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The 2010 Judges’ Report

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Contents Messages Estate Agency of the Year 2010 Best Single Office Estate Agency Best Small Estate Agency Best Medium Estate Agency Best Large Estate Agency Best Prestige Property Best New Homes Best Customer Service Best Financial Services Best Estate Agency Franchise Best Innovation Best Marketing Best Technology & Online Best Training & Development EAE Award for Outstanding Contribution Thank you to the Judges 2010 Winners Toolkit

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A MESSAGE FROM THE ORGANISERS The Property Academy’s ‘Home Moving Trends’ survey, (which canvassed opinion from 1,500 home sellers in October 2010), highlights the value for estate agencies who win awards as 29% of people stated they were influenced by awards in selecting which estate agencies to ask for a valuation and a further 5% said it was the most important factor. These awards are the longest running in the industry and being in association with both The Sunday Times and The Times makes them highly credible to consumers who recognise them as a mark of excellence. The added support of NFOPP and The Property Ombudsman means they are without doubt the most prestigious and sought after awards for estate agents. I would like to particularly thank the judges who were once again very ably chaired by Christopher Hamer, The Property Ombudsman, with Peter Bolton-King, Chief Executive of NFOPP, acting as arbiter. Our judging panel comprises some of the most highly regarded people in property who reviewed every entry and then interviewed every entrant, some several times, and then went further with mystery shops in a number of cases where the results were too close to call. The winners can be very proud that they have passed an exhaustive test conducted by true experts who are able to contrast and compare one estate agency business with another. This is the first year we have held two separate events – The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards are held in June and The Estate Agency of the Year Awards in December and together these events attracted entries from companies with over 5,000 offices. We debated long and hard about separating the two events and whilst we believe there has been much

convergence feel it appropriate to recognise both disciplines and will continue with this format in 2011. I’m thrilled that The Sunday Times and The Times will continue to support the events next year. Zoopla are our headline sponsors for both this year and the 2011 awards and we are very pleased to have their support. We also have a number of category sponsors, some of whom are now supporting us for the eighth consecutive year and we are extremely grateful for this continuing commitment. I’d like to thank every single estate agency that has taken part in the awards and applaud you all for the excellent standard of entry that rises each and every year. I’d also like to offer my congratulations to all of you for coming through such a tough market and whilst many forecast sterner times ahead I’m sure that every one of our finalists will outperform the market. The ‘Home Moving Trends’ survey asked the question: Based on your experience to date, would you recommend your estate agent to a friend? 84% of people said “yes” – there’s still room for improvement yet clear evidence that the estate agency industry is one we can be proud of. Peter Knight Chairman, Estate Agency Events

A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF JUDGES Over the four years that I have acted in the role of Chairman of the Judges I have seen the number of entrants to the awards increase and it is pleasing that so many firms are willing to expose themselves to scrutiny. It is the judges role to carry out that scrutiny, a process which involves detailed consideration of each submission, a further testing of the statements made by the entrant through a personal contact with an individual judge, and a robust discussion within the panel of judges about the relative merits of each firm to identify which will qualify for an award. Some winners this year were winners of a Gold , Silver or Bronze award last year or in previous years and it is clear that they have sustained the high standards that won them the accolade in the first place. Other winners are ‘first-timers’ and I hope that the award will encourage their continued application to improving business operation and, importantly, customer service.

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The discussions within the judging panel are searching, with each individual judge being comprehensively tested on their recommendations. All the judges have given freely of their time and energy. A list of their names appears later in this report displaying the wide range of experience available to the panel. I thank them all for their contribution. Christopher J Hamer The Property Ombudsman


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Introducing the award for ESTATE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

OVERALL WINNER 2010 Marsh & Parsons With a history dating back over 150 years, Marsh & Parsons has certainly demonstrated staying power through not one but several downturns and with the dynamism of its business model one could be forgiven for expecting a certain level of service as standard, however Marsh & Parsons simply astonish at every turn with their excellent business focus and attention to detail. Managing Director Peter Rollings leads by example, with visionary and hands on leadership. His involvement begins at the recruitment stage where he insists on seeing every single candidate personally and it is apparent that this philosophy has ensured every new team member is an immediate fit in the Marsh & Parsons family and has resulted in excellent staff retention levels. From the outset the staff are encouraged to treat every day as if it were their first and this focus on maintaining enthusiasm and passion sets the standard. There is a culture of autonomy with everyone encouraged to manage themselves and feel empowered to make decisions. Since acquiring Marsh & Parsons five years ago, there was a subsequent acquisition of a second business and since then, Peter and the team have worked hard to create their business as a new London-wide, middle to top-end agency with the number of offices doubling since 2005 and profitability increasing accordingly. Completely focused on transparency and compliance, the training programme is second to none and benefits from the hands on approach and many years experience of the directors. On their first day, new starters are fully indoctrinated into the company culture through inductions into branding, heritage, current initiatives, a ‘who’s who’ of the team and via the ‘Find 50” questionnaire whereby

they need to research and consider answers to 50 questions about services, businesses and amenities in the area surrounding their branch from learning about local blue plaques to their favourite street. Particularly impressive was the way this agency has created a sales culture with a flow of impressive incentives from bottles of champagne to a weekend in Monaco whilst positively encouraging the team to operate in a fun and friendly environment. Socialising outside of work is frequent and everyone is kept informed of any planned events; the sense of team spirit is palpable. The fact that there is less than a 5% annual turnover speaks for itself. All customer feedback is retained and shared at weekly meetings and social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook are monitored for comments about the business with any adverse comment dealt with professionally to transform opinion. An early adopter of social media tools, Marsh & Parsons web presence is impressive and Peter and the team harness the power of the internet to position themselves as experts through commentary and blogging. Indeed, the homepage of their website is dedicated to the most recent articles and the site is user friendly, informative and easily navigable. This sits well alongside the marketing which is always innovative and well executed and shows a depth of understanding for the target market and delivered with passion and pride for the brand and the services. In the words of Marsh & Parsons itself, “Local know-how. Better results”. The judges couldn’t agree more and we are thrilled to award the gold to such a fantastic example of the best in estate agency. They are trail blazing.

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Introducing the award for

BEST UK SINGLE OFFICE AGENCY W A Ellis An exciting and dynamic business which punches above its weight to compete with some big brands in its area. Clever use of marketing gives the impression of a much larger agency and communicates an expert team that is able to offer an experienced, bespoke and personal service. W A Ellis has demonstrated a consistent commitment to service and innovation, giving them the cutting edge in

what is an incredibly competitive market place. It is apparent that the entire company has a very can-do approach and are continually improving; offering extraordinarily high levels of customer service. From mystery shop results to market share and high standards of marketing and promotion this business is well deserving of this gold award.

Cooke & Co There is a huge energy and “buzz” about this company, not just from the owner himself but from all concerned. With extremely prominent corner premises, Cooke & Co is a market leader despite strong local competition from a number of other independent agencies. Cooke & Co’s strong marketing was pivotal, with its innovative ‘Drawing in the Sands’ campaign,

designed to emphasise their expertise and local knowledge and confirming them as an expert in coastal property. Cooke & Co has high staff retention and a strong, motivated team which is commended time and again throughout customer surveys and mystery shopping exercises. Cooke & Co is an extremely well run and forward thinking estate agency business.

