Propertymark is not fit for purpose, EYE poll finds

A new poll finds that the majority of agents are in favour of changes to how Propertymark is run.

It is particularly interesting that a significant proportion of respondents to yesterday’s survey – 71.1% – are members but still find the organisation to be unfit for purpose.

Some 330 readers responded to the Property Industry Eye survey yesterday which sought to find out whether agents believe that Propertymark’s reputation has been damaged beyond repair by recent events, following the latest high-profile resignation at the organisation.

Tim Balcon’s decision to resign from his position as CEO after only four months came just a few days after it was announced that NAEA President Kirsty Finney was stepping down from her role.

David Cox, now with Rightmove, unexpectedly left his post as ARLA chief executive last year, ex-NAEA chairman Christopher Hamer also exited at short notice in 2020, while former NAEA chief executive Mark Hayward recently postponed his retirement to take on a new role as Propertymark chief policy advisor.

When ex-President of the NAEA, Christopher Hall, sadly passed away two months ago, Propertymark initially failed to issue a statement acknowledging the contribution Hall made to the organisation.

Hall was passionate about agency and did a lot to support the industry, especially during his period on the organisation’s Presidential team – as President-elect, President, and then past-President of the organisation in the mid-2000s. He spent nearly 40 years working in the property market and was an ambassador for the industry.

After a few days, and following a request by EYE for comment, Propertymark eventually issued a short 32-word statement.

Most agents are committed to delivering the highest levels of service and many often adhere to the principles outlined by trade associations.

Being part of a trade association or network of property professionals enables agents to share core values of knowledge and raise industry standards by ensuring they practice in a compliant manner, and that is why half (50.3%) of those who took part in yesterday’s poll acknowledged that being part a member of a trade body can offer the kitemark of trust that consumers are generally looking for.

But overall, the majority of agents want to see Propertymark reformed.

The survey found that 57% of agents do not think Propertymark is fit for purpose, while almost 55% felt that it was simply not fit in its existing form as a member organisation.

More than half of respondents believe that Propertymark will still exist in five years time, but the majority of agents surveyed do not want see the organisation become the body that oversees ROPA for estate and letting agents.

In addition, almost 55% of respondents said that they were not even prepared to consider taking the required exams to become a member of Propertymark.

EYE poll result:

Are you a member of a Propertymark body – NAEA, ARLA, NAVA, ICBA, APIP

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?

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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15 Comments

  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    Maybe we should have a straw poll to decide whether we have any more straw polls.

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    1. JamesH79

      Maybe the senior management at Propertymark will take this rare opportunity to learn what a section of their members and target market actually think and use it constructively to inform their decision making moving forward.

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      1. Richard Hair

        NAEA started as a members organisation. ARLA of course was based on company membership. Both are now individual member organisations joined at the hip. Unfortunately there is a strong view, rightly or wrongly, that the group has lost personal contact with the members and the members themselves have lost contact with each other.

        Much of this is down to the loss of local branches – yes – there were plenty of problems with inactive ones in the past but many were centres of excellence and a place for members to meet together to learn, discuss the issues of the day – and develop fellowship. That has now been lost and needs to be found again if the two working together as Propertymark are to thrive.

        Both associations are very much fit for purpose it’s just that somehow they don’t appear so at the moment under the Propertymark umbrella. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t stay together but there is much work to be done to bring Propertymark back from the brink, as shown by a majority of members in todays poll. Sorry, “the brink” is too strong a term but….

        The poll cannot be a true representation of all the membership but did give a reasonable clue as to their views and is the only poll that seems to have been done in recent times.

        This very difficult situation needs to be treated as an opportunity and a time for constructive debate.

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        1. JamesH79

          Really good to hear of what it used to be and let us hope what it could be again.

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  2. Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Strategist

    Maybe the new CEO, who hopefully will have some real estate background, will conduct a survey from its members and ask them what they think of the organisation, and whether it is time for the grass roots to have a voice, and what that voice sees as the future path. To an outsider the one direction they are taking is – ‘preparation for RoPA’, has anyone told them RoPA is not even on the statute book yet after many years of convincing the members of its imminent arrival. Maybe a new CEO will bring some honesty and transparency, and stop hounding hard pressed agents to undertake courses and examinations for a ‘mythical’ raft of regulations that are a long way down the present Government’s to do list. In fact in a recent management analysis – internal navel gazing and focus on regulation and compliance in all industry sectors, both in real estate and outside of it,  has sunk from being a 40% core objective to a 10% consideration post Brexit and post pandemic.

