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Training staff makes for good customer relations

publication date: Apr 15, 2008
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Caxtons Chartered Surveyors, one of the largest independent chartered surveyors in the Kent, Sussex and South London region, announced that their emphasis on training and skills has been reflected in the increased numbers of their staff who are now obtaining professional qualifications and recognition.

To top off this success, Alan Stewart, Caxtons’ Director in charge of their Residential Property Management and Lettings Division, has recently been elected as a Fellow of the Association of Residential Letting Agents. Alan said how much he appreciated ARLA’s decision. “I’m delighted that they feel it appropriate for me to be elevated to the level of Fellow; it’s the highest accolade the Association can grant.”

He also expressed his congratulations to four members of staff who had recently passed their ARLA Foundation Competency Test - Janet Bowen and Jo Brown, both property managers in the Medway office in Gillingham, and Bronwyn Fleetwood and Gemma Marks, both of whom work in the Student Lets Department of Caxtons’ Canterbury office. Janet, Bronwyn and Gemma are keen to get started on the next step of advancing their careers and their qualifications but Jo is prepared to wait a little while – since she is expecting her first baby in July. “I am thrilled to have gained the qualification,” she said, “and it will make it much easier to return to work when the time is right.”

In addition, Alan said Caxtons was delighted to have recruited new member of staff Stephen Gallagher as a property manager for their Medway office. Stephen, who joined Caxtons in January, passed his ARLA examination with merit prior to joining the company. Stephen said ever since he passed the exam in 2003 he had been keen to gain further ARLA qualifications, “but the opportunity for study was just not available at other agencies. Caxtons was the only company willing to offer further external training, and is actively encouraging me to obtain more qualifications. We just have to wait and see what the next step will be following the amalgamation of ARLA and the National Association of Estate Agents.”

And last, but by no means least, congratulations to Debbie Lee, Human Resources Manager and PA to John Williamson, who is based at their Kent Thameside office in Gravesend. Debbie obtained her Certificate in Employment Relations and Legal Practice from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, an exam that includes both the legal and personal aspects of dealing with people at work. This is not the only qualification relevant to her human resources work that Debbie has achieved during her five years at Caxtons: with the encouragement and support of the company she has also completed a number of Croner training courses. “You have to handle some tricky issues in human resources”, says Debbie, “but if I had a philosophy, it would be to treat everybody fairly. I always try to deal with everybody as I would like to be treated myself.”

James Pilcher, Managing Partner at Caxtons said: “We want everyone in our team to achieve their full potential and we try to provide the right opportunities for personal development. It’s an approach that pays dividends for everyone, not least our clients. The recent successes have been tremendous – congratulations to them all.”

Exam triumph for fabulous fifteen

Fifteen members of staff from the haart, Felicity J Lord, and Darlows lettings agencies are celebrating after achieving outstanding results in the prestigious ARLA 1 examinations set by ARLA. A total of six employees achieved distinctions in the ARLA Foundation Competency Test, with five gaining merits. Lettings agent Sarah Brotherton from Darlows Residential Lettings Agency in Cardiff had even more to celebrate after obtaining one of the highest marks in the country with a staggering 92 per cent.

Andrew Berry, Managing Director of parent company Spicerhaart Residential Lettings, said: “These are fantastic results and we would like to congratulate all our staff who sat the exam, especially Sarah whose result is outstanding. We pride ourselves on offering our clients the very highest quality of service and make a significant investment in our employees’ professional development. These results speak for themselves.”

All Spicerhaart Residential Lettings employees undergo a comprehensive training programme and following the amalgamation of ARLA with the NAEA staff will now be undertaking a specially tailored programme of training in line with the national qualifications framework, which will include the NAEA Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management and a Diploma in Residential Letting and Management.