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Lorraine Robb wins employer of the year award

Friday 19 October 2018

Propertymark Qualifications held its annual awards ceremony on 17 October in the Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords, celebrating excellence in learning and development in the property industry, and it was a good day for Lorraine Robb from Scotland based agency The Property Store.

Guests mingled over fizz and canapes, before Lord Best OBE DL, who has recently been appointed as Chair for the Government’s new working group created to help improve professional standards and qualifications, took to the stage to begin the proceedings.

The ceremony highlighted the achievements of learners and support given by employers and is an opportunity for property professionals to come together to celebrate the importance of vocational education and to nurture future talent within the sector.

Nominations for the awards were invited from across the sector, with winners selected based on how they met specific criteria and why they deserved the award.

Lorraine Robb from Glasgow based The Property Store flew the flag for Scotland and took home the award for Employer Champion of the Year. A driven business owner, Lorraine leads by example and is committed to learning and development. She has shown a passion for great quality service and a well-regulated and ethical working environment. With five members of staff level 6 qualified, and a further four members currently in training, working towards their exams, The Property Store have made an outstanding contribution to learning within the sector. 

Lorraine (pictured centre) commented after receiving her award:

"I’m absolutely shocked to be honest. We thought we might just be down for a nice trip to London. Scotland is ahead of the game here with the registration of landlords and agents.

"We are way ahead of what is happening in England just now. Your staff are your greatest asset. You need to invest in them and ensure that a quality service is provided, and the only way to do that
is to make sure they are qualified.

"I know that my staff know their stuff and I have been confident enough for the first time in 18 months to step back this year. I can trust them and I can go on and build the business in other ways and do more development work.

"Now I have put them through the qualification I trust them to run the business the way that I would run it."

Head of Propertymark Qualifications, Mike Smith, commented: 

“We want to wish Lorraine our warmest congratulations on winning this award which recognises those employers which make learning and development key to their success and who support entry and professional development of those who work in their businesses.

"It was great to celebrate such professionalism and success together with the other Award winners at the House of Lords at a time when the Government are deciding which route to take to build better professional standards."

After years of campaigning, the Government has now pledged to introduce mandatory qualifications for all professional agents and it is therefore important that the very best stand out from the crowd and are celebrated, as we are soon to enter an era when everyone will need a qualification. 

Who were the other winners?

There were six other winners across sales, lettings and auctioneering, with judging for the nominated categories (Rising Star, Employer Champion, Learner of the Year and Lifelong Achievement) carried out by an expert judging panel, who hold a wealth of industry knowledge and experience.

Lettings Candidate of the Year 

This year's Lettings Candidate of the Year Award was awarded to Sarah Howard of Howard and Co. Partner Sarah, was recognised for her academic performance after becoming one of the highest achievers for the Technical Award in Residential Lettings and Property Management this year. Katie Knight and Sarah Thorn were shortlisted.

Sales Candidate of the Year 

The Sales Candidate of the Year Award was presented by Housing Minister Heather Wheeler to Elizabeth Anderson from Quantum Sales & Lettings. A successful Negotiator and expert agent, Liz stood out as one of the highest performing candidates to achieve a residential sales qualification. Lucy Harrison and Kelly Meates were shortlisted.

Auctioneering Candidate of the Year 

Andrew Everett was the winner of this year's Auctioneering Candidate of the Year Award. Unfortunately, Andrew was not able to collect the award in person, however his cousin was there to accept it on his behalf. Kevin McAndrew and Helen Bingley were shortlisted.

Rising Star 

This years Rising Star Award recipient was Katie Vale. At just 19 years old, Lettings Co-Ordinator Katie has already made a huge impact on her employer, Knight Frank. A relative newcomer to the industry, Katie's incredible work ethic and sheer dedication have shone through, making her one to watch for the future. Harry Higgs and Millie Davis were shortlisted.

Learner of the Year

The winner of this year's Learner of the Year Award was Norwich College student, Nina Chambers. A determined and ambitious second year student, Nina has excelled in her studies, and has achieved a 100% attendance rate, despite a 50 mile round trip, and even made it to classes during the snow! Ruth Purvis and Sarah-Anne Gow were shortlisted.

Lifelong Achievement 

This year's Lifelong Achievement Award was presented long-time NAEA Propertymark Fellow and former President, Melfyn Williams. Having started in the industry in 1985, Melfyn is the co-founder and a director of Williams & Goodwin The Property People Limited. Melfyn is passionate about the property industry, and is a true professional who is committed to raising standards within the sector.