Charlotte Campbell knows that agents aren’t one size fits all and believes agency qualifications shouldn’t be, either. That’s why Charlotte, who is co-hosting a Goodlord webinar on empowering your staff, set up The Able Agent a year ago, to offer an alternative, online training option and qualification for estate and letting agents.
“Some learners just really struggle with a huge big manual and the training style and we felt that there wasn't a choice in the industry in terms of the qualifications available,” says Charlotte. “There also wasn’t a qualification - can you believe it? - that assesses people in estate and lettings in one exam, you either choose one or the other. Based on my experience, most agents I know have involvement in both areas.”
Charlotte says it was an “obvious” decision to develop The Able Agent’s Certificate in Property Advice and Practice (CePAP) qualification, which examines knowledge in both estate agency and lettings, including the sales skills, customer service, property and consumer laws, relevant to both areas. “I’m so proud of it because it was absolutely born out of solving a problem in the industry. It's actually something that I know there's a need for, that flexible training and a good qualification,” she says.
She talks about a recent student who had failed a qualification with a different provider a number of times. “He was thoroughly disheartened by it because he just couldn't get through the exam. His boss said to me that he was a really good estate agent and there was no reason why he wasn't passing. But it was the style of the qualifications - they weren’t a fit. He was just overjoyed that he passed ours, having had such a negative experience. It was just such a positive outcome. That's why you do it, isn't it?”
Flexibility isn’t just important when it comes to qualifications. Charlotte’s a firm believer in having a good work-life balance and notes that, for some professionals, changing attitudes to remote working has been one of the few silver linings of the current pandemic. “That ability to work around your life is really important for me. I love working in the evening. I can have a brainwave when the kids are in bed and work for hours. But some mornings I can sit at my desk and nothing flows,” she says. “We're all different. So why are we all put in this nine to five box?”
Charlotte plans to add more qualifications to The Able Agent’s stable in the coming years to meet the evolving needs of estate and lettings professionals in the digital age, including social media and digital marketing. “We want people to be proud to have the CePAP letters after their name and to make a difference to their confidence and their ability in the industry. I want agents to feel that, after doing our courses, they sold or let more houses, that they did a really good job, and developed in their career.”
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