We caught up with Edmund Cohen, who founded Landed Houses in 2009 after tiring of confusing websites when trying to book a house for large party. He told us about how his business gained massive credibility after their inclusion in the 2011 list.
Edmund, how did it feel to be named in the O2 Smarta 100?
Edmund: A great experience! It was totally unexpected too, which made it more exciting to win.
When you applied for the awards did you think you would win?
Edmund: I entered on the off-chance; I never actually thought I'd win in reality!
Did you receive any publicity in the period after it that helped your business? Were you recognized by your peers or trade magazines?
The award has been referenced in several news sources (Evening Standard, Daily Mail and others) which helps give credibility to the business.
Did winning the award help you gain new business or funding? Did you gain new connections thanks to being named in the awards?
Edmund: I haven't applied for funding so cannot speak for that part, but having the Smarta logo on the Landed Houses website after winning the award definitely helped give visitors the right impression!
What success has your company achieved in the time following your being named in the O2 Smarta 100? Do you have any specific achievements you’d like us to share with readers online?
Edmund: The business has continued to grow and I have a found a great team to support me through websites like People Per Hour. I am particularly grateful for the work done by Ivan, a website developer in Serbia, who I've worked with for a few years now.
What plans do you have for the future?
Edmund: Growth! However the business is is all about being customer-focussed, with a user friendly website and offering great properties to rent. I have removed houses from the website that fall short of the standards expected (like returning rental deposits in good time) and having a good offering is very important to me. A new website will be launched shortly so watch this space!
What advice would you give to companies who are unsure if they should enter the awards?
Edmund: Do it! The entry process is straightforward and you will never win if you don't enter... Landed Houses was entered speculatively and came out a winner - you can too. Put a little time into it, press submit and cross your fingers.
Finally – if you were judging the awards, what would you specifically look for in a company?
Edmund: Companies run by passionate people that really care about their product and their customers - and are trying to do something different!