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Shock data shows UK agents amongst the worst paid in the world

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. 

Poll: Should UK estate agents be better paid?


  • adrian black

    lots of unprofitable businesses and low earning potential and low levels of trust in the industry - not a sustainable operating approach - model and businesses have to change to much more platform driven with higher levels of transparency - exactly what YOUhome Property Gurus are doing, and have been doing for a while

  • Simon Shinerock

    Hmm, in Spain many agents are self employed and earn very little if anything, same in the US. There is no doubt that average wages are low in the UK but the culture is one of employment which, combined with low fees make paying higher wages a challenge. KW are going to find our market a tough one to crack

  • James B

    Don’t worry we’ve got charities paying their top dogs 6 figures to screw agents so the likes of Polly Neate is ok here

    Algarve  Investor

    Why does everything have to be turned to Polly Neate and Shelter?

    I get that she and that institution are a popular punching bag for agents - and I can understand why the antipathy exists given some of the actions she's taken and the words she's spoken - but it's not her fault for everything, or Shelter's.

    I don't think Shelter are anywhere near as powerful as people assume. The government are just moving to try and win over the youth vote, giving them sweeteners to get them to move away from Labour. The Tories, complacent as it may be, know they can rely on the votes of landlords and agents - because many will never contemplate voting for Labour.

    And with an 80-seat majority, they will continue to run roughshod over landlords and agents if it's politically expedient to do so.

    If renters weren't an increasingly large part of the voting population, you can be sure that the government wouldn't be targeting them - aggressive lobbying by Shelter or not.

  • Ben Hollis

    The drop in GBP has not been considered. A decade ago GBP to USD was 2.0:1.0 now it’s 1.3:1.0, that would make the UK £30,000 to £35,000 adjusted for exchange rate changes.


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