AN INDEPENDENT Alloa estate agent is on cloud nine after making the top six in a prestigious national award scheme.

Local businessman John O’Malley has been after a nomination in The Negotiator Awards for years now and was all smiles when told his property company made the cut for the top spots for 2018 in the best Scottish regional estate agent category.

His Alloa branch, where the brand was established and grew from, is also in the running for best single branch of the year where it is facing even more competition with around two dozens on the shortlist.

John told the Advertiser: “I started in Alloa and Clackmannanshire has always been my home and I wanted to push this branch because it is where I grew the business.”

Once the forms for the awards were away it was a nail-biting wait, during which time John reckons some mystery shoppers must have popped in.

The Alloa businessman, who likes to give back to the community through his involvement with the Round Table, was “delighted” to receive notification his brand made the shortlist.

He added: “Having recognition like that is fantastic.

"It’s a bit relieving as well because it tells me that I’ve been doing a not bad job.

“We are up against some stiff competition. If we win or lose, it doesn’t really matter to me, I’m just happy to be there.”

Indeed, around 800 offices entered the single branch category and so making the final shortlist – the top 32 from across the whole of the UK – is impressive.

All will be revealed at a grand gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday, November 30.

O’Malley Property’s first, Alloa branch was established in 2009.

Now, the brand boasts five branches across the central belt including Alva, Stirling, West Lothian and Edinburgh.