The recent recommendations by the parliamentary Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) working group have sparked huge debates within the industry about what they could mean for sales and letting agents when they become law in three years’ time.
But one entrepreneurial bright spark has already jumped the gun and bought up the website www.ropa.co.uk and is now offering to resell the domain address for an eye-watering £28,453 (pictured, right) on www.123-reg.co.uk.
The working group’s recommendations have sparked government plans for a new licencing regime for agents, a new regulator to police a code of practice for the industry and a requirement that both sales and letting agents must have a minimum qualification in order to work.
It is the final element – agent training – that is likely to be the most lucrative for suppliers to the industry.
The Negotiator recently revealed that agents have three years to prepare for the mandatory NVQ Level 3 exams that the new laws will require.
These will make it mandatory for front and back-office staff to attain the qualification before they can work in the industry, which will mean thousands of agents who have not achieved it will have to complete training, spawning a huge increase in demand for training.
It is this says Jonathan Hopper Managing Director of buying agent Garrington which is likely to have pushed up the price of the RoPA domain name.
He says that although RoPA is an official organisation the huge volume of researches for ‘RoPa training’ will put the www.ropa.co.uk at the top of Google searches.