Ashington Page Ashington Page has not sat back and rested on its laurels after being successful last year; they have continued to improve their customer facing proposition, having re-branded their company, refurbished their office and breathed new life into their marketing. Their efforts this year have also focused on improving their market share in the higher end market, where they have increased their average sale price by

60%. They clearly are a tight team of property professionals that deliver a passionate and focused service with impressive marketing material and a user friendly, up to date website. An impressive example of an agency setting out a challenging plan then going above and beyond to achieve their goals. Absolutely outstanding.

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BEST SINGLE OFFICE AGENCY | The Regional Winners

South East GOLD - Ashington Page

SILVER - Scott Fraser

Gold winners in 2009, the team at Ashington Page have ramped up their efforts even further. 2010 has seen them introduce a company wide re-brand, a re-designed website with excellent usage of social media tools, an office refurbishment and several new services including a more efficient IT and telephony service. This improvement in infrastructure has run alongside an outstanding training programme for the team to ensure that the customer experience is improved on every level. The result of all of this hard work is an impressive 54% increase in income since last year.

The focus at Scott Fraser is on high quality, value added service to create what the staff call, “the Scott Fraser experience”. Completely confident in the service they offer, clients aren’t tied into a contract – if they aren’t happy at any point, they can walk away. This self belief has led to excellent repeat business levels and the team continue to work hard even after completion to ensure a smooth handover and initial move for both vendor and purchaser. Winners of the silver in 2009, Scott Fraser has continued to invest heavily in their business.

South West GOLD - Thompson Estates

SILVER - Inspired Estate Agents

Silver winners last year, Thompson Estates has built on their achievements; last year they demonstrated incredible market share and this has risen again to 30% in an area with over 30 agents. A young, dynamic team cover the whole market from small apartments to multi million pound estates and all staff are able to assist with all properties; their ethos is that the team are all part of a family and they have created a vibrant and inviting office atmosphere. Clever and innovative marketing alongside a real interest and involvement with local charities has strengthened their position in their area and led to a belief amongst customers that they are an agency that cares.

Launched only 18 months ago in an area with over 20 agents, they have already taken a 10% market share in Guernsey. The MD is in the office every morning at 6am which is invaluable for international clients, and this approach has engendered a competitive, hard working environment for the entire team with the focus being set from the top. Inspired Estate Agents were able to demonstrate they are very highly regarded in the overseas investors market and the judges look forward to ever greater things from this new agency.

London

Shortlisted: EA Shaw

GOLD - W A Ellis

SILVER - Ayrton Wylie

This long established Knightsbridge firm more than holds its weight against bigger name estate agency chains in their area. The vast experience of their long serving team coupled with their honest and open approach with clients is the key to their success. The entire team demonstrate fantastic commitment and understanding across the breadth of the business - the judges were particularly impressed with their high quality, structured approach to dealing with new potential vendors and the hands-on approach of the partners.

Ayrton Wylie couple big brand awareness with a boutique style service ensuring their clients receive the best of both worlds. The partners have over 40 years experience between them and they operate a personal and fully collaborative service, not only valuing properties but also carrying out viewings and remaining the main point of contact for clients. Demonstrating outstanding levels of repeat custom across all areas of the business, a testimonial stating, “Ayrton Wylie tells us what they believe to be true not what they think we want to hear", sums up the ethos of the company.

Midlands GOLD - Campbells

SILVER - Foden Property

Cementing their success from last year, Campbells remains an exceptional agency. Director Paul Campbell, is thrilled to learn from his peers and believes this approach can only lead to excellence across the industry as standards become ever higher. The value placed on sharing and mutual improvement is a clear driver behind this business with the whole team supporting this philosophy. The team communication is fundamental to the direction of the company and this communication and the standards it engenders are clearly one of the most valuable aspects as far as the (many) clients are concerned.

Taking the view that attitude and personality is as valuable as know-how, Foden’s recruitment strategy is innovative to say the least. The passion for their team is apparent and it is clear that the agency is a hive of enthusiasm, knowledge and personality and that this view has been key in securing them the top agency spot in their area. They understand their strengths, adhering to them at all times and they aren’t afraid to take extreme measures in their approach. Most apparent though was the sense of fun and family that each member of the team brings to the agency and in turn to the customer.

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Northern GOLD - Cooke & Co

SILVER - Northumbria & Cumbria

This agency demonstrated an excellent business model; not only did they continue to recruit through the downturn but they retained their number one position in terms of market share in their area, despite the opening of ten new agencies locally. Their ‘can-do’ attitude is apparent and they have raised the bar internally to ensure they are still the most respected and employed agency in their location. Continued investment in technology has raised their profile and Cooke & Co continue to lead the field in their employment of new tools to improve the customer experience.

Loyalty and longevity are the keys to this agency’s success. A stringent and personalised service has been reflected in the business growth and they continue to innovate with a recently re-designed website and via a re-branding. A longstanding agency, they boast excellent staff retention levels and this is reflected in their knowledge and passion for their area, which is second to none. Shortlisted last year, the team admit they have strived to improve their already high service levels and standards and it is a delight to award them the silver.

Wales GOLD - Thomas & Rose

SILVER - Squarefoot Estate Agents

Thomas & Rose continue to impress with their approach to agency. The directors have ambition to become the most qualified agents in the country and this dedication to improvement is exemplary. A recent campaign called, “Relax” aimed at simplifying the moving process and giving consumers one point of contact for their entire experience is outstanding and has enjoyed fantastic feedback. The integrity and honesty of the entire team was clear from the outset and the continued success of this agency is well deserved.

A family run business, Squarefoot is an impressive agency offering an excellent service in their local area. A relatively new agency, which opened in the midst of the downturn, their tenacity and passion is apparent and they have seen their profile boosted in recent months by appearing in the ‘Boss is Coming to Dinner’ television programme, the publicity from which they have utilised to their great advantage. Their attention to the finer details stands out and their constant commitment to improve and innovate is impressive.

Northern Ireland GOLD - Pinkerton Murray Pinkerton Murray is a relatively new agency and impressed the judges with their business growth in a short space of time and in a difficult market. Based in an area with a small population, the team strive to enhance their profile and capture greater market share with professionalism, enthusiasm and expertise. Not afraid to take a chance, they have recently invested in new office premises, a gamble which has paid dividends in increased profitability and greater market share. They fully deserve the gold.

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Introducing the award for

BEST UK SMALL AGENCY Northfields Northfields entry demonstrates everything that is good about estate agency. With an outstanding example set by owner Richard Palfreeman, this agency is a ‘people-centric’ business where both staff and customer opinion is valued and integrated into the very fabric of the proceedings. The establishment of a Client Care Centre has enabled their already excellent CRM programme to go from strength to strength and clever use of simple tools such

as feedback questionnaires and marketing assessments has proved its value with an outstanding level of repeat business and personal recommendation. The training & development undertaken would be impressive in an agency far bigger than Northfields and their enthusiasm and innovation with regard to CSR is aspirational. Everything about this agency impressed the panel and it is a delight to award them the gold.

