Paramount scoops national award

There are a lot of estate agents in West Hampstead. This is a truth universally acknowledged. However, as anyone who’s sat through Avatar will testify, quantity doesn’t always equal quality.

It is, therefore, refreshing to report when one of our esteemed agents does well. Even more so when it’s not one of the larger chains, but a West Hampstead operation.

So, credit where it’s due to Paramount who won two gold awards at The Times and Sunday Times Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2013. Paramount won Best London Lettings Agency and Best Single Lettings Agency UK.

Karren Brady (l) presents Carla Bradman and Spencer Lawrence with their award

This isn’t just some industry back-slapping award ceremony, there is a degree of rigour involved. Nearly 5,000 offices enter, and the winners are determined by a panel of 19 industry experts who conduct an extensive review of the entrants, including mystery shopping exercises. The judging process was overseen by Christopher Hamer, the Property Ombudsman.

The judges described Paramount as an “agency that is absolutely red hot on customer service, keeps up with technology and constantly strives to move forward … always looking for ways to improve the business.”

That’ll be partly due to Carla Bradman, who lots of you know better as @west_hampstead. Carla, who runs the account, does a great job of balancing local info with property-related social media updates and engages with the community rather than trying to masquerade as a pure community resource. I’ll be honest, I’d prefer it if it used @ParamountWH as people do occasionally get Paramount’s Twitter account confused with mine but, while Carla’s hands are on the agency’s social media reins, then all is well.

Carla herself told me “We recognise that our website is our shop front to the world and have invested heavily in design and functionality for our new website (launching next month). I personally also spend a lot of time on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin – it’s a great way to meet new people, learn something new, promote a local cause (our coat collection for Hands on London, for example) and also allows us to respond to queries and feedback within minutes.

Spencer Lawrence, Lettings Director of Paramount, said “it feels great to be recognised by our industry peers for the overall approach we take to lettings. The lettings team work exceptionally hard to ensure every step of the lettings process runs smoothly, so national recognition on this scale is a great reward for all of us at Paramount”.