Regulation or Education – What is the best for Real Estate?
I believe in education, qualifications and developing yourself, as everyone now is very much their own person and own brand. Being a consultant for real estate and proptech I fully support the argument that property professionals – need to keep up with industry changes.
But there are two camps of thought, on one side Baron Best who I have met and works extremely diligently, but as he approaches his eightieth year, is his old school RoPA regulatory vision best practice?
On the other side is that the key skills property professionals should be schooled in are more around teaching agents how to handle the tsunami that is the digital transformation of the industry. An overspill of the digital transformation that is hitting every industry and part of all of our lives.
It is clear agents need to be compliant and conversant with all regulations and provide a service based on professional etiquette, but having recently seen for example Boomin, or the pivot of Zillow in America – it is time to ask where the industry is going – think possibly more Amazon or Google or Netflix rather than the high street
Take a look around and you soon start to realise that the industry is very much at a tipping point, where industry visionaries arguably have more to offer than industry regulators, however well-meaning their intention is.
Here, and ‘I am not known to be controversial’ – is my view – the property industry in the UK is worth 4BN and with financial and legal services bolted on 6.5BN of revenue, and stamp duty generates 16BN a year. On top of this Proptech is valued now as an asset class of over 6BN in the UK also. Big numbers.
So, I am unsure why the whole industry is being holding its breathe on what RoPA, which has been in the long grass for years, will deliver. As the pandemic has shown that digital or rather artificial intelligence and machine learning is changing everything. The antiquated, legacy models of ‘modern real estate’ are buckling under the demands of the property consumer class.
The SDLT holiday bottleneck, underlines the fact that paper must give way to digital, the end user is not going to stand for it, and this will bring change. Many groan that digital is a mere bauble, a peripheral sideshow, not mainstream real estate, but unless you have been living on an island, you will realise that this terrible pandemic has started a process of re-evaluation, of doing processes smarter and using tech to cut out repetitive processes. WFH is not a fad it is the new now.
Perhaps it is time to also consider if there is going to be a ‘new’ regulatory framework for the industry what amount of time and energy is being used to look at the big elephants in the room; – data, and its use; the client journey and what constitutes good service; and what should a new recruit into the industry be taught day one – regulation or education?
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