EYE poll: Can Propertymark repair a damaged reputation?

Propertymark has had a tough few days. 

The organisation was heavily criticised at the start of last week by agents for its terrible handling of president Kirsty Finney’s unexpected departure, and then its CEO Tom Balcon quit, which led to a flurry of negative comments from agents.

Balcon’s departure is the latest controversial resignation at Propertymark.

David Cox’s sudden departure from ARLA Propertymark last year was announced in an extraordinarily short 44-word statement, while Christopher Hamer also surprisingly stepped down as executive chairman of the trade body last year.

Meanwhile, the now former chief executive of Propertymark, Mark Hayward, postponed his retirement in December 2020 to take on a new role of chief policy advisor at Propertymark.

It would not come as a surprise if Hayward postpones his retirement again and takes on the chief exec role. But is Propertymark’s reputation now beyond repair?

Let us know what you think by voting in this poll – which closes at 7pm today.

This poll ends on Monday 22nd February at 1900hrs
In your opinion is Propertymark fit for purpose?
Is Propertymark fit for purpose as a member organisation?
Should Propertymark be the body that oversees ROPA for estate and letting agents
Does membership of a body such as NAEA or ARLA have a positive influence on how the public perceive agents?
Are you a member of a Propertymark body - NAEA, ARLA, NAVA, ICBA, APIP
If you are not a member of a Propertymark body would you consider taking the required exams and becoming a member?
Will Propertymark exist in five years time?
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30 Comments

  1. JamesH79

    Here are some other questions for you to consider:
    1. Who do you think Propertymark represent? a) The Industry b) The Consumer c) Themselves

    2. Is it appropriate that Propertymark’s qualifications identically mirror those recommended in the RoPA final report, which they helped write?

    3. Did you know that Propertymark are the ONLY organisation to currently offer relevant Ofqual level 4 qualifications for sales and lettings as proposed by RoPA?

    4. Is it possible to “get ahead of the [RoPA] legislation” by doing Propertymark’s qualifications given there is no legislation let alone a regulator to even set the syllabus?

    5. Is it a coincidence that particular senior management within Propertymark “retired” / “resigned” from Propertymark in 2020 and that the regulator or the board [if any legislation is passed] must not have been employed / come from a related firm for 3 years prior to appointment?

    6. Did you know that Propertymark lobbied [on behalf of their members] for “unlimited fines” in the case of AML administration breaches?

    7. Did you know that Propertymark lobbied [on behalf of their members] for individuals (not companies) to be fined for AML breaches.

    8. Did you know that Propertymark lobbied govt to be appointed as an AML supervisory body?

    9. Did you know that Propertymark set up a company in 2017 called “Propertymark Estate Agents Regulation Authority Ltd”

    10. Is it possible for a trade / professional body to look after the best interests of their members and at the same time try to profit from their membership?

    Balcon’s appointment gave away the future direction that the senior management at Propertymark intend to take the body. Balcon was not only an expert in membership organisations, but had also helped to create various other compulsory regulatory regimes, moreover he was a Non Exec Director of Ofqual. He was absolutely the “right man for the job” if the job is to become a regulatory professional body enshrined in legislation.
    He was not the right man for the job, if you intend to represent the best interest of your members against the slow creep of government intervention and red tape.

    We desperately need a better class of industry representation.
    PS. Last Question: Did you know that you will need a relevant Ofqual Level 3 / A-Level qualification just to do a viewing if the RoPA report becomes law?

    Just think about the implications of this final question… and the money to be made by anyone offering that relevant qualification.

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    1. Just the Facts

       
      1.     When covid hit Propertymark liaised with government to get guidance 
      2.     Have close links with the housing minister to get RoPA fit for purpose when the time comes and what it needs to look like.
      3.     Achieved Business rates relief which equated to £210,000,000 for members across the country
      4.     Got the furlough scheme to include commission for estate agents as it wasn’t going to
      5.     Agreed a strategy with public health England to allow us to be one of the 1st sectors to come out of long down
      6.     Successfully Lobbied government to get the stamp duty holiday and still pushing for a second one.
      7.     Working with government on EWS1 getting guidance so agents can comply with the CPR’s
      8.     Working behind the scenes on property passports, lifetime deposits
      9.     Working on the new overarching code of conduct for agents
      10.  A lot of agents were closing their doors and Propertymark fought to keep the market open because of involvement with government and as a result many agents have been able to continue to trade.