Philip Green & Partners 2010 has seen this agency expand to four branches and re-establish their lettings offering resulting in excellent growth of market share and a real impact on the profit margin. The heavy investment in their business is apparent and an initiative called ‘The Grid’ acts as a one stop shop for customers by offering any and all support they might need for their move including a personalised out of hours service. A weekly magazine is distributed effectively and places this agency in the position of property experts through their articles on local and

national market changes, topical guides and community event planners as well as fresh and attractive listings. This approach has also meant fantastic buy-in from the local community due to their personal involvement, and an impression that this is an agency that cares. Countless customer testimonials highlight the fact that Philip Green & Partners practice what they preach and their entire philosophy is backed up by strong and decisive action.

FBM Despite the tough trading conditions, FBM has retained all their staff, kept their promises and increased market share, sticking firmly to their principles of being honest, reliable and trustworthy; an ethos which has strengthened their focus on getting the basics right and extending their offering from there. The addition of several new departments and services has allowed the staff to evolve their skills and can only be good for the customers.

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Unafraid to make changes they have spent time identifying where they can improve and this approach has led to excellent implementation of new technologies and processes resulting in direct impact on the business and the customer experience. As an example of an agency providing a complete property service, FBM were a joy to judge and should be extremely proud of their business model.


BEST SMALL AGENCY | The Regional Winners

South East

Shortlisted: Streets Ahead

GOLD - Philip Green & Partners

SILVER - Imagine

This company has set out a strategy to make themselves ‘world class’ and the judges saw every effort being made to achieve this goal. Over the past year, they have opened several more branches, expanded their services and grown market share, as well as increasing their involvement in local community. Highly customer focused, the team are constantly introducing innovative ideas and they excel in using technology to improve the customer experience and their systems and processes - an approach which enables them to focus on face to face service.

Imagine is an impressive agency, not least due to its growth in the relatively short time since the first branch opened. The passion and enthusiasm of the owner is infectious and this enthusiasm is echoed by the team who go above and beyond at all levels to maintain the commendable reputation of the business. Their attention to detail at all times is outstanding and the company statistics for listing to sales ratios, staff retention and repeat business speak for themselves.

South West GOLD - Maitlands

SILVER - Wilkinson Grant & Co

Maitlands focus on outdoing their competition every step of the way and their dominance in the local area is testimony to this approach. They embrace technology whilst retaining a focus on the basics of customer service; a key philosophy is to get the result the customer wants in a speedy and professional manner and the entire team is behind this 100%. The introduction of a zero week sole agency contract over the last 12 months has seen a higher rate of instruction and a lower withdrawal rate, the results of which have gone straight to the bottom line.

This agency enjoys success year on year and once again, the judges were impressed by their findings. Striving to exceed the expectations of its customers, Wilkinson Grant & Co has recently re-launched its most successful campaign which encourages sellers to get involved with every aspect of the selling process. Excellent marketing materials coupled with this transparent and open approach has led to them out-selling their nearest competitor by over 30% over the same time period. Excellent.

London GOLD - Northfields

SILVER - Greene & Co

Building on the success of last year, Northfields has seen its business grow from strength to strength. Led from the top, the partners encourage team feedback and opinion sharing with the result that the business and its philosophy has complete buy-in from the team. Great marketing materials, consistent growth and excellent staff retention all highlight that Northfields is an outstanding agency in every way.

Greene & Co continue to impress across the board, not least with their ongoing commitment to CSR. Their mission statement to, “care for our clients and each other’, is apparent in every business decision, including the innovative introduction of a legally binding Goodwill Charter aimed at encouraging fair play and honesty from both sellers and buyers throughout the moving process. This approach is one that has reaped huge benefits both in terms of staff retention, which is impressive but also in the high esteem in which they are held by the local community.

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BEST SMALL AGENCY | The Regional Winners

Midlands

Shortlisted: Birmingham Property Group

GOLD - Hartleys A strict adherence to monitoring all key criteria ensures superior service levels and attention to detail. The team is kept fully engaged with the direction of the business and there is a culture of sharing ideas and innovations which has enabled them to retain and expand their energetic and quality employees. Taking the approach that they’d meet the recession head on, they have expanded their offices and offerings over the past year, which has led to well deserved business growth and a higher profit margin.

Northern GOLD - Karl Tatler Estate Agents It will come as no surprise that once again Karl Tatler has taken the gold. An outstanding agency which demonstrates year on year why it is one of the best agencies, not only in it’s location but nationwide. Having invested in opening two new offices this year, they have seen their market share jump to 48% and increased turnover and profits accordingly. Led from the top by a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual, they have not lost a single member of staff to the competition in14 years, and this loyalty and pride in the company extends to the team’s huge involvement in local community projects.

Wales GOLD - FBM

SILVER - Williams & Goodwin – The Property People

It is apparent that FBM know their stuff and operate accordingly. The directors are fully involved at grass roots level and operate a transparent business model with the team also fully aware and involved at every level. Innovation is encouraged and a personally delivered sellers guide has seen listing conversions rise by 40% in recent months with increased market share alongside. Significant investment in new technology and software has increased efficiency enabling an ever better customer experience.

Involved in a national level to raise the education standards in the industry, Williams & Goodwin practice what they preach, with training and personal development at the core of their business. The culture is one of continual improvement for all aspects of the business and all staff have their development tied into the company goals and results. Innovative use of iPads and marketing materials has resulted in all three offices being market leaders in their area. Enthusiastic involvement in the local community is only the icing on the cake for their excellent business model.

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Introducing the award for

BEST UK MEDIUM AGENCY Marsh & Parsons In a tough category, this agency is impressive. Since acquiring the business in 2005, Managing Director Peter Rollings has taken his original vision for what he wanted to accomplish and has achieved this and more. Backed by an expert and passionate team, he has taken this long established agency, doubled the number of offices and built a strong brand. The sense of pride the team feel for the

business is apparent and it is clear they work hard to build on the sky high standards in place and have fun doing it. Their utilisation of social media and online from day one was pioneering and remains inspirational and most of all they deliver what they promise with expert local knowledge and customer service levels of the highest degree.

Newman Property Services Newmans are successful year after year at these awards and it is their continued dedication, passion and excitement for the industry that enables this success. The sheer number of examples of the team going over and above the call of duty to help customers was breathtaking and the volume and quality of marketing initiatives are exemplary. It is particularly notable in this agency that marketing and customer service are so interwoven into the

fabric of the company that they almost cannot be separated; a view borne out by their profit and local market domination. Training is comprehensive and extensive and their adherence to transparency and compliance is commendable. A constant search for new ideas and innovation reaps its own rewards for a top notch agency which continues to impress. Well done.

Beresfords A long established and customer driven agency, Beresfords boasts a highly experienced and knowledgeable team who embrace traditional standards and new innovation extremely well. Their investment in online media has been increased with the result that they are working towards their own online newsroom to be launched next year which will join their already

successful Beresfords TV channel. They work closely with Trading Standards and the bespoke compliance course covers all mandatory regulations and topics and more. The directors are completely involved in the daily running of the business and the family atmosphere they’ve created over the past 40 years has produced a business to aspire to.

