The 2019 Property Investors Awards, which recognises the sector's most outstanding individuals, recently took place at the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square.
The annual event, celebrating excellence in property investing, included a ‘glittering evening of fine dining and entertainment’, with the winners receiving their ‘much-coveted awards’ themselves.
This year, some 12 awards were presented, with particular excitement about the four new categories: 'Property Crowdfunding Platform of the Year, 'Build-to-Rent Development of the Year' 'HMO Property Investor of the Year' and 'Property VR Provider of the Year'.
Property investors in attendance were given the opportunity to discover the world of virtual reality with a display available throughout the evening, while the awards also partnered with Morton's Private Members Club in Mayfair to provide 20 of the VIP attendees with the opportunity to continue celebrating at their exclusive venue after the main event had finished.
There were a range of different categories, representing all levels of property investment from first-time individual developers to multi-million pound companies.
The winners were as follows:
Build-to-Rent Development of the Year: Stephen Mckechnie - Kelvin Properties
Finance Broker of the Year: David Tonks - Advocate Finance
HMO Property Deal of the Year: Ruth Hobbs - Urban Sister
HMO Property Investor of the Year: Luke Spikes - Higgihaus LTD
New Property Investor of the Year: Oliver Stock - Property Developing Limited
Property Crowdfunding Platform of the Year: Tal Orly - Cogress
Property Deal of the Year: AJ Shome & Kevin Edge - Founthill Land, Planning & Development
Property Development of the Year: AJ Shome & Kevin Edge - Founthill Land, Planning & Development
Property Investor of the Year: Paul Nicholson - Luxor Group
Property Trader of the Year: Jamie Pickerill - Land Options Limited
Property VR Provider of the year: Ben Collins - WalkTrue
Property Investors Facebook Group of the Year: UK Property Trader
Ruth Hobbs, director of Urban Sister, who picked up the HMO Property Deal of the Year award, said her company was honoured to have won the coveted gong. “It was the combination of hard work and determination of our brilliant team and our vision that has delivered something that is on brand, on target and on budget for this empty office building,” she said.
“We strongly believe that more females should be entering these awards to gain recognition for the developments they deserve. We urge you to join us in our campaign to inspire more women to enter. Anyone that would like to follow our journey can do so on Instagram @ruth_and_gillian_hobbs as we have more exciting projects in our pipeline."
Luke Spikes, winner of HMO Property Investor of the Year, commented: "Winning this award fresh on the heels of being crowned 'New Property Investor of the Year' in 2018 is a real testament to the effort expended by the entire team. At higgihaus, we've been hard at work throughout 2019 on our mission to deliver extraordinary 'places to stay'.”
He added: “I am delighted to report that our higgihausmates and guests tell us that is exactly what we have achieved. To have our higgihaus co-living products recognised with such a prestigious national award truly is the 'icing-on-the-cake'. Once again, I am hugely grateful to those who nominated me and to #teamhiggi for carrying me there."
Oliver Stock, who was crowned New Property Investor of the Year, said the award shows ‘that even the achievements of a young 19-year old property developer, at the start of his career, is recognised. It helps inspire the next generation of millennials, who feel they can’t buy property and are faced with a lifetime of renting or not owning property. Through our company Property Developing Limited we train and work with investors, SSAS Pension Funds and Joint Venture Partners on a range of projects from Grade II-listed office to residential conversions, new builds, barn conversions, mixed-use conversions and flat conversions.”
AJ Shome and Kevin Edge, who clinched both the Deal of the Year and the Property Development of the Year awards, said: “We are humbled to have won. At Founthill, we pride ourselves on hard work and tenacity, so winning this award for our deal at Greenview Grove, Waltham Abbey really allows us to celebrate what has been an extremely hard-fought yet incredibly rewarding deal.
"What we managed to achieve within this deal, we never thought possible when we started out, so we are delighted to see that it has now been held up as an inspiration to any aspiring property developers who are able to now see that extraordinary land deals are possible with the right mindset, hard work and focus. We are extremely grateful to all who voted for us.”
Paul Nicholson, winner of Property Investor of the Year 2019, also commented: “As a developer I am a visionary leader with an affinity for regeneration projects, creating vibrant and attractive homes fulfilling our investment objectives.”
In 2017, Nicholson’s team – which is made up of 35 people - completed the £2.3 million development Nicholson Lofts and the £2.4 million Nicholson House Development in St Helens, making him the number one ranked developer in the borough.
“Myself and my team specialise in high-end HMO, student and office-to-residential conversions,” he added.
Jamie Pickerall, who picked up the Property Trader of the Year award, said he was really pleased to have won and that, ‘having worked independently for nearly 15 years, it’s nice to know that we are doing it right’.
“Believing that deals can genuinely benefit every single person involved, we partner with landowners, agents, and a plethora of professional consultants to optimise the value of land and property,” he said.
Ben Collins, winner of the newly created Property VR Provider of the Year award, said the team at Walktrue were delighted to come out on top.
“In only our second year of operation this accolade fills us with the confidence that our digital approach to property communications will continue to drive creativity and innovation in the industry,” he added.
What do the judges look for?
Richard Valentine-Selsey, associate director at Savills, said: “It’s about taking on a property within a new area and bringing it back forward to reinvest or finding a new way to solve someone’s living challenge, whether that is through an HMO or a Build to Rent scheme.”
Nada Jarnaz, partner at Howard Kennedy, added: “It isn’t just about the numbers and whether the developer or investor had a good deal, but also the vision and execution. It’s about what you add to society and the community. Making sure as property investors we are leaving a legacy and applying the standard that improves society as a whole.”
Cyril Thomas, founder of the awards, said this year had seen an increase in the number of award applications received. “We continue to be impressed by the quality and innovation that we are seeing, especially in what has been an uncertain climate. I’d like to thank all of our partners, judges, and sponsors for helping to make this year's awards such a success,” he said.
For more information about the awards, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit propertyinvestorsawards.co.uk.