      Campaigns on keep the rent flowing and keep the market moving

      12.     Have close links with the housing minister to get RoPA fit for purpose when the time comes and what it needs to look like.
      13. Providing constant high level training for its members
      14. Various webinars and regional meetings
      15. Value for money membership that’s gone up 5% in 25 years and still cheaper than various other trade bodies
      16. lobbied government so we could get a 5-week deposit instead of the major of London’s fight to keep all security deposits at 1 week
      17. Legal helpline for all members to use
      18. legal templates, factsheets and document vaults for estate and letting agents
      19. HR helpline
      20. Monthly consultations in government on behalf of its members
       
      For more info see here https://www.arla.co.uk/lobbying/
       
      That’s just during COVID, do you know what else they have done!???
       
      No? So shut up then!!!!

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      1. Robert_May

        I’m not sure a failure to communicate what the association has done justifies  you telling anyone to shut up. That is bad form and shows a lack of professionalism and manners

         

        It is a shame no-one in  Propertymark is able to post without a disguising moniker  to hide who they are.

         

        that is a list of things has been done but there are other things that haven’t been done  that  affect agents more than items in the list.

        There are agents breaching CPR and BPR  but there is no policing or sanction of members who are breaking rules that govern the industry because there is no way to report breaches.

         

        CPR material information for viewer and buyers is legislation that’s been in place for over 6 years yet members and non members are not complying with the legislation, there is no campaign to make agents of the  rules and help them comply.

        Then there is Propertylive – because after a £2million overhaul PL3, the free to list portal for members, was binned off in 2012 the Duoploly have been allowed to escalate subscriptions 8% above  RPI for the past 8 years.

        You can get mad as hell at people posting their disquiet about the association but  the communication is poor, the objective are not ones agents see  as beneficial to them and the  lack of public awareness of  Propertymark and what it stands for does not compel agents to be members and promote it as a benefit to potential clients

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        1. Just the Facts

          I think “shut up” is the only language these people understand, its just absurd, attack after attack after attack I’m a loyal member and have need for many years and find all this absolutely absurd being that i get so many benefits.

          If we go into manners then why not dissect the abomination of how in bad taste this all is.

          Bearing in mind that Propertymark have done everything on that above list which I’m yet to se another body do so no would be delighted if i could be pointed in that direction i mean its not like we as agents can take five weeks deposit from a tenant, oh what’s that? Propertymark fought for that too? Well that just adds to the list. I think people confuse propertymark with the government.

          Talk to any member that uses the benefits, attends meetings, fills out their surveys and you’ll get a very different response from your comments Robert May. Propertymark is great for anyone that uses the membership, for the badge holders that don’t even do CPD then they will never see the true benefits, the facts speak for themselves.

          Provide a definitive list on what more Propertymark can do better other than communications then I’d be happy to speak to my local regional rep and pass it up the line. Let me guess? Recruitment?

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          1. Robert_May

            In no professsional setting, adult to adult is shut up acceptable.
            I am exFNAEA and  was at the AGM when the college of  Fellows, those that made the association what it was, were treated so discourteously.
            At that meeting one of the executive directors angrily ranted about me for over half an hour not realising I was sat next to the chap he was ranting at.
            The national association of estate agents used to be a members organisation agents felt compelled to join, it stood for something and was a matter of pride to become a Fellow. Independently ARLA was the same.
             
            I’m not sure who you are but refering to your members and potential members as ‘these people’ just because they don’t share  your opinion that the list of things its done is enough  represents Propertymark well.

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            1. Just the Facts

              It comes down to individual opinion which is the basis of this entire post and i disagree with you (if that’s acceptable to you) so i will help enlighten the not so well versed because there are many that are clearly missing everything that matters and looking at anything that doesn’t.

              Regardless of who i am is irrelevant, I’m a local agent that values the service I’m given by Propertymark and tend to look at the facts before giving said opinion so i may be bottom of the proverbial food chain but i hate injustice and will stand against the wretched gutter press and the inaccuracies it generates because Propertymark have done nothing but good in my eyes.

              I apologise if my comment “shut up” came across as unprofessional to you, this isn’t a professional forum if you read the daily comments, it’s PIE not the evening standard.

              I will not apologise for supporting this organisation and will continue to be a proud member regardless of who the staff are they have been my shining light in my career and through COVID. Whatever you have experienced is irrelevant to Propertymark as a whole the point in hand is and always will be WHAT IT PROVIDES MEMBERS, i remember a time when someone was rude to me also, we move on and embrace the tools at our disposal.

              Also adding to your last few lines,  I do not represent Propertymark I’m the consumer here standing up for what I believe in.

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              1. Robert_May

                I’m not asking you to apologise  for anything, but you are  clearly an advocate   for Propertymark yet your language is confrontational and disrespectful.
                I am pleased to see you standing up for  Propertymark so strongly but isn’t it telling that no-one else is.  
                 
