Tips for a winning AREAs entry – from those who’ve won before

As you may have noticed we've been featuring some of last year's AREAs award winners on the podcast in recent weeks. If you are planning on entering the AREAs this year, here are their tips for a winning submission.

The deadline to enter the Annual REA Excellence Awards is creeping closer, and if you haven’t yet got your entry sorted out, it’s time to get busy.

We’ve gathered advice from six former winners about what to focus on to maximise your chances of success.

Holly Komorowski – Agent Of The Year, 2019

Holly is a big believer in writing the award submission yourself – honestly and from personal experience.

While not giving away her final choice for the Campaign of the Year entry, Holly alludes to the Over the hedge campaign created for a heritage house in Ainslie.

When thinking about a winning campaign, Holly says it’s all about the story. Telling it beautifully, making it fun and then adding innovation through technology are Holly’s tips.

Jamie Billerwell – Property Manager of the Year, 2019

The first piece of advice that jumps to mind for Jamie Billerwell is a simple one – but it’s essential: Be yourself. And don’t be afraid to brainstorm with others.

“Don’t feel like you can’t ask for advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and bounce off people. Two heads are better than one.”

Although teamwork is a good start, Jamie agrees with Holly that your submission needs to be in your own words in order to capture who you are.

“Someone else can’t write it for you.

“It’s an epic platform, for lack of a better term, and what you’re saying on that platform needs to matter. So what is your message?”

Malcom Tyson – Commercial Agency of the Year (Colliers), 2019

The Gold AREA win for Commercial Agency of the Year in 2019 “capped off a good year,” for Colliers, says Malcom and was a team effort.

“We applied that to the award. It was a good outcome for the team, and it provided us with recognition from outside of Colliers, which was really important,” he says.

Malcom also adds that many in his team did much of the hard work to put Colliers in a position to win the award.

While it’s not easy to win, Malcom says “to give it your best shot”.

“I think if you’ve got a good culture, a winning culture, and it’s something your team wants to work towards, just give it a good red-hot go.”

Simone Firns – Game Changer of the Year (Network Pacific), 2019

Simone Firns doesn’t hesitate when asked her number one piece of advice for those considering entering the AREAs.

“Number one? I would say if you’re thinking about it, go for it,” she says.

“It’s amazing to win an award. I can tell you it’s been one of the best achievements that I’ve come across, that I’ve had the opportunity of winning.

Simone explains how having an amazing team behind you is key to victory, and passion usually trumps all.

“If you really love what you do, and you believe in it, then put that forward.

“Let that really show in your submission, because I believe it stands out to the judges to show who you are, and show what you love about what you do.”

Mark McGill – Excellence in Customer Service, 2019

Leveraging the win to promote his business, Mark says he received local and national press thanks to his PR and marketing specialists.

“It certainly helps with your credibility, but more importantly, it’s just doing the right job in the living rooms all the time.”

Looking back on the perfect score from the judges, Mark says the feedback was that all of the criteria were answered correctly.

“Answer the questions that are asked of you. With the award submission, it was great that we could submit videos and photographs, evidencing my claims.

“Have fun with it.”

Leanne Pilkington – Most Influential Woman in the Property Market, 2019

Creating a winning submission is all about answering the question.

Leanne says that you need to be really clear so that the judges can judge you on how well you answer the question.

“If you have wonderful information in there that doesn’t relate to the question it doesn’t matter,” says Leanne.

“Answer the question and get somebody else to read through it and check your typos because that’s really off-putting.”

She especially advises females to enter the awards, hoping she can serve as an example.

“For me, it’s all about, you can’t be what you can’t see, so if I’m able to inspire other females in the industry to go, ‘You know what, if Leanne can do it so I can. I can give it a crack’, that’s worthwhile.”

Entries for the the 2021 AREAs close on November 17. Enter the AREAs here – and good luck!

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Samantha McLean

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