Propertymark often sends newsletters to members telling them about the policy and public affairs work they are doing and asking for contributions – but what does it mean, and does it make a difference?
Our work is about representation – ensuring the sector voice is heard.
Agents don’t have time to present their case in parliament, but governments constantly make decisions which affect them.
Without someone in their corner, detrimental decisions could ultimately be made that affected agents, but didn’t consider them.
The Policy and Campaigns team at Propertymark has several functions; it communicates legislative developments and their implications to members, engages with stakeholders, and lobbies for change.
Government departments, parliamentary committees, and local authorities usually open consultations before they make changes, to gather intelligence from those connected to a sector.
The information then filters through to policy makers and ends up with those with the power to make decisions.
Consultations affect real change and are often the catalyst for issue progression within government, resulting in new laws.
Since January this year we have submitted responses to 12 consultations with more on the way.
Propertymark also reaches out to parliamentarians with shared views. We tell them our ideas, build relationships, and disclose our data, arming decision makers with evidence to strengthen their arguments.
A big part of the data we use comes from our regular membership surveys; this is important because we need evidence to form arguments. We also work with our internal working groups, divisional boards, partners, and regional executives – agents on the ground whose input ensures that our arguments are relevant.
Propertymark represents all divisions of our membership across all four nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. With policy staff based outside of England who travel and forge relationships our devolved voice is truly authentic.
This doesn’t just help us to be on the money in more places, it also makes us more authoritative. We see things that may be working well in one place but not well in another; we compare legislation and suggest changes.
Within our policy team we have former estate and lettings agents, those who have worked for a government minister, other campaigning organisations and a former conveyancer.
There isn’t a stone we are leaving unturned when it comes to experience. Last year, we published best practice guidance to support agents in the pandemic, lobbied to get commission included in furloughed pay, business rates relief and a property tax holiday.
We engage with politicians through our Ask the Expert event, contribute to government working groups and champion reform of the property sector to support agents and their businesses.
Plenty of membership bodies don’t have a policy and lobbying element, but we are more than just a name which people can be associated with; we are property people ourselves and we work to improve conditions for our members.
We listen and champion issues members care about, orchestrating changes that are felt positively throughout the sector.
That’s why policy and campaigning is important.
Main pic: policy and campaigning team – Ellie Bateman, Faye Greaves, Daryl McIntosh, Timothy Douglas.