The fledgling organisation seeking to represent independent estate agents has issued a lengthy statement setting out what it calls ‘rules of entry.’
The statement centres chiefly on avoiding corporate agencies joining. “We must keep large corporate influence away from this industry body. They are required to put shareholders’ interests above that of staff or customers” says Charlie Wright, founder of the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents.
Last night Wright said he had “listened carefully to all the frustrations expressed to it in respect of even the most highly respected other organisations” and concluded that four key rules would highlight CIELA’s differences with other industry bodies.
1. No Corporate Membership. “CIELA will be an organisation that must always remain a mouthpiece exclusively for independent agents, representing the collective interests and views of the majority of the industry, which is overwhelmingly comprised of small (fewer than three outlets) estate and lettings agency businesses. The views of Corporate Estate Agents will be explicitly ignored.”
2. It is not an advisory organisation. “CIELA will not be a regulator, nor will it ever advise anyone how they should run their business. Existing organisations already provide this service adequately to those agents who require it. CIELA will be first and foremost the collective voice of independent owner-managed estate and letting agencies.”
3. Individuals Only - Not businesses. “CIELA will not be an organisation for businesses, it will be an organisation for the individual owners of qualifying businesses.”
4. All-member votes on any matter required, as often as demanded by members. “The only way to truly represent the views of the majority, is to poll the majority on their views on specific topics as they arise.” On the CIELA website Wright has detailed a process whereby CIELA’s structure of a national committee, regional officers and county officers can then raise issues, trigger meetings and vote on issues.