CIELA, the aspiring trade body planning to launch on October 1, appears to have gone very quiet – although nothing has been said to suggest the launch will not go ahead as planned.
Last week it was due to hold two more roadshows – in Leeds on Tuesday and in Liverpool on Thursday – but there has been no indication on CIELA’s website that either took place. There has been no publicity about a roadshow scheduled for tomorrow in the west midlands, or one in the calendar for Thursday, set to be in the east midlands or East Anglia.
Two more roadshows are scheduled for the following week, with a final one on September 28 in London. Despite the seeming lack of publicity, there is no suggestion that these will not take place.
All the roadshows are set to have followed on from earlier ones in June and July held by CIELA (the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents).
There seems to have been no update on the CIELA website since July 25, and the last time CIELA tweeted was on August 22 – and that was a link to EYE about the letting fees ban debate initiated by MP Kevin Hollinrake.
Although CIELA has an outspoken manifesto when it comes to the ban – which it says it will “halt”, although it doesn’t say how it will do this – it has since apparently said nothing in public. The debate was held last week.
The organisation, headed by IT boss Charlie Wright, is in pre-launch incubation period until the end of this month, with agents paying £35 a month.
Earlier, Wright did say that unless there was greater sign-up, its October launch was in danger.
As well as halting the fees ban, CIELA says it will exclude online and corporate agents from membership, and will mount a big PR campaign highlighting the strengths of independent agents to the public. However, it parted company with its PR representatives early on. Among its other potential plans are a property portal.
The aspiring trade body, which would challenge the NAEA and ARLA plus potentially mount a challenge to OnTheMarket, has had strong support from a number of independents, including Perry Power of Power Bespoke, Peter Wetherell of Mayfair agency Wetherell, Donald Collins of GoView London, and Kristjan Byfield of Base.
CIELA has had a relatively high profile within the industry, including filing a complaint about Purplebricks to the Advertising Standards Authority.
At the weekend EYE emailed Wright and CIELA administrator Samantha Westlake to ask for an update on CIELA, but neither has yet responded. We will of course publish their response as soon as we get it.