Earlier this month we celebrated the 16th annual ESTAS Awards, once again hosted by TV property expert Phil Spencer.
The glittering ceremony took place on Friday May 10 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London and there were over 1,000 attendees from across the property industry.
The event, which champions customer service, provides a perfect opportunity for the hard-working people of the industry to be acknowledged for their achievements.
But the ESTAS and other events like it are about much more than savouring your moment in the limelight. They provide a range of benefits for those taking part (see below), and we were delighted to be involved in another hugely successful ESTAS ceremony.
Celebrating the people that make the industry
At PayProp, we're extremely proud to sponsor the ESTAS People Awards, which recognise the efforts of individuals – a valuable task in a profession which can sometimes be thankless.
The lettings profession is most certainly a people business and always will be. A huge part of an agent's day is dedicated to dealing directly with customers, helping to find solutions to a range of problems.
It's this human element of the job which should always be celebrated and that's why the People Awards are such an important part of the ESTAS.
Technology has an important role to play in the future of the industry, but providing a personal service should remain a top priority for all agents. The best tech products can help to make agents' lives easier and give them more time to focus on customer service, but they will not replace jobs as people remain so integral to the property letting process.
Feedback helps improve agents' offerings
It was a pleasure to see so many top letting agents in attendance and picking up awards at this year's ESTAS. From the large national group winners such as Andrews, down to the single office independent winners such as Chamberland Residential, all these agents have one thing in common - putting their customers first.
The fact that ESTAS awards are based purely on customer feedback means that any agency that is recognised can feel proud that their clients have taken the time to fill out a feedback form to acknowledge the service they have received.
As well as contributing to the awards scheme, this feedback can be used by agents to further improve their offering and impress even more clients in the future.
We’re all aware that it's a challenging time for the lettings market, with the fees ban and a number of other obstacles on the horizon. However, what the ESTAS shows is that the agencies who choose to focus on providing outstanding customer service and value for money can future-proof their businesses by securing repeat custom from delighted clients.
Identifying top suppliers can help agents thrive
The ESTAS is also a great opportunity to celebrate the best industry suppliers assisting agents in their day-to-day work.
Working with the best suppliers and using the best products can help agents to streamline and grow their businesses, while saving valuable time and becoming more profitable.
Awards like these allow agents to easily identify the suppliers who really care about their customers. This has become essential following the PropTech boom and the sheer number of products and suppliers that agents now need to consider.
At PayProp, we were delighted to receive the Best in Sector supplier award for payment services for the second year running.
Winning this award is a real testament to the team behind PayProp - we didn’t rest on our laurels after winning last year, and continued to improve the platform and provide great customer service to our clients.
It’s one thing to get an award from a panel of judges, but to win an award based purely on customer feedback you need to put in the groundwork over an entire year – everyone from the person who answers the phones to the bosses need to be 100% customer-focused and invested in helping our clients succeed.
We now look forward to a busy year of development as we support our customers through the tenant fees ban and introduce new features to help them grow their business.
The ESTAS are a truly fantastic event, celebrating the dedication of the whole industry in doing their best for their clients. Congratulations to Simon Brown and all the ESTAS team - we're already looking forward to next year!
*Neil Cobbold is Chief Operating Officer of PayProp