                With every respect I can offer, you sound a lot younger than me, as you will have seen I used to be proud of my fellowship to NAEA but seeing how the few quid in membership fees that was given to them by rogue agents [who were  demonstrably breaking laws that apply to all agents] was more important than stopping the wrong doing. Propertymark went from an organisation to protect its members to a commercial organisation selling services, training and insurance to its members.
                Your comment that you are a consumer shows that  Propertymak is a  service provider not the trade association it used to be.  
                 
                On that basis you can be an advocate for them, you’re happy with the service, so are 25% of the industry. Sadly for them  and us 75% are not happy with the service. The list of stuff they’ve done isn’t enough for them

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                1. Just the Facts

                  Well I suppose I am an advocate Robert being that I advocate their services as a loyal member that reaps all the benefits.

                  Maybe my language is confrontation, personally I just think I’m passionate about justice and find this whole post on a poll quite disgusting. I’ve learnt one thing about PIE, you can lead a horse to water… the rest is up to them, also I cant convince people that don’t want to see the positives and focus more on the negatives. I mean its not like we are in a national lock down or anything but again so many enjoy demonisation of individuals and organisations.

                  And to answer your supporter KW below I think they are right on why do i care if PIE isn’t fit for purpose, although you may wish to address their language. Maybe that’s my issue maybe I care too much about an organisation that has helped me grow as a person and as an agent and want to stick up for them.

                  I realise now my “shut up” comment aimed at the article came out as a reply to the first comment which is not who it was intended for so maybe I’m disrespectful to PIE but they have broad shoulders putting a poll out.

                  Either way I’ve spent far too much time trying to convince some of the participants here of the benefits and how its helped me although I’ve seen some great supportive comments so not sure about your 25% comments but i will leave you with my original comments on FEBRUARY 22, 2021 AT 09:03 

                   

                   

                   

                   

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                  1. Robert_May

                    Hopefully Nick will allow this link to Chris ‘no ess’ Watkin talking to  the  ex CEO Tim Balcon about membership numbers
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XNqYpsfiFA

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        2. KW

          Well said Robert!

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      2. JamesH79

        “do you know what else they have done!???”
        Yes… as demonstrated, that’s the problem.

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        1. Just the Facts

          There’s a list above

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      3. KW

        WOW what an ar*e you are! I would say you are definitely part of Propertymark and not just an agent using their services. At least Robert May has posted under his own name when challenging you (credit to him). You seem overly sensitive about the whole thing.

        What you need to do is listen to the feedback here and elsewhere, that agents don’t see Propertymark as ‘currently’ adding value, but yet another money drainer. If they say you are not supporting them in the ways they want then you need to listen and go back to the drawing board, as they are your customers speaking. The public don’t have a clue about you, you are just another logo on the agent’s website.

        I am guessing too that it isn’t just Propertymark working with gov on those long lists of things you put up. You are not the only body out there with a vested interest in this. Also, if you don’t think PIE is up to standard then why are you even on here and responding? Why do you even care what we have to say?

         

         

         

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        1. Just the Facts

          Not overly sensitive just hate injustice, that’s about as much as I’m going to say, but be careful because Robert will see the word “Ar*e” as unprofessional

          I actually agree with you on the PIE comment. I have wasted around an hour of my time that I wont ever get back. I’ve also come to the conclusion that you can lead a horse to water but ultimately they will have their mind made up and its pointless trying to convince otherwise.

          I also disagree with you if that’s allowed on here.

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          1. KW

            Well you have to accept that people are divided on this and have had different experiences with Propertymark. It is not about convincing them with your long list, it is about listening and responding to what your members actually want a body like yours to do for them. If they say it isn’t working, then it ain’t working. Revisit and make the necessary changes if you want to win them over, although from past experience there aren’t really many second chances.

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        2. Robert_May

          See how  the discussion deteriorates quickly.

          JTF   has  put the case for Propertymark in the absence of any other official  posting, they should be thanked  for  allowing more discussion on the topic than we’ve seen anywhere else.

          I am pro Propertymark despite all the surreptitious backstabbing that I have witnessed first hand and would help tomorrow if asked. that doesn’t stop me being critical or outspoken of what  has happened in the past and curious what is happening now.

           

          Propertymark has  a lone advocate right now and that’s quite telling in itself.

           

          I do think they are owed an apology for the unprofessional name calling and then they might come back and allow the  convo to continue

           

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          1. KW

            Apology for use of term Ar*e but thats how he/she came across telling people to ‘shut up’ this was quite offensive and uncalled for. 

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          2. Just the Facts

            “Propertymark has  a lone advocate right now and that’s quite telling in itself”
            I can see several advocates on here, maybe im the loudest one but there are others making positive comments???
            Anyway I realise how time consuming this all is being new to PIE so I’m leaving it here because I feel theres far too much negativity its draining.

