AREA finalists announced

Submissions have now been whittled down to just a handful of real estate professionals as the inaugural Australian Real Estate Awards draw near

A word from Domain

Domain is proud to be the principal partner for the inaugural Australian Real Estate Awards (AREAs) in 2013.

The awards offer recognition to real estate agents for their professionalism and customer service. This is a prestigious industry event that allows us to showcase and celebrate our best and brightest.

Domain is honoured to be a leader in this industry as we deliver property marketing solutions to help agencies build their businesses, achieve success, and dominate in their markets.

Our goal is to bring greater competition to the industry and add real value to our customers.

We’re competitive on price, while offering industry leading solutions across multiple media platforms - including print, online and mobile. And we remain committed to forming long-term partnerships with our accredited agents.

TONY BLAMEY
General manager, real estate, Fairfax Marketplaces


ON THURSDAY 1 AUGUST at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, Real Estate Business, together with Domain, will host the inaugural Australian Real Estate Awards (AREA), with legendary funny man Vince Sorrenti acting as MC.

The event’s categories include the coveted Sales Agent of the Year and Property Manager of the Year, as well as the Major Network of the Year (Over 100 offices) and Industry Thought Leader.

YOUR INDUSTRY, YOUR AWARDS

The AREAs are a true industry event, with the proud point of difference that they are the only accolades open to every professional and real estate group across the industry.

Real Estate Business is in a unique position. We are an independent organisation and our awards are the only industry accolades that are open to the entire industry. We’re looking forward to hosting an event that will add significant value to the industry over the years to come,” Real Estate Business editor Stacey Moseley says.

“Our industry is undergoing significant change right now and it is important to recognise the professionals and organisations that are driving the evolution of the industry.

“There is nothing more powerful than recognition for outstanding excellence on both an individual and corporate basis. Industry accolades can have a profound impact on winning listings, attracting new talent and growing a business.”

RECOGNISING QUALITY
More than 750 nominations flooded in for the 20 categories of the inaugural AREAs, as the industry prepares to battle it out for top honours.

Ms Moseley said the overwhelming response strongly reinforces the industry desire for an independent national awards program.

“It has been very difficult to choose finalists as we have had a number of quality submissions from both leading real estate groups and smaller independent offices,” she says.

“It is a great testament to the industry that so many leading real estate operators and networks see the value and marketing potential associated with this national awards program.

“As the industry increases its professionalism, it is also important to recognise and reward the key players driving this change.”

METHODOLOGY
To ensure professionalism and transparency are at the heart of the 2013 AREAs, Real Estate Business has developed a stringent assessment process.

All award entrants were asked to complete an online questionnaire, providing key business indicators. Nomination questionnaires were then assessed against key metrics and business performance parameters to determine the shortlisted finalists.

In what proved to be a major undertaking, the shortlists for this year’s awards were narrowed down from the hundreds of initial submissions to a final 102.

Shortlisted finalists were then requested to complete a thorough submission, giving additional business details and other information to support their nomination.

To ensure transparency, an independent judging panel made up of respected professionals assessed all submissions.

Group Awards

Best Innovator

Innovation is an essential component to finding success in the most challenging of marketplaces. Innovation involves forward thinking and unique concepts, with the backing, drive and ability to realise them.

This significant award highlights the real estate business that has developed and capitalised on innovation – in service, business development, process, technology, CRM or other relevant area.

Best IT Platform – in-house

Access to up-to-date data, marketing tools and the backing of a solid CRM system are essential for all real estate professionals. No other industry has experienced such rapid growth and change in terms of business-centric technology.

This award recognises the real estate group that has developed the most effective technology platform for agents, principals and property managers, which integrates core functionality but is also user friendly.

Best Training and Education

As the real estate industry aims to become a profession, training and education are now more important than ever. Many franchise networks and independent agencies are going to great lengths to ensure all staff members receive the highest level of training available in today’s marketplace.

This award acknowledges the group and/or independent agency that is providing its members with the most effective and diverse training.

Best Web Presence – Group

Prospecting for business and ongoing customer retention remains front and centre for all real estate groups. The internet offers a powerful vehicle for real estate groups to connect with customers, and also to build and develop ongoing relationships that result in repeat and referral business. This award recognises the group that has most effectively harnessed the capabilities of the web and associated applications, such as social media. anmassociatedapplications and vehicles for connecting with clients, including social networking.

Best new office

This award recognises the best new residential real estate office that has most effectively driven business growth over the previous 12 months, across all product sectors and utilising a range of business development principles and tactics. Offices considered for this category are less than two years old.

Award based on metrics (including sales volumes, rent roll growth and property management efficiency), plus submission; assessed by AREA judges.

Property Management Company of the Year

Often overlooked in terms of business value, the property management sector has quickly established itself as a powerful wealth generation tool for all principals and networks.

Recently, the industry has seen an increasing number of agencies looking towards property management as the sole aspect of the business and have succeeded in this marketplace.

Sales office of the year

This award acknowledges the residential sales office that maintains best practice service while developing innovative business strategies to ensure future growth and development.

An office is defined as one single physical location. Award based on metrics (including but not limited to sales volumes, total sales value, listings, and conversion rates) plus submission; assessed by AREA judges.

Boutique Network of the Year – Under 100 offices

This award highlights the group with fewer than 100 offices nationally that has excelled over the previous 12 months. Based on business growth metrics, as well as support and servicing, the award will consider the activities, strategies and actions of the group in terms of recruitment, empowerment and retention, as well as the success of individual professionals in supporting overall growth and development.

