York-based Northmead Developers is so convinced of the benefit of winning a Master Builder Award that they use the winners’ logo on every email that leaves their office.
“It gives potential clients reassurance that we offer a quality service and product,” said Fiona Mead, who with husband Phil set up what is regularly described as ‘a multi award-winning housebuilding firm’.
The company has won two Master Builder Awards, most recently in 2015 when it took the prize for the Small Renovation category in the Yorkshire Regional awards.
Word of mouth immediately led to more local commissions, but over time, the use of the FMB award winners’ logo has been vital for gaining work in a competitive world.
“We include the fact that we are award-winners in our email signatures and feature the logo on our website,” said Fiona. “Our mission, when we started the business, was to change people’s attitudes to builders.
“We always find that clients are very defensive at first, and it takes time to gain their confidence because of poor reputations in the industry.
“But with clear, detailed information about the project, and the reassurance of customer recommendations and industry awards, we find we can develop good relationships from the start.”
It also means that small local suppliers are confident about dealing with Northmead. “They know they are dealing with a reputable company who will honour payments,” said Fiona. “And in turn we find they recommend us to other suppliers.”
Northmead Developers was established in 2003, but it took until 2011 for them to enter the Master Builder Awards. The company triumphed on the first attempt, winning the category for Large Renovation in the Yorkshire region that year.
The 2015 award was in the regional Small Renovation category where the project was a conversation of a derelict Grade II listed barn building into a holiday cottage.
The nomination described the exceptional work, with client Ken Stirk enthusing about the transformation, achieved with the help of a specialist architect.
As it was on a flood plain, foundations were tanked, with Phil and his team respecting the Grade ll listing while achieving an impressive mix of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.
The parish council was so taken by the work that praise of Northmead was formally recorded in the council minutes.
Phil and Fiona are very aware of the benefits that winning a Master Builder Award can bring – and also aware of the fact that they need to keep winning. They hope to replace the old 2015 logo with the 2017 one as they are entering the awards programme again this year.
You can only capitalise on the value of the awards if you win – and to win you need to enter. The deadline for the latest Master Builder Awards is the end of January, so download the nomination form. You might end up adding a really worthwhile sign-off to your emails.