British property firm Hunters has developed a formally recognised estate agency qualification for its own network of branches in what is believed to be the first of its kind within the industry.
The qualification combines all elements of estate agency and uniquely also includes how the training is applied. The firm says that this means the training modules incorporate checks via Hunters own software to ensure excellence of execution at branch level.
The training is endorsed by both the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Covering sales and lettings, the new Hunters National Qualification comprises three levels which are dependent on the candidate’s role, knowledge and experience. Divided into HNQ Award Sales and HNQ Award Lettings, HNQ Certificate Sales and HNQ Certificate Lettings and HNQ Diploma Sales and HNQ Diploma Lettings, the new programme will look to train all members of the team from administrators through to business owners.
Entry level one has been designed to cover aspects such as lead generation, viewings and general law. Once level one qualification has been attained candidates have the opportunity to continue their learning process by enrolling onto level two and ultimately three, ensuring Hunters staff are continually supported throughout their career progression.
Training comprises of a mix of teaching styles to include classroom training and e-learning, meaning all concepts work to link the candidate’s theoretical knowledge with active participation and training in practice, making the qualification an invaluable tool.
The new initiative, which is open to all new Hunters estate agent employees and existing staff, offers a recognised qualification at each stage and provides candidates with the opportunity to apply for professional membership of ARLA or the NLEA.
Launched early this year, the Hunters National Qualification has already seen a successful candidate complete the HNQ Award Sales for Ryan Almond from Hunters in Horsforth, Leeds.
‘I’m really proud to have been the first person to complete one of the qualifications, it’s given me much more confidence in my role as negotiator and I’m looking forward to being able to progress to the next level of training,’ he said.
His manager, franchise partner at Hunters Horsforth, Jonny Malkinson, explained that the Hunters National Qualification is great for his business as it aids staff development and ensures that agents have up to date knowledge of important legislation and practices within the industry.
‘This in turn will allow us to deliver excellent service to our customers and really helps us to stand apart from our competitors. We want to be the first branch across the Hunters network to have all our staff complete one of the new qualifications,’ he added.
Meanwhile, Glynis Frew, managing director of Hunters Property Group, said the business has always been committed to raising standards within the industry through bespoke training programmes and its staff Training Academy has grown from strength to strength since it was first established in 2006.
‘We are now delighted to be able to announce the launch of our very own Hunters National Qualification, which is endorsed by both the NAEA and ARLA. There are still far too many stories in the media about rogue estate agents; we aim to set industry standards by ensuring all our staff are trained to their best ability, which we hope our peers will follow,’ she added.
According to Tracey Hegarty, national training manager at Hunters, the qualification form a key part in maintaining Hunters’ outstanding customer satisfaction levels. ‘We are thrilled to see the first of our team gain this qualification and I look forward to seeing many more doing so in the future. We are keen to encourage our staff to excel both personally and professionally within their roles,’ she said.
Hunters, which opened its first office in York in 1992 and its first franchising branch in 2006, now has a network of over 180 branches nationwide, with offices in a number of key regions across the UK including London, Oxford, Norwich, Middlesbrough, Manchester and many locations in between.
Its services cover residential sales, lettings, buy to let and investment, residential block management, land and new homes, franchising and other property related services.