Boutique Independent of the Year – Under 6 Offices

Boutique real estate groups play a key role in servicing vendors and home buyers in their local market. Groups that would be considered for this category would have six or less offices nationally.

This award recognises the independent group that has most effectively driven business growth over the previous 12 months across all product sectors, and utilising a range of business development principles and tactics.

Major Independent of the Year – 6 Offices or more

Independent real estate groups play a key role in servicing vendors and homebuyers in their local market. Groups that would be considered for this category would have six or more offices nationally.

This award recognises the boutique group that has most effectively driven business growth over the previous 12 months across all product sectors utilising a range of business development principals and tactics.

Major Network of the Year – Over 100 Offices

This award highlights the group with more than 100 offices nationally that has excelled over the previous 12 months. Based on business growth metrics, as well as support and servicing, the award considers the activities, strategies and actions of the group in terms of recruitment and retention, as well as the success of individual professionals in supporting growth and development.

Individual Awards

Sales Agent of the Year

The residential market has undergone great change in recent years, creating new challenges for sales agents. A disconnect between vendor expectations and market performance has forced the agent to re-educate both sellers and buyers. Smart agents have quickly adapted to market challenges, with a focus on building relationships.
Finalists:

George Rafty - PRDnationwide Newcastle
James Tostevin - Marshall White & Co
John Paranchi - McGrath Hunters Hill
Karen Vogl - hockingstuart Ringwood
Wayne Vaughan - McGrath Epping

Sales agent of the year – Rookie

Starting out in residential sales can be a challenge. New agents immediately face the challenge of establishing a strong client base, which requires hard work, significant networking and perseverance. They must also develop an in-depth understanding of their local market, the property cycle and the overall mechanics of selling property.
Finalists:

Helen Woodhouse - Hore + Davies Real Estate
Matt O’Shea - Ray White Oatley
James Haywood - Cunninghams Property
Nick Sarkis Noel McFarlane Real Estate

BDM of the Year – Property Management

This award recognises the business development manager who enables the growth and development of the property management business through effective mentoring and management. The winner will be at the forefront of innovative relationship techniques that ensure client retention and foster organic growth of the business’ rent roll.
Finalists:

Conor Gannon – Crawford Realty Karratha
Hayley Enders – Place Estate Agents
Kate Towerton – Harcourts Hills Living
Rayni Platek – Ray White Bundoora
Mellissa Gibson – LJ Hooker Cessnock and Kurri Kurri

Property Manager of the Year
Stringent state-based legislation and constant industry developments require property managers to actively keep up with current practice standards to ensure proper client servicing. This award acknowledges the property manager who is shown to have best built and retained strong client relations, while generating new business through effective prospecting and marketing.
Finalists:

Andrew Paterson – Fletchers
Rosa Pedavoli – Harcourts Hills Living
Leah Calnan – Metro Property Management
Darin Butcher – Wiseberry Heritage/ Wiseberry Charmhaven
Michelle Williams – @home Property Management Solutions

Residential Mortgage Broker of the Year
Brokers now write over 40 per cent of all residential mortgages and real estate groups are increasingly aware of the benefits associated with diversifying their offering by adding residential mortgage services to their product suite. This award recognises the residential broker operating under a real estate brand who best represents the industry across key factors, including loan volumes, loan book growth, compliance, submission quality and customer service.
Finalists:

Alex Nochar – Shore Financial
Brett Dickie – Oxygen Home Loans
Peter Ellis – CENTURY 21 Home Loans
Theo Chambers – Shore Financial

Property Manager of the Year – Rookie
Starting out in property management can be difficult. With stringent state-based legislation dictating industry practice and standards, property managers must remain up to date at all times. Managing relationships is also key to success and this award recognises the property manager with fewer than two years’ experience who has actively implemented best practice standards to effectively maintain and grow the agency’s rent roll and profits.
Finalists:

Laura Barich – Advantage Property Management
Sarah Cairns – Realmark

Rising Star
This award will recognise the individual within the Australian real estate market who best represents the future of industry. This person is able to influence the direction of the industry through leadership and best practice. Entrants must be actively involved in industry debate and discussion and play a pivotal role in change and development. The Rising Star award reflects an individual who could best be described as a shining light who displays the characteristics of tomorrow’s leader.

Finalists:

Brendon Habak – Realestate 88
Mark McGill – Amber Werchon Property
Vish Uttam – Open House Realty Group
Hayden Crawford – Crawford Realty Hedland
Mitch Palmer – Barry Plant Glen Waverley

Auctioneer of the Year
Designed to identify professionals renowned for innovation and cutting edge marketing techniques, the Auctioneer of the Year award reveals the agent who displays a well-crafted strategy and thorough understanding of auctioneering. From price setting, marketing the home, property presentation and campaign management, the Auctioneer of the Year highlights a variety of skills unique to this method of sale.

Finalists:

Will Hampson – My Auctioneer
Ben Brady – Harcourts Queensland
Damien Cooley – Cooley Auctions
Kate Lumby – My Auctioneer

Industry Thought Leader
This award is designed to recognise the individual within the Australian real estate market who has shown a passion for improving the Australian real estate industry. This person is able to clearly articulate the desired direction of the industry and to draw upon best practice from other relevant industries and markets.

Finalists:

Anita Percudani – Realmark
Ewan Morton – Morton & Morton
John Cunningham – Cunninghams Property
Michael Sheargold – Real Estate Results
Rob Farmer – RUN Property

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