UK estate agents are amongst the worst paid in any country in the world according to new data.
Digital marketing firm Yell Business has analysed the real estate jobs in 25 countries and found the UK to be ranked 24th with an average salary of £19,843.
Agents in Saudi Arabia came out on top with average earnings of £62,931 – a difference of more than £40,000 - followed by Chinese agents on £55,481 and Brazilian agents on £44,482.
Russia and Japan were fourth and fifth. The top European agents were in Switzerland and France - sixth and seventh on the league table respectively - with salary equivalents of £41,797 and £40,310.
Then came Germany and Spain on £39,324 and £37,996 respectively; South Korea was in 10th spot.
The data was compiled by Yell Business from nine different international salary and career sources.
The UK’s poor performance follows warnings just last week that this country was facing its worst agency personnel shortage in a generation.
It came from Anthony Hesse, managing director of agency recruitment consultancy Property Personnel.
“Finding new personnel is difficult because there are not as many people applying for jobs in the sector as there used to be. We desperately need to find a way not only to retain the talent we have, but also to bring staff into the profession who have never even considered estate agency before” he says.
Hesse suggests the industry may have to look outside of the agency orbit for new recruits, and makes it clear that pay, too, will have to improve.
“You should pay your staff what they are worth, not what you think you can get away with. That means recognising and rewarding your high achievers accordingly. But it’s also about the work/life balance – and expecting your staff to work excessively long hours and every Saturday will not only hinder your recruitment, but also make it harder to retain your top talent. Get it wrong, and they’ll walk” he warns.
The Yell survey does not cover relative fees charged by agents to sellers - or, in some countries, charged to buyers as well.
Research undertaken by Estate Agent Today some 18 months ago found that typical sole agency fees in the UK were 1.0 to 1.5 per cent including VAT; this may have been, at that time at least, the lowest in the world.
At that time (and not including national taxes if they were applicable) in the US the average was some 5.12 per cent, in parts of Australia up to 3.6 per cent, in Canada around 4.0 per cent, and in South Africa as much as 7.5 per cent in some cases.