The main property agents in Marbella and the surrounding area are calling for their profession to be regulated to ensure good practice, and for a code of ethics to be drawn up to protect consumers.
This was explained on Tuesday at the official launch in Marbella of the sector's first association on the Costa del Sol, the Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA), attended by the mayor, Ángeles Muñoz.
Members include some of the longest-established property agencies and developers in the area. The president of the LPA is José Carlos León, who owns NGOVA, and the board includes representatives from Panorama, FM Consulting, Lucía Pou Properties, Gilmar, Diana Morales, Nevado Realty, Banús Property, Casa Marbella, Drumelia and Villa Marketing.
The professionals behind the initiative say the aim is to act as a lobby to defend the sector and protect its clients. The first positive move it wants to see is for the Andalusian government to develop the decree which was announced to regulate the registration and operation of all estate agencies in the region.
José Carlos León said the Junta de Andalucía is already keen for there to be an obligatory Register of Property Mediators to ensure good practice in the sector, and this was included in the special decree announced in 2018.
The proposal to regulate the sector in this way was put on public display in 2019 but is still waiting for approval, so the association will be working to ensure that it is put into effect as soon as possible.
"The situation of the professional property sector in Spain needs urgent change. Our industry has experienced difficult times with a great many ups and downs, and in Marbella specifically we have suffered a period which we would all prefer to forget, so we need to look at other countries where this profession is regulated and operates in a more orderly and transparent manner," said León.
He also explained that the companies that form part of the association have decided to set up "a work platform that will act as an interlocutor with the authorities and other associations with the aim of seeking excellence in our industry".
The LPA also wants to draw up a code of ethics to defend and protect the rights of consumers, and is calling for a special committee to be created to resolve conflicts.
Another aspect of interest to the association is training, especially because the measures put into effect due to the pandemic obliged property agents to change the way they worked and their business models, explained Fausto Martínez, the founder of FM Consulting and one of the vice-presidents of the organisation.
"Training is essential for companies in periods of change, and we have a golden opportunity for the LPA to help its associates to centralise training efforts and enhance new skills and knowledge among their teams, as well as helping people who have more responsibility to manage and lead the change towards business models that are much more in line with the 'new normal'," he said.
The LPA also aims to help to promote the Costa del Sol as a highly qualified destination for residential tourism, and to re-value the role of property agencies in the implementation and develop of this sector.