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Agents will pursue careers and not just jobs next year - claimAgents will pursue careers and not just jobs next year - claim

A leading figure in the agency training and qualifications sector is predicting that as agents have increasingly adapted to ‘the new normal’ so they will be pursuing careers and not jobs in 2022.

Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, founder and director of The Able Agent, says agents increasingly want more than just pay.

“They are seeking a rewarding, flexible experience and the opportunity to progress and develop their skills. Surveys have shown that 48 per cent of millennial employees said they would quit a job due to a lack of learning and development opportunities” she says.

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Her prediction is smaller agencies and new start-ups being ahead of the curve in this area, but across the board there will be a cultural shift and a desire to get people qualified or offer them opportunities for structured development.

There is an existing skills shortage in the industry, and this will certainly continue into 2022, Jeffrey-Campbell warns.  

“With many vacant roles, but not enough people to fill them, we need to find strategies to counter this problem, whilst ensuring we are implementing succession planning to protect ourselves in the future. Agencies who want to thrive must also ensure strong foundations for new starters.”

She anticipates that in 2022 e-learning within the workplace will become mainstream, forming the base of training and a foundation of professionalism and excellent service within agencies. 

“We would expect to see improvements in quality, with the rise of online resources and training, as it facilitates agents independently learning and improving, becoming empowered by the knowledge and skills they can access at their fingertips.”

 

Traditional ways of learning, such as in-person training, workshops or events can become selective and specialised. Blended training approaches can be incorporated into agencies, with agents selecting the external courses they feel will benefit them most, The Able Agent chief states.

Agent salaries are amongst the lowest in the sales profession and she says the industry has also seen a trend of agencies adopting a low-fee approach to try to get stock. 

She comments: “The key point here is that agents are NOT only salespeople, but if the perception internally and externally remains that they are, then there will not be progress in terms of fair pay, or quality service. Where agents can demonstrate their worth as trustworthy, qualified advisors, fee rises and recommendations will prove to be the most long-term strategy for a successful business.”

And she concludes: “We need to make 2022 the year of developing foundations for quality property careers, creating strategies within agencies to tackle the challenges the industry is facing and cement a new way of working. When agents are information-empowered they will be confident saying no or dealing with difficult situations - everything from handling tricky customers, to legal matters, to confidently charging the fees they deserve.”

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