Shortlisted: Thornley Groves

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BEST MEDIUM AGENCY | The Regional Winners

South East

Shortlisted: Sharman Quinney

GOLD - Beresfords

SILVER - Thomas Morris

This agency stands out for living up to their own high professional standards throughout all their operations. Their excellent website, online TV channel, exclusive magazine and e-zines and thorough embrace of new technology is matched with a traditional dress code, extensive sponsorship of local charities and excellent standards of training and recruitment. This knitting together of all the best aspects of old and new has made them a stand-out winner in their category

The judges were impressed by the dedication shown by this agency to continuous professional development, having established a training company that not only operates internally but is also responsible for training and consultancy to hundreds of agencies across the industry. The partners are involved in every aspect of the business and the entire team endeavour to give the best customer experience they can from the initial enquiry through to any legal, conveyancing and marketing requirements. This last year has seen a successful rebrand which has led to business growth and greater market share.

South West GOLD - Wood’s Estate Agents (Newton Abbot)

SILVER - Webbers

Widely known and trusted locally, this agency has worked hard to support the community and local charities and has been rewarded with an increasing share of what has been a challenging market. A strong, co-ordinated marketing campaign, including video presentations, that played on their name helped to raise their profile, while fundraising and charitable ventures brought in favourable editorial content as well as driving business. A highly effective team effort which has delivered great results.

Established in 1924, Webbers is a shining example of brilliant estate agency. Every staff member is a shareholder meaning the results of the business are personal; and customer service survey results show this approach works. The directors strive for continuous improvement via every channel with the result that their knowledge and understanding of the industry and the market is second to none; a strong training programme means this is filtered down to the team and Webbers can offer their clients a superb level of service which is outstanding in every way.

London GOLD - Marsh & Parsons

SILVER - Martyn Gerrard

A mixture of old-fashioned strong customer service and innovative modern business techniques, this agency consistently delivers results to the highest possible standards, thanks largely to the knowledge and dedication of the team. Such inventive offers to their clients include vouchers for a local handyman service, well targeted use of social media, excellent staff development and fast paperless contracts. The high quality, expert staff put their heart and soul into providing a superior, hands-on service and reap the rewards in their business results with fantastic growth and impressive market share.

A long established firm, Martyn Gerrard is a family run agency who successfully dovetail a traditional approach with entrepreneurial flair. High on integrity, the majority of their business comes via repeat customers and personal recommendation. They seek to employ local people with expert local knowledge and when this is coupled with the superior training standards they set, their team offer a service that is exemplary. They maintain excellent records enabling them to analyse their results and build upon their successes, and this keen attention to detail across all areas of the business has enabled them to evolve their business year on year.

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Midlands

Shortlisted: Newton Fallowell

GOLD - Newman Property Services What is so striking about this agency is how highly their peers in estate agency speak about them, praising them in glowing terms for their focus and reputation for going the extra mile. Newmans continually demonstrate their passion for their team, their clients and the industry and it is this consistent approach that sets them apart. Strategic marketing campaigns, in which the agency take control of all aspects, from content management to graphics, recruiting, retaining and continually supporting staff, and providing consistently top-notch service has made them stand out and succeed in a challenging market.

Northern

Shortlisted: Dacre, Son & Hartley

GOLD - Thornley Groves

SILVER - Manning Stainton

By expanding their business in a contracting market, this agency has increased its market share through making sure their business is as reactive and diverse as possible. Using new technology such as iPads and an updated website to provide immediate action and feedback for customers, they are a wellbalanced, well-run business offering a strong service across the board, from urban city centre flats to top end homes in the leafy suburbs and countryside. Once again demonstrating an impressive dedication to their customers at every point of contact, the team at Thornley Groves are to be congratulated on their jump from the silver in 2009 to this year’s gold. Well done.

Listed as one of the Best 100 Companies to work for due to staff feedback, Manning Stainton seek to inspire and innovate at every level. Their stringent recruitment standards and high staff retention enable them to form real relationships within the team, which in turn filters through to clients and the community. They continually invest in new technology and 2010 has seen them rebuild their website from scratch and expand their business, with the addition of an auction division and plans underway to expand and improve their offices. The introduction of several ‘how-to’ guides has enjoyed excellent feedback from clients and they continue to introduce new services at every level.

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Introducing the award for

BEST UK LARGE AGENCY Connells Group Connells has produced impressive financial results despite a tough market and this result can be ascribed to the great efforts they make to understand their market and how they harness this information to improve and enhance services to aid their clients. For a large company the entrepreneurial flair displayed is inspirational with many ideas suggested by front line staff being implemented to great success. Across all media, the marketing works to highlight the key points of difference of

Connells and the heavy investment in training means every employee adds value and weight to the claims they make. Systems and technologies employed are constantly monitored and adapted where necessary for maximum efficiency and Connells’ level of commitment to customers, the team and the brand at every stage of the home moving process is exemplary. An outstanding business model that stands out as excellent.

Chesterton Humberts Chesterton Humberts has enjoyed an amazing year from both a business and customer perspective. Excellent profits have been delivered through a combined effort of shifting focus onto high value sales and through the provision of quality, high calibre customer services. The opening of branches in Moscow and the Middle East has raised their profile and 2010 saw them take on and sell extremely high levels of prime market property in Central

London. A marketing initiative that told the story of each home’s history was a superb way of selling target properties as well as generating excellent local PR for the agency and the homes themselves. This also allowed the creation of online add-ons such as their award winning ‘House Historian’ blog. This hard work and vision has paid off with a dramatic turnaround in profits for the recently merged company and they take the silver award.

Arun Estates Arun Estates impressed with their ability to grow as a large business whilst maintaining a boutique agency mentality and service and they have achieved excellent financial success in 2010. The entire team at Arun appreciate the value of relationship building and are consistently open and honest with customers to ensure they understand the market and the conditions under which they will be moving.

Shortlisted: Chancellors, Hamptons International

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The agents are trained to be ‘marketers’ first and foremost, ensuring the needs of buyers and sellers are at the heart of any decision taken. They are proud to be a company that enjoys the business of estate agency and strive to build a reputation on a foundation of strong customer service ethics, honesty, fun and expertise.


Introducing the award for

BEST PRESTIGE PROPERTY Fine & Country Fine & Country offer an unrivalled consistency of quality branding and high standards across every aspect of this niche market; the result of which is that clients are able to buy prestige property through a network of highly professional and committed agencies who can deliver a superlative prestige service. The first to embrace the innovative and highly successful

use of 'lifestyle marketing' of homes to bring a new dimension to property marketing, they have built on this year on year and continue to impress through their marketing, stringent recruitment process and business growth. This consistent and committed approach wins them an extremely well deserved gold award.

Beresfords An independent company whose love of property is palpable, Beresfords understand the prestige market and cleverly utilise a very high quality team of individuals with a wealth of industry knowledge to deliver their prestige but personal service. Following on from their

recognition as the silver winner last year, they showed they are continuing to punch above their weight. Their entire service offering is hands-on and high quality from the initial enquiry through to their expertise and marketing materials. Excellent.

Wetherell Wetherell is a business that knows its stuff. The knowledge and understanding this agency has of its local area and client base is absolutely outstanding and should serve as a benchmark for the industry, not least due to its location in one of the most demanding and discerning property markets in the world: Mayfair. The vision for this agency is absolutely shared by

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the entire team and the judges were most impressed by the way in which they utilise the top innovations across all media as well as their authoritative yet approachable marketing campaigns and communications. The perfect prestige service for an extremely prestige market.


