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How to win a Negotiator Award

How to win a Negotiator Award? Judging by these winners’ views it is customer care, commitment, competence and... confidence!

Property Drum

winning-waysTHE NEGOTIATOR AWARDS 2012

Winning ways
The Negotiator Awards in association with Zoopla Property Group, certainly create excitement in the property industry; once the entries are in and the judging takes place, the hopeful anticipation of success builds every day.

Finally, the posh frocks are bought, the tuxedos brushed down and the gloss applied. 500 sales and lettings agents, auctioneers, property managers, mortgage brokers and their guests swished the champers and enjoyed a gorgeous dinner before the climax of the whole event fulfilled their highest hopes… or dashed them for another year.

The winners were all highly delighted and once the dust had settled, The Negotiator caught up with them to find out about how they planned their entry, how to win a Negotiator Award, and what difference they believe that winning their award will make to their business.

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

INDEPENDENT ESTATE AGENCY CHAIN OF THE YEAR 310 OFFICES

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WINNER: James Pendleton Estate Agents, Lucy Pendleton, James Pendleton Estate Agents 

Had you entered The Negotiator Awards before?
Yes, in 2011, where we won UK Independent Estate Agency Chain of the Year.

What made you decide to enter?
The Negotiator Awards is one of the most prestigious estate agency ceremonies of the year, and entering is a great way to connect with property experts.

How long did it take to complete your entries?
There was plenty to include in a condensed entry so putting it together took some time, particularly at the design stage. We really wanted to put time into communicating our message through the way our entry looked as well as what it said.

Were you ‘confident’ that you would win – or was it a complete surprise?
We have had a fantastic year with great feedback from our clients and a number of exciting projects in the pipeline so we were reasonably confident that we’d do well, but of course you can never be certain until the day!

“The conference and Awards make a refreshing combination of fun, intrigue and food for thought” Lucy Pendleton James Pendleton

What were your feelings on the night when your name was announced?
We were truly delighted and felt extremely proud of our team, partners and clients for all their hard work and support this year.

How did your staff react to the news? 
All members of our team were naturally thrilled to have won two awards, these accolades are a great reward for a year’s hard work and a good assurance that we’re on the right track.

Have you issued a press release about your success?
Yes, and we have promoted our award wins on our website and social media platforms.

Have you incorporated your ‘wins’ into your marketing materials?
Yes, we have – it is already on our online materials!

What benefits do you believe the accolade will bring you?
Awards are a great way of showing our clients that we are a quality, hard-working and innovative company.

Would you recommend other agents to enter The Negotiator Awards?
Yes – taking part in the Awards and associated Conference is informative and rewarding.

Will you enter the 2013 Awards?
Yes, we will!

Lucy Pendleton, Managing Director says, “This year’s Negotiator Awards was a fantastic example of a positive, progressive and well-co-ordinated property event. The conference and ceremony provided a refreshing combination of fun, intrigue and food-for-thought, and the prestige surrounding the Negotiator Awards made the day a highlight of the real estate networking calendar.

“I was lucky enough to take part in both: as a panellist in a debate and in the evening ceremony. I was also a judge for some categories, (not the ones James Pendleton entered!) and have nothing but praise for the professionalism and integrity with which the event was run.

“Our congratulations go out to all those whose efforts were recognised this year and a heartfelt thank you goes to the organisers for making this year’s Awards such a success. James Pendleton Estate Agents is really proud to have taken part in the event and to have won two prestigious awards.”

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

innovator-of-the-year

WINNER Farrell Heyworth, Paul Morgan, IT Director

Had you entered The Negotiator Awards before?
Farrell Heyworth has never entered before. I’m obviously overjoyed we won at our first time out.

What made you decide to enter? 
I felt that Farrell Heyworth’s IT team had put together an amazing Social Media toolset that was generating leads and producing a significant profit. I wanted to recognise the creativity and hard work of my IT team through peer recognition. Secondly, I wanted a way of promoting our social media work to vendors in a way that is simple and makes sense. What could be better than to say our use of social media has won awards!

How long did it take to complete your entry?
Around two days. I made a draft, then left it a week. I edited it down twice because the word count was restrictive.

