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How to Become an Estate Agent?

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Whether you’re just starting your career in property or looking to build upon your existing experience then looking to get yourself qualified isn’t a bad shout. But how do you become a qualified estate agent? We take a look at the benefits of becoming qualified and why we think it’s a good idea.

Do agent qualifications matter?

The truth is estate agents don’t currently need any formal qualifications or a licence to work in the housing market. Anyone can set up an estate agency without having to have experience or training.

Also, and rather sadly, estate agents are one of the least trusted professions in the UK because the less favourable ‘rogue agents’ grab newspaper headlines.

Therefore, getting a professional qualification can hold a lot of value. Learning the essential processes and how to apply them, can significantly boost your credibility. Qualifications demonstrate your commitment to providing the best service to whoever you represent whether that’s a landlord, vendor or tenant.

How to get qualified 

The next pivotal step in your career journey involves selecting a reputable and accredited educational provider.

Propertymark Qualifications is the UK’s specialist awarding organisation offering industry-recognised qualifications in property. They are a sister organisation of Propertymark, the leading membership organisation for property professionals in the UK.

Via Propertymark Qualifications you can get specialist, regulated property qualifications that you can complete through distance learning or with additional support via a recognised Propertymark Qualifications centre.

Propertymark acknowledges the certifications from Propertymark Qualifications, showing that they support setting high standards in the industry. Whether someone is just starting out as an estate or letting agent or is a seasoned professional who wants to enhance their expertise. Propertymark Qualifications has something for them. But the support doesn’t stop once you get your certification.

Propertymark goes further by offering ongoing career support, useful resources, and a chance to join a community of professionals. This full package of education via their sister organisation Propertymark Qualifications. And ongoing career support through Propertymark, is one of the main reasons why we at Move iQ endorse what they do.

I think the younger you get your qualifications done the more you can benefit from all the amazing extras! By this I mean when I first got qualified I was using the fact sheets in my day-to-day job to ensure I was giving informed advice. As I’ve developed in my career I now use different aspects of membership like templates and all the other extras” Megan Eighteen FARLA FNAEA, Vice President for ARLA Propertymark – Lettings in a Nutshell TikTok

Which qualification?

Propertymark Qualifications offers three levels of qualification across all disciplines. These are all tailored to suit those who are new to the industry, have some experience or have aspiring career goals.

Level 2 qualifications

This Level 2 qualification is an entry point if you are new to the property sector. They cover fundamental aspects of property sales and letting, providing a solid foundation for your career.

Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or an Intermediate in Scotland.

Typically, it takes around 12 to 18 months to complete a Level 2 course. This will depend on your pace of study and existing commitments. From registration, you have 3 years to complete your qualification.

Level 3 qualifications

The Level 3 qualification is designed for someone who is already working in the sector and has several years of experience.

It provides a deeper understanding of the industry, is widely recognised by employers, and also meets the requirements needed to join professional bodies.

Level 3 is equivalent to an A-Level in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or a Higher in Scotland.

Typically, it takes around 12 to 18 months. Or approximately 120 hours of study to complete the course. Again this will depend on your pace of learning and existing commitments. From registration, you have 3 years to complete the course.

Level 4 qualifications

This is an advanced-level course for anyone in a managerial role. They offer more in-depth knowledge and an opportunity to specialise in specific areas of property management and sales.

Level 4 qualifications require a good understanding of the industry. And are suited for professionals looking to elevate their careers to leadership roles.

This is the highest level of qualification Propertymark Qualifications currently offer. This level is comparable to a Higher National Certificate (HNC).

Completion times are estimated at 250 hours and from registration you’ll have 2 years to complete your qualification.

The qualification process and beyond

Once you’ve decided on the right course the next steps on your learning journey are as follows:

  • Enrolment: sign up for your chosen qualification through Propertymark’s Qualifications official channels.
  • Study: Dedicate time to study the course materials, either independently or through supported learning options.
  • Exams: Sit your exams which are online and in examination rooms depending on your qualification
  • Certification: Certain pass marks are required to qualify. This will mark a significant milestone in your career.
  • Celebrate: The Propertymark Qualifications Awards is an annual celebration for Propertymark Qualifications learners, apprentices, and employers who have supported and achieved academic excellence.
  • Continued professional development (CPD): A CPD certification requires agents to provide evidence of at least 12 hours of CPD annually. A variety of different training courses all count towards this.

Future regulation of property professionals

The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) is a working group committed to delivering a framework focused on estate agents in the UK and letting and managing agents in England.

Propertymark has played a significant role in the working group of RoPA that calls on the Government to regulate everyone operating in the industry. Ensuring they are licensed and adhere to a strict code of practice.

However, until this happens membership bodies like Propertymark continue to ensure excellent practice across the industry as do their qualified and regulated members.


Last Updated: March 20th, 2024

Phil Spencer

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