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Introducing the award for

BEST NEW HOMES Pygott & Crone Vital to any estate agency is local knowledge and knowing every nuance of your market. Pygott & Crone is Lincolnshire to the core, offering a personal service to local and national builders. Priding itself on attention to detail, the new homes department breaks down a piece of land to the last square foot, with comprehensive market analysis to give developers full information. Local expertise enables an honest and transparent approach leading to impressive client retention over the years. Innovative marketing and

comprehensive training ensures they are well respected and utilised by smaller builders who may not have the budgets for big campaigns. A strong business model enabled them to assist builders during the downturn through their sales and marketing expertise and competitive pricing. Pygott & Crone demonstrate an enjoyment and hunger for this market; a potent combination between agents and developers which has enticed the panel to award them the gold. Outstanding.

Connells Estate Agents With a vast new homes offering, Connells manages to deliver a personal, bespoke service to its developer clients, well aware that in the housebuilding industry one size doesn't fit all. New homes are integrated into the branch network, with a deep-rooted intelligence of new build properties acting as an extension of the developer's business. They offer the full range of new homes services from land sourcing through to sales and Connells demonstrates

time and again that it is a partner for developers, expanding its work for and understanding of Housing Associations, and building on the support of its subsidiaries, such as The New Homes Group, to gain access to a wide range of support services, such as mortgages and conveyancing. Continued heavy investment in this area means Connells continue their exemplary new homes offering.

Sequence

Beresfords

Offering a one-stop shop, Sequence exhibits great versatility and a diverse and highly respected portfolio. It has an innate understanding of housebuilders’ requirements; not an 'us and them' approach but a partnership, building strong and lasting relationships with clients and priding itself on its entrepreneurial flair in delivering new home solutions. The entire department aspires to be 'new homes champions'. It responded to the downturn by setting up a property recovery business called Resolve to help banks and administrators shift stock and move sites, or gain rental income from sites, without flooding the market and continues to investigate ways to innovate and maximise its new homes offering.

Beresfords combine a commitment to the best in technology and innovation with an inviting and friendly environment. They certainly know and command their local market in Essex and Greater London. Training includes a development awareness course and trainees are constantly encouraged, absorbing them into the Beresfords culture as agents of the future, and a low turnover of staff suggests they breed the right culture. Beresfords did not cut their marketing budget in the downturn, but sought to increase market share, which it achieved. They pride themselves on their local knowledge and can offer developers a full and flexible range of services alongside an impressive collection of testimonials.

Shortlisted: The Cameron Group, Streets Ahead

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Sponsored by

Introducing the award for

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE Newman Property Services In a category where the standard of entry was extraordinarily high, Newmans’ submission really stood out. They have measurable service standards in place for every aspect of the business, and rigorous systems ensure these are met consistently. Standards are maintained by regular training, filmed mystery shops and service questionnaires which can be completed by any customer at any time via the website. There were numerous examples of service beyond the call of duty such as a negotiator spending his whole weekend redecorating a house for an elderly lady following adverse reaction to the viewings. It sold a few days

later. Service innovation is clearly demonstrated with the re-introduction of a holding deposit for all purchasers to increase their commitment to the purchase. They have also launched a service for Probate clients which includes cleaning the property, maintaining the garden and preparing the property for sale. The deciding factor though was the overriding sense that Newmans view customer service as a discipline in its own right rather than as a strategy to increase profitability. Their customer care is truly exceptional and they are worthy winners.

W A Ellis During a period when many estate agents were making cutbacks W A Ellis made a huge investment in improving their service standards. The staff received external training on how to succeed in a more difficult housing market and many business processes were redesigned, for example, prior to every valuation the valuer will carry out a land registry search, research the property’s planning history and obtain comprehensive comparable evidence in order to ensure the most accurate valuation. Service standards are monitored using QMS

procedures and service questionnaires and the team constantly step outside the normal realms of customer care to get the job done including a senior partner personally removing an unwanted piano from a property to enable a speedy completion. The greatest testament to W A Ellis’ service standards though is the very high number of repeat and recommendation clients and the fact that they have won significant market share and maintained their profitability during the downturn.

Greene & Co The customer service standard offered by Greene & Co is outstanding; not least due to the sheer volume of innovative ideas they implement. They have documented service standards and rigorous procedures in place to ensure that the entire team goes above and beyond every single time. Their philosophy is that it is easy to give excellent service to one customer; it is remarkably difficult to give excellent customer service to every customer yet Greene & Co achieve this time and again. Continued investment in training has reaped

Shortlisted: Connells Group, Streets Ahead

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rewards and there were several great examples of customer service innovation including a self published book entitled, “101 Things an Agent Should Tell You”, and a Goodwill Charter, designed to ensure a smooth and honest transaction between vendors and buyers. Take up has been around 50% which is an extraordinary achievement. There is a strong correlation between good customer service and profitability and this is borne out by the fact that 2010 will be a record year for Greene & Co.


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Sponsored by

Introducing the award for

BEST FINANCIAL SERVICES Connells Group Maintaining the high standards that saw them take the gold in 2009, Connells continue to innovate and impress with their financial services offering. Aiming to be the industry experts in mortgage provision they offer over 1,000 mortgage products and all their highly trained team are experts in their field. Dedicated to compliance, a specialist team monitor the quality and standards in-house and detailed analysis has shown that high

numbers of successful completions can be directly linked to customers’ use of the mortgage services offered by Connells. A new will writing service has been introduced and the take up rate speaks for itself. A robust and consistent service offering has ensured that Connells remains market leader in this area and their pioneering ideas and innovations set the standard for the industry.

Beresfords

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As an independent agency, the directors at Beresfords took the view that they would be independent mortgage advisors, an approach that required substantial investment but which has paid absolute dividends, not least since the success of this department has led to Beresfords outsourcing their expertise to

smaller agencies who cannot offer financial services in-house. The customer care standards which go along with this are exceptional and the team focus on the value of communicating with customers promptly and pro-actively; their 99% referral and approval rating proves this approach works.

Your Move

Reeds Rains

Your Move took the position of introducing fees during the downturn due to the increased work and research necessary for mortgage applications, a move which has increased profits significantly. A successful programme has been developed to revisit and advise historic customers which has resulted in savings for the clients and profits for the agency. Strong measures are in place to ensure compliance and any complaints are analysed at board level on a monthly basis. At a time when many agencies were tightening their belts Your Move should be congratulated on the acquisition and successful integration of the financial services arm of Halifax Estate Agency. An inspiring model.

Reeds Rains offers an aspirational level of service and products backed up by expert knowledge, strong compliance and comprehensive systems. Their commitment to their clients is backed up by their ‘Advice for Life’ mission statement, which is given to all clients and loyalty is encouraged by the fee structure; clients pay a fee for the first mortgage arrangement but any subsequent applications are fee free. Their well-developed and stringently maintained databases are fully utilised to market their services and knowledge. A culture of continuous and thorough training is the icing on the cake for this strong contender.


