As the year draws to a close, awards season is in full flow. It’s a time to reflect on the highs and lows of the months gone by. A time of glowing success for some and disappointment for others.
But how significant are industry awards? How important are they and what difference do they make when it comes to winning new business. Does winning an award make you a better agent?
Any business entering awards simply for the shiny gong, is missing the point. While time consuming, and in most cases, requiring a good deal of effort to pull together, awards offer a great opportunity to achieve much more - to boost your wider profile, build your reputation, instil customer confidence and crucially motivate and reward your staff.
Over the years at Moneypenny we’ve entered a few awards that we have considered a good fit for our own values and ethos, from small business affairs in our early days to The Sunday Times' `100 Best Companies to Work For’ over more recent times.
In our experience, there is always something to gain far beyond the prize itself. Yes, having that trophy in your cabinet, and the logo on your website and collateral represents a badge of reassuring quality for customers, but it’s also a symbol that bonds your team together in the shared pride and satisfaction that comes from recognition of all your hard work and joint commitment.
There are few things that boost morale and create a happy workplace quite like the joy of sharing success – praising and thanking each individual within your team and reassuring them of the important role they have played in achieving it.
Fresh from success at this year’s Relocation Area Network (RAN) Awards, having scooped the coveted `Agent of the Year’ title, I caught up with Nathan Emerson, Partner at multi award-winning Pygott & Crone based in Lincolnshire. He shared his own thoughts on the subject:
“For me the key to harnessing the good from awards lies in the degree of seriousness you commit and, whether you are successful or not, how you harness the passion and momentum that the process generates in order to drive your business further.
“Independent scrutiny and recognition is still one of the most powerful tools to help secure new business and retain existing business, but the simple winning of an award will not self-generate business alone. Recognition or success requires the follow through of a strong marketing campaign and the constant reinforcement of the very attributes which has won you the award in the first instance.”
“Receiving credible industry awards provides a very strong platform from which to build and strengthen your brand against others in the market. It also gives a clear mandate to stay stronger on fees and take pride in the product you deliver. What’s more, it gives your staff belief, confidence and cohesion.”
“The very fact that you are prepared to enter in the first place shows that you do wish to succeed and improve, but the reality is that many of us are extremely busy and the time required to properly prepare an entry can mean agents simply don’t bother entering, or worse still, put forward a rushed and ill thought-out entry. You have one chance to showcase what it is that you do that separates you from your competition.”
“The whole awards entry process, if taken with due diligence, is the ideal opportunity for you to review your business, not only identifying the areas which you are successful in, but much more importantly the areas you are weakest at.”
“Running on the daily treadmill often means we are so busy working `for’ the business that we don’t take time out to work `on’ it. Using the awards deadline as an immovable marker, forces you to make the time available and it is the agents making the effort to do this who will continue to succeed, expand and improve.”
“The awards presentation itself gives you valuable opportunities to network with fellow like-minded industry professionals and this also leads to the sharing of ideas, best practice and marketing strategies.”
Working towards something together, involving your whole team, then achieving a great result is infectious. It breeds a `can do’ culture that permeates your whole business. It’s a journey, not an end result – which, done well can add significant value at every stage.
Congratulations to all the industry participants and winners so far this year and good luck to those involved in the awards still to come.
*Samantha Jones is Commercial Manager of Corporate and Property at telephone answering specialist Moneypenny