We launched our newest award program a few weeks ago, the HW Insiders, to recognize the people that make much of this industry tick. Since then we've fielded quite a few questions, so we decided to address some of the ones we're hearing the most.

1. Does our loan officer/operations manager/product manager/servicing specialist/real estate rock star qualify for this program?

Yes, to all of those and more! In fact, we intentionally made a broad job description for this program because we want to recognize the people who are often a company's best-kept secret — the ones who are playing an integral role, but may not be known to the larger industry. We aren't looking so much at job title as we are job performance. Any job in mortgage lending, servicing, investing or real estate is eligible, as long as this person does excellent work. insiders logo1

2. How does this differ from your other award programs?

Each of our award programs is really geared to different audiences. Our Vanguard Award winners are overwhelmingly executives, as are many of our Rising Stars and Women of Influence winners. We love executives, but there are plenty of other people whose contributions to their individual companies and the industry should be recognized. It's common for people in the other award programs to be leading companies or teams. The Insiders could be leading out in different ways, but may also just be excellent at their particular job. Leaders are great, but so are the people who actually execute on that leader's vision and direction. The Insiders are people in the trenches every day, making things better. 

3. What are you looking for in the nomination?

Some things are universal to all of our award programs. For starters, we need enough information to evaluate the nomination. Three short sentences is not enough (real story here!). We are looking at a lot of different nominations and the ones that stand out give us reasons to celebrate — outstanding job performance, making a real difference in their companies, any stats that can guide us.

Not so helpful are lists of other awards a person has received. Some award programs are pay-to-play (ours aren't!) so just providing a list of awards leaves us wanting. We want to know why a person is worthy.

In addition, while giving us some background on the company is necessary, outside of the HW Tech100 awards, we are recognizing individuals, not companies, so we need specifics on that person.

4. Do I really need a photo?

Yes. A magazine is a visual medium and your photo is an important part of the profile. It doesn't have to be a professional photo, it just needs to be high-res (that means 300 dpi at 4 inches). The good news is that you can send a photo after the nomination period is closed if you don't have one handy. Don't let it stop you from entering, just know that you will have to have one before we go to press.

Any other questions? Feel free to shoot me an email at swheeler@housingwire.com and I will get back to you shortly. Ready to nominate? Click here to access the form. 

We are very excited about this program and the opportunity to recognize excellent work throughout the housing economy. We look forward to meeting more Insiders!