Winston Churchill once said,

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”, but despite this very thought-provoking sentiment, most people struggle with change, even when the changes involved are seen as positive. Over the last few years most of us have been forced to change: our business model, our processes, our people, our marketing, and much, much more. In hindsight most of the changes that we make are seen as the right thing to have done at the time, and particularly over these last few tough years many changes that we have made have ensured the survival of our businesses. At The Talk Group, we are no different. We have made many improvements to our business, our model and importantly our proposition to ensure that not only have we survived the economic downturn but we are now prospering because of it. We will end 2010 with a salesforce 60% greater than we started it and with a proposition that provides a solution to every Estate Agent that wants to improve the effectiveness of their Financial Services. At The Talk Group we understand that change can be difficult, so we work very closely with you and your team to minimise the downside of change and maximise the positives. Our proposition allows for a seamless transition allowing you to focus on what you do best, selling houses, and let us focus on what we do best, “help you make more money.” (extract from our Partner Pulse Survey 2010) Don’t just take our word for it….ask any of our Business Partners about why they won’t be changing their FS Partner anytime soon. To discuss our proposition, contact our Head of Business Recruitment: Verona Frankish vfrankish@mortgagetalk.co.uk or 07969 918374.


Sponsored by

Introducing the award for

BEST FRANCHISE Xperience The judges found Xperience to be a healthy, forward thinking company which gives franchisees and consumers confidence and peace of mind. Still led from the helm by the man who started it all 20 years ago, Xperience continually develop their offering to ensure the best possible outcome for the franchise, owners and customers. This past year has seen significant investment in training and technology meaning Xperience franchisees are among the most qualified and well equipped in the country. There is a culture of differentiation and they are proud of the unique selling points

they offer, not least the position that new franchisees are only recruited if they have at least five years estate agency experience. Marketing support is excellent and financed through a one off annual payment; anything else is provided at no extra cost. Tried and tested systems and processes leave no margin for error and are carefully managed. This approach of strong branding and superior support means franchisees are able to get on with the business of selling houses and making a profit. An excellent example of franchising at its best.

Goodchilds Goodchilds cares about its business and the overriding aim is to provide a platform for franchisees to launch successfully then to work together to build a business according to franchisees aspirations. Boasting the impressive statistic that they have never lost a franchisee or closed a branch, the strength of the systems and processes behind the scenes is commendable and really illustrates that Goodchilds has been a franchise operation from day one. Autonomy is key and branches

show a degree of individuality whilst maintaining the branding and high standards set out by the parent company. Franchisees are offered excellent networking opportunities and the chance to learn and share with each other, a culture singled out by the judges as commendable, also commenting that the commitment, innovation and care demonstrated by Goodchilds was a pleasure to judge.

Your Move Your Move offers an excellent, all encompassing proposition backed up by a recognised brand, superb training and multiincome streams. There is a superlative focus on the support required by franchisees and the strong set up only serves to facilitate this requirement with ease. An efficient ability to recognise and react to market changes has proved invaluable and franchisees are given every opportunity to generate added income through centrally designed initiatives and

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services whilst working with their teams on their own ideas and campaigns to maximise profit. Their website design is particularly impressive and the sheer volume of traffic speaks volumes about its accessibility, ease of navigation and consumer confidence. Franchisees feel protected by the strength and size of the brand and the high street presence whilst remaining confident they are in charge of their own business.


Could ‘it’s in the post’ be a phrase of the past? Thanks to our enhanced conveyancing service it could be if your clients use myhomemove! Over several years myhomemove have established a reputation for innovation in the conveyancing industry. As the country’s largest independent provider of mover conveyancing services we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the way we offer our conveyancing services to both agents and clients alike. In today’s fast paced world there is an ever increasing reliance on technology to make things happen more quickly and with less hassle. Conveyancing is no different. Enhanced Conveyancing With myhomemove’s new enhanced conveyancing service we’ve built on our existing market leading service with a truly unique approach to making conveyancing quicker and easier. Avoid postal delays – review documents on screen in seconds Movers can now review letters and documents online instantly. Clear instructions are provided highlighting the action they need to take on each document. So instead of waiting around for things to arrive in the post, at the risk of delays or industrial action, everything is there, on screen for immediate review.

Enhanced Conveyancing is in addition to these great benefits from myhomemove… EA Fee Paid on Exchange – No need to chase, or even raise an invoice, with our unique fast exchange service. Market Leading Panel Service – Designed with needs of clients, agents and lawyers firmly in mind! Search Guarantee – So your buyers won’t be caught out if their purchase case falls through! Unique Online Service – Now even better with our enhanced conveyancing service! Points Based Rewards for your Negotiators– In addition to a referral fee, you and your colleagues can earn points for the work you send our way!

In addition to this, clients can complete forms online straight into their case file. They can even scan and upload documents such as their ID forms, further reducing the frustration of postal delays. But what does this mean for you? This easier, more accessible route into conveyancing provides another great reason for your clients to say yes to conveyancing from myhomemove. With faster completion times we’ll be able to increase our Agents’ pipeline conversion, meaning faster payment of Agents Fees and, even better, plenty of happy and delighted clients!

Moving Made Mobile For clients who are on the move our enhanced service is now mobile. We’ve created a secure mobile site, allowing clients to log in and review new documents around the clock…from anywhere in the world! For the first time ever clients can carry their entire case file in the palm of their hand.

To find out more about the enhanced conveyancing service from myhomemove contact Stephen Hayter on 07780 662975 or email stephenhayter@myhomemove.com SPONSOR

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Sponsored by

Introducing the award for

BEST INNOVATION Hamptons International Recognising the growing popularity of handheld technology as a potential new platform for online property, the Hamptons online team took the decision to invest in a new innovation for Apple’s iPhone; a dedicated property search application that would be the first of its kind from a UK residential agent. The launch of the iPhone app and subsequent iPad app has generated an enormous amount of

PR for the agency, proving very popular with Hamptons’ customers and reflected in the profit margin. The app has been adopted across all branches as a market appraisal tool and has been successfully employed during viewings, giving agents a handheld tool to access the entire Hamptons portfolio at the touch of a button.

Streets Ahead Already boasting a strong commitment to CSR, Streets Ahead were investigating local charities when they came across Nightwatch, which helps and supports the homeless and rough sleepers in Croydon 365 days a year. Streets Ahead worked with Nightwatch to launch the ‘Blanket Appeal’ during the very cold winter. Promoted in branches, through editorial in the local paper and via door to door leafleting, this appeal generated an enormous response from

local people as awareness of this issue and Streets Ahead involvement grew. The staff took a hands-on role, and encouraged customers to do the same, distributing blankets and directly helping many homeless people. The result of this campaign was an increased sense of teamwork and direct help for a local good cause as well as an increased local profile and a rise in instructions for the business.

Connells Estate Agents In a challenging market, customer retention and the cross-sale of other services, such as conveyancing, are absolutely critical to a successful agency business. Connells has proved its exemplary market awareness once again through the roll out one of its most successful and profitable cross-disciplinary products to date, the “£99 HIP with Home Conveyancing” proposition. This product

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meant that the seller was able to continue marketing their property for as long as it took to sell without paying Connells the full cost of the HIP. This encouraged customers to remain with Connells, and with Connells Home Conveyancing until the property was sold. As a result, conversion on Home Conveyancing for customers that needed a HIP was 96%.


