A new trade body – and potential property portal – is set to go ahead after a preliminary meeting yesterday.
The prospective founder members of the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents, all active owner-managers of independent firms, unanimously signed a Letter of Intent to move forward with formal inauguration, expressing total support for the idea based on what was presented to them.
The next meeting, an all-day session to review details of the proposed articles, membership offerings and contracts, will be held on Wednesday, February 22.
The names of the ten founder members are:
Donald Collins, Go View London http://www.goviewlondon.co.uk/
Tom Bloomfield, Bloomfield Grey http://bloomfieldgrey.co.uk/
Richard à Brassard, Courtenay www.courtenay.co.uk
Kristjan Byfield, Base Property Specialists www.baseps.co.uk
Nick Goldsworthy/Andy Ferguson, Logic Estates www.logicestates.co.uk
Peter Wetherell, Wetherell of Mayfair www.wetherell.co.uk
Jay Chitnis, HJC Estates www.hjc.co.uk
Perry Power, Power Bespoke www.powerbespoke.co.uk
Luke Gidney, Let Leeds www.let-leeds.com
Simon Gresswell, Finlay Brewer www.finlaybrewer.co.uk
There is a waiting list of 16 further agency owners who have asked to be considered for any un-taken positions in what is aimed to be a total of 12 founding members.
Two remaining positions are being held for female founders, and it is CIELA’s hope that at least one but preferably two women founder members apply to join, and to that end they welcome any applications either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the registration form on the website at www.ciela.co.uk/register
The question of whether or not a challenger portal might be launched was not discussed at this meeting, but it was re-confirmed by the club founder, software specialist Charlie Wright, that even if the club succeeds in gathering the required support to launch, and even if members demand a vote and vote in favour of launching a new portal, such a vote is, at the very soonest, one year away, and a portal offering does not constitute part of the launch plans of the CIELA organisation.
Wright said after the meeting: “The overwhelming topic of discussion was the lack of success of, or total support for, any organisation launched to date, and how to overcome the understandable cynicism within the industry, having had its fingers burnt so often in the past.
“The question raised was, with the required initial membership structure of founder members, regional, county and London borough officers which would total almost 100 club officers, what would be necessary to win the majority support of the approximately 15,000 small independent agency businesses across the country.”
Wright said that the biggest question yesterday was: “Will independent agents unite swiftly in majority numbers?”
Wright said he outlined his strategy for overcoming this challenge, and claimed that he has “a detailed eight-point plan to ensure that every independent agent in the country will want to join from the outset” – a plan he will present in detail at the next meeting.