The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredits and regulates professionals within the land, property and construction sectors worldwide.
BENEFITS AND SERVICES
Status: RICS credentials command respect from clients and peers by demonstrating that you work to the highest professional and ethical standard.
Recognition: By promoting the value of RICS standards RICS aims to ensure that professionalism is embedded in the market, which provides public confidence and drives demand for your services.
Market advantage: By working to RICS standards you provide unrivalled confidence to the market and gain a competitive advantage.
Knowledge: A range of practice standards, CPD and best practice guidance to help you maintain the highest levels of professionalism and develop your technical and professional knowledge.
Network: With 118,000 professionals worldwide RICS connects you to local and global markets.
Supporting services: training courses, CPD and events including RICS Residential Conferences and RICS information portal, Isurv, a dedicated residential channel full of expert advice and best practice guidance.
The newly launched United Kingdom Apartment Association (UKAA) will serve as a focal point for the professional institutional rental market that will facilitate differentiation from the amateur ad hoc rental service.
The UKAA aims to professionalise and improve the service delivery of the residential rental sector in the UK. This will be achieved by shared learnings with the USA and the Global initiative of the National Apartment Association (NAA). The UKAA will lead educational training, customer service delivery, study tours, suppliers’ delivery, and shared learnings.
This will be done through seminars, presentations and conferences. There will be awards, dinners and socials and above all plenty of opportunities for networking with like-minded colleagues from within all parts of the build to rent sector.
The organisation will be led by a Chief Executive and a team who will deliver to the agenda and priorities as set out by the elected Board and committees who will all be formed from within the membership.
Why join? The educational offerings, access to research, customer service training, best practise from America, representation in Westminster, representation on the supplier’s forum if appropriate, opportunities for business to business networking, and much, much more.
NALS AND SAFEAGENT
NALS continues to make its voice heard with government and the media, showcasing members and raising industry standards and professionalism.
Earlier this year NALS gained recognition for its Foundation Lettings Course (Wales) as an approved course for agents to meet the requirements for regulation under the new licensing regime which comes into effect from November 2016. NALS Foundation Lettings Course (England) has also proved successful with over 250 learners now having completed the online training, which enables them to use the designation “NALS Qualified.”
What’s new? The Effective Enforcement Toolkit, which helps local authorities tackle rogue letting agents who fail to comply with the law. The toolkit takes local authority enforcement officers step-bystep through the legalities and requirements for regulating letting agents.
In September NALS will conduct a series of Property Licensing Seminars. The half day course – worth 3.5 CPD hours to NALS agents – will help attendees understand the schemes, detailing licensing enforcement and its impact.
NALS’ annual London conference is on November 30th at the ILEC Centre, London.
SAFEagent While mandatory client money protection is now on the government’s agenda with amendments to the Housing and Planning Act, SAFEagent continues to warn that many consumers are still at risk.
THE GUILD OF PROFESSIONAL ESTATE AGENTS
The Guild provides differentiation for members with new services that enable them to support fees and increase market share.
Guild Intelligence is a market analysis tool which collates data from all the major portals. It provides comparable, ranked statistics for sales and lettings updated every 48 hours, such as New Instructions, Time on Market and Sales Withdrawn. This allows members to understand their relative performance and each office can drill down into the statistics by postcode, agent, property type and time period.
e-valuate is an online valuation tool which uses Land Registry data to calculate the estimated value of a property, including upper and lower prices. Users can view sold properties and the prices achieved. Member agents can add e-valuate to their websites and then directly assist with any enquiries. The service is also available on The Guild’s own portal, guildproperty.co. uk, generating leads for Guild member agents.
‘Choose Independent’ is a nationwide campaign offering a comprehensive selection of marketing materials celebrating the best attributes of independent agents. The campaign is designed to communicate leading customer service, the in-depth local knowledge and experienced negotiation skills delivered by local agents.
Propertyplatform.co.uk is an insurance policy for their business, The Guild has developed a pure online offering exclusively for its members, propertyplatform.co.uk, allowing them to compete with self-service models. This is free to all its members until October 2017.
NAEA, ARLA, NAVA
The National Association of Estate Agents; Association of Residential Letting Agents and
National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers forms the National Federation of Property Professionals and offers a wide range of support services with the sole focus of keeping members
compliant, informed and up to date with regulations and legislation.
Key services and initiatives: Property Professional magazine, newsletters and website, with legal updates, industry sector information and guidance for members and the Find An Agent service for consumers.
Events: Regional conferences and meetings and National Forums.
Qualifications & Training: The Awarding Body, regulated by Ofqual, offers a range of property sector qualifications. The Training Dept. provides Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced courses.
Business to Consumer: brand development and driving consumers to member offices with Regional press advertising templates and TV, radio and digital campaigns promoting the benefits of using NAEA and ARLA members.
The Key Magazine: New consumer publication, sent digitally to 500,000 targeted consumers. Members receive free hard copies for their clients.
The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) is the self-regulatory trade association for residential leasehold managing agents in England and Wales. It aims for the highest standards of leasehold property management and campaigns for improvements in legislation and policy for the benefit of leaseholders.
ARMA is working on initiatives to develop a package of financial benefits for members including insurance and utility arrangements.
Benchmarking survey: ARMA is running a members’ benchmarking exercise in the largest survey in the sector. It measures a wide range of metrics such as income and expenses; profitability; portfolio data; productivity; and staffing.
Participants receive a free headline summary report and can purchase an individual business report comparing their business with similar sized firms. This will enable them to understand where they sit in terms of performance. The survey will run for three more years.
Portal for Residents Management Company (RMC) Directors
ARMA is launching a portal for RMC directors. Members will set up secure logins for their clients, giving them a strong business development tool.
The portal explains the legal obligations and responsibilities for directors and outlines their powers and responsibilities under law.
Annual Conference 2016
The ARMA Annual Conference is on 10th November in London. www.arma.org.uk
UKALA – WHAT’S NEW?
UKALA saves agents in Wales £1000s on Rent Smart licensing. Rent Smart Wales has revised the cost of obtaining a licence for letting and management agents following concerns from UKALA that the proposed fee would have had a detrimental impact on standards and professionalism in the private rented sector (PRS).
UKALA, along with other industry bodies, raised concerns that the proposed fee of £3,728 for a five year licence to let property in Wales was too expensive and would have forced many small to mediium sized agents to forfeit their membership of a trade body.
UKALA was successful in advocating for a graduated licencing fee structure based on the size of the agent’s business, as well as reduced fees for those who already belong to a trade body.
The new fees mean that agents with between 100-500 properties will receive a fee reduction of almost £1000. The full set of fees can be viewed at: www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/faqs/#15
Richard Price, Executive Director of UKALA said, “We felt that the initial proposed fee was too high and that there was a real danger it would lead to a significant decline in membership of reputable bodies like UKALA.
“You shouldn’t need to end your membership simply in order to comply with the law so we’re delighted that Rent Smart Wales listened to our proposals for graduated licence fees.
“This demonstrates that government and industry can work together effectively.”