Lettings Agency of the Year Awards
Letting Agency of the Year Awards 2016
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ESTATE AGENCY
OF THE YEAR
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Bill Free Homes
www.billfreehomes.com

Best Lettings Agency to Work For 2016

This award is judged on a different basis to the rest of the awards. Entrants are given an online questionnaire to distribute to their team which asks individuals to rate 21 statements about their employer on a scale ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree”.

The questions are designed to discover how each employee feels about the business they work for, and covers every area of employment including satisfaction with remuneration, career opportunities, team and management relationships, pride, communication and interest.

Companies are required to gather responses from at least 40% of their team in order to be judged for this award. All replies remain anonymous but each response is checked to ensure it is an individual and genuine response. Answers are then analysed, and we are delighted to recognise the following companies.

These are businesses setting the bar for employee best practice: they should be congratulated on the motivation and loyalty they engender in their teams, and the dynamic culture and opportunities they provide.

Medal
Best Property Management 0-200 Lettings Agency 2016

Bill Free Homes is a superb business that gets everything right. The team is very attentive to the needs of its student tenants and offers an enormous amount of assistance to ensure that they cope well with their first time living alone. They also work hard to reassure parents that their children are in safe hands! Members of the property management team dedicate time to getting to know their landlords so they can really tailor their service according to both requirements and personality. The quality and quantity of information available to landlords is impressive: they have mined the data available to them and used this to produce a number of exceptional pieces such as repair costs assessments and projections. The use of tablets means the team can update job notes in real time, and emergencies can be reported 24/7. Bill Free Homes won the silver award last year so it’s brilliant to able to reward this agency even further with the gold.

Medal
Best Customer Service - Small Lettings Agency 2016

Bill Free Homes scored extremely well in the mystery shop and the panel was pleased to see its results backed up by evidence that customers will receive a great standard of care. There is a wealth of incentives, rewards and services available at this agency and they have all been carefully developed and implemented in direct correlation to the needs of the customers. As a student specific business, the team essentially has two very different sets of clients, with very different motivations, to deal with - the students and their parents - and it meets this challenge head on. The team also understands that the parents will need a lot of reassurance and need to feel confident that their children are in safe hands. There is a full array of services for landlords from face to face investment advice to a search facility if they prefer to research themselves.

Medal
Best Student Lettings Agency 2016

The team at Bill Free Homes strives for a culture of continuous improvement and the result is a really amazing business. The rate at which they develop and implement new and exciting initiatives is breathtaking. They want to be recognised as thought leaders in the student arena and participate in an extraordinary amount of training and development to achieve this goal. Two of the directors are currently studying for doctorates and participating in local council meetings to campaign to improve the image of students. They have also formed peer-learning groups with other student letting providers so they can learn from each other and share best practice. Another great idea is the provision of accident cover for tenants which has been negotiated with a specialist insurance provider. This allows students to claim for accidents, thus reducing deposit disputes at check out. These are two of the stand-out ideas among the innumerable initiatives on offer by Bill Free Homes. This really is a quality agency.

Medal
Best Single Office North Lettings Agency 2016

Everyone at Bill Free Homes is focused on the customer experience. They have invested a lot of time analysing their key client demographic (students) so that every activity is designed with the sole result of giving maximum benefit. The use of technology is excellent and, in-line with their ethos, they employed a graduate to design and build their back office platform. As they deliberately avoid using boards to advertise available properties, they have had to up their game to maximise awareness of their name and brand: they pay tenants to host an advert on their car for a 12 week period and use the Bill Free Homes app to deliver push notifications to applicants when they walk past an available property. They also recognise the importance of engaging with parents so have adopted a dual strategy to ensure they meet the key requirements of both parties!

Bronze