Propertymark has set out a four point strategy for the future of the organisation.
The body - which encompasses the National Association of Estate Agents and the Association of Residential Letting Agents, plus industry groups NAVA, ICBA and APIP - is still smarting from a torrid 12 months.
Chief executive Tim Balcon stood down in February, just four months after taking office and just days after NAEA President Kirsty Finney resigned mid-way through her year in office. Last year former NAEA chief executive Mark Hayward was scheduled to leave but then returned with a new title of Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor; his former ARLA chief executive counterpart David Cox left unexpectedly last year and now works at Rightmove; former NAEA chairman Christopher Hamer left last year, again at what appeared short notice.
Propertymark is now led by long-standing and popular industry figure Nathan Emerson, who has some 30 years experience in lettings, sales, commercial and auctioneering property, and is a former partner and director at an independent estate agency.
Emerson has been a Propertymark board member since 2018 and is a facilitator and mentor at the agency development programme Propertymark Inspire.
Now the organisation he leads has issued a lengthy statement saying that the property market in all its forms is a major element in the UK economy and government thinking, and saying that within such a landscape it wants to share with agents its vision for the future of Propertymark.
It says this is “a vision that positions us as a professional body, that has members at the heart of everything we do. One that creates an organisation with a recognised single brand, has members who aspire to reach high standards and the provider of choice for qualifications.”
It continues by saying it is “an organisation which provides membership benefits and services that are relevant to both individual agents and to businesses with members’ voices not only heard but carrying real influence across all the UK nations, providing platforms and opportunities to share knowledge both locally and nationally.”
The organisation adds: “We are already well advanced in bringing this strategy to life and are focused on four key pillars which are completely centred around our members.
“1. Valued membership service – We know that the needs of our members are constantly evolving. The property sector has positively embraced technology and new ways of working. Our expanding programme of webinars, blogs, factsheets and integrated regional networks provide a continuous source of information and guidance, but we must ensure our members are able to access these through the channels they use on a daily basis. We need to stay relevant to our members and genuinely listen to their needs. That is why we have created a cross disciplined Industry Steering Group to carry through a full review of our membership proposition and we are asking all members to contribute. We will value the contribution of all the professional disciplines within our membership no matter how big or small. Through this work we aim to understand and support our members’ needs by tailoring our services and products for both individual agents and the organisations they work for.
“2. Being the recognised industry voice – Being THE industry voice is built on a bedrock of membership engagement and feedback. By aggregating what we learn, we are able to provide a credible and influential voice to demonstrate how our members are impacted by the constantly changing legislative and political landscape. Gathering and sharing data, evidence and insight from within the industry and on the ground, has enabled us to persuade UK governments to make tangible changes that impact and benefit the sector and most importantly our members. For example, achieving business rate relief during the pandemic has equated to saving £210m for members across the country. This will remain an integral part of our work and we will look to work in partnership with others to further increase our reach and influence.
“3. Recognise industry standards – Our members tell us that they strive to reach the highest standards and want consumers to be able to differentiate between them and rogue agents. Industry standards are a clear competitive differentiator as well as a pathway for career progression and commitment to continued learning and development. By providing a strong and recognisable symbol of professionalism, underpinned by a robust Code of Practice and a modern qualification offer, Propertymark will continue to support members seeking to gain an accreditation and raise industry standards. We are also very clear in our intent for Propertymark to play a key role in the future regulatory structure, whenever that comes about.
“4. Future proofing Propertymark – Propertymark must be agile and adapt to the market in which we operate. That is why we are investing in enhancing our systems and digital technologies to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to serve members going forward. It is also important we look after our people, particularly in these unprecedented times, and that we foster a culture of openness and transparency as we take the organisation forward.”
The organisation concludes its statement by saying: “These four pillars embody our current and future ambitions for members but there is more to come and plenty to be done. Together with our membership we will continue to grow our organisation into one that consumers recognise and our members are proud to be part of. There has never been a better time to be a member of Propertymark. “We welcome input from all of our stakeholders. If anyone would like to discuss this further, they can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org."