Mon 14 Dec 2015 View all news articles

Read the judges comments from our Estate Agency of the Year awards success

OVERALL WINNER OF THE ESTATE AGENCY OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2015

"Since 2006, Karl Tatler’s business has won over 25 awards across both the Lettings and Estate Agency of the Year Awards, and not a year has gone by where he and his team haven’t been recognised. It is pertinent that these awards have all been in categories where customer service is paramount, as this is absolutely the key to what Karl and his team is all about.

 

Every year the panel looks forward to seeing what new innovations and initiatives Karl has come up with, and it is never disappointed. It is extremely difficult at this level to continue to improve standards yet this business manages it time and again.

 

There is more scrutiny and expectation than ever before across all service industries but especially in estate agency given the level of emotion and financial impact tied up in a property transaction. Rapid responses are expected across a number of platforms, and online reviews can have a real impact on a client’s opinion of a business. Karl and his team have risen to the challenge these changes present. Karl is an exuberant and focused individual who always begins with the end in mind. He knows how he wants his clients to feel, and he works backwards from this desired result to map out every touchpoint.

 

It’s particularly pleasing to see that he imparts this enthusiasm and skill to his team. Without exception, everyone at this company buys into Karl’s vision and they each contribute fully to making the business the success it is. Staff retention is running at 96%, and the majority of the team has been with the business for over five years.

 

This loyalty and dedication has been built up through the culture of reward and recognition. The Operations Manager, who has over 30 years’ agency experience across all disciplines, has designed the training programme. A mixture of internal and external facilitators deliver these sessions regularly, and there is continued investment in training to enable the team to reach and maintain the high standards.

 

All employees undergo psychometric analysis. This has a number of benefits: it allows the senior team to understand their drivers and behaviours so these can be harnessed, and they can also identify areas for improvement and address these directly. Managers then adapt their management styles according to the individual, and personalise career development options. In many cases they train staff for a particular role, even if a position is not yet available, so they are ready to move immediately when it does. KPIs are clearly communicated and the team acts within a definitive framework of actions to achieve these, however are given autonomy to make their own decisions.

 

They work on the principle of gaining clients for life. Both vendors and applicants are assigned a Personal Property Manager to look after them for the duration of the transaction. Their remit is to get to know the clients, understand their drivers and desires and see that these are met wherever possible. The marketing strategies are excellent and backed up by quality online and offline activities. The state of the art website is optimised and responsive. Clients can access a raft of tools during searches, and for vendors, the property emails are stylish and content heavy.

 

Client engagement is also carried out both on and offline. Regular competitions and local news stories are promoted through social media, and the team is heavily involved in the community and with charitable initiatives.

 

Karl Tatler was awarded the overall Estate Agency of the Year Award in 2008, and it’s an absolute delight to give it this accolade once again. This year will see this business celebrate its 18th birthday and the panel hopes this award will be the icing on the cake."

 

Gold - UK Small "Estate Agency of the Year 2015"

"Karl Tatler This is a business that is recognised time and again in these awards, and every year the judges are amazed to see that Karl and his team have managed to raise their standards even higher – no easy task for an innovative market leader. Customers using this agency can be confident they will receive excellent service from a dynamic and caring team. Systems and processes have been carefully defined and designed, and are continually monitored and amended as and when necessary, so they evolve with the business needs. Technology is used to great effect and automation is used where appropriate to enable the proactive staff to focus on providing personal service that goes above and beyond expectations. 75% of the team has worked at Karl Tatler for over five years so are fully immersed in the culture and ethos of the company, and returning clients appreciate they will work with people they know and trust."

 

Gold - Training & Development "Estate Agency of the Year 2015"

"Karl knows his business inside out and takes a whole world view to his training programme, which has a 360° approach to all elements. He is extremely focused with an eye for detail, and he works hard to ensure every client receives the same level of service from his dedicated team. Every employee receives a quarterly review with Karl, and over the past 12 months, he has implemented measurable KPIs which are recorded on contribution sheets, so they show each individual’s performance and how this compares to the rest of the team. This procedure is designed to be a positive one and has resulted in higher conversion rates and a greater level of reward. There is a clearly defined career path and the senior team offers exceptional support to allow staff to progress. All managers have been promoted internally, and new employees receive a pack at their house containing all relevant reading material and a bottle of champagne. The judges were wowed by the retention rate which is at 96%."

