Make the Grade

Getting your staff qualified will not only set your agency apart from the crowd, but will also demonstrate commitment to your employees. Rachel Escott talks to two Scotland-based managers who discuss the impact that qualifications have had on their own careers, why it is imperative to find the time for training, and the importance of investing in your staff.

Enhance your career

As it stands, you do not need a formal qualification to become an estate or letting agent, so having a recognised professional qualification will help you stand out from the crowd. ‘I think it gives you confidence that clients know that you have gained a qualification in property management’, comments Grant Denholm from Littlejohns. Grant passed the NFoPP Technical Award in Residential Letting & Property Management – Scotland in 2012, and won the NFoPP Award for Achievement for gaining the highest mark for the qualification that year. He is a Senior Property Manager and has been with Littlejohns for 16 years.

Lisa Reddington completed the NFoPP Technical Award in Sale of Residential Property – Scotland in July this year, and foresees the career benefits it will bring, ‘I do truly believe that having such a qualification can only be a positive thing for my career going forward. I have been doing this job for a very long time, I am very passionate about what I do but doing the qualification taught me that I still don’t know everything yet and you are never too old to learn’. Lisa has worked in estate agency for 20 years, and is now the Area Manager of the West End branch of Clyde Property, ‘I think it is something that will increase the confidence that Clyde Property already have in me, a reassurance that they have trained knowledgeable staff, and I think it also breeds confidence in my clients that they too have a trained and knowledgeable professional working for them’.

Make time for training

Property professionals are busier than ever and often find it impossible to undertake any training. But in an industry plagued by stories of rogue agents, it is imperative to prove that you are a professional, credible agency. Lisa in particular saw the rewards for investing her time in training, ‘It was something that I did in my private time. I look after one of the busiest offices within the company so yes, after a long day it was sometimes hard to get my head in the books so to speak but the sense of achievement when I passed my exams made it all worth it’.

Invest in your employees

Getting your staff qualified will give your staff the technical knowledge needed to operate in a competitive market, and also shows employees that you are committed to their development, as Grant says, ‘We have a lot of young staff to and it is good to show them that the company will invest in them’. He also found that by having his employees take qualifications it encouraged communication between the departments, ‘We have three departments in our office and set up study groups which helped staff integrate and get a better understanding about what others do. Working in a busy office it is hard to get time to speak to colleagues and I found this brought people together’.

Getting your employees qualified will help set them apart from the crowd, and will also show that you are committed to developing their career – a win win situation!

View the range of property qualifications offered by the NFoPP Awarding Body here: www.nfopp-awardingbody.co.uk/qualifications

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