Richard Selwyn has worked in lettings since the mid-1990s in and around Hertfordshire and has been a passionate member of ARLA Propertymark until, late last year, he unexpectedly resigned as its President Elect.
Here he talks to The Negotiator about why this happened, what the future holds and why he hasn’t returned to running an estate agency.
Have you cut all ties with Propertymark?
“My father passed away in October and I had to look at what was most important over the subsequent months including looking after my mother and dealing with my own emotions; so I spoke to David Cox [Chief Executive of ARLA] and said it wasn’t fair on ARLA or myself to carry on being President Elect or involved with Propertymark.
“I would like to go back at some stage because I believe passionately in everything that the organisation offers.”
Why have you set up your own consultancy?
“My original plan was to reintegrate with agency after selling my business but there were some contractual constraints. My experience of running my own agency and being involved with ARLA Propertymark confirmed to me that there is a demand for the business consultancy that I am now offering.
“Standards do vary in our industry extensively and I felt that it would be good to give something back, and ultimately no two businesses are the same and I am keen to roll up my sleeves and be really hands-on.
“I’ve already been busy with a couple of clients doing mystery shopping, marketing initiatives, compliance checks and even staff interviewing.”
Will you be helping agents with proptech too?
“I have come across most of the proptech companies out there and my opinion is that the future will be a mixture of old school values, technology and exceptional service offerings.”
Would you recommend to your clients that they exit the high street?
“I don’t think it’s essential for an estate agent to be on the high street; social media and both traditional and online marketing can reach most of the market. Agents do have to review their costs.”
Will ROPA create a greater demand for people like you?
“It’s important that agents recognise that regulation is coming probably in two to three years and they need to start adapting and preparing for it now including training and looking at their processes.”