    In my opinion, time for a new organisation that puts members of that entity at the centre, that equips that member to carry out their profession in a 2030 fashion, understanding the digital pathway all businesses are going, equipping them with the skill set to do their day job, rather than frightening them with the horrors of a ‘mythical’ change in government regulatory policy that has not yet come and may never come. And if it does no doubt there will be years of allowance for sensible agents to ‘google’ from the government website what they need to comply with. A much cheaper option than paying for a Propertymark training course – which was the rationale behind employing the quickly exiting CEO Tim Balcon. (Anyone know why he really left?).

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    1. James White

      Are you pitching for the top job Andrew? 🙂

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  3. smile please

    I think a certain North East individual is jockeying for position.

     

    It wont be a bad call if they are installed……… Watch this space.

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    1. smile please

      Thanks for the dislike James.

       

      I love the fact you go to the trouble of disliking all my comments. Do you sit in bed at night thinking of me? 😉

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  4. Stephen Mac

    So what have we learned from this ‘in depth’ survey? PIE have 330 readers and Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Strategist has way too much time on his hands.  
    Apologies 331 nearly forgot that I looked at it!!!

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    1. Dick Value

      He’s busy buying into Agenda 2030 having mentioned this year a number of times today.

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  5. JamesH79

    Propertymark’s consistent objective over recent years has been to position themselves as a regulatory authority for the industry.  They have used members money to lobby government to put in place the laws which would in real terms make PM membership compulsory.If asked they readily confirm that their intention is to become a “designated professional body” as outlined within the RoPA report, which as Andrew rightly points out above, is something they insist is a matter of “when not if”.  Their entire marketing campaign for membership and their qualifications arm since the publication of the RoPA report has been based on this erroneous supposition, just listen to the various webinars with Hayward and / or Cox readily available online. 
    In yesterday’s thread Robert posted the enlightening Chris Watkin interview with Tim Balcon regarding membership numbers https://youtu.be/0XNqYpsfiFA (I hope I’m ok to post it again here).
     Tim’s first sentence sums up their strategy very neatly;

    “What we’re trying to build here is a profession, therefore the demand for people to be members we need to increase.”
    RoPA is the way they intend to increase that demand.  It was a report which they effectively co-authored which (if enacted) will enshrine in law the requirement for every agent in the land to have a relevant Ofqual level 3 qualification (A-Level in old money) just to do a viewing. If you’re a business owner or senior manager its Ofqual level 4 (Certificate of Higher Education), qualifications which Propertymark are uniquely positioned to provide.

    Propertymark seem to have had a disproportionate influence on the contents of the RoPA report as indicated in particular by the effective copy and paste exercise of the qualifications and CPD requirements recommended within it.

    They represent themselves as campaigning for the industry when talking to agents, yet they label themselves as consumer facing when talking to the public, in truth they represent their own self-interest and get nasty when challenged as evidenced in the various comments sections over recent months.
    Let us hope that their membership use this period of unrest to demand root and branch change starting from the top, and create an representative industry body which we can all get behind.

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  6. singing agent

    I am surprised that nobody has commented on some of the figures in this survey.  Question 1 states that 95 people out of a total of 329 participants are not members of Propertymark, yet in question 6 –  ”
    If you are not a member of a Propertymark body would you consider taking the required exams and becoming a member?
    215 people responded.  This suggests that the vast majority of participants in this survey have never been members of NAEA / ARLA, so are not aware of the benefits of membership.

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    1. KW

      Possibly some might be past members like us? They maybe needed to ask this?

       

       

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  7. Charlie Lamdin

    Is it the Judean People’s Front, or the People’s Front of Judea?

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  8. KW

    They could quite easily bounce back from this by getting rid of the ‘obstacles’ in their way of change, for example some of the old archaic board members (and this isn’t an ageist comment or stab at the older board members, more about how they think as some older members are way more savvy in their thinking than some of the younger ones). Also, listening to feedback and addressing member concerns and finally, embracing all the new technologies out there with a view to informing and educating not just their members but also the public.

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