Propertymark launched by ARLA and NAEA

Propertymark launched by ARLA and NAEA

Aiming to promote professionalism and integrity in the property industry, Propertymark has been launched by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

With emphasis shifting from the industry facing licensing to consumer protection, the accreditation has been formed to enhance professional standards within the sector and promote industry qualifications. It can be attained by estate agents, letting agents, auctioneers, valuers and inventory providers.

It brings the voices of organisations together in order to provide a greater degree of clarity for the consumer, as well as increasing their awareness of what to look for in a property agent.

Although largely unknown to the public, both ARLA and NAEA have represented the professional property sector to various industry audiences as well as the media and policy makers.

Having developed ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark, the two organisations are unified, with public awareness now a key priority. By holding members accountable, the organisations aim to provide consumers with advice, expertise and protection.

Commenting on the accreditation was David Cox and Mark Hayward. The respective ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark Chief Executives highlighted the importance of enhancing customer understanding as well as providing protective reassurance.

“Having a home is the most important issue for consumers and our members are there to protect and guide people with their property transactions. At present customers don’t know where to go for advice or can’t be sure if they are dealing with a professional.  We are changing this. We will reach out to customers directly so they recognise Propertymark and understand that by using a Propertymark Protected agent they and their money are safe.

“Propertymark is a stamp of approval for consumers when they seek professional property expertise in buying, selling, renting, leasing, or valuing a property. It stands for protection for the consumer and offers the highest standards and qualifications among property professionals. Propertymark Protected agents have opted for regulation in an unregulated sector, and provide reassurance for consumers as well as protection against rogue operators.”

The conveyancing market is competitive; often with little for consumers differentiate by, the price is likely to be a key decision maker.

In order to increase transparency within the sector and attainment of professional standards, organisations such as the Law Society and the Society of Licensed Conveyancers developed certain accreditations. These include the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) and the Quality Assured accreditations. The CQS indicates that a firm which offers conveyancing has attained a certain level of credibility and applies to those which are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). It shows that they have complied with the relevant CQS protocol. The SLC Quality Assured aimed to fill the gaps that the CQS did not quite cover, according to the SLC’s chairman, John Clay. He stated that it aims to provide “a universally accepted and recognised standard, designed specifically for licensed conveyancers.” The mark of quality aims to minimise the fraud risk for Lenders who choose to use the SLC Quality Assured panel members.

Various other standards may be achieved by firms to further differentiate them, including being ranked within the Legal 500.

Once obtained, these can be placed on a firm’s website, social media platforms as well as marketing material. In addition to enhancing the reputability of a firm in comparison to others in the market, the accreditations also communicate the attainment of a professional standard to the consumer. The Legal Ombudsman has endorsed accreditations but has also added that a more universal scheme may actually be required in order to increase consumer understanding even further.

 

 

Georgia Owen

Georgia is the Content Executive and will be your primary contact when submitting your latest news. While studying for an LLB at the University of Liverpool, Georgia gained experience working within retail, as well as social media management. She later went on to work for a local newspaper, before starting at Today’s Conveyancer.

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