In 2010 we made the decision to put our team through the Level 3 ARLA Propertymark Qualification in Residential Letting and Property Management. Whilst we continue to help our newer team members to gain the qualification, we have introduced the Level 4 option for senior staff. The first three people undertook it in 2014 and we currently have 8 team members who have successfully obtained their Level 4, with another group planned for 2019.
Congratulations to Douglas Lloyd, Emma Croft-Pearson and Henry Brown for volunteering themselves and passing the qualification. Particular mention should go to Office Manager Henry Brown for being awarded the highest mark in the UK! We asked Henry for his thoughts on studying for the qualification and receiving the highest Level 4 mark in the UK.
David Cox, CEO of ARLA said "I've sent a personal note to Henry congratulating him but also wanted to thank Finders Keepers. It really goes to show how dedicated you are to professionalism in the industry, the quality of the training you provide your staff and how you enthuse them to excel and be really passionate for their work"
"Prior to my career in letting I was working in journalism. I have always had an interest in property and applied initially for positions in sales. I was offered a position in the letting team of one of the companies I had applied for, fortunately the office was enthusiastic and vibrant and I've never looked back.
After some time a move was on the right cards and Finders Keepers was the best decision for me. I started off in the Witney office for 7 months as the Letting Department Manager before moving to join the Abingdon office in the same role for a year. Another move saw me move to the Bicester office and earn a promotion to Deputy Office Manager. A year later I was back in the Abingdon office and I am still there today, working as Office Manager. Working in 3 branches in my earlier career at Finders Keepers has helped me gain a broader understanding of the company and the Oxfordshire rental market.
I had always wanted to do some further study and expand my understanding of the industry. I think it is outstanding that Finders Keepers is happy to fund these extra courses for their staff. I had the equivalent of a ARLA Propertymark Level 3 qualification, so when the opportunity to study for Level 4 arose I was keen to put my name down. Already having the Level 3 qualification gave me a much wider base of basic knowledge and understanding of the letting industry. It also provided me with a broader knowledge of legal aspects, so I could give professional advice and guidance that is more important to both landlords and tenants.
Actually studying for the Level 4 qualification along-side work was challenging at times, usually due to my 1 year old, but I got into a good routine of revising at lunchtimes and in the evening. Finders Keepers was very supportive through the study programme and preparing for the exam, and the external trainer was also fantastic.
I saw the benefits of studying for the qualification immediately after starting the course. The depth of information was so useful straight away and I was able to share many of the more pertinent insights with the rest of the office.
I knew things were going well and I was obviously hoping for a good mark, possibly a distinction, but I had no idea I would come out top of the class across the UK!
I would recommend studying for the Level 4 qualification to anyone that is looking to expand their knowledge and increase their confidence as a letting agent. It's a lot of hard work and at times the work / life / study balance will be tough but it is well worth the effort.
I would also like to thank the Finders Keepers team for their support through my time studying. Finders Keepers' attitude seems to be that the studying and the accrual of knowledge is as important as getting the actual qualification; so I think that the actual achievement and knowledge that Finders Keepers' staff get from sitting Levels 3 and 4 is probably higher than elsewhere. As far as Level 4 is concerned, I think that it is a fantastic investment for Finders Keepers to make in so many of their staff and their development and, ultimately, it will mean Finders Keepers end up with a resource of knowledge that other agents will not be able to come anywhere near."