The People Awards, which honour the very best individuals in residential agency for 2016, are one of the highest accolades any agent can receive in the industry.
The People Awards handed out at the prestigious ESTAS ceremony, which was this year held at the Grosvenor House in London, are particularly special as they are based on the feedback received from their own clients. The awards recognise outstanding individuals within and across all aspects of the residential agency sector whose professionalism and business excellence make them stand out from their industry peers.
The People Awards really highlight the fact that the estate and letting agent industry is a people business, according to TV property celebrity and host of the awards, Phil Spencer, who firmly believes that the ESTAS are “one of the highest accolades our industry can offer”.
“The ESTAS are unique because your clients are judging you on the things you do every single day,” he said.
Nominations for this category were based on feedback received from 30,000 customers in this year’s competition with more than 3,500 staff members eligible to win.
In total, 20 members of staff from firms who took part were shortlisted in the category and just six Highly Commended People Awards were handed out at the glittering event in April, attended by 900 of the UK’s top property professionals.
“At the ESTAS we believe staff who have been integral to the customer service experience should be recognised,” said Simon Brown, founder of The ESTAS.
Sharon Hunter, associate partner, Carter Jonas Bath, said that she was absolutely thrilled to win a People Award for the second time, having previously been recognised in 2014.
“I work in a very competitive business and so it is great to be recognised by the people that matter, and that is our clients,” she said.
Matthew Brown, lettings manager at Morris Dibben Chandlers Ford, part of Countrywide, was over the moon to become the first person working within the Group to win a People Award at the ESTAS.
“I put my heart and soul into this business to ensure that our clients receive a first-class service, and so to be recognised for the hard work that I do is absolutely brilliant. To win at the ESTAS is a really lovely feeling.”
Rowan Waller, managing director, Wallers of Oxford, was attending the ESTAS for the first time and was taken aback by the scale of the event.
“I don’t think I’d come to realise the magnitude of the ESTAS until I saw how many people were in the room,” said Waller. “To be shortlisted was an honour, but to actually win justifies what we have been trying to achieve.”
“As a hybrid estate agency, we aim to provide a top service for all our customers, no matter the price range of their property. We simply want to offer excellent value for money and a first rate service,” he added.
Henry Beercock, branch manager at Beercocks Barton, entered the ESTAS for the first time this year as he felt it would be a great way to showcase the services that his company offer.
“We are a family run business and we pride ourselves on our personal care to our clients. To be shortlisted, never mind win one of the awards in our industry, was an extremely proud moment for my family and me, as well as the company that I represent. I shall continue to strive to offer the best service to my clients.”
Also entering the ESTAS for the first time was Stacey Molyneux, senior sales negotiator, Ashtons St Helens.
“To come away with such a prestigious individual award was surprising and a real shock to me," said Molyneux.
“The fact that the award was given based on customer feedback is absolutely brilliant. It is nice to get recognition for years of hard work. I pride myself on being thorough with my clients, buying and selling property is usually the most expensive and stressful time of anyone’s life, so to have such a positive influence on people and helping them fulfil their move to their dream home is what I love to do and hope to continue doing in the future,” she added.
Matthew Bass, sales negotiator, Butters John Bee Crewe, couldn’t believe it when he received an email from his office manager informing him that he had been shortlisted for a personal award at the ESTAS. So how does he feel about actually winning?
He said, “It is brilliant that The ESTAS exists, as it makes it all worthwhile getting recognised for individual performance. It was so nice to see so many agents all under one roof, and the atmosphere was brilliant, and in what is purported to be a heartless industry, emotions were in full flow on many of the tables."
“Being only 23 years of age, and having only previously experienced time on stage to similar audience levels, shielded by my drum kit, I thought that the nerves wouldn’t have got the better of me, but they did! As soon as I heard my name I didn’t know what to do. The whole table I was sitting at erupted and without having time to take anything in, I was walking up the stairs to collect one of the heaviest, most prestigious awards in the industry! If you had said I would be on that stage three years ago, with Phil Spencer, I would have laughed at you.”