CIGDL : Training, informing, and regulating the property professions
Members subject to the same code of ethics
Since 1971, the Chambre immobilière du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (CIGDL) [Property Chamber of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg] has been active in supporting and championing the property sector professions: estate agent, co-owners’ syndic agent, and developer. Its missions are diverse but the main objective of them all is the training, information, and regulation of the professions that it represents.
An aspiring member must demonstrate a clean bill of health
In order to become a member of CIGDL, one must first of all follow the proper procedure, starting with 5 months of training with the Chamber of commerce. “Training in business management for the property professions is the basis”, explains Isabelle Phalippou, CLC manager for the property professions. Only members who have been trained and authorised to practise can then submit their application for membership of the CIGDL. “Individuals seeking to set up their own business must contact the Ministry of the Economy to obtain authorisations in the field of the property professions”. As a professional federation, the CIGDL not only adheres to the ethics of the profession, but also has its own ethical code, as well as its quality standards charter, which is exceptional. “Candidates must also provide an extract showing a clean criminal record and provide details of their legal status. The committee then meets to approve or otherwise the prospective member’s application. If they are accepted, they must sign the CIGDL code of ethics, which is required of all members”. This requires that they must provide a quality service to their future clients”.
Supporting an intense exchange between professionals of the property sector
The federation has approximately 150 members from the various property professions of estate agent, co-owners’ syndic agent, and developer. As members, they are kept regularly informed of changes and developments associated with the business. The CIGDL gathers and disseminates all new information connected with the property professions, and passes on information concerning legislation and practices governing the national property market. “It has a sectorial monitoring role: legal and fiscal matters, developments in the professions, client expectations, etc.” There is even a secretariat dedicated to enquiries from members that they can contact for all legal and technical questions, the provision of standard documents, such as a mandate agreement, a pre-contract agreement, or ‘’anti-money-laundering‘’ file”. “We have drawn up a large number of documents using the services of lawyers”. Furthermore, the federation regularly organises training sessions and lectures on issues or changes in legislation, such as VAT, PAG [general planning management plan] or the energy passport. Or meeting days. “For example, the Celebrate property / Immobilier en fête day was organised for partner members (banks, insurance companies)”. In addition, the CLC (Confédération Luxembourgeoise de Commerce) [Luxembourg Commerce Confederation] – which champions the interests of companies from the commerce, transport, and services sectors – is a source of information for all questions connected with employment and labour law, social security and economic development.
Representing its members in all circumstances
The CIGDL represents and champions property professionals and their clients in respect of public bodies, the media, and public opinion, particularly with the intervention of its Chairman, Jean-Paul Scheuren on current issues. On a day-to- day basis, the Property Chamber acts for the promotion of the three professions that it champions. “By way of example, it was present in the ‘semaine du Logement’ [‘Housing week’] last autumn, and the ‘Journée du Logement’ (Dag vum Logement) [‘Housing Day’] in February in the City Concorde, following an invitation from RTL. These events give citizens the opportunity to ask a variety of questions, and to remind people that “all its members are united under a single, strict code of ethics, which also makes provision for a Disciplinary Committee, the mediation body, open to any individual concerned, whose purpose is to resolve problems that may arise”. The CIGDL intervenes to defend the material and moral interests of its members, but also as a mediating body for any dissatisfied client. “In the event of a dispute, an individual can contact us so that we can find a solution. In this respect, working with an agent who is a CIGDL member represents a real level of guarantee for them”.
The number of members of the CIGDL is increasing by two each month. And this figure should increase still more given the major projects that have been completed and that are underway. We should remember that the Property exchange / La bourse immobilière, which was created at the end of 2016 represents the largest grouping of agencies in Luxembourg, and that a “Property” BTS, which is training to BAC +2 level, intended to provide an advanced initial training for young people interested in the property professions, is in the process of being created with the Lycée Josy Barthel. More to come in the next episode.
La bourse immobilière / The property exchange
La bourse / the exchange is a tool created by professionals for professionals. More specifically, this is a tool for sharing mandates between subscribing members. Each agent therefore works in a network while at the same time remaining independent. They publish their exclusive mandates, enabling each partner to be aware of them. The aim is to maximise the chances of finding a buyer for a given property, while at the same time remaining the sole point of contact, the client/vendor’s trusted individual. The rules of operation between agents, on the one side the authorised agent – the signatory of the sales mandate, and on the other side, the vendors – the entity presenting the proposed acquirer – are set in the framework of the internal regulations of the Bourse immobilière / Property Exchange. For the acquirer/purchaser, it involves having the benefit of independent, objective advice on each property via their agent of choice, which, in addition, gives them access to a multitude of properties for sale, while supporting them in their search.
The Quality Charter is a set of rules that are set, and accepted by all our members to protect the client.
- Offering only services that conform to our expertise.
- Providing our clients with informed advice concerning property, the realities of the market and the legal context.
- Acting in the best interests of the principal and rejecting any fraudulent or unfair practices.
- Treating missions or mandates entrusted to us with absolute discretion.
- Observing full transparency vis-à- vis the principal.
- Avoiding any conflict of interest without our principals, and rejecting any abuse of our position in the market.
- Applying honest and transparent pricing in respect of our principals.
- Documenting in writing all important decisions concerning the execution of our mandate.
- Acting with respect for the client and for the profession.
- Complying with the regulations of the CIGDL Code of ethics. Submitting to the decisions of the CIGDL Disciplinary Committee, which is responsible for handling any complaint submitted to it.
The Code of ethics regulations are available at the CIGDL web site - www.cigdl.lu