An anonymous ex-estate agent has revealed how poor pay and high pressure forced them to quit the profession.
The mystery agent said he was a senior sales negotiator for a national brand with more than 100 branches in the south east of England and also worked for an independent in the home counties over a 15 year period.
Speaking to The Times newspaper last week, the unnamed interviewee disclosed how high targets and cold calls took their toll.
The agent said: “You had your targets. Every day you had to make a minimum of 50 cold calls from our database and book at least one property valuation.
“Anyone who ever called to view a property, or to book a valuation of their home got added to the database. So someone who sold their home ten years ago would still be on the system.”
The agent said if there were 1,000 people in the system, you had to make 250 calls a week and would get sworn at or threatened with lawyers.
High business overheads were blamed for pressure to perform, with the negotiator adding that if the agency gets 1% commission, “you get 5% individually.”
The agent said: “On a £500,000 house, that’s £5,000 for the agency, with £250 for you. Excluding commission, a junior negotiator can earn a salary of £16,000 to £20,000 a year, or up to £26,000 for a senior negotiator.
“At that agency I had to use my own car and I couldn’t claim back any mileage.
“You work six days a week, Monday to Saturday. I’m married to a nurse and we have a child.
“We rent a small house on the outskirts of London, and we just couldn’t make ends meet.”
The agent also said they were uncomfortable with having to refer clients to the agency’s conveyancer and described gazumping as “unethical.”
The interviewee, who isn’t identified as male or female, said: “The three branches in the south east where I worked had about 20 staff — and that year 20 people came and went.
“Two of them just took their stuff and walked out, without giving their month’s notice. They forfeited their pay. I’ve never seen anything like it."
You can read the full article here (it will be behind a paywall for some).