End of an era? Industry’s biggest events Estate Agency and Letting Agency of the Year awards are over

The industry’s two biggest awards schemes and their fantastically successful bashes are no more.

Both the Estate Agency of the Year and Lettings Agency of the Year have been held for the last time, it is disclosed this morning.

They have finished after nearly 15 years, at the peak of their success, with backers including The Times, Sunday Times and Zoopla.

Memorable hosts have included TV stars and sports legends, while the venues and the events themselves simply grew in size and popularity.

Organiser Peter Knight said that one factor in his decision to shelve both events was the enormous number of awards handed out in other schemes, often without “any real” scrutiny”.

In an exclusive interview with EYE, Knight, founder of Estate Agency Events, has told why he has decided to call time on the most prestigious awards in the industry.

He said: “I set up the awards almost 15 years ago in response to reading yet another damning piece about estate agents in the Daily Mail. I felt it was time to redress the balance and provide a platform for the best performing agents to demonstrate their achievements.

“Back in 2002, there were no awards and no review sites for the property industry.

“Whilst others have followed, there is no doubt in my mind that our trail-blazing awards have delivered the most significant benefits – both to those taking part and to the industry as a whole – helping to raise standards and promote excellence.

“The judges have assessed over 6,000 estate and lettings agencies, many a dozen times or more, and have carried out 1,400 days of interviews. This year alone, there were over 1,000 mystery shops.

“The current and past winners can be extremely proud of their achievements. No other awards have been so sought after, so valuable and so hard to win.”

So why end them now?

Knight said: “There are many factors driving the decision. The huge number of other awards now being given out to agents, some without any real examination, is one factor.

“Another is the fact that whilst thousands of agents put themselves forward for scrutiny by entering the most testing examination in the industry, many thousands more do not. I feel the time has come for a complete rethink.”

Knight was at pains to thank the supporters of the events.

He said: “One thing I want to particularly emphasise today is that the biggest and most prestigious awards in the industry could not have been staged without the support of many people, and in particular I’d like to thank News UK, owners of the Sunday Times and The Times, for their association for almost a decade, and also ZPG, who have been fantastic headline sponsors for the last six years.

“Other industry-leading firms have also consistently supported the awards, including Reapit, Ravensworth, LetMC, Moneypenny, Iamsold, Callwell, Metropix, Legal for Landlords, Van Mildert, Audio Agent, Brief Your Market, Qube, the TM Group and many more.

“I’d also like to thank Property Industry Eye for being the trade media partners.

“Finally, I congratulate all those agents that put themselves up for scrutiny by entering.

“That said, it’s time to shake things up and I’ll be announcing an ambitious and completely new initiative in the next few weeks.”

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29 Comments

  1. 123430

    I agree. There are too many pointless awards available to buy. All pretty much meaningless. Even my monkey has an award for the best ‘Rated The Number 1 Online Estate Agents by Customers and other Monkeys’.

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    1. Oldtimer

      Agree, it meant something once but has lost its value. We dont enter any more as clients dont care when there are too many ‘winners’. Also in this age of feedback and likes things have moved on, I look forward to a new idea from Peter and his team.

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      1. Bless You

        I also think agents see no value in telling the truth anymore..why spend £2000 on a dinner when you can get trustpilot to do all your fake reviews for you.

        The interent has simply bypassed all filters that used to reward honesty.

        Tbf if it was not for profit it may have survived as well. who needs a dinner..just give me my trophy!!

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  2. Simon Bradbury

    Gosh – really surprised at this news!

    Peter Knight and his team have always done an amazing job in organising these awards over the years and I for one would like to thank them all for their efforts and inspiration.

    At Thomas Morris Sales & Lettings we’ve certainly lost far more award entries than we have ever won but have always learnt so much from the process along the way.

    I for one will miss these awards.

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  3. Whaley

    Very sad day as these were just such epic events celebrating the very best in the industry.

    Any excuse for some of  the finest agents in the land to get together to share best practice and celebrate excellence has to be a good thing.

    and the team at the Academy who put it on were incredible.

    so this would be a sad love letter from me if I didn’t know that something bigger and better was going to replace them.

    On a related note the after party needs a new home !

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  4. Headache

    No loss

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    1. MarkRowe

      Paracetamol solve it?

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  5. AgentV

    I would never enter awards you have to pay for……and I guess many , many other agents feel the same …..because it’s not a true reflection of who are really the best, only those who feel they have the resources and clout to muster enough support.

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    1. AgentV

      That’s not to knock winners in the past, to win they obviously had to be the best of those who entered…. and congratulations to them all. I just always feel awards mean more if there is no barrier to entry.

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  6. AndrewOverman

    Very surprised to read this, very sad to. I was extremely proud of my personal award and those won by the company.

    Im sure it’s not the end, but the beginning of something far, far, far better.

