Lord Best, the key architect of the government’s plans to police the industry, told a packed room of leading property figures yesterday that the UK will enter a ‘whole new era for estate agency’ when his RoPA working group reforms are implemented.
His comments came as the great and good of the industry gathered in Parliament to find out who the latest Propertymark Qualifications winners are this year, including the first Purplebricks LPE to win a gong. She is Katie Wilcox-Smith, its Leicestershire and Rutland territory owner.
During his speech Lord Best also said estate agents should embrace becoming ‘genuine professionals’ on a par with solicitors, surveyors and architects as direct regulation of the industry looms.
“The next generation want to be recognised as ‘professionals’, and therefore it’s a very positive move to have a regulator who will ensure that anyone who wants to be an estate agent is properly licenced, has attained the correct qualifications and signs up to a code of practice whether they are companies or individuals,” he said.
Lord Best revealed that it will take two years to get the new regulator set up, assuming Brexit is sorted soon. The peer then went on to present the winners of the Propertymark awards who were, pictured (above from left to right):
Sales Candidate of the Year: Sean Rawson, The Nottingham (not pictured)
Learner of the Year: Florence Bond from Norfolk agency George Durrant & Sons
Employer Champion of the Year: Williams and Goodwin The Property People (Sally Walley and Amy Williams)
Lifelong Achievement: David Hughes of qualifications firm MOL
Auctioneer candidate of the year: Erroll Thomas
Lettings Candidate of the Year: Katie Wilcox-Smith from Purplebricks
Joint rising stars of the year: Heather Fraser and Laura Young.
“The learners here who have achieved Propertymark Qualification are the future of the industry, and it is only right that we reflect on where we are as an industry and a profession,” says David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark (left).
“Housing is a key issue across parliament and cross-party and for the constituents themselves – there’s not enough housing and some of it isn’t very good and in the private rented sector it’s not always well managed; builders are exploiting buyers through ‘fleecehold’ and government and politicians are acutely aware of these problems.
“The solutions are complex and not always easy to bring about. There is no silver bullet, but having said that, consumers should expect that the agent they use know what they are doing and that’s what we’re here to celebrate today.”