Registration open for the 2014 Conveyancer of the Year Awards
It’s time to register for the 2014 Conveyancer of the Year Awards in association with The Sunday Times and The Times — all entrants need to register by September 26, with the award ceremony taking place at the Lancaster Hotel in London on December 5.
Last year Rowlinsons Solicitors in Cheshire won the conveyancing trophy and Tom Parkinson, Director of Residential at Rowlinsons, says: ‘Winning the Overall Conveyancer of the Year Award was a great achievement for our firm. To win an award supported by the Sunday Times enhanced the reputation of our Property Department and has helped us secure a considerable amount of business.’
Nicky Stevenson, director of the awards at Estate Agency Events, tells Today’s Conveyancer how businesses can enter this year.
How long have the awards been running, Nicky?
‘The Estate Agency of the Year Awards have been running for over 12 years and are now regarded as the most valuable and sought after awards in the industry. We launched the Conveyancer of the Year Awards four years ago, in recognition of the fact that conveyancing is a stand-alone part of the property business. So the conveyancing awards benefit from the kudos that the estate agents awards have built up over the years — they really are the industry Oscars!’
Why would you encourage people to enter?
‘The Conveyancer of the Year Award at the Estate Agency of the Year Awards is considered the most valuable accolade in the industry — it’s offering an endorsement to winners that competitors can’t copy and money can’t buy. It’s different to other conveyancing awards in that it’s not just collecting an award in front of other conveyancers — the winners collect their awards in front of an estate agency elite that has travelled from all over the UK to attend the ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel in London. So winners are positioning themselves in a great way in front of the industry. Close to 700 people attended last year — that’s around 700 networking opportunities for those who enter and attend.
The awards also offer a good way to communicate with consumers — from a vendor’s perspective, for example, it makes sense to sign up with a company that has won a recognised award.
Winning is also a fantastic marketing tool in terms of recruiting — obviously being an award winning conveyancer will attract the top talent in the industry as the best people want to work with the best companies.
The coverage generated by the awards is invaluable. The Sunday Times or The Times publishes a post-event supplement and, historically, that supplement has published a list of all the award winners and interviewed the Conveyancer of the Year winners. There’s also the exclusive opportunity for winners to advertise in the supplement.
On top of that, all winners are given individual marketing tool kits, including logos and window cards to publicise their success. Photos are taken of winners on stage receiving their awards and gold winners are interviewed and filmed, all of which are great promotional features for company websites. We also promote the winners’ websites on our dedicated Conveyancer of the Year Award site.
Unsurprisingly, taking all that into account, the number of entrants to the conveyancing awards is growing each year and the standard of entries is improving as well.’
How long have you been involved with the awards Nicky?
‘I’ve been working at Estate Agency Events for two and a half years — prior to that, I was a lettings agent. So I’ve been in the industry for over ten years. I know the importance of networking — I attended an Estate Agency Events’ day as a delegate and conversations evolved from there and that’s how I got this job!’
So how do conveyancers enter?
‘Entrants need to register by September 26 at www.conveyanceroftheyear.com and then submit their entry by October 1st. It takes the form of a questionnaire — 1500 words max — with some supporting material, like testimonials from clients. The judges review the written submissions and then there’s a telephone interview as well as, possibly, some mystery shopping. It costs £199 plus VAT to enter — the cost of tickets is on top of that.’
How does the judging panel work?
‘There is a panel of judges — last year there were 15 or 16. They remain anonymous until the ceremony where their identities are revealed. The judging process is overseen by Christopher Hamer from The Property Ombudsman.’
What form does the day take?
‘In the morning, really impressive speakers discuss innovations in the industry. After the seminars there’s a champagne reception and then there’s a three course luncheon, followed by the awards themselves. It’s a really good day. For people coming from far afield, we’re organising an overnight rate with the Lancaster — the promotional code for that will be on our website soon.’
Can people attend the ceremony without entering the awards?
‘Yes, tickets are sold to the event itself as some people are attracted by the seminar programme that takes place in the morning and others by the networking opportunities the event provides. Ticket prices are on a sliding scale depending on how many a company buys but it’s a ballpark figure of about £250 a ticket.”
All the awards are given out by a celebrity presenter — who will the MC be this year?
‘I’m not allowed to say who yet — sorry! Last year it was Penny Smith and at the Lettings Agency of the Year Awards we had Karren Brady.’
End credit: Register your entry online at www.conveyanceroftheyear.com by September 26 — you’ll be sent a questionnaire to download and complete by October 1. In case of any questions, call Nicky and her colleagues at Estate Agency Events on 01372 370847 for more information.