The new head of the Association of Residential Letting Agents admits that the organisation - within its parent body Propertymark - has “had its share of detractors of late.”
Nathan Emerson has been named as the interim head of both ARLA and the National Association of Estate Agents; he has previously run an independent agency and has experience in lettings, sales, commercial and auction property.
He takes over from Tim Balcon, who was appointed as permanent chief executive of Propertymark four months ago but who quit - for unspecified reasons - last week.
Balcon’s appointment in turn came after the sudden departure of former ARLA chief executive David Cox. He is now with Rightmove and, again, Propertymark has offered no explanation of his departure.
A statement from Propertymark this week says Emerson has “a keen interest in modernising the industry” and has been involved in PropTech projects and the House Buying and Selling Working Group. He is also a main board director of industry charity Agents Giving.
The statement also reveals: "The organisation’s new strategy puts members at the heart of everything it does and the operational changes which are already underway will ensure Propertymark’s services are modernised and members continue to be supported in a way that meets their needs."
Emerson himself says: “Involvement with Propertymark was my way to give back to an industry I am truly passionate about and I have now been asked to bring my experience and enthusiasm for property agents and what we do to this role. Propertymark is a fantastic organisation that has driven an improvement in standards and made a credible difference on issues that really impact the bottom line, such as securing business rate relief for all agents during the pandemic.
“Over the coming months the focus will be on stability and results. In addition to the Arbon House [headquarters] and London office operations we will be working closely with our committed regional representatives equipping and supporting them further to help liaise and deliver to members.
“I acknowledge Propertymark has had its share of detractors of late and I look forward to not only supporting members but actively engaging and working with the wider industry community proactively to forge a collective voice for the sector as we adapt to the challenges and opportunities ahead.”