Column: The president’s word - Simon Gerrard
- Credit: Archant
The National Association of Estate Agents president will be joining us fortnightly to provide expert advice and comment on the industry
Simon’s career in estate agency began at the age of 10 when he started working on Saturdays in his father’s practice, Martyn Gerrard Estate Agents, photocopying, filing and shading in lease plans.
In 1991 he formally joined the practice, initially running the commercial department. He then moved to oversee the lettings and management department, before managing the Muswell Hill office, and taking over the sales department. In 2000 he was appointed managing director of the firm.
At the time Simon became MD, the company, which was set up by his father Martyn in 1964, had five branches in north London. Under Simon’s stewardship the business has grown to an 11 office network, offering help and advice on all aspects of property (sales, lettings, commercial, lettings management and block management), across north and north west London.
Simon says he has always been keen to improve the public perception of estate agents by championing high professional standards and embracing new technology, to help ensure his company stays at the forefront of the industry.
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His agency was one of the first to introduce video tours for every property it is selling, winning The Times and Sunday Times Gold award for Innovation.
The latest innovations to be introduced include Martyn Gerrard TV, which launches in September, and interactive window displays, which give potential buyers access to the entire register of properties being sold or let by the company via touch screens in their shop windows.
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The National Association of Estate Agents, of which Simon is now the president, is one of the authoritative commentators on housing policy and market trends engaging with the government.
The NAEA continue to try and influence policy keeping the pressure on the government for regulation for all agents to ensure the public are protected when making what is likely to be the largest financial decision of their lives in purchasing a property.
Simon believes that when buying or selling your property it is vital you deal with someone who is qualified and knowleagable about the process.
“Many members of the public believe all estate agents are qualified and professional, unfortunately this is not the case,” he says.
“It is disappointing to note that someone could trade as a butcher one day and open the next as an estate agent, which is why the public should make a conscious effort to seek out licensed agents of the NAEA.”
To become a member of the NAEA, an agent has to study for and successfully pass a nationally recognised qualification, which consists of four modules covering the legal, technical, and practical aspects of estate agency and property construction. They are also bound by a strict code of conduct.
“By speaking to a licensed NAEA agent you can be sure you are consulting with a qualified and experienced agent who is properly qualified to give guidance and advice on all aspects of the buying and selling process,” Simon explains.
To encourage as many people as possible to use NAEA agents the organisation is running a campaign on Twitter using #lookforthelogo.
If you are selling or buying a property in north and north west London keep an eye out for the NAEA logo, contact a member via naea.co.uk or visit your nearest Martyn Gerrard branch.
Look out for Simon’s first column next week giving handy tips on selling your home. Next month he will answer your property queries. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.