Property professionals may have heard the news that Ian Potter has announced his retirement from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). He will leave his position as managing director in June 2014.

As the UK’s leading professional body for letting agents, ARLA has already taken steps to find a successor – including bringing in Property Personnel to conduct the search. However, filling these respected shoes will be a difficult job.

Ian Potter at ARLA

Mr Potter’s association with ARLA began in 1993, where he was a national council member. In 2006, he was appointed operations director, then in March 2012, was named Peter Bolton King’s replacement as managing director.

As the head of ARLA, Mr Potter has tirelessly campaigned for improving the standards of the private rented sectors and has been passionate about protecting landlords and tenants alike from unscrupulous letting agents. He has been the public face of the organisation, representing ARLA at media, industry and government events.

Career highlights

Educated in Dundee and Nottingham, Mr Potter spent twenty years working in the banking sector, holding various posts at TSB Scotland. In 1989, he made the move to the property industry, assuming senior positions at Fineholm Letting Services and Countrywide Residential Lettings. He describes himself (via LinkedIn) as someone that enjoys new challenges; no doubt he’ll have experienced many while working in the ever-changing property lettings sector.

Finding a replacement

Finding a candidate that fits the bill for this high profile, energetic role will be no easy task for the appointed recruiter. The post has been advertised intriguingly as ‘property-related but different’, with outward-facing duties that include external liaison with ARLA stakeholders, acting as an industry spokesperson and increasing ARLA membership in the UK. Mr Potter himself (via LinkedIn) states the job’s principle responsibility as “the development and forward direction of the organisation for the benefit of the membership”.

In addition to relevant industry experience, a suitable successor will need to possess commitment, business sense, exemplary communication skills, personal integrity, gravitas and credibility; competencies which were all demonstrated during Mr Potter’s tenure at the helm.

‘Hardworking, passionate and tenacious’

The news of Mr Potter’s retirement has prompted a deluge of tributes from colleagues, peers and admirers from within the industry. Mark Hayward, managing director of ARLA’s sister organisation, the National Association of Estate Agents, called Mr Potter “a credit to ARLA” and emphasised how he is held in the “highest regard”.

Meanwhile, Anthony Hesse, managing director of Property Personnel, commented: “Ian Potter is highly-regarded within the lettings industry and has a reputation for being hardworking, passionate and tenacious.

“He has been a tireless supporter of ARLA and its members and his shoes will be very difficult to fill. Whilst we would like to wish Ian the best of luck in his well-earned retirement, we are now facing the challenge of recruiting a replacement for Ian which is certainly going to be no easy task. “