    At least Reapit will have a sober Whaley for one additional (well maybe two) days a year!

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    1. Whaley

      Andy, when in Rome!

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  7. Marketshare

    These awards were quite simply the very best in the industry, every entrant was carefully scrutinised and whenever possible their comments were put to the test by a mystery shopping panel.  The Property Academy team behind them ensured the highest standards were met.

    Every single Gold Silver and Bronze award was incredibly hard fought.  The existence of these awards and their reputation drove standards in our industry higher and higher.

    It was an absolute pleasure to be involved, even after 30 years in the industry I was staggered at the quality and passion of the entrants.  We need events like this to celebrate the very best of the best that our industry has to offer.

    They are bowing out at the very top of their game and I look forward to the news of what will replace them.

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    1. Whaley

      Spot on. All of the awards have their own strengths and weaknesses.

      The Neg with anyone entering and a comprehensive entry submission followed up by judging

      The Esta’s hits the nail on the head as its directly based on surveys from clients and of course the amazing Pip.

      The affiliation groups are well covered for referrals at the RAN, Guild & Fine & Country conferences.

      And then the Sunday Times awards, firstly a comprehensive submission had to be filed albeit limited to 1500 words, which i find difficult to do in a normal sentence (Our first winning entry around Romans was 47 pages long, the last two pages were the Hilton Hotel room service menu as I started to lose the plot)

      Secondly based around mystery shopping.

      And then a judging process that had people taking days out of their normal jobs interviewing and reviewing the entries via a telephone call.

      Finally the judging day itself with no awards presented behind closed doors everything was discussed and voted on by the 20+ judges all overseen by the Ombudsman.

      Whatever problems any award process has, the attention to detail and attempts to give the greatest chance of success in finding the best entry was never an issue with the Sunday Times.

      I haven’t been this sad since Keith Chegwin died.

       

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      1. Bless You

        yes again,,naea should be doing this for their membership fee…..

        i might start something soon, our industry is a joke!

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      2. MyOpinion10

        Keith Chegwin is dead?!?!

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        1. AgencyInsider

          Only several hundred times on stage/tv

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  8. Peter

    Damnation, I thought I had a good chance to win this year. I was going to enter for the award for the Agent that has never won an award.

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    1. Robert May

      Humour does not come drier that that! Brilliant!

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    2. mrharvey

      Unfortunately for you, Peter, the moment you got up on stage to accept the trophy they’d have to ****** it back off you for not meeting the qualifying criteria.

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      1. mrharvey

        Seriously, how is the word sn4tch not getting through the filter… it must have a pretty weird mind to immediately think that THAT was what I was going for…

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        1. fluter

          Unless of course, you are really Mr Trump!

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  9. Rayhan Rafiq-Omar

    Anyone notice no mention of MD Nicky Stevenson having left 2 months ago?

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    1. Whaley

      Yes she went to setup her own business. Not sure there’s anything you can read into that.

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      1. AgentV

        What business is she setting up?

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        1. mrharvey

          None of your…

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  10. XPREZ71

    “That said, it’s time to shake things up and I’ll be announcing an ambitious and completely new initiative in the next few weeks.”

    Telling words!

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  11. Yatesy5486

    These awards have been a tangible sign of achievement for many aspiring agents and suppliers. I was privileged to serve as a judge for several years and it was an absolute pleasure to be involved. Well done to Peter and everyone who worked tirelessly behind the scenes & to everyone who won an award. I will miss the afternoon and after-party! What next?

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  12. Get-Paid-Again18

    I never liked the Gold, Silver, Bronze awards they they dished out – it meant that a lot of people got these awards and for most customers it was difficult to distinguish between them. It also meant a lot more people got awards.

    In my opinion there should have been one winner for each category. Would have stopped a lot of confusion. They gave out a hell of a lot of awards.

    Also what a complete cop out saying that there are other poorer, badly judged awards so we are packing ours in. White Feather to you Mr Knight

     

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  13. MM

    Very sad to read this, but it is a sign of the times. Awards in an industry that is so vital to the UK economy, to people and their families, should be more reflective of the broad scope of it’s providers and not just for those companies who can afford the entry fees and lavish annual awards ceremonies.

    Both allAgents.co.uk’s award schemes are the largest by number as every agent listed on the reviews directory is entered for free (15500). So fee affordability is not a barrier to entry and the winners can promote that they are the best estate or letting agent in their area for customer service as voted for by there customers. allAgents awards are widely recognised. This was recently highlighted when Emoov was able to satisfy a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and was cleared to claim that it was the “Best rated estate agent”, as qualified and accepted  by an award that eMoov received from allAgents in 2016.
    See PIE article:  http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/emoov-takes-down-claims-about-sellers-being-34-more-likely-to-sell-through-it/

    We wish Peter Knight all the best in his future and thank him for the benchmarks his company has set in years past.
    MM – allAgents

     

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