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EXCLUSIVE: This is my plan for ‘damaged’ Propertymark, says new interim CEO

Former agent and experienced Propertymark insider Nathan Emerson is to steady the ship until a permanent replacement for Tim Balcon can be found.

Nigel Lewis


Estate agency consultant Nathan Emerson has been appointed interim CEO following the shock departure of Tim Balcon last week.

Balcon’s departure is understood to be his own, and he is finishing off several projects for Propertymark before fully exiting.

But after several other departures from the organisation including ARLA boss David Cox and NAEA President Kirsty Finney, Emerson recognises that Propertymark needs stability, particularly after several industry figures questioned whether it’s fit for purpose any longer.

“It’s an honour to have been asked to do it and I appreciate there’s a lot of work to do just to steady the ship and appease some people externally,” he says. “But really there are no issues with the day-to-day running of Propertymark.

“A lot of it is down to communication and transparency and I’ve set myself three goals. To work on reputation, stability and results – those are the pillars I will be focussing on and the areas where Propertymark has suffered some damage, rightly or wrongly.”


Emerson says he recognises that the organisation’s reputation has taken a battering recently but that it’s difficult because – due to its focus on keeping in contact with civil servants and decision makers  it has one hand tied behind its back.

“That’s why sometimes we cannot comment on things – because it could cause the membership and industry more harm if central government didn’t appreciate what we were saying and Propertymark was unable to influence decisions.

“This year that’s been crucial in helping members and non-members during Covid including gaining access to rates relief for estate agencies and keeping the housing market open, achievements that were down to Mark Hayward’s hard work, and yet you’ll still get people saying we’re not up to much for a £250 a year membership.”


Emerson has also said he is preparing the organisation for a long-term CEO and expects to be there until the time is right to find a permanent replacement. In the meantime he will be supported by another long-standing Propertymark figure, Nicky Heathcote (pictured), who is currently its interim Chair.

She says: “We are delighted that Nathan has agreed to undertake the role of Interim CEO. He is well known and highly respected within the industry and has always been results driven.

“His own experience places him in a strong position to build on the opportunities for the sector and answers the current call from members to have someone from within the industry.”

Read one of Nathan Emerson’s recent Negotiator columns. 

February 25, 2021


  1. Nathan has a great background in agency, so that is a step up, but can an internal temporary fix stop the membership from its call for a more radical solution to the obvious woes of this RoPA fixated machine. Having had numerous agents contact me – my guess is that unless Propertymark starts to listen to those property professionals paying to be part of it, they are in for very troubled times, very soon.

  2. Well Nathan, good luck. We have been seriously considering our membership for since David Cox departed. Since we first joined, 9 years ago, Propertymark seems to have ignored the fact that Wales exists and (frustratingly) has a different set of rules than England. Propertymark is always very slow/negligent in sending out relevant updates, most of them seem to reflect the goings on inside Propertymark itself. We get very, very few legislative briefings which is exactly what we signed up for. Since the lockdown, physical regional meetings and conferences have stopped, and as such Propertymark should have upped its game and ensured that information was disseminated via email. I have no idea what we were paying for over the last year, it hasn’t been at all obvious. On the other hand, the RLA and NLA have merged to form an excellent organisation – plenty of information for landlords coming out from them. Bring back David Cox – he was very well liked and had set Propertymark on the right trajectory, it’s a complete basketcase without him.

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