How investing in a CRM is the best way to NTS compliance
06 December 2023 1973 Views
I think we can all agree that the National Trading Standards Material Information reforms are a good thing for the property industry as a whole – particularly the improved transparency for consumers looking to buy or rent a home. Buy-in by the agent community is also widespread and this sentiment is supported by a recent industry survey* which found that 84% of agents support the provision of more upfront information so buyers are better informed when they make an offer.
However, it’s also worth noting that there’s still a great deal of uncertainty among agents around the practical element of implementing the changes - with only 50% aware that there is a follow-up round of upfront information coming, so-called parts B and C, and 94% of respondents stating they would like more training.
The investment required for an individual agent to implement the NTS proposals can not be underestimated with three Alto product and engineering teams spending 6-8 weeks working full-time to make Alto NTS compliant with the first round of Part A changes last year. And with B and C just announced, getting agent systems set up so that they are NTS compliant is a big investment and change that many haven’t had to deal with for years.
Data from our sister company Zoopla shows that a lot of CRM and agent listings feeds have not had the necessary updates to supply data under Part A which covered tenure and leasehold information.
To make Part A compliance a reality, we made changes to the way agents capture and store property attributes when creating a listing in Alto. We achieved this by introducing new fields to capture and display this ‘Part A’ information. This also includes a listings review page that flags to agents if they’re missing any NTS fields when adding property details or publishing listings. This significantly reduces the risk of publishing non-compliant listings and can help speed up the process of getting the right information. We’ve also removed the price qualifier option of Price on application (POA), as this was no longer permitted.
Amid tougher market conditions, more and more agents are looking to their CRM suppliers to invest in making these systems and API changes so they can stay compliant with the Consumer Protection Regulations - but without requiring ongoing investment in their own systems.
With rental reform and other regulations coming down the track, the complexity when it comes to listing homes for sale and rent is only going to increase. This is why investing in an evolving CRM like Alto is a truly no-brainer that can help future-proof your business and take the hassle out of managing industry compliance - which is here to stay. Not only will it save you time and money when it comes to updating your internal systems - but it will also ensure you’re compliant with any future changes when it comes to material information.
Alto is one of the only CRMs that is 100% compliant with the seven fields introduced under Part A - including council tax band, rent and security deposit - and we’ve also committed to implementing Part B and C and watching the emerging requirements closely so that our agency customers are at the forefront of the changes
To find out more about Alto and how we’re NTS compliant, visit here.
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