Comment by Simon Whale, Director of Reapit I’d like to congratulate all the nominated companies today and it is great to be associated with so many of those attending. I’ve never been afraid to shamelessly hang onto the coat-tails of our clients when they win awards and you can be sure I’ll be insisting that one of the main reasons for their silverware is the RPS software. So when you hear a lone table cheering for multiple awards we’re not simple, well that’s a half truth, we’re just basking in their brilliance! Before 2009 you could say that Reapit was one of the industry’s best kept secrets, and I frequently did. However over the last year we’ve had another incredibly busy year, rolling out nearly another 400 offices and Alan Sugar wouldn’t have been able to recruit staff fast enough for us to cope with demand. Traditionally you would go to these events at the end of the year with a view to seeing which provider they would pick to install over the quiet period at Christmas. We’ve unfortunately blown that approach out of the water with a waiting list back to April 2011. Whilst other providers have been quiet happy to take on business at any cost we won’t just take on new clients if it means that the experience to them or our existing customers and our staff is affected. By taking this somewhat conservative stance we ensure that our best efforts are dedicated to you. Anyone that thinks changing home is stressful should see how difficult moving software providers is if not handled correctly. We have an unparalleled client base and whilst our competitors boast the 0.5% crew we have Knight Frank, Hamptons, Strutt and Parker, Marsh and Parsons, Cluttons, Jackson Stops and Staff, John D Wood, Carter Jonas and Chesterton Humberts. Some of the strongest regional independents use our software too with Romans, Townends, Bradleys, Pygott & Crone, Hunters, Dacre Son and Hartley, Manning Stainton, Webbers, Michael Graham, McCartneys, Greenslade Taylor Hunt, Andrew Grant, Miller and Son, Bidwells, Graham Butt, Sarah Mains, Michael Poole, Cumberland Property Services, White & Sons, Hilbery Chaplin and Wilkinson Grant all using our software. And to round all those off we can assure our clients that scalability isn’t an issue as we have around 1000 of Countrywide’s offices using our software. Why does all this this matter to you? Other than a great excuse for me to eat into the 1200 words for this editorial, is there much to be said for having so many of the big names using RPS? I would argue that it is absolutely vital that you sign up for a provider that has such a number of market leaders, because whilst we won’t hesitate to say what a good job we do, the simple truth is that the majority of our enhancements come from our clients. It becomes a virtuous cycle of adding some of the most innovative names in the industry and them in turn driving the product forwards. With so many clients nominated for awards today it’s exciting also to be nominated for an award ourselves. I think it shows what a close relationship we have with our clients with Reapit having being nominated for Supplier of the Year; incredibly 64% of our business comes from these referrals from clients which is fantastic news for someone who hates cold calling!

I’m obviously biased but I can think of no more important choice to a successful agency after picking the right people than to opt for the right software package. Systems like RPS should be the absolute backbone of a business, if they’re not the hub of what you’re doing then frankly you need to re-assess the way it’s being used in your company. If you’re using a legacy package that is stopping you effectively communicating via post or email to this goldmine of business then you need to assess why you’re using them. If it’s down to the old ‘if it ain’t broke’ argument then I’m here to tell you it is broken and worse than that, it’s holding you and your business back. The most common question asked is how easily can you upgrade us from these systems and the simple answer is it isn’t! There are plenty of snake oil salesmen who will tell you that it’s a piece of cake to migrate from one system to another but the truth is that it is an incredibly complex process. We throw more resource at it than any other provider in this industry and there are still always times when the principal thinks ‘was this the right call?’ People don’t like change, it’s an inevitable reaction and it’s why people stick with software packages in other walks of life for far too long too. However why we are the right choice is because we understand what works, no other provider has the same knowledge in rolling out software to multi-office estate agents as we do. RPS is in around 2,500 offices which is by far and away the largest single provider around and there are two fundamental reasons for this. The first is that we don’t try to hoodwink prospects that re-keying data from your legacy system is a good training exercise. We offer a comprehensive data conversion service from most of the packages within the industry and have undertaken bespoke systems too. Because of this not only your live data but your archive is also brought into RPS to be accessed at will. The second reason why the move is easier and indeed why our clients use such a high percentage of the system is that we include training free of charge. So many of the companies here today will put a lot of their success down to training and we agree wholeheartedly with this approach. Our dedicated, on-site initial and six-monthly training with Reapit is also included in the overall price – we know that on-site training directly benefits an agency and ultimately this will drive those referrals back to us so why would we possibly want to ration your ability to use the software by imposing a £600 day rate for training? So I would suggest that the main jist of this article comes down to a value for money argument, yes we are typically 3 to 4 times the cost of our competitors but why would you want to rest your business success on something that costs in some cases as little as a virtual tour a month? Red Adair said “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” I concur! Good luck to everyone today and we’d be delighted to talk further either on the stand or on 0845 3302965 or visit www.reapit.com to see what our clients think about us.

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Sponsored by

Introducing the award for

BEST MARKETING Fine & Country It is a delight to award the gold to Fine & Country following their success as a silver winner last year. The pride it takes in innovation is palpable and this enthusiasm and expertise is captured in their clever use of marketing tools which are absolutely tailored to the target market. Their approach to lifestyle marketing should be seized as a shining example by the rest of the industry and the team understanding of how marketing materials and tools support the brand is

commendable. Every campaign is executed effortlessly across appropriate and well thought-out media and the Property Exhibition at their Park Lane office is a prime example of a clever idea done well. Clients and agents fully understand the weight, expertise and breadth that Fine & Country have behind them and embrace the company accordingly; surely the point of any marketing campaign and they fully deserve the gold.

Andrews & Partners A long established agency, Andrews & Partners launched their “Property Services’ campaign this year to great success. Starting with a specific objective to increase their brand awareness in the competitive London market, every aspect of this campaign was undertaken with this in mind; the end result being that a secondary campaign commenced alongside and a brand refresh for the company was instigated. The willingness of this consistent and traditional brand to take risks and evolve is

outstanding. The results Andrews was able to demonstrate showed that the multi faceted attack worked wonders and their market share has increased as has their profit margin. ‘Property Stories’ is an accomplished and polished undertaking; it is based on the universal truth that our homes are full of our happiest memories and the slick and professional execution is awe inspiring. We are delighted to award them the silver.

Newman Property Services The campaign executed by Newmans impressed the panel on every level. A four month enterprise leading up to a gala polo day at Royal Leamington Spa Polo Club has reaped fantastic rewards for the business in terms of customer and team goodwill and on the bottom line. Designed to increase awareness, instructions and listings but also as a thank you to previous and existing customers and the

team, the results show these objectives and more were achieved. The fact that they have announced the dates for next year’s event and are already receiving enquiries is testimony to the success of the day. Run across all media the hit rate and branding is impressive and the data collection has been stringent in order to accurately measure and assess the results which were top notch.

Shortlisted: Hamptons International, Pygott & Crone

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Sponsored by

Introducing the award for

BEST TECHNOLOGY & ONLINE Xperience Xperience subscribe to the view that technology and its development is key to its business. Recognising that technology is a tool, not a means to an end, their online presence and back-office systems are designed to complement and enhance their service offering and ease their customers’ journey. Each of the four Xperience brands has seen a website re-design this year and the team has worked

closely with the web designers to ensure they can capture all information needed internally to target customers successfully. The data gathered has also enabled them to change the layouts and pages on the websites to ensure they are easily navigable and comprehensive. An excellent understanding and usage of social media, e-marketing, intranet and blogging sits alongside to win Xperience the gold.

