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Propertymark says it’s only agent body with influence on government

Propertymark is the only agency trade body with sufficient influence on, and links with, government to achieve major gains for the industry.

That’s the view of Tim Balcon, Propertymark’s new chief executive, in an exclusive interview with Estate Agent Today, which can be read in full from tomorrow. 

In the interview Balcon explains how he is the right man for the brand new job of overarching chief executive of all of Propertymark’s five associations - ARLA, NAEA, NAVA, ICBA and APIP - as they combine into one brand. 

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He goes on to explain how this contributes towards Propertymark being powerful enough to exert influence and authority at the highest levels of government. 

“The professional accreditation. Only we can offer that. Agents and professionals are free to join any bodies they want, but we can offer that professional accreditation, that standard of achievement.”

He also points to the victories Propertymark achieved during the pandemic, which other bodies with less of a relationship with the government may have struggled to achieve. 

This included success on business rates, which saw Propertymark convince government that estate and letting agents should be categorised as retail and thus offered the same relief as retailers. As a result, Balcon says, agencies saved a combined £210m.

Elsewhere in the interview Balcon explains how his own extensive CV is an ideal preparation for working on behalf of the industry when the Regulation of Property Agents’ recommendations are enacted, and he gives his candid views on why the industry will benefit from Propertymark being one brand instead of a group of disparate associations.

He covers the controversial issue of why former NAEA chief executive Mark Hayward is staying on after all, and leaves a subtle rebuke for an outspoken critic of the move.

There’s a lot to read and to enjoy in the interview, which is part of the Property Natter series with Angels Media chief executive Nat Daniels.

You can see it in the Features section of EAT from first thing tomorrow (Saturday January 16) and subscribers to the EAT and LAT newsletters will of course get an email link straight to the interview. 

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Did you cover the VAT debacle? can Propertymark claim to be the one that the government listens too if it fails to pay the requisite amount of VAT over a number of years - as documented in their year end minutes of their annual meeting December 2019.

    And I quote from page page 14 'The Finance department has undergone a major review of its processes, systems and procedures. As part of gaining that financial stability we have identified that our tax position was not properly ordered and that has led to a significant payment to HM Revenue and Customs of outstanding VAT which has arisen through misdefinition of our liabilities and exemptions over a number of years.'

    Maybe Tim Balcon needs to do a little more homework, and contemplate that if you are to be the de facto - shining beacon of regulatory prowess - you can hardly do this if your own company fails to do some very basic functions. Moreover, can you in good faith be guiding others on compliance, especially in the financial sector, my thoughts are well - no. Also was the membership made aware of the underpayment of VAT, was there a fine and interest added, I am sure in the interests of transparency the 17,000 members who pay subscriptions have a right to know.

  • Michael Day

    I wish Tim Balcon well.

    He has a significant task to both demonstrate and persuade the industry that Propertymark is really fit for purpose and to be trusted as the “voice” of a fragmented industry.

    The organisation has still, over decades, failed to “cross the divide” between being a trade body promoting its members and a professional and, in the eyes of consumers, regulatory organisation.

    The potential offered by a future implementation of ROPA is significant but, IMO, Propertymark will need to significantly improve if it is to be considered as the “voice of the industry” and as worthy of being its regulator.

  • charlotte Jeffrey- campbell

    I think Propertymark need to understand what their agents want from them. I speak to many many agents and a very small minority are positive about them - the large majority are very non committal. The amazing feedback we have gained about our qualification alternative to Propertymark shows there is demand for a more commercially driven practical training - and remember RoPA from the governments’ point of view is about the consumer. There needs to be choice in qualifications as people all have different learning styles and needs. Be interested to read the article.

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    The Public has no idea who PropertyMark is, and more importantly, does not care when choosing an estate agent to market their home. We tried for years, across many branches, to use proeprtymark and arla as a kitemark but to no avail. It makes no difference to or agency and simply buries us in new ideas such as Sales Protocol kit, that no one can use!!

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    The Letting Industry Council has had significant influence and has even been attended by ARLA. You don't to pay to be a member. It is attended by MHCLG & Lord Best. In another article Propertymark seem to be claiming credit for UPRN as well.

    I find the statement 'Propertymark says it’s only agent body with influence on government' astonishing. Look what SAFEagent achieved with CMP.

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