The man behind fledgling trade body The Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents (CIELA) says that public misunderstanding of the role of estate agents is damaging to the property industry.
In an interview with Estate Agent Today, Charlie Wright says: "the public do not understand what agents do."
He cites the involvement of many different parties in moving transactions as one of the biggest problems faced by agents.
"Whenever any one of these parties behaves in a way that adversely affects the transaction, it always falls on the agent to deliver the bad news," says Wright.
"It's a case of 'shoot the messenger'."
He argues that when one considers the work undertaken after accepting the risk of not being paid if a transaction fails to complete, being an agent is largely a 'thankless task'.
When asked why the agency industry is sometimes portrayed with a negative image in the mainstream media, Wright suggests that there is little to no 'visibility' of all the work agents do to secure a smooth transaction.
"When it seems like an agent has 'done nothing for their money', it’s usually because they have done such an outstanding job of smoothing the process out that the client experience is that ‘it was easy’," he says.
Wright set up CIELA earlier this year with the aim of being exclusively for the benefit and promotion of all independent estate agents.
So far, the aspiring trade body has recruited a number of founding and regional committee members and is undertaking a 'pre-launch membership drive'.
The organisation recently held a 'supplier and partner' event - attended by over 50 firms - to discuss how industry suppliers can work with the trade group.