Property Industry Eye has interviewed Property Academy’s founder, Peter Knight, on camera about this year’s EA Masters and the changes we’ve made to the Best Estate Agent Guide.
Following feedback from over 200 estate agents and industry leaders, we have taken many of the suggestions on board to make the 2018 EA Masters Conference, Exhibition and Awards the biggest and best estate agency event in the UK.
You can watch the video and read the summary here:
Best Estate Agent Guide
The Best Estate Agent Guide (BEAG) is based on an assessment of over 90% of all branches, both sales and lettings, across the country. Every branch that has listed its properties on Rightmove since October 2017 is automatically included. If you think that excludes your branch(es) from automatic inclusion, fill in the application form.
We began the process by conducting a survey with consumers who are active in the moving process, (including buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants). We used this research to identify what they feel is most important about the role of an estate agent. Several hundred agents were also consulted, following which the criteria that form the basis of this year’s assessment to find the best estate agents was established.
Rightmove analyse the performance of each individual branch against the criteria and provide the Property Academy with their score. The Property Academy carries out 50,000 mystery shops and similarly scores each branch. The combined scores allow the best branches to be identified and categorised as “Exceptional”, “Excellent” or “Highly Rated” and the results are published for free in the Best Estate Agent Guide.
Following feedback from agents, this year, in addition to rating each branch, we will also award agency/brand scores, based on an amalgamation of the branch scores. These form the basis of the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards, which will be announced at the EA Masters on the 12th October.
As far as possible, all business models have been included, traditional, franchise, hybrid, new, online, boutique, etc.
At no point was any data shared between Rightmove and the Property Academy, just a single, overall score based on the performance against the criteria.
The assessment measures criteria that consumers who are active in the property market have identified are important to them. It includes marketing effectiveness, where such things as number of photographs, floor plans and property detail views are measured. It also looks at performance, by asking did the properties sell or let? How long did they take to go under offer? and did they come back to the market? Each branch and agency/brand has been assessed based on its patch and compared with its peers, rather than against a national average.
Based on the feedback that we received from agents after last year’s awards, this year we have included market share as one of the assessment criteria. This decision also supports a consumer preference to instruct agents “that have demonstrated an ability to sell or let properties like mine”. This does not mean that start-up agencies, or agencies that proactively choose to list fewer properties for sale or let are prevented from doing well. Indeed if, as many claim, their smaller property inventory allows them to outperform those agents with more properties on their books in other areas, for example by achieving quicker sale/let times, lower fall-through rates and/or better customer service, they can still compete effectively against agents with greater market share.
Last year, we mystery shopped the top 40% of branches based on their performance in the data analysis. This year, we’ve assessed the whole industry, with phone calls and web enquiries to every branch for both sales and lettings, undertaken by professionally trained mystery shoppers posing as active home movers and landlords. As with the other criteria, the scoring system for the mystery shopping process measures factors that consumers have identified are the most important to them, including response times, proactivity, knowledge, professionalism and friendliness of the agent.
For the first time ever, we will be announcing an initial shortlist in June of those who are in contention to pick up an award at the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards.
The full results will be finalised across the summer and will be announced, and the awards presented, at the EA Masters event.
On the 11th October, in association with Reapit, we are running two masterclasses. The first is with Australia’s number one agent, Alexander Phillips. Last year, Alex listed and sold properties that earned him over $10million in personal commission. His business coach, Josh Phegan, will join him for a highly interactive session to share what it takes to be a $10million estate agent.
The second masterclass is with Peter Fuller, responsible for over 30 acquisitions for Romans. Peter’s session will prepare business owners for the biggest sale of their life!
The next day, on the 12th October, at the Intercontinental O2 Hotel, over 1,000 of the best agents in the country will assemble for the EA Masters Conference & Exhibition followed by the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards. The Innovation Hall will feature 50 of the leading industry suppliers who will showcase their latest products and services. The seminar series, hosted for the second year by Gabby Logan, will comprise a mix of industry leaders and legends together with luminaries from outside the industry such as the head of operations for AirB&B and the former head of business improvement and culture change at Toyota. The full line up will be confirmed in the next few weeks.
Once the seminars have concluded, the awards presentation will highlight the best branches and the best agencies/brands as the Best Estate Agent Guide Awards are announced.
There will also be awards for the best suppliers to the industry as voted for by estate agents which are sure to be keenly sought after.
We raised the bar last year and seek to do so again. The Awards will be even more comprehensive and have been adjusted following the feedback we received last year. The EA Masters, over two days, is also pioneering. Our goal is to cause everyone involved to be proud of their achievements and of their industry.