Were you ‘confident’ that you would win or was it a complete surprise?
I felt we had delivered a very special tool set to the business, so I felt reasonably confident we would get nominated, however, it was a complete surprise to win. On the night, when it was time for the Innovation Award, I heard John Culshaw say, “A spend of £400 on social media tools has resulted in directly attributable income of £252,536 and a profit of £70,846 in the last 6 months”. I recognised those figures from my entry and nudged Gareth, sat next to me, saying, “We’ve got it”.

“The ‘winner’ logo is plastered all over our marketing materials! I expect the Award will drive new listings and strike a chord with landlords.” Paul Morgan Farrell Heyworth

innovatorWhat were your feelings on the night when your name was announced?
I was overjoyed. I was as guest of the Mortgage Advice Bureau – they had just won an award. I was thinking, “there is no way we will end up with two awards on our table”. When Farrell Heyworth was announced I could not get to the stage quickly enough.

How did your staff react to the news?
Over the first two weeks I must have taken around 50 calls from the branches saying congratulations. It was great for IT to be recognised as a business driver.

Have you issued a press release about your success?
Yes. We submitted it to all the local newspapers, along with a photo. One of my neighbours popped round to show me his copy!

Have you incorporated your ‘win’ into your marketing materials?
The ‘win’ logo has been plastered everywhere. A lot of the marketing is generated by our IT tools. The brochures, property videos, wall cards etc are all generated by our bespoke CRM tool, meaning it was a simple to add the logo to all our promotional materials.

What benefits do you believe the accolade will bring you?
I expect this will drive additional listings as mentioning the award is an Instruction Winner. As the award relates to social media, I also expect it to strike a chord with Landlords so we should end up with more properties under management.

Would you recommend other agents to enter The Negotiator Awards?
Yes, but not in the Innovation category as IT are already working on our toolset for next year’s awards, so we hope to win twice in a row!

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE BROKER OF THE YEAR

residential-mortgage-broker-awardWINNER Mortgage Advice Bureau, Peter Brodnicki, Chief Executive 

Had you entered The Negotiator Awards before?
Yes we entered for the first time last year and were lucky enough to win, and so winning for the second time in two years is fantastic, and everybody at MAB is delighted.

What made you decide to enter?
Our business is virtually 100 per cent built around estate agency, and over the last 11 years we have built a business servicing over 800 independent estate agency branches. We feel that we have developed a market leading proposition for estate agents, and being recognised by that sector is really important to us.

How long did it take to complete your entry?
I completed the entry personally and it took around 3 hours.

Were you ‘confident’ that you would win – or was it a complete surprise?
Well after our success last year we were hopeful that we would win again as we have had a record year, with plenty of new initiatives and growth in the estate agency sector. We felt we were in pole position, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.

What were your feelings on the night when your name was announced?
As I heard the description of the winner it was clear that it was MAB, and there was a big cheer from the table I was hosting and from other agents in the room we work with. It was great to be part of the awards event, and it was the most important award for MAB to win, and so of course I was delighted.

How did your staff react to the news?
It was tremendous recognition for all their hard work, and they love working for a company that is award winning. We have won numerous awards in the financial services industry, but estate agency is the backbone of our business, and so this one was important for me and my team.

Have you issued a press release about your success?
Yes, we use a PR company called Wriglesworth, and we have released it through them. We have also written to all our estate their support.

Have you incorporated your ‘win’ into your marketing materials?
We have already updated all our Powerpoint presentations, advertising, and exhibition stands and website to include the award, as winning the best mortgage broker title will help us in achieving our growth plans.

What benefits do you believe the accolade will bring you?
Recognition in the industry, and providing customers with the reassurance that we are experts in our field.

Would you recommend other agents to enter The Negotiator Awards?
The more competition the better, and every business has a chance of winning, whether large or small. It easy to say ‘we are better than them’ but unless you make the effort to enter and prove the point, then you will not be able to significantly enhance your marketing and advertising campaigns with the awards logo.

Will you enter the 2013 Awards?
Yes, and will do our best to win for a third year!

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MARKETING TEAM OF THE YEAR

WINNER
The Home Partnership.co.uk
Jo Williams, Director, The Home Partnership
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Had you entered before?
Yes we entered for the first time last year and we were fortunate to take the ‘Independent Estate Agent of the Year’ award, which at the time was a complete shock and surprise (a good one mind you!).

