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Independent agents' group CIELA sets out lengthy 'rules of entry'

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. 

These are:

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. 

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    Well that clears that up ......

    So as long as you are not an onliner or corporate you can join.

    Oh and its not there to give advice (Whats the point again).

    AND its not open to companies just owners for the companies ....

    Anyone else feel this is just away to obtain a nice bunch of decision makers to sell products to?

    Again i am lost of what the actual point is of this bunch?

  • Simon shinerock

    They have managed to gain a huge amount of industry publicity, something to learn from that, not sure what, or what it says about the industry or CIELA.

    My guess is that CIELA is trying to tap into the immense frustration felt by owner managers in the industry the cause of which is disempowerment. Traditional owner managers feel disempowered by the current portal status quo, they feel threatened by the likes of PB and others and they currently lack an effective platform to communicate their message to their local audience.

    This problem is one of adaptation to the loss of local papers, the waning off of the effectiveness of leaflets and the rise of currently mystifying digital alternatives like big data, reviews, google stars, instant valuation tools, new business models etc.

    In my book there is nothing wrong with establishing a commercial network aimed at helping agents adapt successfully to these unprecedented changes by supplying expertise, services and products in return for cash.

    Many such networks have formed in the past, exist now and new ones are vying for market share as we speak, including the one run by this publisher. Commercial networks only prosper if they add measurable value to their members, a bit like pay per click google ads, they stand or fall on their effectiveness.

    What I find a bit objectionable is where organisations cloak their commercial intent behind quasi althuristic motives.

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