A senior agency executive has said minimum standards and qualifications are “desperately needed” in the property sector.
Adam Day, international expansion leader UK for eXp UK said bringing in the long-awaited Regulation of Property Agents rules on qualifications would help boost consumer protection and improve the industry’s image.
Writing exclusively for Estate Agent Today, he said: “The fact that still no qualifications are required to work as a letting agent, or indeed establish an agency, is baffling.
“Setting high professional standards and having a clear vetting process would safeguard integrity and credibility levels, which in turn would help lift an industry battered repeatedly by low poll scores on trustworthiness.
“But above all else, this overhaul would help protect the consumer. The public relies on property and letting agents not only to have up-to-date industry knowledge but also to give them the correct information.”
Day said proper qualifications would let agents take on the role of a knowledgeable trusted advisor who can confidently provide information and support.
He added: “Consumers equally would feel and see the value of an experienced and qualified agent overseeing one of the most important decisions of their life.
“Setting the barrier to entry higher would help weed out less-than-committed individuals as well as stamp out bad practice.
“This does not negate the fact that there are many good, respectable agents out there.
“Many individuals have gone on to enjoy long and successful estate agency careers with few if any qualifications.
“But regardless, the introduction of regulation and qualifications would lift the bar higher and must be applauded.”
Day highlighted that eXp UK has a minimum requirement of two years’ experience for agents.
He said: “We hope legislation to introduce this proposal is not far off the horizon as the benefits of this change are very clear.”