AIPP more than doubles in one year
The AIPP had 137 Members on 10 October 2006; by 10 October 2007, the Association had 291 Members with more than 5,500 people working under its Code of Conduct.
‘We were quite clear when we started that we had to make things happen, and make them happen quickly,’ said Paul Owen, AIPP’s Chief Executive who launched the Association on behalf of its Members on 10 March 2006.
‘We’ve not invented anything new here; we’re just bringing professional companies together under one banner of membership and going to the public with a collective message: ‘Buy where you see this sign: our Members have voluntarily agreed to follow our professional Code of Conduct. A collective message is undoubtedly stronger than any single company message.’
In an increasingly competitive market, a badge of membership showing commitment to voluntary regulation has never been more important, nor has it been more advantageous. During the Autumn exhibition season, the Association noticed a much higher consumer recognition of AIPP Members, something confirmed by the Members themselves.
‘AIPP membership has undoubtedly made a significant difference to us,’ said Simon Feek, MD of Emerging Markets Understood (EMU), at the recent A Place in the Sun Live exhibition. ‘There is still some consumer wariness about ‘emerging’ markets; being able to explain that we must behave professionally as AIPP Members helps reassure them.’
Simon has also been pleasantly surprised when attending recent exhibitions in Bulgaria and Russia. He explains, ‘We have spent time at exhibitions in Sofia and Moscow in the past fortnight and have found even here that buyers are happy to see we are an accredited Member of a recognised trade body in the UK. We were the busiest stand at the Sofia show and many competitors asked us about AIPP membership; I expect quite a few new membership enquiries in the coming weeks!’
The Association recently published the second edition of its Members Directory, a consumer guide to buying overseas, with 50,000 distributed in the UK through a Place in the Sun magazine and 20,000 in Ireland through the Irish Property Buyer. In addition to a half page editorial feature in the Daily Mail on 5th October, the Directory will further raise the consumer profile of the AIPP and strengthen the benefits of membership. The Autumn marketing campaign continues with the release of the AIPP Consumer Survey 2007 later in October.