Jaw-dropping magic and a stocking-clad stilt-walker brought the character of cabaret to Hilton London Canary Wharf for The Wharf’s annual Property Awards.
The event - the third of its kind and sponsored by Gawor & Co - celebrates the cream of east London’s estate agent and development crop with 16 accolades up for grabs.
The action kicked off with a champagne reception by Gaucho Canary Wharf before jaw-dropping ballet displays, quips from host Abi Collins and a presentation by Canary Wharf Group’s group secretary, John Garwood, which unveiled residential plans for the estate.
Eyes widened as a risque burlesque striptease heightened excitement among the 200 guests eagerly awaiting the awards.
Find out the winners below.
People’s Choice: Dawn Sandoval
“We are absolutely elated to win this award - it means everything, because people have considered us above everyone in Canary Wharf.
“That means we stand out from the crowd and proves we are at the top of our game.
“This is the award we wanted more than anything.
“We’re on cloud nine and it will take a while to scrape us off the ceiling.
“We’ve been 18 years in the Canary Wharf area and most of our work is based on referrals - we really feel like we deliver a service and try to make a difference in the world of estate agency.
“Being an estate agent is the butt of everyone’s jokes but we are trying to change that and prove we can do a good job for people that want a great service.”
Multi-branch Agency: Oliver Jaques
Managing director Nicola Heard said: “I think it’s the best award and we are over the moon.
“It means recognition. We came last year and didn’t win anything and this year we have come back with a vengeance with Michael Petherbridge winning Manager of the Year as well - he’s been working with me for the past 13 years.
“We’re really happy and had a wonderful time.”
Female Agent: Nicola Brown, Metro Village
“I’ve been in the industry nine years and I’ve seen it change completely - there weren’t a lot of females when I first started.
“I’ve got two young children and I still get up and graft for them, with 5.30am starts every morning.
“At least they can see a strong female in their lives.”
Sales Negotiator: Larissa Ashworth, Chestertons
“I can’t believe it, it’s great news.
“I was Female Estate Agent of the Year last year but to come back and win this feels fantastic.
“We are going to target all the awards next year.”
Housing Scheme: Angel Way, NU Living
Sales and marketing manager for NU Living Christine Wah said: “It’s amazing, I’m surprised with all the competition in the room.
“We are absolutely honoured and absolutely delighted. We’ve worked hard to create the development and have success in Romford.”
Admin & Sales Support: Eleanor Wright, JLL
Colleague Ashleigh Dunbar picked up the award and said: “It’s Eleanor’s birthday - he’s on a long weekend away with her husband in Bath - but she’ll be thrilled and ecstatic.
“Speaking as one of her sales staff she’s the best support you could ask for.
“We’re going to buy her a big bottle of champagne to celebrate.”
Agent Working On A New Development: Landmark Estates
Sales and lettings manager David Smith said: “I’m totally made up. It’s an amazing achievement and I’m so glad all that hard work has been recognised. We are an independent agent - a small fish in a big pond, so its even better being recognised.”
Area manager Emma Jones added: “We are not in it for a quick buck - we work hard, we have a very ethical approach and it’s great all our hard work paid off.”
Young Estate Agent: Roxanne Southion
Young estate agent of the year: Roxanne Southion, after whooping and cheering with her friend, said: “I’m just so overwhelmed - I’m really proud of myself - but I can’t put it into words.
“I think I’ve worked very hard all year to get this - next year I’m going for Female Agent.”
Lettings Negotiator: David Smith
“I didn’t see it coming.
“I have come second two years in a row, so this is my first win and I’m so happy.”
Manager: Michael Petherbridge, Oliver Jaques
“Get in, yes! I’m so proud of the whole team - I just want to be with them celebrating.
“I think all our hard work has got us this - I’ve done 15 years of grafting to get to where I am, so winning this - I’m so chuffed.”
Lettings agency: JLL
Assistant manager of lettings Sophie Webb
Director of lettings Charlotte Malone
Charlotte said: “We are really proud. We think we are a great team - and I think, people always say they’re honest and open, and that’s just how everyone is now - everyone in there is a great agent, but we think we have that personal touch to our work that makes us stand out.”
Special recognition: Edwin Chiu
“I feel old now - you get these when you reach that age.
“I have been working out of this area since 1993.
“I came to Canary Wharf because I knew it was going to work - I knew it would be big.
“It’s all about my team though - it’s them that’s got me here - without them, in not here.”
“I’m so happy”
Edwin also won the award for sales agency of the year with Vantage Properties and Management LTD.
Other winners on the night were:
Royal Wharf / Ballymore Group and Oxley Holdings