Lies, damn lies and statistics

As the General Election draws nearer and we head for political exhaustion long before Polling Day on May 7, this old saying will ring true many times over, but that doesn’t mean statistics and surveys can be ignored, just treated with a touch realism.

Apparently, a recent survey asked 4,506 people about their decisions. The majority of respondents were female (the
split was 58 per cent / 42 per cent) and their ages were roughly equally divided among four groups ranging from 30-39
through to 60-69. Interestingly only one per cent claimed to have been influenced in their choice of agent by whether the agent belonged to a professional body.

This is surprising because members of the National Association of Estate Agents regularly advertise their Professional credentials and Martyn R Cox & Co have been members for over thirty years.

Another interesting figure from the report is that 20% of people were influenced in their choice of agent by the agent’s reputation, the biggest single influencing factor. We believe reputation and professionalism go hand in hand because to have a good rating for the first you have to be highly accomplished in the second.

This is where NAEA’s constituent parts may be falling down for the Profession because the raising of standards through membership is not put in the media spotlight often enough. Agents are encouraged to obtain professional qualifications which bring better standards, but perhaps the link between qualifications and reputation should be emphasised much more.

We also believe that membership of local property associations, and connection with fellow professionals in residential sales such as lawyers, conveyancers, and surveyors, is important because it leads to the type of joined-up thinking that can make the consumer experience better. Likewise, redress schemes that  are of great assistance to consumers, to which we have belonged from the outset.

The current Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer of The Property Ombudsman Scheme, has probably done more to raise industry standards than any other individual since he took office.

We need to be proud of our Professional bodies and what they bring by way of improved standards. We are sure an excellent reputation and professionalism will complement these standards and it does make a positive difference to the client experience! MRC- members of the NAEA and Property Ombudsman.