In Conversation: Tim Hyatt

Tim Hyatt, Knight Frank

Tim Hyatt, President, ARLA

There’s a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors who we’re regularly in conversation with, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate – and here we share more about them, their roles, priorities and backgrounds. If you would like to feature in this series, or to suggest someone who might, please get in touch through our contact us page or let us know on twitter.

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Today we speak with Tim Hyatt, President of ARLA.

In one sentence, could you sum up your role at ARLA?
As President of ARLA my role has been to outline a three year strategy for the organisation across marketing, member engagement, future direction and board composition. As well as acting as a figurehead and spokesperson for the UK’s largest letting agent representative body.

And in one sentence, what your organisation does?
We represent the concerns of 7,000 of the UK’s letting agents – the largest organisation of its kind in the UK and the only one to introduce mandatory licensing of its members to improve consumer protection.

Could you tell us a bit about your background?
I am the Partner responsible for Lettings at Knight Frank, which I joined from Foxtons nearly 10 years ago. In that time I have grown the lettings’ aspect within Knight Frank to a business worth £13.9m and have driven double digit growth each year.

What are the main challenges you face as ARLA President?
Improving consumer understanding of the workings of the market, and trying to persuade the Government of the need to ensure consumer protection through a UK-wide licensing scheme.

What are you thoughts about regulation in the lettings sector?
It is imperative. It is simply inconceivable that a market that is growing as rapidly as the PRS, and is responsible for the homes of so many of the UK population, is entirely unregulated.

Under your tenure, ARLA has become more visible and consumer facing – why is this important?
So that consumers understand their rights, and that landlords and agents understand their responsibilities
for people’s homes.

Over the past few years the number of lettings agencies have increased dramatically; how has this impacted the sector?
I would like to say that this has improved the quality but this is not the case. There are a lot of new agents – who have perhaps come over from the sales sector or who are simply new entrants – who are not offering the standard of service that consumers should be recieveing .

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
Setting in place a comprehensive strategy for an organisation that I have always respected and am now in a position to change for the better.

What would you say is your most memorable moment or proudest achievement?
This year has been one of the most challenging for me as President of ARLA and I would have to say that everything I have been able to acomplish have been of my biggest achievements.

What is your favourite London landmark?
At the moment it is Battersea Power Station – which Knight Frank is marketing – but in time I think the Olympic Park and the Athlete’s village will come to be a wonderful reminder of a great event in London’s history.

 

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