Hannah Cooper, Group HR Director, LRG

 

There is a disconnect in the property industry, and much work to be done to correct perceptions of the sector. It wasn’t that long ago that the role of estate agents was featured in the list of the least trusted UK professionals, despite research from the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showing the majority of home buyers and sellers have satisfaction levels with estate agents above 80%.

It’s therefore time for the industry to come together to bring those views in line with the reality of the role and the crucial part that estate agents play in an often life-changing decision.

Elevating the industry’s image

While impressions can be hard to change, highlighting and promoting what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, including the training, skills and drive needed to work in the industry, is key to elevate the standing of the estate agent profession. With expert local knowledge and an understanding of the wider property market, estate agents can become trusted advisors to their customers – delivering the high levels of satisfaction reflected in the BEIS study. However, to gain that trust, in a highly competitive market, agents need the right skills and qualifications.

The recently-launched Government Kickstart scheme is one way for the industry to ensure that those interested in the estate agent profession are given a chance to gain the necessary skills and grounding to become a trusted and knowledgeable professional. The scheme provides funding for employers to create new six-month job placements for people aged 16-24. Kickstart will deliver the opportunity for our industry to change perceptions from the ground up, positioning the sector as desirable and one in which to ultimately build a valuable career, not just a job.

This is extremely important in the current economic climate, especially given recent news that the UK unemployment rate has reached its highest level in three years. As a result, a lot of workers are looking for job security – or even a job – whilst home buyers are more wary of making big decisions and are currently more cautious of where to invest their money. Positioning the housing sector as a desirable sector to both work in and trust during times of uncertainty is a major step the property industry can take to tackle unfair and unwarranted public perception.

Apprenticeships take centre stage

While the Kickstart scheme has given the profession a robust channel through which to engage, enthuse and educate the next generation of estate agents, it is crucial that this positive initiative is backed up with continued career and skill development. Only then will reputations remain strong across the industry.

This is where apprenticeship schemes come into their own. Typically associated with learning a new skill from scratch, including hairdressing or plumbing, in the property world, apprenticeships are key to building local knowledge and sales skills for estate agents. This includes upskilling agents and supporting teams to become knowledgeable, trusted advisors and ensuring they have a deep understanding of the market so they can pass that knowledge on to their peers and customers.

Apprenticeships play a key role at LRG and very much support the recommendations by the Regulation of Property Agents working group to highlight the value and need for standards across the sector, minimum entry requirements and continued professional development. Talented and driven individuals who thrive on the Kickstart scheme and want to pursue a career in the industry will be offered apprenticeships with LRG, to continue their training and add value to not just our company but the wider industry, and ultimately, our customers.

As well as those just starting out on the career ladder, age or previous experience is no barrier to apprenticeships, with qualifications available for those at all levels – whether you’re starting out or developing new skills. Indeed, figures show that 2018/2019 saw the largest increase in apprenticeships by those aged between 35 and 44, with 21% more starts in that age group than in 2017/18.

Promoting positive change

There is uncertainty for the future of many industries in the current climate. Every sector is having to adapt and evolve in order to survive. People will always need to rent, buy and sell property, so it is in the best interests of the industry to make sure the sales process is as smooth and supportive as possible. This requires the best local professionals, with the right skills, who are given a clear career path to build trust with clients and position the industry as supportive and transparent.

The property market is in a strong position to elevate career opportunities and promote the qualifications and skills for estate agents looking to take the next step. We have seen first-hand how industry apprenticeships can dispel myths and gain the trust of customers and potential job applicants. It is up to the industry as a whole to put the emphasis on skills, qualifications and training, to bring everyone up to the same level so that we can shift any negative perceptions of estate agents. Through embracing this approach, we robustly support the call for more regulation, training and support across the industry.

Hannah Cooper, Group HR Director, LRG

You may also be interested in these articles:

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page