Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Introducing Propertymark for your protection – Robert Ulph

From admin on February 17, 2017

I recently attended the National Estate Agency conference in London where the new branding for the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) was announced. The two organisations are altering their emphasis much more to consumer protection with the launch of Propertymark. For over fifty years, ARLA and NAEA have represented the professional property sector to key audiences within the industry, media and policy makers. Consumers however have had little awareness of either organisation. It was acknowledged at the conference “having listened to our members and given the significant challenges the industry is facing, it is clear that the public needs far better understanding of how to choose a property agent that has the consumer’s interest at heart.” The new focus unifies the two organisations, as ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark. David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, and Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: “Having a home is the most important issue for consumers and our members are there to protect and guide people with their property transactions. At present customers don’t know where to go for advice or can’t be sure if they are dealing with a professional. We are changing this. We will reach out to customers directly so they recognise Propertymark and understand that by using a Propertymark Protected agent they and their money are safe. “Propertymark is a stamp of approval for consumers when they seek professional property expertise in buying, selling, renting, leasing, or valuing a property. It stands for protection for the consumer, and offers the highest standards and qualifications among property professionals. Propertymark Protected agents have opted for regulation in an unregulated sector, and provide reassurance for consumers as well as protection against rogue operators.”

This is a step in the right direction for the further regulation that I have been calling for as it is bewildering to think that anybody can set up as an Estate Agent or Letting Agent, without any training, qualifications or experience. This is obviously not right and Propertymark will give consumer protection similar to that ABTA brought to the travel industry.

Propertymark will include protection for client money, give peace of mind that the company you are dealing with has trained and experience professionals, follow best practice and are up to date with new or changes to legislation. The agent will also need to submit audited accounts to Propertymark annually for checking, be members of an independent redress scheme and hold professional indemnity insurance.

It is important to check with any agent that they are part of this and all agents are will have the new Propertymark logo in their window. As MD of Pennington I am pleased to confirm we have six trained ARLA Propertymark members of staff with a further two currently taking their exams, so I endorse this regulation change 100%.

If you have any questions about Propertymark or anything else in the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me.