are for the last 3 finalised months. Turnover is average sales per month divided by total for sale. Inventory is 100 divided by turnover.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

Where does the raw data come from?

We receive data on the extent and corporate ownership of all land titles in England & Wales from the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated once per month when released, typically in the first few days of each calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is an ownership snapshot - the data represents ownership as recorded by the Land Registry at the last monthly export.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

Where does the raw data come from?

We source different expert forecasts Savills, Knight Frank, OBR

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated annually when new forecasts are released, typically towards the beginning of the year.

How is the raw data processed?

We calculate a consensus forecast using a simple mean average.