The property profession is deeply misunderstood by the public. A bold statement? Perhaps, but one I believe is absolutely true. I'll explain why.
I was lucky enough to attend the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP)* Awards ceremony this month. Held in the beautiful surroundings of Warwick Castle. It was an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of those who had passed a property qualification.
Now we know that the reputation of the property profession is generally a poor one. But, when I looked around the audience that evening, how could this be? These property agents had plainly taken the time and effort to study for a qualification.
They plainly wanted to be the best they could be in the profession. And, they plainly wanted to give the customer the best experience possible. And they are not alone. I meet plenty of agents with the same lofty aspirations. And yet, even with all of them, the public still think so little of the industry.
We know this is true. You only have to read the newspapers, watch the TV or talk to the public to see that they hold the profession in as low esteem as bankers and politicians.
How did we ever get to this point?
When I first became an estate agent in 1985 it was a time when property agents were respected, trusted, and considered indispensable. But, as the decade came to a close slowly our reputation became tarnished. There are many reasons why.
It was a time where a number of senior staff left the industry and were replaced by less experienced staff. Worse, many of the latter were quickly promoted without always having the necessary property education. And, all of this was at a time when the public were gradually becoming more ‘property’ savvy and demanding.
The result? A growing sense of dissatisfaction with the profession.
However, none of this is to suggest that there aren’t ‘bad apples’ in the property profession. There are in all professions yet ours is focused on more than most by the public. This is down to one critical reason. One you might be surprised by. I’ll explain what this is in the next instalment.
*Please note that the name of the qualifications’ awarding body has changed. The National Federation of Property Professionals Awarding Body has rebranded. It is now known as Propertymark Qualifications.