So 2012 finished with an almighty bang with a fabulous day at the Sunday Times Estate Agency of the Year awards in London. We scooped 5 awards in total and although I went with high hopes I finished the day on top of the world. Although I am aware that any award is a snapshot in time it was a rigorous process to go through including an initial presentation, tough interview and mystery shop by a judging panel overseen by The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, as well as Mark Hayward, Chairman of NFOPP, as Arbiter. They presided over a panel of industry experts, who make their decisions and award winners as a joint decision, after much investigation, consideration and discussion. The judges report can be read in full at: http://www.estateagencyoftheyear.com/judges_report/index.html
To summarise we won the Gold award for Small Agency in the whole country and our region, a Bronze National award for our website (behind some big industry names), Bronze National award for our Customer Service and a Shortlisting for our specialist New Homes team. The judges were high in their praise for the team spirit and high levels of buy in from the whole team and I think this is what has made me most proud. You can read what they said about us in full here http://www.estateagencyoftheyear.com/sewell_gardner/index.html but the last line of “The judges were unanimous in their vote to award best UK small agency to Sewell & Gardner” was one of the best things I have ever read. In addition to this, I got to meet an inspirational Olympian Becky Adlington which was a very special moment, learn from some inspiring people like John Phegan http://joshphegan.com.au/ and Caspar Berry www.casparberry.com and then we woke up in the morning with sore heads and a challenge……
We always say in our office we are only as good as our last deal, so the feeling that we need to build on these accolades as a company ran through the whole team from the morning afterwards. I am a big sports fan and am always interested in the psychology of the great teams over the year never being satisfied with just one win. I grew up watching the great Liverpool side of the 1980s with Hansen, Souness and the mighty Kenny Dalglish, and have read all their autobiographies in the hope of gaining some understanding the drive and motivation of these great teams. Later I have been inspired by the Wasps rugby team of early 2000’s coached by Warren Gatland and later by Sir Ian McGeechan who had some great players and personalities like Lawrence Dallaglio and Josh Lewsey, they had a mentality that they were the underdog and that inspired them on. The common theme from these great teams and others is that they saw the first big win as the stepping stone to becoming a great team. Do Manchester City have that same focus and drive that have inspired Manchester United to win the league year after year?
So here is our challenge, we have proved what we already knew, that we are a professional, enthusiastic and dedicated estate agency, but how far do we want to go as a team and a company? We are now putting together our company goals for the next 5 and 10 years and I will let you know all about them next month.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to all our customers past and present for helping us succeed over the last 10 years and wish everyone a Merry Xmas and Prosperous New Year.