Message: Oust the rogues, or accept our bad reputation
Whose job is it to solve the problem of rogue traders in any industry?
It can only be the industry itself.
Cries of anguish
There are endless cries of foul play by people in residential industry, but no one does anything about it.
There are repeated calls for “raising standards”, but they continue to fall.
There are constant demands for a better reputation, but no one realises that the public doesn’t actually care about our reputation. They enjoy mocking estate agents.
PR alone doesn’t work
People say “We need better PR”, but even if there was an organisation with the funds to run a perpetual campaign, PR alone never changed a decades-old public perception in any industry.
And the government is ineffective and in fact makes the problems worse, by rushing through poorly-planned legislation then failing to enforce it, creating red-tape for the good guys, and more opportunities for the bad ones to exploit the unfair advantage of not bothering with the regulations.
Doing nothing about it is the cause of our poor reputation
Until the industry turns in on itself and flushes out the rogues, the public will not notice or care about our reputation.
Let’s say that again, another way:
If we don’t expel the rogues when we know they exist, we deserve the reputation we have.
Doing nothing is the cause of the poor reputation.
Doing nothing, or apathy, is the cause of the poor reputation. Let that sink in.
The rogues are not the cause of the poor reputation, because everyone knows that rogues exist in all industries. It is how an industry reacts that will be judged.
This is what our first year at CIELA has shown, and the more you think about it, the more sense it makes.
What will happen to the perceived level of overall industry standards if you remove the worst offenders? It will rise.
In other words, for good agents to be perceived as better, the answer is to remove the worst.
What can you do?
Stop complaining, start acting. Endless complaints achieve zero, and just make us look ineffective.
CIELA is the only organisation offering the industry a means to clean up its own act. In April we will be releasing a free online tool that will allow any member of the public to check the basic legal compliance status of any agent.
We will also offer the facility to “report” suspected offenders anonymously.
We will publish a list of all known offenders, after they have been given fair warning and notice.
Our aim is simple: To teach sellers and landlords how to find the best agent to suit their personal circumstances.
We will provide the industry with tools to self-police.
We will provide the public with tools to check the basic legality of any agent.
We will promote our members as being agents of the highest integrity.
If you would like to support our efforts to raise industry standards and improve public perception, please join CIELA and be part of the solution.