BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 09/03/2021

Estate Agent Networking Breaking News


In a desperate attempt to claw back some form of authority, following the numerous mysterious departures, and financial irregularity over non-payment of VAT. Propertymark has just issued a four-point vision of itself and its future.

My advice is that it should put their own house in order before pontificating to the paying members who are just a tad weary of broken promises. What they want is a new relevant body that cares for its members, is truthful and transparent and adds value and expertise to their business.

The four part ‘plan’ kicks off by stating the underpinning value of being a member of the organisation, ‘Our expanding programme of webinars, blogs, factsheets and integrated regional networks provide a continuous source of information and guidance, but we must ensure our members are able to access these through the channels they use on a daily basis.’

Going on to why they are the ‘recognised industry voice’ – a bold claim given they underpaid their VAT bill to the HMRC for several consecutive years, then hushed it up, failed to apologise to their members, took no action against their financial officer or their accountants who obviously were not up to the job.

They then go on to say they are the guardian of the highest standards (see paragraph above) ‘ By providing a strong and recognisable symbol of professionalism, underpinned by a robust Code of Practice and a modern qualification offer, Propertymark will continue to support members seeking to gain an accreditation and raise industry standards. We are also very clear in our intent for Propertymark to play a key role in the future regulatory structure, whenever that comes about.’

Lastly, they talk about transparency and looking after their membership, ‘It is also important we look after our people, particularly in these unprecedented times, and that we foster a culture of openness and transparency as we take the organisation forward. ’

Maybe they can start to be transparent about why so many people have left the organisation, why the last CEO was in place for five-months, why they employed a CEO with zero industry experience, why David Cox left, and why there were irregularities around its dealings with the HMRC as stated in their annual report in 2019?


At present David Plumtree is the Connells Group Estate Agency Chief and the Chief Executive of Sequence, so the operational day to day head of the group. I am biased but he does do a brilliant job, hard but fair, talent is rewarded, and inward development and elevation of company grown talent is all.

The question being asked is now the group is swelled to 1,200 branches who will lead. Obviously, David Livesey as Group Chief Executive is one further up the line of command, but will the 1,200 branches be managed solely by Mr Plumtree?

Separately, we hear that at least one of the old guard from Countrywide is to stay on, during the transition period, prior to retirement, my hope is they are allowed to take full advantage of any holiday allowance they have due.


The well-known housing market barometer Lucian Cook has been quoted as saying that though this year is going to be, ‘complex and uneven … with competing forces impacting the housing market at different points … the outlook has improved since the beginning of the year given the speed of the vaccination programme, the expected relaxation of social distancing measures and government support for both jobs and the housing market.’

Savills are saying that nationally the increase in prices may well be 4%, with larger rises in the Northern part of England.


In the push for all things green, the CLC (The Construction Leadership Council) is putting weight behind a new programme CO2nstruct Zero, to ensure that all verticals of the build/construction vertical have a nil tolerance in under two decades.

Whilst this is a serious and noble undertaking the recent, Grenfell fallout has shown that both the building techniques and the materials used are often open to interpretation, and of course green can also add a layer of cost to building. It will be interesting to see where concrete fits in with this change of thinking as of course its baking process delivers huge amounts of CO2 emissions globally, but is a staple of the construction industry


In recent weeks there has been a slew of companies and industry bodies attempting to flex their proptech credentials for the post pandemic real estate market. Either saying they are looking to help agents with all things Proptech, or they are the go-to place as they have deep insight into Proptech. From Zoopla and On-the-Market to Propertymark and beyond.

My questions would be who is advising them, and do they realise how broad the ever-expanding church of proptech is?

Personally, I am not an expert, though I was an agent for 32-years, and my growing personal level of Proptech knowledge over recent years now covers;-

3D Modelling, 3D Printing, Accelerators, Agent Matching, Agent Services, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Asset Management, Auction, Augmented Reality, Augmented Valuation, Big Data, BIM, Biometric Security, Bitcoin, Broker Free Listing Search, Build, Cad, Chatbot, Coliving, Commercial Real Estate, Contech, Conveyancing, Co-Working, CRM, Crowdfunding, Cryptocurrency, Customer Experience (UX), Cyber Maturity.

Data Protection, Data Valuation, Design, Development, Digital Twin, Drones, ESG, Facility Management, Fintech, Funding, Geolocation, Geospatial, Home Services, Indoor Mapping, Infrastructure & Sensors, Investment & Finance, Investment Management, Investment Platforms, IoT, Lead Generation, Legal Tech, Leasing Management Software, Lending Peer to Peer, Lettings, Listing & Search Services, Location Based Services, Logistics, Long Term Rentals/Sale Search, Management & Maintenance, Marketing, Marketplaces, Money Transfer/Remittance, Mortgage Tech, Modular, Online Agent Brokerage, Online Agent Lettings, Online Agent Sales, Online Agents, Open Banking.

Payment Operations, Payments/Billing Tech, Platforms, Portals, Portfolio Management, Property & Infrastructure, Property Management Solutions, Property Marketing platform, Real Estate Investment, Real Estate Marketing Solutions, Real Estate Tools, SaaS, Sales & Marketing, Shared Economy, Shared Services, Short Term Rentals, Smart Building, Smart Buildings, Smart Cities, Smart Cities & Mobility, Smart City Sustainability, Smart Homes, Smart Real Estate, Smart Services, Software Providers, Space as a Service, Start-ups, The Shared Economy, Valuation Tools, Venture Capital, Virtual Reality and Virtual Viewing.

Though I have insight into all of these verticals and sub sets, I am definitely not an expert, that is why I stick with analyst and influencer title, much safer terms. But if you do want some initial free advice go to and start the conversation.


If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking and an internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Twitter and LinkedIn. Writes about UK property prices, housing and affordable homes.

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