Residential estate agents are the lowest-paid professionals in the real estate industry, new research claims.
Analysis of real estate salary data from recruitment consultancy Macdonald & Company has found that the nationwide average base salary for residential sales agents in the UK, including those both the agency side and development side, is £32,050.
The research by hybrid agency brand Nested found this is 44.3% below the overall median salary in the wider UK real estate industry of £57,500.
Residential sales agents who work on the agency side are the worst paid of all property industry professionals with base salaries averaging just £30,100, according to the research.
This puts them behind agents working residential sales from a development side (£34,000), support & administration staff (£34,000), and residential lettings agents (£35,000).
It also puts them even further behind the likes of facilities managers (£45,000), quantity surveyors (£55,000), and human resources staff (£83,300), Nested said.
Alice Bullard, managing director at Nested, said: “The obvious incentive for agents in both sales and lettings is commission - this is why they’re willing to accept such low base salaries.
“But if commission is the most important thing, why do so many agents still value working within the traditional agency model in which the agency brand they work for takes such a significant slice of their commission?
“The probable answer is security and market exposure. You might earn more by being self-employed and keeping 100% of the commission, but the base salary offered by big agencies removes some of the pressures that come with being a sole trader, while the brand exposure they provide, in theory, makes it easier to win new business.
“But it’s a costly trade-off: employed agents typically retain only 5-15% of their exchanged commission versus 75-100% on the best self-employed models.”