Diary of a lettings agent: Fulham

A Fulham lettings agent gives herself a week off the gym after climbing up and down stairs to and from top-floor flats all day - and has an awkward encounter with a half-naked client during a property viewing
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Diary of an estate agent
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It’s 7am, and before the alarm rings my BlackBerry is buzzing with emails and messages from the relocation agent I second-viewed with on Saturday, dying to make an offer for her client.

It’s a beautifully refurbished house on Westgate Terrace that came to the market when the whole of London was on holiday over the Easter break. The market is definitely picking up.

The next task on my list is to reschedule a viewing. Unfortunately, on the last visit the tenant forgot we were going round and, as we let ourselves in, a half-naked man walked out of the shower.

Very apologetic, he casually offered us tea while he sat on the sofa (still half naked) as we sheepishly looked around, avoiding the steamy shower room.

We have lots of new instructions to go and see, three of which are on Redcliffe Square. All are top-floor walk-ups but with beautiful views and, of course, no flats above them. The view from the top is worth every step and it’s a pleasant surprise to see each of them beautifully refurbished, ready to rent and overlooking the pretty garden square. Hopefully, they’ll let quickly — otherwise I may as well cancel the gym this week.

Another day, another deal. My first viewing of the day results in an immediate offer with an immediate start date. The mews house is beautifully dressed and they want everything down to the last floating candle. No surprise, as there’s a working gas fire on the roof terrace and it has a cinema room. Did I mention the hot tub? The kitchen is what sealed it, though, for our beautiful, slim celebrity chef.

My afternoon is not so straightforward. I’ve arranged to meet one of my prospective tenants for a tour of one-bedroom flats. She is a first-time renter and a little nervous so I bring our Step by Step Letting Guide. I wasn’t expecting the entire family, who have all flown in from Milan, too. How do you squeeze six Italians into a Mini? The brothers agree to walk, and the grandparents, mother and daughter merrily climb in. After a tour of one-bedroom flats (and Chelsea’s top attractions) we agree on a property.

It’s nearing the end of the week, but things are not slowing down. I’m excited about a viewing this morning, which is at a beautiful three-bedroom garden flat.

The sun is shining and the garden is in full bloom. My prospective tenants are a lovely Italian couple expecting a baby. We spend 20 minutes in the garden alone — they can’t get over that they’ve found their dream home, and offer the full price.

They are very eager to get this agreed quickly, especially as I have people lining up to see the property. Our client is feeling reluctant to let it on the first viewing and would like to know more about this couple, so without hesitation they write to their (hopefully) landlord to be, to give him the full background/life story.

Frantic Friday! Several more clients are very willing to pay what the landlord is asking and more, to live in the garden flat. I’m nervous, but he agrees to let it to the Italian couple.

They have the perfect tenant profile and although it wasn’t the highest offer, the owner wants someone to love his home as much as he did and knows that they’ll look after it.

The couple are so ecstatic at the news that when we speak on the phone later the man tells me that he’s going to propose to his girlfriend in the garden of their new home. I leave the office for the weekend with a spring in my step.

Gabriella Wilcken is a senior lettings negotiator at Strutt & Parker in Fulham (020 7373 1010)

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