Iain White you are one of the UK’s leading Estate Agency consultants what is your opinion on regulation and licensing for
estate agency [Watkin Der-Der-Der Music] I think the point of entry into estate
agency is way way too low I think we’ve gone way past the point where ….do you
include lettings in that as well and probably more so I think there’s even
more legislation and more complication in the letting space than the state
agency space but you know I’ve seen lots of businesses that know couples that
have gone from lifestyle change they’ve gone to a franchise fair picked up a
franchise and they didn’t know they were going to go and get in a state agency
franchise that’s just what they came away with instead of a beef burger
franchise and they are perfectly educated people but they have no
understanding so in that case I think it’s unfair on them because I think
they’re putting their families you know financial well-being and spiritual
well-being in the hands of an industry there’s probably just going to eat them
for breakfast if we’re honest about it and it’s going to cost them a lot of
money and they’re gonna you know you can’t just put up estate
agents above the door and expect to be profitable within a few days that’s just
not reality so I think I think there needs to be an understanding of exactly
what needs to go into build an estate agency before you can have a franchise
and then I think we should be very strict and very definite about the
behaviors that the estate agents need to adhere to and I think they need to be
legislation to massively simplify the conveyancing process I think if we could
do one of those things I’d die happy man and retire tomorrow you mentioned franchising .. at least with franchsing you get a bit of training the
amount of phone calls I get for especially letting agents saying “I
rent out my uncle’s houses and now I’m gonna set up a letting agency” and we
delaing with people’s lives here you know we’ve gas safety certificates and you
know you get the wrong legisation.. you serve the wrong notice you gonna have tenants in there forever .. it’s shocking that there’s the low barrier to entry Its scary I think yeah now rentals is …. you know when I start in industry either than rentals was probably I don’t know two three percent
of the [money in] but do you think regulation could go the other way and go
too far Of course I do… I think I think regulation can be prohibitive in
many ways you know unintended consequences are nearly always an issue around all sorts of legislation or law changes you know the tenant feet ban you know it was pretty obvious the industry knew that an unintended consequence of that is that the tenants would pay for it through the rent well I think the
evidence is overwhelming now that’s what’s happened so there’s been a whole
lot of money spent on consultations and all this sort of stuff and actually I
reckon the tenants are worse off in addition to which there’s probably less
properties for them to choose from and therefore there’s more issues with
people actually finding a place to you so now that’s not legislation starts that’s
just a change in the law but it’s in that it’s in that space is it the job of ARLA and NAEA to sort that out? is it the job of everyone’s to take
responsibility and make sure that the legislation is sorted out the
regulation is sorted out correctly for the industry to even the balance out I
mean we’ve even got section 21 which by the time this video comes out
probably has been and gone you know probably being knocked on the head so
what responsibility do agents have to ensure that it doesn’t go too far well look I think I think the first responsibility effort is to do it
properly in the first place intervention normally comes around
as a result let’s look at the tenant fee and the tenant fee ban came in not
because 90% of the estate agents were doing it perfectly okay but there was
probably five or 10% at that we’re abusing it and monetising it and holding
people to ransom over it so you know the industry clearly has a responsibility
not to push itself into a place where there is a need for legislation however
there has to be some rules and boundaries in order to create a
professionalism around the industry so you know we must be one of only the one of the only countries in the modern world where there isn’t licensing for
estate agents and I’m sure if agents were licensed they’d be able to charge
high fees that they’d be respected more within the communities we can attract
better people but of course that licensing has to be
done and accountable and have teeth yes because it’s all very good having laws
if you’re not going to if you’re not going to follow them up and make people accountable there’s no point never there law all
that the laws are the correct ones and they have thought through and that
they’ve involved the right people you know I’ve often thought with the housing
I can understand why they haven’t invited certain people in to consult
with them because government doesn’t know anything about our marketplace they
have no you know the Kevin Harlan Wake is there now blessing it yeah yeah okay
Kevin opps he does and that that’s great but there are some really good thought
leaders in in in in our space that I would have thought could allow them to
avoid the unintended consequences but still make legislative change stroke
certain responsibilities on the industry to ensure that tenants landlords buyers
sellers and everybody gets a fair proper deal and the house you know that the
housing crisis and all that sort of stuff but it’s it’s it’s a very tricky
tricky tricky situation because it almost feels like every intervention
that we had has just created a consequence that was greater than the
problem they’re trying to solve so part you just thinks we’ll just leave
it alone in terms of legislation but I do think that we have an awful lot of
work to do to bring the profession back up to a point where you know something
has to be done I mean it just this is simple to me there needs to be licensing
of some sort but it needs to be done properly it needs to be thought through
and they need to involve people from within the industry before they leap
I’ll or and those people I’m sure that they would have a space in it but don’t
appear to have enough teeth and probably you know dare I say they won’t blame me
for it I think they represent the establishment the old end of the state
agency I don’t think they represent the people that have started in the last
five or ten years I don’t think I’m really represented by some of the
incumbent bodies only time will tell thank you very much

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