Agents boasting qualifications could generate higher fees and more clients, especially if they are ‘ahead of the game’ and improve their skills ahead of government reforms likely to be announced later this year.
That’s the message from Sava, which provides education, technology and compliance services to property professionals.
It says proposals expected to emerge from the Regulation of Property Agents working group this summer will only make competition for business amongst agents tougher and will raise expectations from customers.
"The government's plan to introduce a mandatory qualification highlights the value and importance of professional qualifications in our industry. A mandatory qualification will help consumers to identify the reputable agents in their area and avoid those that aren't offering the required level of service" says Austin Baggett, managing director of Sava.
"However, more importantly, an additional industry qualification or diploma can help agents to provide a more comprehensive service, generate more income and differentiate themselves from competitors" he says.
Baggett says the existing range of qualifications open to agents would allow those who act now to showcase their advantages ahead of competitors.
"An industry qualification or diploma will help agents to become more knowledgeable on key topics such as buildings and valuations, which will allow them to provide more in-depth advice to their customers," Baggett explains.
"This allows them to offer a more rounded service to their clients and increases their opportunity to generate revenue from selling additional products. For instance, sellers are generally also buyers, and the estate agent could then go on to provide a home buyer condition report on properties the seller is looking to purchase."
He says additional knowledge - for example, on how buildings are constructed, how they can fail, ways of improving them and the value of properties - would help agents differentiate themselves from competitors.
"On top of this, agents know that due to fee erosion and legislation such as the tenant fee ban, they increasingly need to diversify their offerings and provide services such as surveying and professional valuations which can help them to replace lost revenue" insists Baggett.