If you've ever had any dealings with Northfields you'll soon see why. The Owner and MD, Richard Palfreeman has created a truly outstanding team who are a refreshing change for anyone looking for a more progressive estate agency offering. You hear so much about businesses that are people-centric but very few manage to deliver on the promise - Northfields in my experience are punching way above their weight in the market and deserve their current success. Staff undergo extensive training - of the kind that the bigger national chains are supposed to deliver but rarely do. At the heart of the operation is a customer relationship management programme that makes their repeat business amongst the highest in the industry.
And that's not all - because the winner overall and Estate Agency of the Year at the same awards was Hammersmith based Marsh & Parsons. Although a venerable player with over 150 years of heritage and experience behind them, Marsh and Parsons compete like a newcomer. They are full of initiatives to make sure their staff know the area inside out and are able to give useful advice to prospects. They use the expression "Local know-how. Better results" to mark out their positioning and if you meet their people you see it isn't just words. They have offices all over West and South West London (and an HQ on Fulham Palace Road) - we have a Fulham branch and another in Brook Green. Both of which have been highly recommended by locals for customer service and the very clear team spirit of the staff.
I'm worried this all sounds like a press release rather than a blog - if it does I'm sorry - I get a bit serious about the subject as I've bought and sold quite a few properties in my time and now that I know Northfields and Marsh and Parsons I wish I'd done it with them! For the most important purchase of their lives, surprisingly few people recognise the potential importance of the intermediary and choose between them with any great care - normally being somewhat dazzled by the property being represented.
Sellers (and Landlords for that matter) are more choosy of course. What the results of the Times and Sunday Times awards tell us all is that there is a significant difference between agents and the winners in the field recognise the value of real local knowledge and service. The awards also tell us that consistent winners are probably worth choosing - after all, the Gongs are the best testimonials they ever get.