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Revealed! How much agents earn from sales compared with lettings

Sales remain the predominant source of income for most estate agency brands, research claims.

The analysis warns that agents shouldn’t ignore lettings though as rising house prices and the need for larger deposits could push more would-be first-time buyers into the rental market instead.

The research, based on company reports and data from The Property Ombudsman, found that sales now account for an estimated 53% of branches versus a 47% market share for lettings branches. 


Boomin assessed the income generated from sales and lettings by the major agency brands.

It found that between 2020 and 2021, LSL saw the income generated from property sales increase by 47% versus just a 6% increase in lettings income.

Per branch, LSL generated an average income of £203,116 as a result of sales income, while lettings generated £175,637 per branch. 

Hunters saw a 54% increase in sales income versus just a 12% uplift in income generated via lettings. 

The agent saw an average sales income per branch of £205,288, while lettings generated just £83,654. 

The analysis highlighted Foxtons as proof that lettings can not only substantially supplement the income generated by an agent, but it can be the driving force behind their overall performance.

In 2021, Foxtons generated £74.3m in lettings revenue, averaging £1.3m in lettings income per branch, according to the research.

In the same year, its  sales revenue totalled £42.7m, averaging £748,649 per branch. 

In 2019 prior to their acquisition by Connells, Countrywide also saw the revenue generated via lettings exceed that of sales, averaging £216,547 in lettings income per branch versus £210,829 as a result of sales.

This, Boomin claims, suggests that businesses that do not also plug-in a lettings offering are missing out on an estimated £147,079 of income per branch.

Michael Bruce, chief executive of Boomin, said:  “Sales is the predominant focus for many agents and who can blame them? Particularly when we’ve just witnessed such a sustained period of market activity that has helped drive sales revenues up considerably. 

“At the same time, the ongoing resources and specialist expertise required to execute within the lettings space can act as a perceived deterrent to many agents. 

“But this additional time and resource can be easily justified now that consumer affordability is potentially turning toward rentals. Lettings as a focus creates a huge additional financial opportunity for sales only agents as house prices and deposits become further out of reach.”

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    Algarve  Investor

    One of Boomin's more interesting pieces, to be fair. Less fluffy than usual.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    In this analysis are the residential revenue figures based just on fees from sales, ex VAT?

    Or do they include all other revenue that residential agents generate, financial services business, surveys, conveyancing, utility switching, and or referral fees for the same, the list is endless, typically there are five extra income streams agents rely upon, some agencies having as many as a dozen.

    Similarly is the lettings income, in this piece the amount charged for managed inventory, or all of the composite income that adds together to give annual revenue.

    I ask as an agency might do £250,000 of residential income yearly on sale fee, but be doing £300,000 of financial service revenue out of the same agency, so residental income of £500,000 plus of course any other income streams.

    Interesting figures, though based on some corporate intel. I think the figures would be skewed if more independent data was uses, as many of the independent agents I know across the UK seem to 'average' around £250K to £275K for residential, and lettings is closer on average to £200k.

    On a separate point, those outside of the industry might feel that a branch who offers residential sales and lettings and does combined revenue of say £375K is a good business, the kicker of course is the overheads to run the operation.

    In the corporate world, branches get stuffed with head office costs, the cost of 'support' and the salaries of those in the management chain above, maybe a £40K cost. And Independent agents though swerving these costs if a one or two branch concern still have lots of large fixed costs, eroding their profit. Which with inflation increasing and wage inflation about to explode will be a difficuly cocktail.

    My advice and I am biased, is that agents need to digitally transform their operations - and that does not mean replace humans with robots, it means find complimentarary software that powers the operations of the business, reduced mind numbing processes that wast valuable 'human' time and gets your brand front and centre with the public.

    Agency is a service industry, but you can not service a digital client using methods that belong to the 1990's a decade before cloud computing exploded allowing people to do pretty much anything. Property technology is not the enemy, and with fixed based businesses the only way to levearge profit is to become more agile, and better at servicing the consumer. Which means either employ more people into your teams, or use the teams that you have to do the transational profit earming tasks and let software deal with everything else.

  • Proper Estate Agent

    Turnover is vanity , profit is sanity; figures mean nothing without costs.


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