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Agents ‘are good at pretending they’re qualified’ says agency CEO

A London estate agency chief executive says agents "have become good at pretending that they are qualified and regulated when the majority are not."

Dexters CEO Andy Shepherd makes the accusation in a statement announcing that the company was going to take on 100 new recruits via its academy next year. 

He says: ”Experts in real estate all over the world have mandatory licensing and qualifications in order to ensure that they are best qualified to give advice to customers. The UK is the exception and although there are some very good agents out there, it is sometimes difficult to tell because there are a lot of different standards and organisations which purport to represent the industry.” 

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Then he adds: "Agents have become good at pretending that they are qualified and regulated when the majority are not, so much so that the public often assume that one agent is much like the next.”

The firm, which now has 70 offices across the capital, took on 160 new staff overall during 2020, 70 of which joined its Dexters Academy apprentice scheme. So far the academy is the UK's first and only estate agent ‘employer provider’ accredited by the government's Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Shepherd continues: “Dexters is the only UK estate agent that has employer provider status and we are passionate about investing and training our people and do everything we can to support them so they can spend their careers with us. 

“At a time when we hear reports that other London agents are closing offices and going online, cutting staff and slashing training budgets, Dexters is doing the opposite and instead we are growing through investing in our offices, bringing on new apprentices and maintaining our academy through remote learning and socially distant practices.”

The academy was founded in 2014  and the firm says its programme already conforms with the recommendations made 18 months ago by the Regulation of Property Agents working party.

Dexters recruitment director Brandon van der Westhuizen says: "We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and so those with experience in retail, travel and hospitality do well on our fast-track management programme where we can train them for a career in property. We also welcome applications from graduates and have a number of apprenticeships on offer.”

He says the firm does recruit from elsewhere in the agency industry but prefers those who go through its academy; the company has almost 90 per cent of its current management produced by the academy.

  • Anthony Alex

    Admirable sentiment, although, once again, this is self-promotion dressed up as news.

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    How many redundancies have been made this year by this company? How many staff have left? What is the net job creation by this company?

    Hypothetically, would it make sense for a established company, with strong brand awareness to move on long standing members of staff and replace with trainees?

  • charlotte Jeffrey- campbell

    It’s not just about the employer - most staff I come across really want to be able to stand out as qualified and expert. Regulation and qualifications will create a minimum but the CePAP qualification will also allow staff to continue to develop and gain additional specialist qualifications aligned to their job role. RoPA is just the start in my view.

  • Heather Hilder-Darling

    Congratulations Dexters on providing an apprenticeship route for new recruits to our fascinating, yet challenging industry. I support the professional qualifications available to all estate and letting agents. It's really not difficult to check the experience and qualifications of those working in agency. Perhaps the British Public aren't quite so bothered?

  • Richard Copus

    The problem is the British public think that estate agents are qualified.

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    This coming from the guy who spent March pretending they were an 'essential' business.

  • Franklin I

    Let's be totally honest. Estate agent's as a whole are corrupt in comparison to many other industries within the UK that have stricter regulations.

    They've been getting away with this for decades!



    Speaking of qualifications, what is the required qualifications to become an Estate Agent in the UK?
    Do you require a licence to become one.

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