4i Newsletter Masthead 345

Lists & Awards.

fouri 345 Simon Bradbury

Last week, Simon Bradbury of Thomas Morris Estate Agents, put me at the top of his list of influencers as published in Property Industry Eye. I have no doubt many will disagree with his selection and in particular putting me at number one, indeed several of the usual anonymous posters on the site expressed as much.

This week, at the EA Masters on Thursday, we’ll be publishing two lists: the winners of the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards and the Best EA Supplier Awards and for sure this will also attract some criticism.

When we launched the awards four years ago, I said “…no assessment is perfect, they’re all flawed. Take the Oscars, one person’s favourite film of the year is judged by someone else to be a complete turkey. That said, we’re going to do everything we possibly can to make the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards the most exhaustive and comprehensive awards ever produced in this industry, or any industry for that matter.”

I believe that lists, league tables and awards are important and that individuals, companies and whole industries are better off for having them for three key reasons.

1. Rewarding the good.

Most people like to be recognised for what they do and in particular when they’ve gone the extra mile. When I set up the predecessor to the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards there were no others; there was no industry wide reward for excelling. Now there are several, albeit most only assessing a tiny percentage of the industry unlike our initiative which is, to all intents and purposes, whole of market. What this means is that if you win an award on Thursday, you’ve done so against every other estate agent or every other supplier in the country. That’s an incredible achievement and one that I know people set as a goal for themselves and their team which leads me to the next point.

2. Raising the bar.

Several agents and suppliers have told me that they use the awards as a key performance indicator – not just for the marketing benefits they can acquire if successful but also as a method of focussing people on consistently doing the right things right. I know that some agents and suppliers who haven’t won still get great value from setting goals for improvement and challenging their teams to be the best that they can be.

3. Improving the industry.

My initial driver was to correct the balance of negative criticism of estate agents in the mainstream media by highlighting that there are many outstanding firms and individuals who do a great job and are a force for good in their communities. This continues to be a prime reason for the awards and in addition we also seek to assist in raising industry standards. There’s no doubt, from seeing the performance of thousands of branches, over 20 years, that the industry has improved further – well it has for the best. The gap has definitely increased between the best and the average, indeed the best are in a league of their own now.

Once again, the assessment process involved analysing billions of pieces of data plus a mystery shop for the main award contenders, (we didn’t think it appropriate to mystery shop everyone this year given the circumstances). Consequently, this exercise will enable every branch and every agency to receive feedback as to how they scored against key performance criteria and where they can improve. So win or lose, there’s some incredibly valuable insights available for all. All of this has been carried out at no charge to any agent and the Best Estate Agent Guide and Best EA Supplier Guide is published for free, (although those who choose to, can purchase a licence to market their attainment).

So thank you very much Simon Bradbury for creating your list and giving 35 people a moment in the spotlight. On Thursday it’s our turn and I hope we can reciprocate and announce that Thomas Morris has once again won an award – if that’s the case then it has nothing to do with me, although if I did have a vote you’d definitely receive it.

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