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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Revealed - the pay and commissions paid by Foxtons

The Guardian has obtained what it says are details of the salaries and commissions of Foxtons sales staff. The basic payments are low and are reported not to have changed significantly for many years.

The paper claims negotiators receive an initial salary of £22,000, but once they are considered sufficiently experienced, usually after about four months, they can earn a commission-led income.

The commission takes the form of either 5.0 per cent of Foxtons’ overall take on each transaction, plus a salary of £17,500; or 10.0 per cent of the overall take on each transaction and a salary of £10,000. 

“Most opt for the latter” according to the article’s author, Andy Beckett.

He says Foxtons “pays lavishly if things are going well - a negotiator selling a property for £1m earns a bonus of £2,500.” But Beckett says that in lean periods the basic salary, which has not changed for a decade, quickly threatens to make living in London impossible. ironically, this is partly down to the capital’s high property costs “for which Foxtons negotiators are themselves partly responsible” he says.

Beckett also writes of motivational and accounting meetings held each Friday and consisting of staff from what he calls each “cluster” of Foxtons branches. Quoting a formal Foxtons negotiator, the article states:

“‘First, there is a pep talk – or you’re all told off .... and then you get to shout out your figures. It shows on the screen where you are in the rankings. If you’ve done well, you’re buzzing. It’s one of the funnest parts of the week.”’ Successful employees are offered an elaborate sequence of bonuses. There are ‘trip targets’ – sales attainments that earn company-funded skiing or Mediterranean holidays; and ‘car targets’ – first a Mini, then a BMW, then a Mercedes.” 

On the company’s distinctive office layout, visible from outside every branch, Beckett writes: “Foxtons has a more individualistic culture than its rivals, who generally pay higher basic salaries and sometimes hand out commission on a team basis. At Foxtons branches, the negotiators’ telephones are arranged facing each other, in gladiatorial rows. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the young men in suits are always ducking outside to make calls.”

His article concludes by saying: “For all the company’s provocatively prosperous image, last year the average price it secured for a property was £544,000, only £30,000 above the value of the average London home.”

  • Simon Shinerock

    Like most celebrities, they have done a lot of things to attract criticism over the years but somehow we can't help finding them fascinating

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    This reminds me of this film; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104348/ - Glenngarry Glen Ross - Brilliant film by the way which was supposed to be a parody Estate Agents. They have an aggressive sales culture model and it works very well in London.

  • Simon Shinerock

    You have to create the dream if you want people to chase it

  • Michael Lamoureux

    At my agency 'Fritzels of Farnborough' no one leaves the basement unless they have a hot lead!

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Fascinating insight into the estate agents everyone loves to hate - often for good reason!

    "First, there is a pep talk – or you’re all told off .... and then you get to shout out your figures. It shows on the screen where you are in the rankings. If you’ve done well, you’re buzzing. It’s one of the funnest parts of the week.”

    This sounds absolutely awful. The total opposite of "fun" to me

  • Sceptical As Always

    people can't help but be lured in by shiny offices and the promise of £200k more when selling their house. Does it actually materialise? More often it doesn't, but hey you're locked in for 16 weeks and you've found your onward purchase, so I'll lump the fee and the crap offer you've shoved down my throat and get on with my life, I've seen enough estate agents for now so no point going to someone who does things properly and charges reasonably because I'm sick of the whole process now...

  • Daniel Roder

    It might work well, Glenn, but I'm at a loss to explain why. Yes, you want your agent to be on the ball and at the top of their game, but I don't think that means they have to be pushy and aggressive. Everything about them, from their offices to their fleet of Minis and American style motivational techniques, just makes my stomach turn. I think they would like to be a high-end agency like Savills and Knight Frank, but will always be destined to be the flash pretender.

    There is something about them that is inherently untrustworthy. I'm sure many of the staff do a good job - and they're obviously not all learning ludicrous amounts of money - but the whole brand has become so toxic that people immediately form an opinion about Foxtons whenever their name is mentioned.

    They are obviously doing something right, but I fear that's because they're much better at PR than they are at selling houses.

  • Michael Lamoureux

    Pr Pr, we can thank Edward Bernaise the nephew of Freud for this wonderful post war turnaround on the word 'propaganda'.

  • Michael Lamoureux

    Hannah's right - there is many branches with many managers, they cant all be American football coaches spouting aggressive team pitches. They are definitely not the only agent aspiring to this ideal at the least.

  • Karl Knipe

    I'm sure there are plenty of good people who work for Foxtons, but they seem to have been tarred with the same brush as a result of the actions of the top brass.

  • Richard White

    They are a very interesting firm. They seem to revel in their image as being borderline dodgy and it seems to have no effect on them whatsoever, from a business perspective. They are the Ryanair of the property game.

    The fact that they remain in business and continue to prosper says as much about the punters as it does Foxtons.

  • Tom  Harrington

    Really interesting to discover what goes on inside those shiny offices. This all sounds a little Wolf of Wall Street to me with the offers of new Mercedes, the weekly shouting out of figures and their overall individualistic attitude.

    Yet they seem to almost thrive on their reputation as the 'bad guys' in estate agency. Baffling.

  • Simon Brown

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Simon...are you there?

  • Simon Brown

    I have to say from my personal experience Foxton's are very good. I sold a London flat about 7 years ago and I couldn't fault them. The service from start to finish was excellent.

  • Kelly Evans

    That's a spot-on description, Richard. The Ryanair of the property industry. No-one seems to have much time for them and yet people still use them and they do great business. It makes no sense.

  • Robert  McKechnie

    I think, as Simon Brown says, when people actually deal with them they are left very satisfied. They wouldn't be such a big, successful business if they lived up to this reputation they've gained from somewhere.

  • Neil Briggs

    The notion that agents are massively overpaid is somewhat dispelled here. Some people seem to think that becoming an estate agent is an easy route to big money, when that couldn't be further from the truth. You can earn a good living in this game, but you have to work damn hard to make that so.

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