Activity at Integra Towers has been quite decent over recent months and the diary is also nicely busy until the end of November.
Revenues until the end of August are up 17.6% on the same period last year (which admittedly included the initial impact of covid restrictions) and so have recovered nicely. This is mainly due to the pivot I made with the business last year in moving all of my training online and delivering a greater number of shorter programmes across compliance, sales and management topics.
By the end of September I will have delivered 68 training courses in 2021 with more in the pipeline, more than doubling the amount delivered in the whole of 2020.
Alongside my open training courses (all can be viewed and booked here:) I have run, and have booked, a number of programmes for individual businesses. I am always happy to discuss your requirements and look to offer up a proposal that delivers what is needed.
I have recently had a little surge of enquiries from businesses about their terms of business documentation. I have also carried out a number of branch audits. I have been somewhat horrified to see seriously non-complaint documentation being used by some agents which was placing the businesses in question at regulatory and commercial risk.
Unbelievably, one firm still referenced the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 in its documentation despite this legislation having been repealed in 2013! Needless to say they have now been brought up to date.
The legislative burden on agents in both sales and lettings has become increasingly more demanding in recent years and this, together with the need to comply with the ever-stricter codes of conduct of the mandatory redress schemes, means all agents should regularly audit and review their paperwork and processes to ensure they are compliant.
The redress schemes handled record numbers of complaints in the last year and the amount of money spent by agents in settling fines, redress scheme awards and ex gratia compensation payments is at record levels. Most of these payments could be avoided with a well-trained workforce and straightforward but robust systems and processes.
In July (published in August) I as a guest on Nicole Bremner’s Podcast and the resulting hour recording is full of insights and discussion on various elements of the property industry. (You can listen here).
In August I attended the first advisory board meeting of Coadjute, a proptech business that uses blockchain, distributed ledger technology, to join up estate agent CRM systems with conveyancing case management systems and help speed up the home buying and selling process. I was delighted to have been invited to be a member of the advisory board. In September I am talking with investors about the potential for this exciting product.
My involvement as part of the senior team at teclet continues and there are exciting plans now that our acquisition by OnTheMarket has been completed. Our lettings and property management platform goes from strength to strength and will soon be added to with sales and CRM platforms all sharing a common database and automating many of the processes involved in successfully running a compliant business.
Our seamless integrations with best-in-class suppliers enables agents to handle everything via one platform without the need to re-enter and re-key information in several systems.
I continue to be involved as a founder member and volunteer with the charitable foundation Agents Together. We have now provided hundreds of mentorships across the industry and also considerable assistance with well-being at all levels.
I have also been asked to be a judge again this year for the Negotiator Awards and the Property Press Awards. (There is more information here)
Finally, I am working with a Fintech business Proportunity in helping bring their innovative equity loan product to the market. The product operates very similarly to Help2Buy but is not restricted to new homes. The loan can help enable buyers to secure a property based on a lower deposit (5%) and also opens up a potentially wider choice of property to buy. For sellers it helps market a property to a wider potential buying audience.
Michael S Day MBA FRICS FNAEA FARLA