Each year The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards culminate in a glittering awards ceremony to be held in the opulent Nine Kings Suite at The Lancaster London Hotel.
Lettings agents from throughout the UK gather to find out who has been judged to be the best of the best. The judging of the awards is chaired by The Property Ombudsman and has the backing of the ARLA and NFOPP.
The Judges comprise highly experienced property professionals including leading agents together with other industry experts and specialists all of whom have the experience of seeing many different agencies over many years and hence have the ability to contrast and compare one agency with another.
We first felt that we were ready to enter the Lettings Agency of the Year awards in 2013 - along with many of our local competitors, we had expanded at a rapid pace and felt that we had remained one step ahead with all of our innovations and processes. This was confirmed and proved further by our many awards over the years.
2016 - The Times & The Sunday Times Midlands Lettings Agency of the Year – SILVER
Acquire specialises in finding and placing quality tenants; it’s not about the first applicant but the most appropriate. The team views every interaction as the chance to build potential long-term benefits and relationships with people; their longest-standing tenant has been with them for 16 years. The office is welcoming and friendly and often landlords and tenants will drop in for a coffee and a chat if they’re passing. The company ethos is that they seek to help people progress in their lives and it’s not about simply letting houses but rather helping people move. It is clear that this business doesn’t concern itself with its competitors, it seeks to measure itself on its own merits, and improve and expand services according to direct customer feedback. Word of mouth referrals have accounted for nearly 75% of new business over the past six months. The team benefits from an open environment - the directors have an open door policy and everyone is encouraged to share ideas and get involved - they can be assured of great opportunities and reward when the business succeeds.
2015 - The Times & The Sunday Times Midlands Lettings Agency of the Year – GOLD
Acquire Properties achieved excellent mystery shopping results which proves that the company strives for perfection in every area of operation. Having launched during the recession in 2008, this is a business that has gone from strength to strength.
The team recognises that the brand, the staff, the landlords and the tenants all play an equally significant role, and since launching, they have enjoyed a landlord retention rate of nearly 100%. They offer an all inclusive management service which includes a standard rent guarantee.
This is self insured by the MD, such is his confidence that his team approves tenants carefully; the referencing procedure is all internal and they go the extra mile to check every applicant. This confidence is not misplaced, as they have not paid out once in the five years this scheme has been running. Landlords can share in this confidence, as they know they will receive their rent on time and from quality tenants.
2014 - The Times and The Sunday Times Midlands lettings agency of the year & Best Small Midlands Lettings Agency – GOLD
This agency has been built on a strong foundation by a switched on group of people. The team at Acquire exudes a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand, whether photographing properties or calling prospects.
Innovation is at the core of this company and they apply this to the business itself and to their community involvement; both of which are exemplary.
Opening hours are extensive with valuations carried out from 7am until 10pm if required. Viewings are offered via Skype and Facetime as well as accompanied in person which has resulted in higher numbers of tenants using Acquire due to the flexibility they can offer. They have retained over 95% of their business over the past five years - proof their methods are working.
The panel is extremely pleased to reward their increased hard work and effort with the gold award this year.
2013 - The Times & The Sunday Times Midlands Lettings Agency of the Year – SILVER
This family-run company has achieved a huge amount in the relatively short time it has been open.
Since its inception in 2007, Acquire Properties has already become a firm favourite among staff, landlords, tenants and the community; a substantial achievement.
Acquire’s creativity and hard work pays dividends, with a high percentage of re-lets and healthy growth in new lets. There are financial incentives for landlords who place multiple properties with Acquire (the seventh let is even free), free meals for tenants on their third let, and a pleasing amount of sponsorship support for local good causes.
The Acquire attitude is to deal with disputes quickly and avoid prolonged negotiations - it is an ethos that works as the company has had only two disputes since 2009.
The judges commented that this was a very polished submission from a first-time entrant.
The Times and The Sunday Times Property management agency of the year - BRONZE
Acquire is operating in a depressed area in the East Midlands and counts the issue of section 8 and full possession notices as an area of speciality. Acquire realises that difficulties will inevitably arise so it has equipped itself with the very best staff.
With more than 30 years’ combined experience in private and social sector housing, and with a proprietor who has two years experience as an anti-social behaviour officer, Acquire is ready to diffuse potentially thorny situations.
It may not be glamorous work but Acquire has approached its niche with enthusiasm and with respect for all, whatever their background or situation.
One of the biggest aspects of property management for Acquire is managing rent arrears and it has succeeded in bring these arrears down on some properties from £27,000 to £6,500; significant progress.
Acquire also arms itself with multilingual staff (with the website featuring Punjabi and Polska translations), which wins it a lot of business, and it has responded to the number of after-hours valuation requests with extended operating times.