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Here's how mio can help agents comply with RoPA framework

01 October 2020 27412 Views
Here's how mio can help agents comply with RoPA framework

As the review of the recommendations of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group continues, Emily Hawthorne, mio Account Manager and former Estate Agent highlights how regular use of mio® could help Agents comply with some aspects of the proposed 

Agents must act ethically, with honesty and integrity;

Agents are sometimes criticised for failing to give buyers and sellers a clear, accurate view of the chain.  This can result in home movers having unrealistic expectations about the complexity of a chain and their likely completion date.  The mio chain view which updates automatically each time a key milestone in a sale or purchase is completed provides a simple view of the chain for agents and their buyers and sellers. The chain view is also available via an API so it can be served up to any third party involved in a specific transaction, from the conveyancer through to the lender.

Agents must act with due skill, care and diligence;

Sales progression is complicated but it’s often an undervalued skill in Estate Agencies which means it’s delegated to less experienced members of staff.  This can lead to buyers and sellers getting little help from their agent during the most complicated part of a sale or purchase.  The mio sales progression platform makes effective sales progression simple, even for those with no experience of the role.  

I absolutely love mio, it turns the most novice of sales progressors into experts.”

Rob Anderson, Branch Manager, William H Brown

Agents must communicate clearly, accurately and transparently to represent correctly their service or product;

The mio chain view ensures the chain is represented correctly to buyers and sellers who can view the chain in the mio consumer app.  Milestones in a sale or purchase can be completed manually by an agent but an increasing number are updated automatically by trusted data feeds from other third parties involved in a transaction, for example the mortgage broker.  This, along with the in-app chat function within mio makes it easy for agents to keep their buyers and sellers updated on the progress of a sale or purchase.  The mio app is available free of charge to buyers and sellers.

Agents must maintain appropriate accounts and records of their business activities;

mio provides a complete audit trail and history of the property transaction from the point a property reaches Sold Subject to Contract.  The transaction file can easily be downloaded to PDF once a property reaches Completion ensuring it’s easy to access by an agent should any issues emerge.  All mio data is securely stored by mio’s parent company tmgroup, which is ISO27001 accredited, for 6 years after Exchange.  This aligns with the Limitation of Liability for a professional negligence claim and ensures that Agents can access detailed records should an allegation arise.    

Agents must ensure that all staff are qualified and capable to handle responsibilities delegated to them;

Being capable and qualified will not, in isolation, always help agents offer a better service to their customers.  Agency staff must have the right tools to do the job. mio simplifies the complex process of sales progression. mio pinpoints the sales or purchases that require attention to keep a chain moving. Management information reporting within mio allows Branch Managers to accurately monitor the performance of each member of the team in terms of progressing sales through to completion.  This also helps to ensure that Agency staff are equipped with the right tools to help them do their jobs competently and professionally. 

Agents must handle information sensitively and in accordance with data protection legislation;

For data protection and GDPR purposes mio acts as a Data Processor.  The only personal data collected by mio is the buyer’s and seller’s surname, email address and home address. The only personal data that is shared is the surname and home address (property for sale and onward purchase) but this data is only shared with the individual’s estate agent.  It is not collectively visible e.g. surname and property address, to other third parties or through the mio consumer app. 

mio was built to be GDPR compliant and adhere to the Data Protection Act 2018 and complies fully with all data protection legislation.  Regarding the robustness, security and integrity of the IT systems and processes that mio uses, this is provided by its parent company tmgroup who are registered with the Information Commissioners Office under the Data Protection Act and ISO27001 accredited. This means that all policies, processes and systems are routinely reviewed and tested by a full annual independent audit. A copy of tmgroup’s ISO certification is available upon request.

Agents must have effective consumer complaints procedures in place;

mio provides an audit trail of the sales progression process and where the mio consumer app is used, a complete record of any in-app chat messaging with the buyer or seller.  All of this information can be downloaded once a sale completes.  If an agent forgets to download the property record, it can be accessed via a request to mio, in the event of a consumer complaint up to 6 years after Completion.  This retention of data is in line with the Statute of Limitation for a Professional Negligence claim.  

Agents must comply with all relevant legislation.

It is very difficult to force compliance with legislation but by making it simple for Agents to follow a recognised sales progression process and, in turn, provide a better service to home buyers and sellers. mio will make it easier for Agents to comply with the proposed framework. 

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