Estate Agency of the Year Awards

Estate Agency of the Year Awards 2016
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Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2016
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Marsh & Parosns

Estate Agency of the Year 2016 - Overall Winner

It is an absolute delight to recognise Marsh & Parsons as the Estate Agency of the Year for the second time. Having already received this award in 2010, it joins an elite club of only two other agencies to have won this award more than once.

Marsh and Parsons first opened its doors over 160 years ago but manages to provide its clients with service and technology fit for a 21st century business. When it was bought by Peter Rollings and Liza-Jane Kelly in 2005 with the backing of The Sherry FitzGerald Group, it was a well regarded brand but under careful and calm steerage, they managed to transform it into a force to be reckoned with – no easy task in the crowded London marketplace.

The aim at Marsh & Parsons is crystal clear: to build long-term relationships with clients based on energy and expertise. The team takes a collaborative approach to selling houses and it’s evident that open and honest communication with clients is central to this ethos.

They differentiate themselves from their many competitors by promising AND delivering excellent service across the breadth of the estate agency platform; whether clients are looking for new homes or seeking an international relocation to London, the Marsh & Parsons team have the expertise and passion to meet these requirements head on. The office network works together as one so buyers and tenants have huge choice of properties whilst vendors and landlords can access a wider pool of prospects.

The directors are extremely hands-on and lead by example; Marsh & Parsons is fully compliant and offers a transparent service with no hidden surprises. They take an active role in recruitment so candidates are interviewed by the senior team to ensure they’re a good fit for the company, not only in terms of attitude and ability but also with regard to their position within the existing team. The training and development programme has been carefully planned to cover a far-reaching combination of technical and soft skills. An intensive three-day induction prepares new recruits to meet the rigorous Marsh & Parsons standards.

The culture is inclusive and as such the team is encouraged (and expected) to become part of the local community. They have strong relationships with schools and charities in the surrounding areas and work with them through direct sponsorship but also through non-stop involvement and the donation of services, such as sharing their marketing expertise.

The provision of information is a central tenet of this business and the team provides a wealth of information through numerous channels. The website is excellent – fresh and easily navigable, and it answers practically any question a client might have, especially through the local know-how sections, FAQ’s and the jargon buster. They offer excellent relocation services for oversea buyers wishing to move to the capital, working with over 600 corporations to help them relocate any one of their staff from senior executives to graduates. The international team speaks 17 languages.

There is a mixture of key and corporate services on offer and each has been designed to meet the expectations of a demanding and busy client base. Many are cash rich and time poor and keen to progress their transaction as quickly and as smoothly as possible which is where Marsh & Parsons steps in. They’ve formed partnerships with relevant local businesses so they can recommend favoured suppliers and offer free gifts to clients, from house cleaning to computer services.

2016 has seen a number of changes to the business, not least the retirement of CEO Peter Rollings following the acquisition by LSL in 2011. It is testament to the strong foundations built by Peter, Liza-Jane and the team that Marsh & Parsons has continued to operate at the same high standards through the transition period – that’s how entrenched the culture and values are.

When deciding on the winning agencies, the judging panel is always careful to consider the actual customer experience and they replicate it wherever possible through a variety of methods including mystery shopping and careful research. With Marsh & Parsons, the proof of the pudding is definitely in the eating - the judges found the service, communication and expertise to be exemplary every single time.

Best Large Estate Agency 2016

The standard in this category was absolutely fantastic. The judges found it extremely difficult to separate the entrants out and commented that the attention to detail demonstrated by all entrants was astounding. Marsh & Parsons is an energetic, professional and knowledgeable brand. It operates in a relentless and tough market so the team constantly strives for improvement: they are uncompromising on service standards but fun and approachable. The directors understand how to get the best from their team and the clever pay structure incentivises everyone to cross-sell. Everything is measured from registration to post-completion and this transparency has reduced the fall-through rate and boosted client confidence through extended services. Marsh & Parsons had great mystery shopping results with a fantastic telephone response to both buyers and vendors. It has managed to walk the fine line between harnessing its reach as a large agency whilst retaining the personal touch.

Best Marketing Estate Agency 2016

Marsh & Parsons developed a campaign which demonstrated an excellent grasp of the marketplace and its brand. The team understood that the London market is crowded and noisy with over 3,00 agents so they sought to find a way to cut through this and connect with people on their level and create an emotional engagement. They introduced clever puns on their marketing to complement their existing tone of voice and take it further. Lines included ‘8 out of 10 flats would recommend us’, and on the back of David Cameron’s resignation, ‘We have been matching people with property for over 160 years – this one is out of our hands though.’ The media buying was considered and complemented the messaging but also targeted key demographics.
The campaign was produced with the full involvement of the entire team from the CEO to junior negotiators so everyone was on board with it. The judges found it to be clever, witty and intelligent, and it made them smile.