Paul Jager

BLOG AUTHOR

Paul Jager

MOL Product Manager - Property & Conveyancing

Paul became an estate agent in 1985 after finishing his degree and later owned a successful estate agents in London for 14 years. Having sold his business in 2002, Paul joined MOL in 2004 as a tutor for MOL’s property programmes. Soon after, Paul was promoted to Head of the Property Division with responsibility for property training and the writing and development of materials and workbooks for the ‘National Federation of Property Professionals’ qualifications, which is today known as PropertyMark.

Qualifications. What’s the value?

Why bother with qualifications? This is a question I’m am periodically asked by residential property agents. It’s fair, because in their profession it’s not immediately obvious how a qualification can benefit their career. But it can and here is why…

We all know that to be a residential property agent you do not currently need to be qualified. As ridiculous as this situation is, unfortunately this is the case. Anyone can start an estate agency or letting agency tomorrow with no experience, skill or qualifications to their name.

However, the market place for agencies is becoming a highly competitive one. Unlike the past, there are now several viable ways for a homeowner to sell or let their property:

  • High street agency
  • Online agency
  • Hybrid agency
  • Private sale or let
  • Low cost agents.

With this much competition, finding ways to differentiate yourself is crucial for any agent hoping to survive in the business. Relying on the promise of ‘great customer service’ just doesn’t wash with the public anymore - every agent promises this.

So how else can an agent separate themselves, in the eyes of the public, from their competitors?

Fees is another popular topic - be the cheapest and hope to pick up business that way. While there will be some members of the public persuaded to use a ‘cheap’ agent, ultimately no agent with any type of overheads can survive too long by being ‘cheap and cheerful’. It’s not sustainable in the long run – many have tried and most have failed.

I suggest there is only way for a residential property agent to do well these days – have an abundance of genuine skill. This includes:

  • Knowing the residential property system – understanding how the sales or letting process works and using it to the customer’s advantage
  • Knowledge of property law – ensuring that all you do for your customer follows the many property laws we have in this country
  • Being able to provide a level of service that meets the customer’s needs and help them reach their ‘property’ goal.

Unfortunately, even the above isn’t enough – there is one more point that a property agent needs to fulfil

They must be able to communicate to the public that they have those skills.  

It is this last point that is critical. How do you demonstrate to the public your high level of skill in order to persuade them to use their services and not another company?

Qualifications are the answer. They demonstrate a level of skill, knowledge and understanding of the profession - all qualities that the public will look for when choosing an agent. Promote the fact that you are qualified at every opportunity to ensure that the public know the commitment you have made to your profession and that you can genuinely offer them an unparalleled level of competence and skill.

So, what is the right qualification for you? A wide range of Propertymark Qualifications (“the UK's specialist awarding organisation offering national, industry recognised qualifications in property and property related disciplines”) are available from MOL via self-study or supported learning. Find out more about these here.

And if you’re not sure which qualification is right for you, then we have an expert team on hand to guide you through the decision-making process. Give them a call on 0345 203 2103 to discuss it today.