CUSTOMER service is king for one York estate agent who is celebrating after winning a British Property Award.

Paul Atkinson, of Acomb-based Bishops Personal Agents, said he's delighted to have won the gold award for the York suburbs.

Robert McLean from the British Property Awards said Paul and his team performed outstandingly throughout the extensive judging period, which focused on customer service levels.

Mr McLean said: “Our awards have been specifically designed to be attainable to all agents, removing common barriers to entry, such as cost, to ensure that we have the most inclusive awards.

"Our awards have also been designed to remove any opportunity for bias or manipulation.

"If an agent has been attributed with one of our awards, it is simply down to the fantastic customer service levels that they have demonstrated across a prolonged period of time.

"Winning agents should be proud that their customer service levels provide a benchmark for their local, regional and national competition."

Mr Atkinson said Bishops Personal Agents have now been shortlisted for a number of national awards which will be announced later in the year.

The British Property Awards provide agents throughout the UK with an opportunity to compare the service that they provide against the service provided by their local, regional and national competition.

Agents who go that extra mile and provide outstanding levels of customer service are rewarded with an award.

The way the awards work is the team mystery shops every estate agent against a set of 25 criteria to obtain a balanced overview of their customer service levels.

The awards boast that they are the 'most inclusive' estate agency industry awards providers as they do not charge to enter and they say that this enables the awards to be structured in a manner that ensures maximum participation, with their team on average judging more than 90 per cent of agents that meet their minimum criteria on a local level.