Leicestershire-based Deighton McKenzie – the youngest ever Estate Agency to win a prestigious Sunday Times Gold Award for Innovation

New estate agency Deighton McKenzie is celebrating after taking a Gold award for ‘Best Innovation’ at the Estate Agency of the Year 2015 awards, in association with The Sunday Times and The Times. 

Earlier this month, Deighton McKenzie scooped the award at a star-studded London ceremony for its innovative use of a mobile, instant-message communications tool which links the Ashby/Mountsorrel based estate agency directly with its clients selling their homes across Leicestershire. The app keeps the company and the client in constant contact ensuring first-class communication and customer service, and ultimately quicker sales and purchases. 

Director, Craig Ferguson, said: “We’re thrilled to be one of the smallest and youngest estate agencies to ever win this award. The Estate Agency Awards are the ‘Oscars’ for our industry and we were up against many established, national and well-known companies. Our estate agency has been up and running for just six months. From day one, we’ve been committed to offering a different kind of estate agency to our local customers – one where we work in partnership to deliver intelligent, first-class customer service never seen before in Leicestershire. We’re thrilled that the judges have recognised our passion and enthusiasm for embracing new innovative technology to deliver unrivalled customer service and dedication to our clients.” 

Headquartered in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Craig Ferguson founded the company back in the summer. Oliver Wright, who lives in Mountsorrel, is the Branch Manager. The pair met through a mutual friend nearly four years ago. When Craig first thought about starting the estate agency Oliver was his ideal candidate. Craig said: “Oliver was polar opposite to me, he’s a very traditional estate agent but together we’re implementing complementary new ideas – meaning our customers get the benefit of modern tools for working and good old fashioned customer service.” 

Branch Manager, Oliver, said: “Buying and selling houses isn’t a 9am-5pm job. Professional people today have busy and demanding lives. Time is often short, so why should estate agents only primarily operate in office hours when our customers are at work? Our ethos is to do one thing really well: sell houses. And by always being available through ‘SLACK’ - the online app we use - we’re there for our clients when they need us; exchanging ideas and speeding up the paperwork process. That helps us and them to sell their houses quickly, and for the best possible price.” 

It was this commitment to customer care through innovation that the judges really appreciated. Craig and Oliver also have a fan in Stewart Butterfield who is best known as co-founder of the photo sharing website Flicker and co-founded the app SLACK. On hearing about the award, Steward tweeted: “Love it!”. 

The ceremony took place at The Lancaster House, London, and was attended by over 650 property professionals from across the UK. Deighton McKenzie were presented with their awards by International rugby star Matt Dawson MBE.  

Craig concluded: “We have come such a long way in a short period of time. We have exceeded our own expectations and have been humbled by the positive feedback we have received from our clients. We have ambitious plans for 2016 and the award has given us the confidence we need to realise our potential. We are committed to our local customers and playing a role in our local community. As a growing local business with a prestigious national award under our belts, we’re excited about the New Year and selling even more houses locally!”