This brand new award for 2018 will recognise the outstanding contribution made by one individual to the first time buyer market. This award will celebrate the work of an individual who through their innovative approach to the market has helped first time buyers overcome the usual challenges faced in this sector.

This award will be judged by the judges only.

Jim Munson | Head of Sales & Marketing, Genesis

Customer service is paramount to Jim Munson, who most people will know from his time at Metropolitan Housing where Jim spent over 16 years in Marketing & Customer Care. During his time there he was given full responsibility for customer service as well as the homeownership sales and marketing team, which went on to achieve 100% satisfaction ratings on aspects of service and also won a sector customer service award, twice!
Further career highlights include supporting the delivery of a sales surplus of c. £15m-£20m annually through effective lead generation, the production of successful new business tenders, writing, editing and producing winning award submissions, TV appearances and ministerial site visits. 
A well-known figure in the industry, Jim is often found leading industry discussions with his peers at LHOG and the National Housing Federation practitioner group and is heavily involved in the annual Shared Ownership Week campaign.

Kush Rawal | Commercial Director, Thames Valley Housing

Kush Rawal, Commercial Director of Thames Valley Housing, has been instrumental in the forward-thinking housing association’s pioneering approach to shared ownership, helping over 1,500 first time buyers on to the property ladder last year alone. Responsible for spearheading Thames Valley Housing’s So Resi brand in 2017, which was specifically designed to promote the benefits of shared ownership, Kush has gone one step further than most in helping improve homeownership rates for first time buyers. Kush was also responsible for launching Thames Valley Housing’s innovative SO Plus scheme, which enables customers to buy an extra 1% of their home each year at a predetermined price. Thames Valley Housing is still the only housing association to offer this. Writing a study on why housing associations need to work more closely with the NHS Trust as part of his MBE in 2017, Kush is a firm believer in developing key partnerships to support the delivery of much needed housing. Kush is using partnerships and his expertise to do more and go the extra mile for first time buyers.

Lisa Westerman | Group Head of Sales, Plumlife

For over 23 years, Lisa has been helping first time buyers to get on the property ladder, particularly through her work with shared ownership. Lisa started her career with Barratt Homes before moving to Great Places Housing Group 20 years ago where she set up the sales division for affordable housing brand Plumlife Homes from scratch. Lisa is passionate about shared ownership. In one year alone, Lisa led the Plumlife sales team in delivering over 400 sales, including shared ownership and Help to Buy, over 115 different housing developments. Lisa is committed to first time buyers and to ensuring they can access homeownership and have all the right information about government schemes. She is a member of the National Housing Group, which shares insight and helps to form housing policy.

Simon Scott | Head of Sales and Marketing, Origin Housing

Simon Scott, Head of Sales and Marketing for Origin Housing, is a leader within the sector, constantly going above and beyond to help first time buyers on to the housing ladder. Simon consistently drives sales and exceeds targets in a challenging market. His marketing campaigns focus on education, for example, helping first time buyers make the most of their shared ownership home through staricasing – which contributed to Origin exceeding its staircasing targets for that year. What really sets Simon apart is his impeccable customer service; Simon knows that every buyer is different, and, despite having a plethora of customers at any one time, he delivers an incredibly personal service – helping all of his buyers, even in challenging situations.