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New Year, New Home But What Makes A Successful Estate Agent?

New Year, New Home But What Makes A Successful Estate Agent?

There are many opinions on the skills you need to crack this incredibly competitive and demanding profession but what are the attributes required to make a successful estate agent?

We’ve canvassed a few and we’ll let you hear from them, starting with Heather Hilder, at Callaways,

Who says that honesty is undervalued. 

“You can only build trust by being as good as your word,” she says.

Gemma Noonan, managing director of the Giggs Group, says not enough experience is being passed on and that’s a point that Heather can definitely relate to.

“An experienced team is all-important.  Passing on experience to apprentices and newly qualified members of the team helps to get them up and running quicker and therefore able to perform for the team and their clients.”

As someone who has been involved in the property industry since the 1990s, she is incredibly well placed to say what qualities an estate agent needs in order to thrive.

“You should be able to change according to a situation. You may be dealing with excited first-time buyers looking for their very first home, or clients who are selling to downsize or as a result of a death or divorce/separation in the family.”

Callaways operate in the Sussex area and Heather maintains that local knowledge is crucial.

“An agent must certainly know and understand the nuances of the locations he or she works in.”

Empathy, listening, negotiation and communication skills are all important, as training in her eyes.

“Be organised, plan your day, read or follow role-models in the industry to learn about ‘best practice’, read lots of books for self-improvement and ENJOY!” she says.


We also spoke to Karl Knipe, Director at Kings Group, another person with significant experience within the industry and asked him what makes a successful agent.

“I think the most important thing is that you have got to enjoy the actual industry and the job. And you’ve got to be someone who's up for a challenge, who is doing the best they can do every day, for their clients.”

He has an acronym for people just starting in the industry.

“You need FDD – focus, drive and determination,” says Karl, acknowledging that he thinks they are qualities that are useful for life and work.

He’s forthright about the training a person needs to survive in the industry, saying that people who own businesses should have a level of qualification while those entering the organisation should seek to gain their NFOPP (National Federation of Property Professionals).

“In every office, we have someone – normally the manager - who is NFOPP qualified,” he adds.

Karl is involved in the training of all his agents and agrees with Heather on the importance of communication and listening to the customer from the first time you meet, especially given the sums of money now involved.

“You need to ask the right question and then listen to the answer. When someone comes to register, the first thing you sell anyone is time.”


He also has some interesting thoughts on what it takes to be confident in the conversations with the clients, drawing comparisons with acting.

“Daniel Day Lewis, a method actor, becomes the person he is portraying… As an estate agent, you can have your own personality and then you can be an actor. You might not be a particularly chatty person in normal life but then you need to take a part. If you can’t perform or don’t have that sort of personality, then you’re not going to be a very successful estate agent. I know plenty of people who are very quiet but put them on that stage, they are completely different personalities.”

Does he have one final tip for a budding estate agent?

“You just to need to learn not to give up.”

If you are looking to push forward with the best estate agents in 2023, get in touch to find out how you can boost your marketing and maximise instructions. Please get in touch with us on team@valpal.co.uk or give us a call on 020 8663 4930.

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