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        3. Just the Facts

          I think you need to listen to the feedback more as there is some great positive comments here too. I know what I get out of it and its great for me and many i have spoken to.
          Oh and the “shut up” comment was aimed at PIE not at an individual despite it being in the reply section in error so that was my user error.
          Not that it matters but i’m a member agent by the way I dont and have never worked for PM, I do lettings but I think PM should come out and say something to PIE about this article because i cant see anything official posted and they should answer the critics.
           

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  2. Scottish_Mist42

    Can only speak personally but I know I have had value for money from my membership fee from their legal helpline alone in the past 3 months!

    Add in the training courses, meetings etc then it’s a no brainer from my perspective.

    It’s not difficult.  If you don’t think it’s value for money then don’t join.

    Simples.

     

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  3. smile please

    Its never been fit for purpose.

    Look at RICS, the public know and trust them (rightly or wrongly) Propertymark are a million miles away from that standing with the general public.

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    1. Just the Facts

      Just been on the RICS site, they don’t do a fraction of what Propertymark do.

      Just a shame that people don’t look at what the organisation actually does for its members as opposed to changes of staff.

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    2. praediumagens79

      …. but of course the public don’t think RICS are about estate agents – just surveyors. We’re kidding ourselves if we think the public think our RICS membership endorses our reputation/knowledge as estate agents!

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      1. Richard Hair

        They do to some extent based upon the level of interest their monthly market surveys receive. In days past there used to be very, very few RICS surveyors responding but they punch above their weight.

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    3. smile please

      For clarity for the individuals that are demonstrating their very little knowledge.

      If you book a survey you want a RICS associated surveyor, right?

      Okay, i bet you did not know you don’t need any formal qualifications or association to be a building surveyor.

      What RICS has done for the surveying world is what NAEA, ARLA ./ Propertymark SHOULD be doing for estate agents ….. They are A MILLION MILES away from this.

       

      I can start up a building survey department tomorrow with zero qualifications tomorrow (so can you), but i want get any business as the public want a RICS associated surveyor.

       

      That shows how good a job RICS have done and how poor Propertymark have done.

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  4. watchdog13

    It would be completely wrong for Propertymark to be the awarding body and training provider of the ROPA qualifications. In addition, the idea that Propertymark would be the regulator for Anti Money Laundering is absurd. HMRC have teeth and no conflict of interest.

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  5. drasperger

    The Poll is full of leading questions so of no value in determining industry sentiment.  I am not a fan of the organisation; not a member org much more of a business. Sure Balcon was brought in to bolster the pitch to oversee ROPA, does his exit represent a change in direction………or just that he realised it was a futile quest?

    There are other routes to level 3 and 4 in lettings and property management…….. e.g. https://theapprenticeacademy.co.uk/apprenticeships/housing-property-management/level-3/

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    1. JamesH79

      Thanks for that link. Interesting…
      I don’t understand how a course can be “designed to comply with RoPA requirements” when
      a) There is no legislation for RoPA.
      b) The regulator sets the syllabus.
      c) There is no regulator… because there is no legislation.

      Regardless, good to see an alternative route for those in Property Management at least to their level 3 if this does materialise.

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  6. Queenbee

    Can Propertymark repair a damaged reputation  – what damaged reputation???. So lets take a real look at what we as members get for less than £1 per day, for starters, the membership fee alone pays for itself time and time again with the legal helpline. There is also the membership library full of hundreds of useful articles and of course the 100% legally compliant tenancy agreement which is constantly checked to ensure its up to date to keep all members totally up to date with all laws legislation. This is just to mentioned a few of the benefits of membership.

    Putting this all into prospective, staff who maybe weren’t the right fit in the first instance may come and go BUT ARLA Propertymark has been in existence for over 30 years keeping members up to date and doing what they are great at doing which is lobbying on behalf of us all to ensure we have a voice within government and in turn are not stuck with a bad deal. So I say a massive Thank You Propertymark for all you do for us – the members, long may you exist

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  7. Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Strategist

    Just the facts – a great made up name to hide behind. Your point that Propertymark saved agents 210M plus because they lobbied the government – gets a big fat zero on the fact check sheet. All businesses in the UK could avail themselves of  the government financial easement ‘including those in the real estate industry’ afforded to businesses trading during the pandemic. I could go on but I think you have the picture. One fact I would like to know though is to the nearest £10,000 how much did Propertymark pay to HMRC for not paying the correct amount of VAT over a number of years. I have looked at the Grant Thornton figures and it is not easy to gauge, also as you are such a big advocate you might know if interest was added and if there was a fine, and if moving forward HMRC have put in special measures to ensure that Propertymark pay the correct level of VAT moving forward. And all of this is a fact as it is recorded in the December 2019 Propertymark annual/financial report. And my name is actually Andrew Stanton – that is just the fact.

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