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  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Are you thinking about an apprenticeship?

    Are you thinking about an apprenticeship?

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  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Are you thinking about an apprenticeship?
    Are you thinking about an apprenticeship?

Are you thinking about an apprenticeship?

Jul 2024


By Asha George, Property Consultant

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Asha George shares her journey of transitioning from the corporate sector to an apprenticeship with an Independent Local Estate Agent. She reveals how this change has not only met but exceeded her expectations, bringing a sense of relief and satisfaction after a challenging start.

My time at Cross Keys has been nothing short of amazing. The workplace exudes a fantastic atmosphere, and the team is equally excellent. As I approach the end of my apprenticeship as a Junior Estate Agent, I am filled with gratitude for the unwavering support and guidance from Jack, Craig, and the rest of the team. Their commitment to my development has significantly enhanced my knowledge and skills, making me a better estate agent. This supportive team environment can reassure you about your potential working conditions.

How it all began

Before working with Cross Keys Estates, I began my career as an Estate Agent within the corporate sector, where I worked for almost two years. I was then taken on as an Apprentice Sales Negotiator with the aim of obtaining a Level 2 in Customer Service (sadly, my employers at this time didn’t enrol me as promised, which was a huge frustration).

The corporate sector of the Estate Agency business is a world apart from the environment of independent, local estate agents. In corporate agencies, each person is a different section of an estate agency conveyor belt, with roles that rarely intertwine. This separation leads to inefficiencies that are far removed from independent agencies’ collaborative and efficient spirit. Understanding these differences can be enlightening for those considering a career in an estate agency.

Targets are a massive part of the job in the corporate world with big expectations. To get your main commission paid as a sales negotiator, in an average four-week month, you need to have booked 16 valuations that have gone ahead, and 4 people, who you booked in to see the branch mortgage advisor, must have paid the fee to use them.

Your average daily targets would be to make 70 phone calls daily, register four new applicants, book one valuation, book one mortgage appointment, book six viewings, and get four to five monthly sales. Hitting these targets involved a lot of exclusive desk work, calling through all the applicants, previous valuations, and historic completions to register people and book appointments.

My experience in this environment could have been better. Unfortunately, training was minimal, staff retention was awful, and the working environment was far from positive and supportive. After almost two years, I decided something had to change and began to question if this was the right career for me at all – and that’s when I received a surprise email from Jack at Cross Keys Estates! 

Finding my happy workplace 

Before becoming an estate agent, I had emailed all the local agents asking for advice on what I needed to do. Jack and Craig were the sole responders. They offered me a wealth of advice on becoming an estate agent, answering the many questions I asked without a second thought. They explained they had no vacancies then but would let me know if that changed.

Almost three years after my first email, Jack contacted me, and we arranged an informal meeting to discuss career opportunities. I left our meeting feeling far more positive about my prospects as an Estate Agent. I was delighted to be offered the position of Property Consultant and the opportunity to become a qualified Junior Estate Agent through Property Mark, so I decided to accept the job.

What does my apprenticeship involve?

The Junior Estate Agent course covers several essential topics, which has given me a step up in knowledge and set me apart from many other agents. It covers everything from customer service to legislation, construction, defects, and planning!

An assessor from the college pays a visit to the office every month to go through my work, discuss where I am in my course and provide any extra support needed. The course entails a fair bit of reading, practical learning by doing my day-to-day job, working on workbooks to contextualise my learnt knowledge, and shadowing Jack on various appointments, all before an End Point Assessment.

The End Point Assessment is a mix of professional discussions on critical topics with Property Mark Assessors and scenario-based questions where I need to use my knowledge to answer the question and provide examples of times I have dealt with this specific scenario and what I did.

To manage both my day-to-day work and my apprenticeship, I have a full morning each week set aside in the diary so that I can do my research and coursework. However, if I need any extra days or times, I know that I can always get them. This allows me to focus solely on getting my qualifications.

Even without considering my apprenticeship, my growth and learning in the last year as an estate agent have far surpassed what I experienced in almost two years in the corporate industry. This personal and professional growth is a testament to the opportunities and support available in the independent estate agency where every team member works in harmony, as we are trained to carry out every task necessary to function as a business. We all book appointments, conduct viewings, speak to vendors and applicants, deal with offers, deal with sales progression, etc.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to gain all the necessary knowledge and skills to be a brilliant estate agent. While it entails much learning, I am all the better for it. They are a great gateway to begin as an Estate Agent and a fantastic opportunity for agents who have worked in the industry but want to have a deeper understanding and expand their knowledge!

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Properties of the Week

Cross Keys Estate Agents Sales Property of the Week 1

Sales Property 1

Lake View Drive, Holly Park

£290,000 to £310,000 Guide Price

2 4 2

Click to view details

Cross Keys Estate Agents Sales Property of the Week 2

Sales Property 2

Chestnut Road, Peverell

£360,000 to £380,000 Guide Price

2 3 1

Click to view details

Cross Keys Estate Agents Lettings Property of the Week

Lettings Property

Century Quay, The Barbican

£1,500 pcm

1 3 2

Click to view details

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