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Rising Star 2017

Chris WoodWe sat down with the winner of 2017's Rising Star award, Christopher Wood, to find out what he has been up in the 12 months after receiving his award.  

Tell us what you have been up to over the last 12 months?

The last 12 months have been a blur, so much has happened it's hard to keep track!

Shortly after the awards we officially launched 'Direct by Williams Estates' our online-only option which has proven to be a real success and is adding strength to our brand by offering a wide range of services at various price points helping us to cater to a range of client's needs.

Direct has really caught on and is allowing us to reach further afield, servicing areas we had never had the opportunity to in the past.

The most exciting news though is that we found out recently that 'Direct by Williams Estates' has won Gold at the British Property Awards for best estate agent in Flintshire! We're on cloud nine as this is a mystery shop award and is a true indicator of how much we try to work on delivering good service.

"To be honest it's hard to put in words just how much winning meant to me!"

What did winning the award mean to you?

To be honest it's hard to put in words just how much winning meant to me! My attitude to the whole thing changed considerably during the run up to the event. I had gone from a very casual attitude when I was initially nominated, to a nervous wreck on the night, it suddenly all becomes very real when you hear your name called out amongst the other shortlisted candidates!

When I received the news that I had been shortlisted for the Rising Star category I felt like I had won there and then, it still baffles me that I have a national property award under my belt. The award has opened so many doors for me and I have made sure to utilise it in everything I do, all of my letterheads and business cards have the winner's logo on and we have the award on display in the office, pride of place.

I'll never forget the moment my name was called out in a room full of the most respected property professionals in the UK, they played 'Jump' by Van Halen as I walked up to the stage - it was all very rock 'n' roll really!

How has your day-to-day job changed since the awards last year?

Since the awards last year, I have become sole office valuer and I have gained a great deal of experience valuing all kinds of property from apartments to large farmhouses with land. I would definitely say that I enjoy this aspect the most!

Williams Estates Direct has also impacted my day to day job in that I often value in areas that we may not be as familiar with, preparation is key here and we always make sure to be well prepared with plenty of comparables and we do our research before coming out, we are never flippant.  

Why do you think qualifications are important within the estate agency sector?

I think they are incredibly important as it helps to show credibility. I often get asked about my post-nominals as they are on my business cards, this offers an opportunity to explain to potential clients that I have achieved a qualification and studied various aspects of the sales process.

Peace of mind is such a huge factor in property sales, I often put myself in the vendor's shoes and think if I was having my most valuable asset valued, I would want the agent to know what they are talking about, it's a confidence thing.

I try to use a lot of what I learned in the technical award in my day to day job too. There will often be something like a right of way or covenant that I can dip into my knowledge for and I think the vendors really respect that.

"I'd say do not hesitate and believe in yourself"

What would you say to anyone thinking about putting themselves forward for an award?

I'd say do not hesitate and believe in yourself. I'm obviously saying that with hindsight and if I'm being honest I am very self-critical, I think it's the pressure of knowing there are other people that have been shortlisted that all want to win as much as you do.

My advice would be to not think about anybody else and just to do the best of your ability and be sure to put that across in your submission. The best person to sell you is you, so don't try to be too modest, if you have done something brilliant then make sure it comes across as being brilliant!

So, what's next for you?

More studying! I am currently half way through the Level 3 Award in the Sale of Commercial Property Agency and my goal is to have it wrapped up by the end of the year. I have always been keen on developing our commercial side and feel that a qualification in commercial is the perfect spring board to achieving this.

I'm enjoying the learning process and I'd never be naive enough to think that I know everything I need to know. Estate Agency is very interesting, and each day throws you a new set of scenarios that you may or may not have experience in. I like to think that each time this happens I take a little from it and learn.

To be honest it's hard to put in words
just how much winning meant to me!"

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...the benefits to gaining the qualification are endless.
~ Tania Marshall - Lettings Candidate of the Year Finalist

 ...just having the qualification makes me feel even more confident in my role.
~ Elizabeth Anderson

The relationship between a landlord and their agent should be a long one, built on trust and confidence, and what better way to assure your landlord than having proof of your knowledge with a professional qualification.
~ Sara Hawkins

Having these qualifications really helps you prepare for the property industry, as you learn relevant information that will aid you in a property related job.
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By undertaking a qualification with Propertymark Qualifications, it not only helps in giving property experts the knowledge they need to do a better job but it also gives us something just as valuable...credibility. 
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It provides you with a personal sense of achievement in addition to the knowledge and skills necessary to confidently carry out your role to the highest standard.
~ Heather Fraser, Rising Star 2019

Studying for this qualification will help separate you from other agents whilst also increasing your confidence when interacting with customers. 
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