The aspirant new trade body, the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents (CIELA), has called for the Propertymark bodies to expel any agents who insult their members.
Founder Charlie Wright, who runs a software company, said in part of a long blog that independent agents have a poor industry reputation which “is absolutely in the interests of corporate and call-centre agents. It is precisely how they market themselves against the ‘hordes of rogue independents who deserve the terrible reputation they have’.”
He goes on: “The NAEA/ARLA has resolutely refused to stand up for independent agents, because of course their articles prevent them from favouring any one member, or group of members, over any other. They are a first class training organisation and I commend their courses and qualifications to every individual who wishes to further their professional expertise.
“But as a public branding exercise, the NAEA/ARLA is unable to help independents in the battle against corporates and call-centre agents. Their hands are tied and it’s not their fault.
He said that their silence over online firms “who openly insult the majority of their member base is staggering and I can only hope they are having urgent discussions as to how they can change their rules and expel any member who behaves in such a way”.
CIELA, which plans to do active public relations for independent agents, yesterday had a meeting with potential industry suppliers.
Wright said it was a very successful day, with CIELA looking for brand partners and event sponsors.