The Managing Director of one of the UK’s longest-established estate agency recruitment consultancy, Property Personnel, says that the introduction of a qualification in estate agency would not only improve standards in the industry, but also attract a higher level of talent into the profession.
Anthony Hesse was responding to a recent report from the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group (RoPA), recommending that estate agents have a minimum Level 3 qualification (equivalent to an A-level), to meet the standards of regulation.
He explained: “At this time every year, students across the country are considering their options after receiving their A-level results. Of course, we would welcome as many of those people into the industry as possible. Some of them will choose to go to university or college. But I believe that we would attract a higher calibre of applicant if they knew that they had to pass a minimum standard in order to succeed.
“As the law currently stands, becoming an estate agent requires no qualifications and no experience. As a result, it’s often seen as a transient job, rather than a professional career. But adding the kudos of a qualification means that some people who otherwise would dismiss the opportunity, might consider it after all.”
Under the latest proposals, all agencies operating a residential property business will have to be licensed, and licensing should include a fit and proper person test for company directors. All customer-facing staff employed within residential agency businesses should be licensed and hold a qualification at Level 3 or above.
In addition, all company directors and management agents would need to be qualified to a minimum of Level 4, and a new regulator will be appointed to oversee compliance with an overarching Code of Practice.
Anthony Hesse added: “We may be several years away from these regulations coming into place. But surely it makes sense that estate agents are subject to the same scrutiny as in other sectors, where employees must be adequately qualified before being allowed to deal with members of the public.
“As well as higher standards across the industry as a whole, the added bonus is that we are more likely to attract the quality of applicant who sees a qualification as recognition of their skills. Sadly, in the past, it’s precisely those highly talented individuals who haven’t even given estate agency a second thought.”
SOURCE Property Personnel
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