Watsons estate agents win top accolade

HAPPY customers have given a North Walsham estate agent the golden thumbs up - voting it the best in the East of England.Watsons, on Market Place, took top honours for the region in the annual Estate and Letting Agents Awards, held recently in London.

HAPPY customers have given a North Walsham estate agent the golden thumbs up - voting it the best in the East of England.

Watsons, on Market Place, took top honours for the region in the annual Estate and Letting Agents Awards, held recently in London.

Manager Kim Simons (pictured) collected her gold award, on behalf of her five-strong Walsham team, from Phil Spencer, co-presenter of Channel 4's Location, Location, Location TV series, at a ceremony attended by hundreds of agents from across the UK.

The coup has delighted Watsons partner Nick Eley . He said: 'It's a great achievement, especially as it was based on customer satisfaction, which is so important.'


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The firm, which also has branches in Holt, Sheringham, Cromer, Norwich and Loddon, has been entering the contest every year but had only previously reached silver level.

Customers were asked to fill in questionnaires, ranking their level of satisfaction with aspects of the service including first impressions, management of the sales process, and trustworthiness.

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Walsham's win has given Watsons an extra spring fillip as housing sales begin to show signs of recovery in the county after a dismal end to 2008.

The Norwich office had noticed a 'massive improvement' in email enquiries, rising from 50 to 60 in December to just under 200 in January, according to Mr Eley.

Viewing figures had more than doubled, sales began to pick up in February and by March and April the picture of gloom had 'completely changed,' with the city branch's experience spreading to the rest of the county.

As the economy struggled, Mr Eley said property prices in East Anglia had slumped more than anywhere else in the country apart from Wales.

But he believes the lure of bargain prices is now stimulating the Norfolk market, especially in the under �250,000 price bracket, with both locals and newcomers looking for a better investment than banks and building societies are offering.

Mr Eley added: 'It's all looking quite encouraging. People are thinking that now is the time to buy.'

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