Can Training Make a Difference?
Despite reports of renewed sales surges and actual rises in property prices, overall prices are still on the decline, rents are coming under pressure and the UK economy is in a pretty dire state.
Way over-optimistic government growth forecasts from last year will need to be revised considerably downwards come budget day—this is a world wide problem with an effective disintegration of the financial system, the likes of which have not been seen since the 1930s.
We constantly read forecasts of when property prices will bottom out and when they will recover—quite frankly, no-one really knows at this stage!
Just as the boom fed on a positive cycle spiralling upwards, the downturn does exactly the opposite.
Considering the seriousness of the situation we must hope that our governments’ credit holds out long enough to see this through.
Inevitably things will improve—already yields are looking tempting—but we’ll be in a completely different operating environment—property will still be a good place to invest though.
For those with the resources, there will be some bargain basement prices.
One bright spot in all this gloom is the student lettings market. With university applications set to rise by around 8% in the recession—education always weathers recessions well—there’s a virtually guaranteed increased demand for the student landlord over the next three years, and beyond.
As always, location is the key, and a recent survey published by accommodation for students (AFS) (see pages 5 & 6) may be of help.
In the agency businesses, many of which are going through very difficult times, it’s very tempting to save where you can—education and training are often a target for cuts in a recession.
However, if you have the resources, it’s obviously an ideal time to get staff trained up to meet the demands of the increasing legislation involved with lettings.
At times like these staff need something to get their minds off the gloom and concentrate on improving customer service and their own professionalism.
This month’s Newsletter should give you some ideas in this regard.
Good look in these difficult times, whatever your business.
Tom Entwistle, Editor
Over the last 12 months there have been 3 different reviews of the private rented sector.
The first, The Carsberg Review, was initiated by ARLA, RICS and the NAEA.
The second was published by the Law Commission and the third...
was commissioned by the Government.
What do they have in common?
They all mention the role of landlords and letting and managing agents.
Then, in January 2009 Professor Jones’ School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University recommended that letting agents and property managers should be regulated and subject to the Consumers Estate Agents and Redress Act (CEAR Act).
He also proposed that at least the principal professional in a lettings or management agency should have an accredited, advanced qualification.
Unlike many countries in the world, letting agents and managing agents in the UK do not need to be qualified nor indeed are they regulated.
It is estimated that less than 15% of those employed in lettings and management have any sort of vocational qualification.
Unlike Scottish landlords, landlords in England and Wales do not need to be accredited even though there are accreditation schemes which have been developed by some local authorities.
This month’s Newsletter will look into some of the major issues involved.
Content has been provided by Susie Crolla, Chief Executive of the Guild of Letting and Management
If you as a landlord, letting agent or managing agent, are interested in membership of a professional association involved with lettings, or training and qualifications for yourself or your staff, you can contact Susie Crolla on: 01992 479949
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