 

Gold - Small Northern "Estate Agency of the Year 2015"

"Karl Tatler is a consistently fantastic agency. The panel was especially impressed with Karl’s continued efforts to innovate and improve, which is difficult given the levels at which he and his team already operate. Their community involvement is exemplary and is resulting in tangible benefits for both the company and the local residents with whom they work. Karl mentors students at the local college, and the agency operates a walk to school scheme. Local good causes and events are promoted via Karl’s Twitter account and they also get involved with local events for national charities such as the Red Cross. He has spent time focusing on “what good looks like”in order to accurately convey this to his team, and to put in place KPIs to measure and assess behaviour, performance and results. Client feedback is publicised online via Twitter. This is a business which is known for its honesty and integrity, and customers using this agency are in excellent hands."

 

Bronze - Large Customer Service "Estate Agency of the Year 2015"

"The judges commented that again and again they are privileged to look under the bonnet of this agency, and it never disappoints. Karl’s philosophy is that, “anyone can wow once, it’s doing it consistently that matters”, and he has implemented a number of robust and thoughtful systems and processes to achieve this. The team provides such a personal service however, that clients won’t be aware that a process is being followed, which is a brilliant touch. The 24/7/28/52 process is excellent: after completion they ring the client after 24 hours, 7 days, 28 days and 52 weeks. This high level of aftercare enables them to quickly identify and resolve any issues, and underpins the relationship for future transactions. Adding to this is the fact that staff retention is at 96% so returning clients can work with people they already know. The agency was mystery shopped a number of times and achieved amazing scores across the board."

 

Gold - Small Agency - Customer Service "Lettings Agency of the Year 2015"

"This is an agency that thinks big and is constantly reinvented to enhance the customer experience, and it is a delight to award it the gold once again. Karl continually challenges the culture by focusing his teams on his ‘Think Big’ core values to ensure they deliver the best customer service with enthusiasm and passion. These values are detailed in a high quality book which has been written and produced in-house. The operational structure of the business has been completely overhauled, so a dedicated maintenance team has been created, as has a focused front of house sales team and a training programme of bite-sized modules. This has also helped solve admin issues which increased following significant growth in new lets last year, leading in turn to a reduced focus on new business. By removing the admin and maintenance tasks from the sales team, they are more able to concentrate on lead generation and customer service. The mystery shopping exercise yielded near perfect scores for this agency, which can only mean great things for all clients, current and future."

 

Silver - Property Management 201 - 500 "Lettings Agency of the Year 2015"

"This business is led from the top by an effusive individual who works alongside his team to ensure his vision and ethos is understood and shared by everyone. Karl has employed an Operations Manager so he can return to the frontline of lettings and work directly with his team to get to know them, and so they can get to know him. Staff participate in weekly training sessions and regular one-to-ones with Karl. There is efficient and considered use of technology including the use of cutting edge mobile inventory software and a maintenance app so tenants can report issues and upload photos via their mobile phone. They understand a key component to success is the attention to property maintenance as this protects landlords’ assets and ensures tenants reside in safe, compliant properties so they have created a dedicated property maintenance office. The check in process is meticulous and they carry out comprehensive mid-term inspections. The past year has seen an increase in listings and number of lets – proof that this approach is working."

 

Silver - Small Northern Agency "Lettings Agency of the Year 2015"

"Once again Karl Tatler and his team have demonstrated that their agency is one to aspire to. Karl is a charismatic individual who is extremely hands on with his business to the extent that he has recently reinvented the entire operational structure of the business to introduce a dedicated maintenance team and a front of house sales team. Alongside this he has also introduced ‘bite size training’ providing bespoke one to one training for each member of staff. This also allows the team to air any issues or concerns they might have and to have these immediately addressed by the senior team. Without exception, the high calibre employees are experts in their respective areas of operation and they are meticulous in their approach to customer service whether during the check-in process or when paying landlords via automated same day payments."

As leading Wirral estate agents and lettings agents we have plenty to talk about and like to give our opinions on a few things too! Read about what we have to say, our latest news and industry news.