what is a commercial agent?

As a commercial agent, you carry out mercantile or commercial transactions. A business owner or client appoints you to act on their behalf. That means you help them find the goods they are looking for or buyers of the goods under your care. You have the authority to buy or sell goods on behalf of your client or consign them for sale. As a commercial agent, you can work for manufacturing companies, linking them to consumers. Unlike wholesalers or distributors, a commercial agent doesn't acquire ownership of the goods; they only sell or buy them in exchange for a commission.

Commercial agents mainly work for large manufacturing companies or deal with the transfer of assets involving complex transactions. Some commercial agents work in real estate selling land on behalf of their clients or acquiring assets. Your role in complex transactions is to help your client navigate the process. You also handle price negotiations and advise clients on the best deals to accept. The client makes the ultimate decision to purchase or dispose of assets.

Working as a commercial agent requires excellent sales skills to attract buyers for assets or goods you are selling. Negotiation skills also help you negotiate the best prices and terms of a transaction on your client's behalf.

Would working as a commercial agent suit your negotiation and sales skills? Then read on to discover the competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a commercial agent role.

commercial agent jobs

average salary of a commercial agent

The median salary of a commercial agent according to ONS, is £32,000 per year. Trainee commercial agents usually receive a salary based on the targets they achieve. Therefore, their take-home salary is below £25,000 annually. However, experts in the field take home a compensation package of over £50,000 a year. As well as a basic salary, commercial agents are often paid on a commission basis. Some companies only pay commissions after an agent closes a deal, while other organisations pay monthly salaries.

how to increase your salary as a commercial agent

The compensation package of a commercial agent varies depending on your experience level and educational qualifications. As an experienced commercial agent, you receive a higher compensation package than entry-level workers. Companies that pay commissions and bonuses also pay experienced commercial agents more since they are experts in selling or buying goods. When you have advanced qualifications and licences, you handle major deals worth a lot of money, which increases your earnings. Companies trust qualified commercial agents with complex transactions.

The company you work for also determines your earnings. For instance, some property developers or multinational corporations expanding into new markets rely on commercial agents to complete transactions. That means commercial agents working in those sectors are likely to earn more.

commercial agents
commercial agents

types of commercial agents

Commercial agents' precise roles depend on the goods or assets they sell or buy on behalf of the client. Some common types of commercial agents include:

  • brokers: as a broker, you link the seller and the buyer to facilitate a transaction. You find a buyer for an asset or goods, but you don't negotiate on their behalf. Your job ends when the two parties meet.
  • auctioneers: as a commercial agent appointed to sell goods through a public auction, you minimise losses to the client. You sell the items to the highest bidders, and the items are paid for on delivery. Therefore, you cannot sell goods on credit.
  • commercial estate agents: you can work for the seller or buyer as a commercial estate agent. Your job is to find a buyer or seller of a property and negotiate a favourable contract for your client. You also assist with the creation of lease agreements.

working as a commercial agent

Working as a commercial agent involves being an intermediary. That means you always act in your client's best interests. Read on for the specific duties, work environment and job outlook of the role.


education and skills

There is no training required to become a commercial agent. However, with the increased competition, having some qualifications gives you an advantage. Pursue a foundation degree or higher national diploma in business-related studies, estate management or property management.

Most employers, especially commercial agencies, provide on-the-job training to equip you with the skills required for the role. The training helps you learn specific sales processes and the software used in the profession.

skills and competencies

Some of the skills required for the role include:

  • communication skills: you require effective communication techniques to relay information to clients and vendors. Your proficiency in communication is also useful for understanding and explaining contracts and agreements to your clients.
  • sales skills: you rely on your sales skills to attract the right buyers for a particular deal. Your sales knowledge is important if you create personalised sales plans for various products or assets. You also use sales skills to persuade clients to sign contracts or help them understand the benefits of using your services.
  • research skills: your research skills enable you to investigate your client's businesses and find the ideal market for their products. You use your research skills to identify potential clients and help determine suitable marketing campaigns to convert clients. You also research the best distribution or logistic plans for your client.
discussion with a commercial agent
discussion with a commercial agent


FAQs about working as a commercial agent

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.