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Agents back licensing schemes in 'optimistic' industry survey

Agents remain positive about the prospects for their business and the property market despite talk of slowing house price growth and the prospect of further regulation.

A survey of 712 property professionals by The Property Redress Scheme (PRS), found agents scored their business optimism at 7.2 out of 10, indiciating they are ‘very optimistic.’

More than 50% of respondents scored their confidence between eight and 10. 

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When asked for their views on how the property market will perform for the remainder of this year, 64% said the performance will be positive while just 11% cent said ‘negative’. 

The remaining 25% said the market's performance will remain static.

There was plenty of backing for further regulation of the sector.

The majority, 71%, of respondents said they believe agents should be required to have an official licence to operate, just 9% believe licensing is unnecessary, and 19% were undecided. 

The research also asked respondents for their view on US-style business models, similar to Keller Williams and eXp, where agents are self-employed but use a company’s brand or infrastructure.

Three quarters were not interested in this but 18.8% said they would consider it and 32% described it as an opportunity.

Eddie Hooker, chief executive of the Hamilton Fraser Group, which runs The PRS, said: “It’s little surprise that industry confidence is high at the moment. 

“Property professionals have had a bumper couple of years thanks to the booming housing market. 

“This success means that many don’t see any need for change, whether it be via the introduction of new tech offerings or the adoption of the US-style, self employed model. 

“But it does seem that the industry is keen to do more to ensure that they and their clients are protected against poor practice and rogue traders and the vast majority would like to see the introduction of licensing for agents and landlords.

“Such a move would help to further bolster the work of The PRS, helping to improve the standards of the sector from the get-go.

“So, while operational change is not a popular idea, there is definitely an appetite for increased honesty, transparency, and integrity within the industry.”

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