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ARMANEWS Conference looks to the future


ARMA’s 2014 conference was once again a sell- out success, with more than 500 property managers descending on the QEll Conference Centre in Westminster to listen to a wide range of speakers, network with old friends and colleagues and find out what the competition are up to.


The theme for the day was Welcome to the future and three key messages came across to delegates: the importance of effective communication with clients; the need to embrace technology in all its forms to gain commercial advantage; and the necessity to ensure that clients have a better understanding of leasehold and all that it entails.


The day began with Ben Jordan handing over the role of chairman to Martin Perry. A range of speakers from all areas of the leasehold sector followed, joined by Liz Peace, the outgoing chief executive of the British Property Federation and Douglas Cooper from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The highlight of the day was generally considered to be Peter Bolton-King from the RICS, presenting a fascinating insight into the


ways in which new technology – and particularly Building Information Modelling – will shape the lives of property managers and their clients in the not-so distant future.


now at 80%, says ARMA ARMA-Q accreditation is now at around 80% of the membership, according to ARMA chief executive Michelle Banks. So if firms did not receive their accreditation by the original deadline of January 2015, they may find they have to wait a little longer. “The accreditation process is so rigorous that it has been a time consuming exercise to go through all the applications and so there is a bit of a backlog,” Michelle explains.


Accreditation backlog but ARMA-Q take-up


As a result, the date for member firms to be up and running with their ARMA-Q certification in place has been relaxed and we will now complete all accreditations during the spring, she confirms.


Feedback from last year’s AGM, was very positive as those attending broke into small groups to talk about how business practice is being influenced by ARMA-Q and the way in which the market is responding. Here are some of the findings:


Accreditation is not yet seen as a commercial advantage and leaseholders need to be better informed about the self regulation scheme and what it means to them in terms of quality assurance.


More effort needs to be made to increase awareness of ARMA-Q among key stakeholders including RTM Companies, RMC boards and landlords.


The fact that ARMA-Q sets out what accredited agents stand for in terms of service delivery has been welcomed by ARMA members who see this as a positive market advantage.


ARMA-Q is already effecting change to the way in which members are delivering their services, in terms of the information available to client s and the public via their websites and also in terms of internal procedures. This was viewed as a very positive step towards improved transparency and better customer service.


ARMA-Q – how much do clients know?


One of the key issues raised at ARMA's annual conference, was how to get the ARMA-Q message across to clients. For those firms that need a little help, ARMA has produced a consumer guide to ARMA-Q which has proved extremely popular with members.


More than 70,000 copies have already been distributed by property managers but with more than five million leasehold properties in England and Wales, ARMA is keen to spread the ARMA-Q message as widely as possible.


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As this issue of Flat Living went to press, an updated version of the guide was being produced, so contact ARMA for copies to send out to your clients. There is a nominal charge for sending out the guides as follows:


London - £20 per box (500 guides per box) Outside London - £30 per box (500 guides per box)


For more information contact ARMA on 0207 622 6123.


Issue 20


The AGM concluded that in future ARMA-Q will become a commercial advantage for member firms but that 2015 must be the year of raising the profile of self-regulation and what it stands for.


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