Manning Stainton 2010 saw Manning Stainton take the decision to re-build their website from scratch to incorporate innovative features and tools to enhance the customer experience and reflect the brand values. Alongside this was an overhaul of internal technology and their task management system which has allowed the team to achieve consistent high levels of

service. The online strategy has been carefully planned and rolled out across the board incorporating a strong individual website, use of portals and social media and blogging all of which have combined to add real, tangible value to the customer with the result that instructions, market share and the profits have increased.

Scott Fraser A comprehensive website is a great starting point for potential clients who want to know about this agency. Fully up to date with easily navigable and clear information the branding and appearance is slick and professional and backed up with in-depth information and innovative tools. Every aspect of technology usage is considered in terms of customer

experience and profit margin and the judges saw clear proof that this approach is adhered to, resulting in a well-respected and profitable business with the values of the agency apparent at every turn. The quality of the technology and online offering are impressive for an agency of this size.

Shortlisted: Greene & Co, Newman Property Services

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Sponsored by

Introducing the award for

BEST TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT Arun Estates Embracing a passionate coaching and development culture, training begins before new starters even enter the office and their programmes successfully merge technical and compliance understanding with personal development and innovative solutions. The Training Director started in the industry as a negotiator and has developed a wide range of procedures from induction training to senior

management and distance learning modules. Staff undertake training daily and the pace of work in the company has measurably improved as a result of training. The introduction of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) has been well received and their skills based approach to training has delivered measurable business growth and personal improvement for employees.

Thomas Morris A dedicated belief in the value of training for their people has led to an extremely low staff turnover of 5% and a return on investment that is second to none. The calibre of the training given to the team led to the launch of a dedicated training company several years ago and since then this has provided training to hundreds of the industry’s leading agencies. Individuals are sponsored to achieve external

qualifications and staff are encouraged to be ‘property doctors’, able to assess and prescribe an approach to moving home on an individual and bespoke basis. A culture of consistent ongoing training pervades this company and the high standards it espouses can only continue on their trail blazing path for the agency itself and the industry as a whole.

Andrews & Partners This agency states that its Learning and Development department never stands still and the panel found this to be entirely accurate. With budgets tight, they have found ways to keep delivering high class training and strive to provide practical qualifications to employees that not only benefit the individual but deliver real results for the business. The launch of an innovative new programme, ‘Andrews’ Apprentices’ took 12 new recruits and trained them on an apprentice style scheme; the

Shortlisted: Sequence

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success of this has meant they will undertake this annually. New ideas and concepts such as a Festival of Learning have been introduced and the judges were particularly encouraged by the expertise and enthusiasm of the Training Panel. Unafraid to break the mould and take new approaches to encourage a love of development, Andrews method has paid dividends and the entire team are passionate to learn and develop which will guarantee the success and longevity of the company.


 


Estate Agency Events Award for

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO ESTATE AGENCY Sean Newman This award was launched to acknowledge and thank individuals who have made an enormous contribution to our industry through dedication, hard work and innovation; that Sean Newman is one such individual is beyond doubt and it is an absolute privilege to honour his achievements publicly. From his start in estate agency in 1986 where Sean ran to appointments as he didn’t have a car (it could be argued this was good practice for the hundreds of charity initiatives Sean would undertake in later years) he started Newmans aged 21 in an office measuring six feet wide with no toilet; the fact that this was undertaken in the midst of the 1990 recession speaks volumes about his vision and commitment to sheer hard work. 20 years later and Newman Property Services now offer total moving solutions, with plans afoot to take the brand nationwide via franchising. A successful partnership with Fine & Country will grow in 2011 with Sean’s move to the US to launch the brand there. On a personal level, Sean’s philosophy of helping those less fortunate than himself is pervasive and he has raised millions of pounds for charity. Remarkably Sean had never been involved in any fitness activities or challenges until he was 30. Following his mother’s diagnosis with Parkinsons, her partner planned a fundraising

cycle from Lands End to John O'Groats but tragically died of a heart attack during training. Sean stepped in to complete the challenge and raised £40,000, not allowing the fact that he didn’t have a bike to stop him. This saw the start of a commitment to fundraising that has seen him participate in charity events worldwide including the grueling Marathon des Sables. It was this attitude that led him to undertake a 3,500 mile cycle ride across America in June this year, a decision that had almost tragic consequences when Sean nearly died after being hit by a truck on the freeway. True to form, Sean has taken this event and turned it into a positive challenge and despite horrific injuries, including a broken spine, legs and shattered pelvis, was walking again within 12 weeks and has already enlisted for the 2011 LA marathon. Sean Newman has always been highly regarded and respected by his peers and the unprecedented tidal wave of support and goodwill he has received from agents worldwide since his accident says it all for the respect and esteem in which he is held. His contribution to improving the reputation and public opinion of estate agency is unarguable; his personal philosophy and strength inspirational and we cannot think of a more worthy recipient of this award.

THANK YOU | To the Judges The Estate Agency Events team would like to extend a huge thank you to this year’s judging panel:

Chairman of the Judges Christopher Hamer – The Property Ombudsman

Panel of Judges Rupert Bates

– Editorial Director, whathouse.co.uk & Showhouse magazine

Chris Brown

– Chris Brown Consultancy

Kate Faulkner

– Managing Director, Designs on Property

Clare Fletcher

– Clare Fletcher Training

Tracy Kellett

– BDI Homefinders

Mark Montgomery – Commercial Director, myhomemove Rick Palmer

– Director, Brief Your Market

Jill Parsons

– Freelance Property Journalist

Miles Shipside

– Commercial Director, Rightmove

Joanna Swash

– Sales & Marketing Director, Moneypenny

Dominic Toller

– Managing Director, Property Earth

Adam Walker

– Adam J Walker & Associates

Henry Yates

– Chief Executive, estatecreate

Jon Cooke

– Managing Director, LSLi

We would also like to thank Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive, NFOPP who kindly acted as Arbiter during the judging process

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Become a better leader The Property Academy Leadership Group consists of some of the finest estate agency owners in the UK. Every 2 months, the group meet to discuss common challenges and opportunities and to hear from experts and inspirational speakers. None compete geographically and whilst every business is different a common characteristic is the desire to learn from others and thereby improve.

“The Leadership Group gives us valuable insights and practical learning into how we can improve our business from other like-minded agents” Richard Palfreeman - Northfields

“I now have more support to run my business and it is also an incredible resource of ideas, marketing literature and business know how” Gareth Ashington – Ashington Page

“We are proud to be part of the Leadership Group because it has contributed real value to our business, people and customers” Jon Cooke - Intercounty

For a commitment-free trial membership to The Property Academy Leadership Group, please contact Ben Harris on: t: 01372 370809 e: ben@propertyacademy.co.uk w: http://www.propertyacademy.co.uk


be sure to shout about your

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success...

Congratulations on your success. So far, you’ve done all the hard work to achieve this prestigious accolade. Now let the award work for you. The Winners’ Marketing Toolkit provides you with everything you need to promote your win now and in the year ahead. It couldn’t be easier to broadcast news of your success. Choose from advert templates, an emailer, a press release, photography, web banners and lots more.

Visit www.estateagencyevents.com/winnerstoolkit for a full range of useful marketing resources

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ropert

CONGRATULATIONS

TO THE AWARD WINNERS 2010 The Sunday Times and The Times: A platform to showcase your business.

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EAE 2010 Judges Report  

EAE 2010 Judges Report

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