The first ever “Northern” NALS Conference took place in York on the 3rd March 2015.
Born out of the desire to reach out to regional agents and be more inclusive to them, the Conference was attended by 70 delegates, who all enjoyed a great line-up of speakers at the Royal York Hotel Conference Centre.
Topics ranged from “Right to Rent” legislation, to new Housing Policy, to managing an on-line reputation, to regulation up-dates.
John Midgley of Touchstone and also the SAFEagent Steering Group Chair attended the event, and was pleased that SAFEagent and client money protection was been discussed:
Delegates heard from a Government speaker about the need for consumers to ensure they use an agent who is part of a Client Money Protection Scheme which has been highlighted in their “How to Rent” guide. The SAFEagent logo appears in the guide as a “must” for consumers to look for when engaging with an agent.
Conference Chair and respected industry commentator, Kate Faulkner, reinforced throughout the day that the majority of agents offer an excellent service, but they do not talk enough about their commitment to professional standards such as being members of professional bodies such as NALS, ARLA, or RICS, or that they have client money protection in place.
Kate said that agents should use such memberships as SAFEagent to differentiate themselves from the competition.
NALS Chief Executive, Isobel Thomson confirmed that the conference had been a great success and that it would return north in the future. She said: “The presentations were really informative. They reinforced what good agents do already and what is coming in legislation, and we shall definitely be coming back”.
SAFEagent – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – is a reliable mark denoting firms that protect landlords and tenants money through Client Money Protection schemes. Set up ‘by the industry, for the industry’ and recognised by the Government, it is supported by Citizens Advice Bureaux, Shelter, Crisis, The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services:Property, National Union of Students, My Deposits, TDS and DPS.
All agents registered with SAFEagent are part of a Client Money Protection Scheme which reimburses consumers in the event of misappropriation of clients’ funds. There are several schemes in the sector operated by NALS, ARLA, NAEA and RICS to which agents voluntarily belong. The scope of these schemes varies and consumers should contact their agent for full details of the scheme of which they are a part.
The SAFEagent Steering Group comprises:
Northwood; Belvoir; Bushells; Foxtons; Touchstone; Winkworth; Hunters, Spicerhaart, Sequence, Countrywide, and Leaders.