Introducing the Property Listing Professional - an update

Update: Several people are finding this page whilst looking for information about a company called Nationwide Energy Services. Despite the similar name, we aren't connected with them in any way. (It seems like that's probably a good thing.) Please contact them via their website.

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We recently wrote to all members of the SAVA Certification Scheme for Home Inspectors introducing the Property Listing Professional. Yesterday we issued a further update, the text of which appears below.

Estate agents face further pressure

We know that estate agents are under pressure to reduce costs, due to both the recession and the collapse in house sales.

What we did not know for certain was the additional pressure being piled onto agents from increased competition and different business models. Now we have confirmation. Spicerhaart, in partnership with Tesco, has launched its online estate agency – iSold.

Initially only in Bristol, but we understand with plans to go nationwide, iSold offers dramatically reduced agency fees.

New ‘Business Models’ to help them address costs

We think that agents will choose to work in a different way if they wish to compete on price:

  • Outsourcing certain services, rather than deploy in-house resource
  • Exploring modern technology to replace the traditional high street shop window
  • Creating sales materials (photographs, floor plans etc) that make their clients properties stand out on sites like Rightmove etc.
  • Making sure that they offer a fully professional service at all points in the process
  • Ensuring that more listings complete and lead to a commission

What does this mean for Home Inspectors?

Whilst Home Inspectors have a unique and well-regarded skill set, it is clear that the slump in the housing market and lack of HCR take-up has led to limited work opportunities for HIs. In the same way that we developed the Home Condition Survey, we are piloting a new service that could provide a different way for you to use your existing skills and build your business.

The role of the Property Listing Professional

We are launching a new qualification called the Property Listing Professional (PLP) that will assist estate agents by providing services such as:

  • Accurate floor plans produced to Code of Measuring Practice Standard
  • Quality photographs for marketing particulars and internet marketing
  • Property Listing Data Form (including the RDSAP Data Collection form) – file data to produce and support the sales/letting particulars
  • Marketing Particulars
  • Property Information Questionnaire for HIP
  • Inventories for lettings agents
  • Providing the EPC (and HCR if requested)

Why is this new and why is SAVA getting involved?

We know that some people already offer some of these services to agents.

However, what will make our proposition different is the accreditation scheme. This will offer a quality assured framework to support the products along with a complaints resolution service and, crucially, professional indemnity insurance for scheme members – both protecting members and enhancing their market proposition.

The pilot

We are undertaking 2 pilot schemes, each with space for 10 individuals. We have discussed our proposition with some leading industry professionals and all feedback to date indicates that training must be as full as possible, at the highest standard. So we will be offering an intensive 5 day training package followed by assessment.

The first pilot begins on the 22nd March 2010.

We will be offering training, assessment and then the ability to offer this via SAVA – Surveyors and Valuers Accreditation.

Our 5-day training package will cover:

  • Estate/letting agency – the legal framework
  • Photography best practice using the Nikon D300s
  • Floor plan and inventory production
  • Data collection requirements for the PIQ and marketing particulars
  • Use of the eTech PDA, the relevant applications and the workflow management system
  • Practical application of the training
  • Enhancing your marketing skills and overcoming objections

During your period of training and assessment we will provide you with the tools you will need to do your job, such as a digital camera and an eTech PDA. We can also offer you marketing support and help with lead generation.

The training is delivered over an intensive 5-day period at our training centre in Milton Keynes. Once this is completed, you’ll return home to carry out your assessment where you must complete and submit 3 full packages by the end of the week. Whilst you are doing this, if you wish, we can approach Estate Agents in your local area, discuss the service with them and then provide you with some ‘warm’ leads.

At the end of your training and assessment, you will have two further weeks in which to approach your existing clients, and potential ones, to present the new service that you can now provide. Our marketing material will help you to do this.  At the end of this period if you decide you wish to carry on working as a PLP we can finalise your qualification and set up your scheme membership.

If not, you simply return the equipment to us, telling us why you don’t wish to continue.

Is this for me?

We are confident that we have a number of Home Inspector members that are able to successfully market themselves as PLPs, and can add another income stream. However, we realise not everyone will wish to become a Property Listing Professional. The typical candidate will be:

  • Proactive. We can assist with getting you leads and openings, but you must be willing to use your existing estate agency contacts or develop new ones.
  • Confident. You’ll need to meet with these contacts and be able to effectively and confidently demonstrate the benefits of your service.
  • Experienced. Ideally you will have experience in marketing and selling products outside of Government legislation, such as the Home Condition Survey or Commercial Property Energy Report.

What will it cost?

We are offering the two pilot schemes for a reduced cost. Prices will increase if the pilot is successful and we decide to continue with this on a longer term basis.

How do I sign up?

The first pilot training will run from Monday 22 - Friday 26 March inclusive.

The second pilot will be from Monday 26 - Friday 30 April inclusive. 

All you have to do at this stage:

  • Register your interest in participating in the pilot, which will require you attending training during one of these weeks
  • Allocate sufficient time to completing assessment during the following week
  • Commit to promoting the property listings service to existing and new clients during the next two weeks

If you can do this, then right now all you need to do is reply to this email telling us that you are interested. Give us your contact details, geographical area of work and why you think this is for you. We will then send you more information, including a booking form and terms and conditions.

To register your interest now, email training@nesltd.co.uk.