Estate agent groups to merge
Two major bodies of estate agents voted in favour of merging to form a 4,000-strong organisation -- The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) -- in Dublin yesterday.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS), which also represents quantity surveyors and other construction professionals, will merge on January 1 next year with the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IAVI).
After the merger, IAVI members will be able to claim the title of 'chartered', giving them a competitive advantage over non-affiliated auctioneers and estate agents who are not members of either organisations.
A substantial number of SCS members opposed the merger, which was passed by a slim majority of 54pc.
Those opposed to it felt it would be unfair if their IAVI competitors could claim the title 'chartered' without having undertaken the same level of education and training.
Of the IAVI members, 88.4pc voted in favour of the merger.
The presidents of the two bodies, Kersten Mehl (IAVI) and Peter Stapleton (SCS), welcomed the result, saying the merger would ensure high and uniform educational standards for those working in the property and construction sectors.
The SCSI, which is expected to be based on Merrion Square, will maintain its relationship with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the leading internationally recognised body for professionals in the construction and property sectors.