Latest News

MHCLG guidance on buying and selling homes during COVID-19

27 March 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued guidance on buying and selling homes during the stay-at-home period. Read More...

Self-employed to receive 80% supplement by June

26 March 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak this evening announced a new self-employed income support scheme, comprising a taxable grant worth 80% of their average profit over the last three years. The scheme will be open for three months and will be extended if needed. Read More...

Leaseholders call for Government help with cladding security costs

26 March 2020

Leaseholders in buildings cladded with flammable materials have called for support with the cost of interim safety measures during the Coronavirus crisis. Read More...

Home buyers can move if unavoidable

25 March 2020

In the latest guidance from the Government, home buyers should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new property whilst emergency measures are in place to fight Coronavirus. Read More...

Council Tax Hardship Fund to support those affected by Coronavirus

25 March 2020

The Government has confirmed further support for renters with a £500 million hardship fund which will provide council tax relief for vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by Coronavirus. Read More...

Propertymark takes the lead to speed up sales

Friday 28 February 2020

With so much change facing agents, Propertymark took the lead and launched a Sales Protocol Toolkit, created with the Property Transaction Reform Working Group, at the 2020 NAEA Propertymark National Conference.

With over 450 agents at the Conference on 27 February, showing an appetite to learn, adapt and be ready for the changes facing the property industry, they welcomed the Toolkit, which is encouraging agents and vendors to work together to speed up the house buying and selling process.

The future belongs to those that are best able to adapt

Embrace technology and allow it to enhance your business was a message from Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive. However, without eliminating the human element he encouraged everyone to be the very best, offering a supreme standard of service.

Messages of wisdom focusing on the human element of business were also shared by two of the Conference keynotes, Paul McGee and Linda Moir. Ideas come from real people that work with consumers, every day. And how you are, as employees, inside an organisation is what the customer sees – customer service comes from within. However, giving people the freedom to express themselves can have benefits for your business.

Inspire means to breathe life - grasp life and shut up the inner voice of self-doubt, with Paul encouraging everyone to change their thinking. The fact that over 450 agents turned up to the conference shows they are keen to learn and develop and encouraged them to look at the way they think and not see things as problems. With his one to ten scale of how bad things really are - stop, understand, and move on.

Reservation agreements, referral fees, and regulation

NAEA Propertymark National Conference, 27 February 2020

Matt Prior, MHCLG’s Home Buying and Selling Policy Lead stated how they are working with the industry to develop a short, standardised reservation agreement, which can be used in any transaction. As well as commissioning some behavioural insight research to consider ways to encourage consumers to adopt them, with a pilot to then make them the standard.

Both Matt and James Munro from Trading Standards, highlighted the continued emphasis to be totally transparent on referral fees. With James outlining the need for all Material Information to be gleaned from vendors and that they are working with portals to make sure they have a role in getting this information out to vendors too.

A key question from the audience was “All these regulations are the responsibility of the seller and agent! What is the point on the solicitors?” Agents present Material Information to buyers and the role of the solicitor is to interpret that information. Trading Standards highlighted that getting a conveyancer involved straight away can show any issues as they come up and can be dealt with, to speed up the whole process.

The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) isn’t a small undertaking and would this be introduced before the next general election was on the delegate’s mind. The new Government needs to identify what legislation is needed to get through and the priorities are paramount, with RoPA on the list but there is no commitment of timings.

Confidence in using social media

There was a huge appetite to learn from keynote speaker, Teresa Heath-Wareing, social media, and marketing strategist, who gave numerous tips to succeed with social media. It takes time and effort – the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit, Teresa proclaimed. The key to success is knowing your audience, keeping it simple but ‘entertain’ your audience too. People are the brand and consumers buy off people, show you are human.

A great presidential year

Lauren Scott, NAEA Propertymark President outlined that best practice was what she laid out to achieve in her presidential year. A team from the US National Association of Realtors attended the Conference and Lauren emphasised how all US realtors are licensed and regulated which gives them the confidence to charge a fair and real fee. Regulation is coming and it’s been a key topic at the regional events she’s attended, and we should be inspired by the US agents regarding regulation. Let’s all aspire to be the highest level.

The Sales Protocol Toolkit