Transferring into the property sector

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are currently around 354,000 people employed in the property and housing sector in the UK. With roles ranging from estate agents and property managers to administration and support jobs, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and exciting sector.

If you’re looking for a change of career, the property sector is probably one of the easiest sectors to transfer into, as there are no formal entry or qualification requirements. Plus, the current candidate-short market means that employers are more likely than ever to consider hiring candidates with transferrable skills but no direct experience.

Employees transferring into the sector most commonly have previous experience in administration, legal, customer services or sales roles.

In this article, I’ll take you through the advantages of working in the property sector and how to give yourself the best possible chance of getting a job.

Why choose the property sector?

The most common reasons why people choose to work in property include:

  • The ability to earn very well. Most property workers receive a basic salary plus commission for completed deals. This means that if you work hard and are successful, it’s possible to earn good money very quickly.
  • Similarly, the property sector offers very good prospects for career progression if you are successful at work. Some companies even offer specific fast-track schemes towards management.
  • Unlike many jobs, in the property sector you’re unlikely to be entirely desk bound. Some office work is balanced with getting out and about for client meetings and property viewings. A company car or car allowance is often included in a job package.
  • Finally, if you like meeting and helping people, the property sector is a great place to work and the job satisfaction when you help someone find their dream home is enormous.

One thing to bear in mind is that working in property isn’t necessarily a 9-5 job. You have to meet clients at times that suit them, which can include evenings and weekends, and you may have to work overtime during busy periods. However, ultimately being busy means more opportunity for sales!

Altogether, working in the property sector allows you to stay in control of your own career – the better you do, the more you earn and the faster you progress.

What skills do you need?

The property sector is ultimately all about people, so being able to deal well with people from all walks of life is crucial. You should appear friendly and confident without being arrogant and have the ability to remain calm under pressure. Most property jobs are fundamentally sales roles, so having a persuasive but polite nature also helps. You also need to be able to juggle lots of different tasks without getting overwhelmed.

Some other key skills required for working in property include:

  • Ambition, confidence and charisma
  • Communication and customer service skills
  • A high level of organisation
  • Good administration skills
  • Negotiating and selling skills to achieve sales targets
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Patience and determination
  • Commercial awareness
  • An understanding of marketing techniques
  • IT skills

You’ll also need a full driving license.

To really get the most out of the property industry, you need to have a high degree of commitment and drive.

How can you convince employers that you’re right for the role?

The property sector is an area where being confident and a good communicator are more important than qualifications. The trick is to ensure the employers see that you have the right qualities, even if you don’t have sector experience.

Concentrate on your ‘soft’ or most transferrable skills, such as communication, organisation and negotiation. Talk about situations in your previous roles which could easily apply to the property sector, eg how you handled a difficult set of circumstances with a customer or how you made a tricky sale.

Employers also want to see passion and enthusiasm for the property sector, so it’s very important to educate yourself before any interviews. Use websites, magazines and events devoted to the sector to learn about what’s happening. It’s also important to brush up on your knowledge of the local housing market and the area.

If you can talk knowledgably about the sector and your chosen role, it shows both that you’ve done your research and have a realistic understanding of what the job will entail. It’s also vital to talk about why you want to work for that particular employer and how they will benefit from employing you.

So is the property sector the right move for you?

Working in property is a great career choice if you love making deals and helping people to find the right property for them. It can be very rewarding, both in terms of job satisfaction and financially.

If you’d like to discuss your potential career in property in more detail, why not get in touch on 020 7435 0309 or

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