Elite Agent

Real Estate’s night of nights to recognise all aspects of property

Time is running out to get your entries in for the industry’s most prestigious and credible real estate awards, the AREAs. Ahead of the submission closing deadline of 19 July, Andrew Rechtman, Executive GM of Residential at REA Group, speaks exclusively to Elite Agent about the new award categories, tips for submissions and why the AREAs are free for everyone to enter.

Exclusive to the Australian market, the AREA Awards focus on recognising and celebrating agents who show excellence in supporting their customers through their property journey.

In addition to the regular award categories, this year the awards include four Gold AREAs for Most Influential Woman in the Property Market, Agency of the Year (won by Barry Plant Manningham last year), Agent of the Year and Property Manager of the Year.

Holly Komorowski, winner of the 2017 Sales and Marketing award in the residential category.

Free to enter

Unlike other industry awards, the AREAs are free to enter.

“We want the awards to be about the best of the best, not about people feeling as though they need to be paying to participate,” says Rechtman.

In addition, all finalists are invited to attend a complimentary black-tie gala dinner to be held on Thursday, 15 November – this year at the Star in Pyrmont in Sydney.

“Again, it’s a reward for their efforts, not something we want to charge for,” says Rechtman.

New Award Categories

Barry Plant Manningham, Gold AREA winners in 2017

In general, the judges will be looking for excellence in service, innovation, marketing and community.

“Last year we had one Gold AREA which was for Agency of the Year, and this is for the agency that excels in all categories: innovation, service, marketing as well as community. So we took those principles and extended it to three new awards.”

An award that has definitely created some buzz is the Gold AREA for Most Influential Woman in the Property Market – open to all women operating in any part of the property industry.

“We’re looking for someone who stands out from the crowd in terms of their achievements, whether it’s in the sales area or in leadership, or even thought-leadership they provide to the industry.”

And it’s not just for those who are great self-promoters, says Rechtman.

“Social media connections are obviously a great indicator of leadership, but we want to recognise someone who is doing something different that will genuinely lead to change and improvement in the industry.

“It is very open to achievers who are perhaps in the background making change and helping others as much as those that are promoting themselves.”

The new Gold AREA for Property Manager of the Year will recognise someone who has achieved excellence as either a PM, BDM, Leader or Leasing Consultant.

“We know that property management is such a people-oriented business, so one of the criteria we are looking for is someone who has demonstrated an ability to build or drive a fantastic team culture.”

And Rechtman says there is plenty to celebrate in the PM department in both innovation and marketing.

“We believe this category will attract entries from agencies who are really finding innovative ways to stand out from competitors.”

Rechtman expects that the Agent of the Year award will be hotly contested, and notes the judges will be looking for agents – both women and men – who provide outstanding value to customers.

“We are looking for someone to go above and beyond to create a fantastic experience for every person who they come into contact with; someone who has done great things in their communities, someone who stands out for their approach to innovation and marketing.”

Submission Excellence

While many agents find it difficult to write about themselves, Rechtman says that the key to a successful submission is to answer the questions clearly and succinctly.

“Spend the time thinking about what makes you stand out from the crowd,” he says. “But if your submission takes you more than an hour it’s probably not a good thing, because the judges are looking for clarity of thinking.

“They are not looking for your life history; if you include that it will make your submission really hard to follow.”

Finalists and Winners

The winners also get special recognition on realestate.com.au.

“Each of the winners is recognised on their agent profiles, so they can use the award as part of their own promotion in the market to help them build their businesses, either as an agency or an individual.”

Part of last year’s team who won Brand Campaign of the Year, Jax Jones from Laing + Simmons agrees.

“We can absolutely vouch for how awesome these awards are. The night was brilliant, and if you’re lucky enough to win, the bonuses are awesome!”

Entries close 19 July and it costs nothing to enter. Visit theareas.com.au.

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.