Estate agents should not need A-Levels to sell properties – Russell Quirk

The shadow housing minister Matthew Pennycook has been panned for tabling an “astonishingly intellectually vacant” amendment to the government’s Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill.

The idea, which derives from a 2019 report by a committee chaired by the crossbench peer and social housing campaigner Lord Richard Best, is simply unworkable, not to mention ludicrous, according to regular EYE contributor, Russell Quirk.

He simply cannot see how the quality of estate agents can possibly be improved by weak proposals being put forward by “self-serving” MPs, many of which have, in Quirk’s opinion, covered themselves in “shame”, with “scandal, after scandal, after scandal”.

“This is pointless nonsense and utterly hypocritical from MPs that have hardly served us well of late despite, yes, 86% of them having a Uni degree,” said Quirk. 

In a video recording posted on Twitter, now rebranded as X, yesterday morning, Quirk explains why the proposal put forward by the Labour MP is “pointless nonsense and utterly hypercritical”.


Estate agents would be forced to finish higher education under Labour plans



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  1. Landlordinsider

    I totally agree Russell. But given this ‘intellectually vacant’ idea is supported by our representative body, propertymark, where does this leave us? And why are they so out of kilter on this? (Fuming)

  2. mattfaizey

    I thought I’d agree,

    I don’t.

    I’ve currently got employees going through apprenticeships. As part of this, those who do not have Maths and English GCSE passes at ‘C’ or above have to take the equivalent exam.

    It is undoubtedly a good thing. It’s forcing people to have better skills that equip them to make better judgements in life.

    Personally, In my position I have zero choice about holding a qualification equivalent to two A levels. Sure, when I found I had to take it I was already running a company. I was annoyed, frustrated and considered it mostly irrelevant and unnecessary.

    In retrospect, it’s a good thing.

    I regained basic learning skills. Among much more.

    This is about having business owners who have core learning and discipline skills as well as subject skills.

    Whilst it’s true that the subject may be irrelevant, those individuals will have acquired other skills from doing the qual in the first place.

    The short question
    ‘Do you want business owners to be reasonably well educated?’

    The answer will be yes.

    Degree level? Nahh, but let’s face it, degree has been cited early to water it down to A level.

    1. PJMQ1

      Why are the government not pushing for owners of a care home or a montessori school to be university educated? Why just agents?

      1. mattfaizey

        Maybe they should?

  3. mattfaizey

    Oh, and Russell, if you’d paid attention Labour cite ‘grey belt’. Suggesting certain Greenbelt will be re-classified where it does not meet tests.

    Those tests are likely to be where patches are inside the boundary for urban sprawl or inside villages and towns as defined by built extremities.

    Therefore contrary to what you gaslightedly allude, developers won’t be salivating at building across the greenbelt. They’ll be pondering where small patches are.

    1. jan-byers

      guy I know left school with not 1 qualification
      Just sold his business for 40M

      1. Rob Hailstone

        I left with not one qualification, but won’t be selling for £40m:(

  4. Hendrix

    Great idea from Labour – wonder if all MP’s should take a polygraph test before becoming elected.

    I have employed numerous with half the alphabet after their name with qualifications but in reality they could not put two bricks together any business / people acumen.

    Fearful that Labour might’ve running the country.

    1. mattfaizey

      Well, just because somebody has qualifications it doesn’t mean they have common sense, or business acumen.

      However, somebody with oodles of business acumen and common sense can always be improved with further education.

      And yes, I too dread Labour

      1. htsnom79

        I’ve voted both Conservative and Labour over the years, this is the worst decade I’ve ever experienced of the professional political class, where are the big beasts? Even the ones with whom I had no alignment politically were still substantial operators, now that’s gone, at least in my perception.

        Dread labour? Got to be better than this shower because they cant be worse.

        1. mattfaizey

          I dread all of them

        2. biffabear

          Vote them all out. Vote reform.

  5. Gangsta Agent

    Russell Quirk should need A-Levels to comment on being an estate agent 🙂

  6. RWPropGame

    I get the sense behind it, but its wrong…

    Most estate agents hire ‘cheap labour’ i.e. young people, who don’t know about property, mortgages, interest, economics rates etc etc. People are sick and tired of being shown around properties by people that haven’t got a clue, likewise, home owners who feel their most valuable asset is trying to be sold by people that aren’t really qualified to do so.

    Selling property isn’t about having all the knowledge in the world, its a people business, if you are good with people, and able to communicate effectively, then you can become a good estate agent. You don’t need an A Level or a Degree. You need proper training, not a shabby 2 week induction….

    An experienced Estate Agent is worth their weight in gold, especially in a tougher market, sadly, there aren’t enough and far too many below average.

  7. Hendrix

    Forgot to mention as some may not be old enough to remember- namely introduction of the Rent Acts & at a time Labours top rate tax @ 90%.

    Labour In my view a leopard does not change its spots. There again Conservatives…… need one say more.

    Yours anxious of west London.


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