What made you decide to enter?
We kept seeing it being promoted and while I’m the one with the task of submitting our entry I was short of time this year so I was very tempted to not enter. However, I couldn’t resist and took a hard look at the categories to see which if any seemed suitable.

001-award-winners-baseHow long did it take to complete your entry?
A few long nights after work and some thinking in the middle of the night (not advisable) and I collated all the information I felt was relevant to the award and put it all down and passed the text and some photos to our graphic designer who works very closely with us on all our projects. She was able to put all of this down onto paper.

Were you ‘confident’ that you would win or was it a complete surprise?
Well, I thought with our win last year that there was no chance. Then when I saw the short list and some of the companies we were up against the phrase ‘no hope’ sprang to mind… I kept telling our team that we were attending as we’d already booked it all up and we’d just enjoy ourselves regardless. So surprise and shock are the appropriate words I would say.

“All the hard work and time spent on trying to be different from the average had paid off . We were overwhelmed, shocked, ecstatic!” Jo Williams The Home Partnership

award-winnersWhat were your feelings on the night when your name was announced as a winner?

My overriding emotion was that all the hard work on quirky ideas and all the time spent on trying to be different from the average had paid off . We were overwhelmed, delighted, shocked, ecstatic for starters. I sprang up and ‘power walked’ up to the stage without looking back for my colleagues as I couldn’t get up there quick enough…in high heels (which can be a huge health and safety hazard when I’m wearing them) but luckily no tumbles occurred.

award-winnersHow did your staff react to the news?
They were all chuffed too. They had given us strict instructions to let them know no matter what time of night it was. So we did. We’re such a close team they were very proud.

Have you issued a press release about your success?
Yes we have done, on Facebook and our website. In addition we’ll be designing a leaflet to use for our next campaign and we’ve had the local magazines and papers also run editorials on the award.

award-winnersWhat benefits do you believe the accolade will bring you?
Well last year we heavily pushed the award we’d won and on receiving instructions throughout last year it wasn’t uncommon to ask a client why they’d chosen us and their response was that we’d won an industry award.

There are so many bad news about our industry we try and raise the bar and keep things professional and fresh and exciting.

Would you recommend other agents to enter the awards?
Well, taking into account that we didn’t think we had a chance last year and we won, taking into account that we thought we had no hope this year due to the companies we were up against and we are just one office on our own… it demonstrates that even if you are a small fish if you’re good at what you do people still notice and recognise what you do – it’s so rewarding!

Will you enter the 2013 awards?
Yes I’m sure if there is a category that is suitable for us.

COMMUNITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR

WINNER Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, Mark Hayward

award-winnersHad you entered The Negotiator Awards before?
Yes we entered and won New Estate Agent of the Year 2010. We started in 2009 at the bottom of the market so were thrilled to become best new agent nationally in our second year.

What made you decide to enter?
We used our 2010 award extensively in our advertising and as a new company it really helped us to gain instructions and market share as it differentiated us from the competition.

How long did it take to complete your entry?
It took us two to three weeks on and off to get it complete, then we decided to enter two more as the deadline was extended.

Were you ‘confident’ – or even ‘sure’ that you would win – or was it a complete surprise?
We are a little single office only three years old, up against a lot of big agents with more experience and more resources so we did not think we had much of a chance. However a small office can be more flexible and in the end it is down to shear enthusiasm which we hope we put over to the judges.

“We used our 2010 Award extensively in our advertising and it really helped us gain instructions.” Mark Hayward Debbie Fortune Estate Agents

award-winnersWhat were your feelings on the night when your name was announced as a winner?
We were the fi rst up! To beat some big boys like Marsh and Parsons felt fantastic and to be runner up on Best Agent in the 1-2 office category gives us the recognition we must be doing something right.

How did your staff react to the news?
Another award-yawn. Not exactly, we were texting them during the ceremony everyone was so excited they all want to come to London next year.

Have you issued a press release about your success this year?
Of course the same week and it has been published with photos.

Have you incorporated your ‘win’ into your marketing materials?
Yes on newspaper straplines.

What benefits do you believe the accolade will bring you?
Shows we care about our community and supporting it. We do put back what we get out.

Would you recommend other agents to enter The Negotiator Awards?
No, because we do not want any more competition.

 

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January 13, 2013

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