300 Members and beyond!
The AIPP passed the 300 Member mark at its most recent Board meeting.
‘With 314 Members now live, we already have more than double the number of Members we had at the end of 2006,’ said AIPP’s Membership Manager, Lisa Charlesworth. ‘Another 25 companies have been accepted pending references; once they’re live, we’ll be close to achieving this year’s target.’
There have been some key developments this year in the way AIPP has worked.
‘Essentially, it’s about giving benefits to our Members,’ explained Paul Owen, Chief Executive of the Association. ‘The single biggest benefit is increased consumer reassurance. Members can explain to every potential buyer that the company must deliver to a professional standard or that buyer can take action against them through the AIPP. That’s a compelling commitment in this market.’
One of the most recently accepted Members is Imobrisa, developers on Cape Verde. Mimi Martel, their Sales Manager, said, ‘We are proud to be the first Cape Verdian developer to be approved by AIPP. This is another step forward for Imobrisa to confirm to our clients the high standards, integrity and transparency of our company. We hope this initiative brings the Cape Verdian property industry to a higher level.’
The AIPP Consumer Survey 2007 was concluded recently and results are expected within the next few days. It will not only set out the aims of buyers but also their concerns when buying property overseas. In addition, the survey will reveal how highly consumers value membership of a professional trade body.
‘Ultimately, the consumer will decide how successful our attempts to improve the market are,’ continued Owen. ‘If, for example, the survey shows that only 20% of buyers are reassured by AIPP Membership and voluntary adherence to our professional code, that is still a real value to our Members: if 1 in 5 will be more reassured by your membership, you will see a financial return on your investment in membership. If consumers ignore the AIPP Member badge, it will be very difficult to change the market’
Some may find the AIPP’s insistence on commercial value inappropriate for a trade body.
‘I could not disagree more,’ replies Owen. ‘By delivering commercial benefits, we keep our Members happy and attract more Members. Few would join ‘to make the market better’ but they will join to improve their profits. If membership of the AIPP improves your profits, you will want to continue to enjoy that benefit. If you do not follow our professional Code of Conduct, you run the risk of being disciplined by us and, ultimately, expelled from membership. That will hit your profits. That is how you make voluntary regulation work.’