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The Negotiator Awards!

National Award Winners 2016
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For those of you who perhaps haven’t heard, or if you just so happened to stumble across our website, we thought we’d write a blog about The Negotiator Awards!

2 weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending The Negotiator Awards at The Hilton on Park Lane in London. Now it sounds like a bit of nightmare, hundreds of Estate Agents in one room, brimming with all those egos and flashy suits, but in actual fact it wasn’t. Everyone was in great spirits and excitement filled the air for a night of celebration.

Now the Next Chapter table was sat all the way at the back of the room – which we were sure wasn’t a good sign. Regardless, we were going to have a good night. It’s been a tough 3 years of long hours and lots of hard work, convincing people that you don’t have to pay extortionate percentages to sell your home. Whatever was going to happen tonight, we were going to have a good time and celebrate 3 years of a remarkable journey.

3 courses of amazing food later, Ed Byrne started presenting the awards to the rowdy room, talking of his own experiences of selling a home and how everyone at some point in their lives will share that same experience. Our job as Estate Agents is to make sure it’s a good one.

We were shortlisted for 2 categories, Innovator of the Year 2016 and Best Estate Agency in the East of England. Like with most award ceremonies, we eagerly anticipated our categories, counting down how many categories were left before ours was called out. First up – Innovator of the Year 2016.

Now to say we were nervous is probably an understatement. Innovator of the Year is a national award and we were shortlisted out of the whole country along with 10 other Estate Agents. We had already eyed up some tough competition. We had the eyes of every Estate Agent in the whole of the country watching us.

When we started Next Chapter 3 years ago, it was the result of years of research and planning. Coming up with fresh and modern ways of how we could do things better. Do things differently. I think it’s fair to say that the competition hadn’t seen it coming.

When I was writing the 10 Page submission to The Negotiator Awards explaining to the judges how we were Innovators and why we deserved to win, I thought back to those reasons of why we started the company and how we wanted to take each and every aspect of Estate Agency and turn it on its head. Even deciding on our company name took months of brainstorming, for unlike other Estate Agents we didn’t want to choose our names or something area related. We wanted people to feel something. Moving home is such an emotional experience for so many people and that ‘Next Chapter’ can be daunting, exciting or nerve wracking. Every aspect of the company has been infused with this kind of energy.

We were up next. Ed Byrne was announcing the top 3 Estate Agents for the category and before we knew it our Next Chapter Sold Board was up on the screen – we were down to the last 3! ‘And the GOLD award for Innovator of the Year 2016 goes to … (I held my breath) …Next Chapter Homes!’ We couldn’t believe it! National GOLD winners! We’d done it. We’d actually done it.

The whole team were cheering and the room erupted in applause and we now faced the long walk to the stage in a daze of disbelief. To be honest, I don’t know how we made it to the stage, the next five minutes were a blur. I caught a glimpse of a company that Amir used to work for and saw the upset looks on their faces – I’d never felt prouder.

It’s an amazing moment, when you receive recognition for the hard work you have put in to something. When we first started the Company we were accused by other estate agents of having ‘cheap fees.’ What they didn’t understand is that the world is changing and our fee structure is a direct reflection of that. Our fees were the result of years of market research, designed to work with our clients as opposed to against them. The first hour that you sit down with your estate agent, you have to sit and negotiate your fee, making sure that the percentage you pay your estate agent isn’t more than what your neighbour paid. The psychology of this alone, is that a relationship is then formed on the premise of distrust. Our innovative fee structure eliminates this by being fair, honest and transparent – from the very beginning. That means from the moment you book a valuation with Next Chapter, we’re working with you, not against you. It is amazing when a team of 17 reputable judges, agree with you.

The Negotiator Awards Ceremony was an amazing evening and we went on to win Silver for the Best Estate Agency in the East of England. Two awards in one night. It was an incredible result for Next Chapter.

We just wanted to take this short moment to thank everyone who has been part of this incredible journey. Whether you have viewed a house through us or put your home on the market with us. Thank you for believing in something new. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you from all of us. 
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