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Admin staff: the cornerstones to an effective agency

Admin teams in most businesses are often the lynchpins that ensure compliance and deal with issues in order to keep the cogs in motion to meet customer expectation, yet is the work of an administrator widely known, and how can employees make sure that they’re recognised for doing the quiet work behind the scenes? Propertymark discusses.

With agency valuers and negotiators being the face of an agency, they are often the ones to get the praise, gifts, and commission for bringing in new business and closing deals. An effective admin team, especially in the realm of lettings, consistently deliver in areas such as client retention, chasing rent arrears, dealing with maintenance and safety certificates and arranging new tenancies – a multitude of achievements worth praising.

As well as agents, admin staff members are also forced to adapt quickly and effectively in order to meet ongoing changes in Government legislation, often focused on new requirements to achieve with rigid deadlines and perhaps little appreciation for the practicalities of the task in hand.

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Natalie Barton, ALRA Propertymark Regional Executive and Accounts and Media Administrator at Brittons Letting Agents in King's Lynn, commented on her valued experience in admin to say: “Being truly valued in my admin position has allowed me to flourish in my role and beyond. It made me realise why procedures and timeframes were so important and how every aspect needs to be correct when it comes to admin.

“I appreciate how important it is to get things right, which makes me work better. It’s also allowed me to develop my role, to be able to deal with client’s confidently – being able to quote legislation when disagreements arise quickly which proves I know what I’m talking about. There’s no need to pass work on when the whole team is strong and comfortable in their knowledge of property legislation.

“It has also impassioned me to look at the industry as a whole, beyond the four walls of the office. The private rented sector is so much more than a job to me, it’s a vocation. But I wouldn’t have found that passion if Brittons hadn’t invested in me as a part of the team despite my admin role.”

Some agents have reported their concerns of a ‘two-tier structure’ when the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) is introduced, as all customer-facing roles will require a minimum Level 3 qualification, whilst most of those in admin will be exempt.

Nathan Emerson, CEO Propertymark comments on the importance of regulation and appropriate training: “Propertymark has long-called for regulation within the sector, but with this being said, despite some staff not falling within the criteria of needing an appropriate qualification, admin staff are vital to compliance and having a fully-trained team brings just as much value to an agency.”

Understanding legislation brings a greater appreciation for why processes are as they are, which in turn encourages effective working practices. If the focus of training is on those in customer-facing roles, are those in admin in danger of being overlooked?

What can managers and directors do to ensure their admin team is supported and valued? 

Appreciating the value that effectiveness in these roles brings to the business is essential and rewarding admin teams to ensure that they receive equal access to benefits will make them feel valued and respected.

Managers and directors should consider supporting those in admin teams who are interested in achieving a qualification and training to do so, in order to further enhance their skills and give team members a chance to engage in the wider industry.

There will be staff, however, that won’t want to undertake the study that will be required of those in front-end roles, who are able to effectively carry out their duties without the need for qualifications, but managers and directors shouldn’t assume that this relates to everyone.

Having a whole team qualified to an equal level and encouraged to pursue an interest in the property sector reaps benefits for clients and business.

*Propertymark is the leading professional body for the property sector, encompassing ARLA, NAEA, NAVA and more.

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Just two days ago I was telling a client that in the old days the 'secretary' of an agency (pre administrators as a role and title) were often the brain and glue of the agency. The single person who had been sitting in a chair in the corner for years and in whose cranium all the information of the branch was stored. In the days where paper was king and the secretary typed every document, these people knew everything - their counsel was gold.

    Many new managers and listers, letting managers etc relied on the deep wisdom of these unsung heroes who could give a value to a property as they probably lived locally, and had typed up the sales momorandum or the lettings inventory for a similar property in that street or even that property.

    Now of course the data sets come from other sources, and the general public is often ahead of the knowledge base in branches, but the same reliance on those non-frontline workers is key, though more so in the adminstration heavy side of lettings.

    On regulation I would have thought anyone touching real esate should if it ever happens have the same level of qualifications, though with the advance of tech, my hope is that software can keep everthing and everyone in apple pie order, with its 24/7 never sleeping eye.

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