We were sad to hear this week that one of the property industry’s most respected and reputable awards, the Estate Agency of the Year Awards, is closing its curtains after 15 years. Having judged these awards back in 2013, I can vouch for the fact that agents are judged through a rigorous process, and those who have won awards over the years should be exceptionally proud as it’s highly competitive! We have no doubt that Peter Knight, the Estate Agency of the Year Awards founder, has something even better up his sleeve, and whilst we wait to hear what that is, here are a few pointers for anyone entering awards this year:
- It sounds obvious, but make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors in your award entry; far too many entries I judged included mistakes and typos throughout. With spelling and grammar error checkers on computers, there’s no excuse for this! I also recommend asking someone who hasn’t been involved with collating the entry to give it a final proof read – a fresh pair of eyes will inevitably spot something!
- Testimonials are key! When talking about how wonderful your business is, it’s essential to provide examples that demonstrate why – use feedback from customers (if relevant) that substantiate what you are saying.
- Ensure your answer is specifically tailored to the question, and give examples. For instance, if you’ve been asked to demonstrate innovation, explain how and why what you’re doing is innovative.
- Demonstrate growth – if required, show how your business has evolved with facts and year on year figures.
- Avoid jargon and be succinct – there’s no need to waffle on with lots of corporate jargon spouting how wonderful you are. Be specific!
- If allowed within the criteria, provide supporting material where relevant, for example, if you’re talking about the success of a marketing campaign as part of your entry, show materials from that campaign; adverts, brochures, direct mail, etc
- Meet the deadline! In fact, prepare early – give yourself a good few weeks ahead of the deadline so you have time to gather the evidence you need to write a well-thought out entry.
- Double check the rules – before submitting your entry, double check the criteria and rules to ensure you have met them.