SE1 estate agents named South London Business of the Year
Young London estate agents based in Webber Street have been named South London business of the year for their unusual business model which replaces commission for sales staff with rewards for delivering good customer service.
The company had already had a big night, scooping awards for best small business and best business for innovation.
"It's a great honour," says chief executive Neil Young.
"We just tried to do the right thing and run a business in the way we think it should be run. It came naturally to decide to change the model and put the focus on customer service, so it's fantastic to be recognised for doing the right thing by the staff and in the right way."
Nick McMenemy from Towergate Financial, who was one of the judges, said: "Young London impressed by turning on its head the traditional business model of their sector.
"Sales staff are rewarded based on customer satisfaction, not commission. The commitment to making clients feel welcome both in their new homes and in their neighbourhoods is second to none.
"They have also successfully embraced a wide variety of digital social media, combining both revenue generation and providing genuine support to local residents and businesses."
Neil, along with Young London's other directors, Sylvana Young, Michael Oakes and David MacKenzie received the award in front of an audience of 500 business people at the South London Business Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony at the Park Plaza Riverbank last week.
Young London is a Southwark based estate agency which last year found homes for more than 700 tenants in around 400 of their landlords' properties.
All of the property rented through Young London is also managed by the agency's in-house property management team in order to provide both good customer service for the tenant and protect the landlord's investment.
Every month Young London publishes the results of its own customer service survey. Last month's survey revealed that 100 per cent of landlords and tenants said they'd recommend Young London and 87.5 per cent rated their experience of using Young London as 'good' or 'excellent'.
"It's really important to us that we put our customers first," said Neil. "We retain 98 per cent of our clients each year and get almost all our new business from referrals, which is unusual in our industry, and we think that speaks for itself."
Carole Bagnald, regional commercial director London for HSBC, who presented Young London with their Business of the Year award, said the bank was passionate about the need to support small to medium sized businesses, like Young London, as the 'business leaders of the future'.
"This is the third year we have supported these awards and they are very special to me because of the work South London Business does supporting businesses," she told a packed room at the Park Plaza Riverbank on Albert Embankment.
"A recent HSBC survey showed that 62 per cent of business leaders believe the UK will come to stand in the future for innovation and entrepreneurship.
"It is therefore important that we get behind the businesses who are here tonight, who are the leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship."