The ESTAS Customer Service Awards – which are often described as estate agency’s version of the Oscars – took place last Friday at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Like last year, the UK residential property industry’s largest annual event, which had Coadjute as its headline partner, saw agents, conveyancers, mortgage brokers and suppliers brought together under the theme of ‘Working Together Better’.
Property TV royalty and EAT columnist Phil Spencer was, as has been the case since the awards began in 2004, in charge of announcing the winners, this year in front of a record audience of 1,200 of the UK’s top property professionals.
Addressing the audience at the event, Spencer said: “The work of agents, conveyancers and brokers is vastly underrated by the general public and its only when clients go through the process that they understand the effort, complexity and bloody hard work that goes into your job.”
He added: “The phrase ‘great customer service’ can be an overused expression nowadays so what does it really mean? Well in most consumer sectors a smile & a thank you will suffice but in the property industry that’s just the beginning for your clients. They’re about to embark on one of the most stressful journeys of their lives and it’s your job to hold their hand and guide them to the very end of a successful transaction which will take months to complete.”
Who were the winners?
The awards are powered by the ESTAS customer review platform, which aims to highlight the best agents, conveyancers and brokers for customer service in the UK, with the winners determined purely on verified reviews from customers who are asked a series of questions about the service they have received through the whole moving process.
Property companies were recognised in counties and regions throughout the UK, while the National Grand Prix Awards were also announced for the Best Single Office in the three sectors of conveyancing, agency and mortgage broking.
The best broker title was won by Beewise Financial Services based in Somerset, while The Best Conveyancer Award went to Thomas Legal in Gloucester.
In the agency world, meanwhile, there were Grand Prix titles for Infinity Property Solutions in Harrow in the tenant category and Strats Homes in Hertfordshire for landlords. C Residential based in Rugeley in Staffordshire won the Grand Prix gold for Best Estate Agent Office.
When it came to the national group categories for conveyancing, there were wins for The Partnership and Countrywide Conveyancing, whilst in agency there were notable golds for White & Brooks in Bognor Regis, Miles & Barr in Kent and Anthony Pepe in London.
The ESTAS also presented ‘Best in County’ titles, helping agencies and conveyancers to gain an advantage in their local areas. In total, some 146 firms were recognised for the service they deliver to their clients.
Meanwhile, the Supplier of the Year category – sponsored by Angels Media, publishers of the Today sites – saw recruitment agency The Humphrey Group victorious for the first time, with Spectre taking the silver and bronze awarded to iamsold.
The ESTAS People Awards – sponsored by rental payment platform PayProp – saw individual staff honoured, with recognition of individual contributions to customer service in the form of fifteen Highly Commended trophies.
“When we launched The ESTAS, we wanted to create a set of property awards which were completely pure, where winners were selected solely on customer service ratings from actual transactions,” Simon Brown, founder of the ESTAS, said.
“Nineteen years on ESTAS is now the customer review platform of choice for property professionals and the most prestigious award an agent, a conveyancer or mortgage broker can win in the property industry.”
Dan Salmons, CEO at main sponsor Coadjute, which has broken into the UK property market in recent years, said: “On behalf of the Coadjute team, warm congratulations to all the winners this year at The ESTAS. As headline partner, Coadjute was delighted to see so many outstanding achievements recognised across the industry from everyone involved. It has been a real pleasure to support The ESTAS this year and we look forward to enabling the property industry to work better together in the coming year.”
You can see the full official winners lists for the 2022 awards here.