This is the day that sets the tone for the rest of the week — and after a busy weekend, today is an opportunity to get on the phone to see if we can conclude a sale or two.
It makes me think of speed dating. You have a limited time to get your message across to buyers. They are very often women who are busy being mothers, and you are vying with their children for their attention.
Best calls: one to a mother whose children are dismembering each other. She calmly shuts the door and carries on. Ditto, the mother driving along while the kids fight it out in the back of the car (I feel that I am struggling to get my point across, despite having such a captive audience and her car’s 4x25W phone speakers on my side).
There’s a perfect blue sky this morning, so I take the opportunity to snap a couple of pretty cottages, last-minute listings for the open-house day and classic first-time buys for DINKYs (Dual Income, No Kids Yet) with the first one on the way. Both vendors now have two children, need to buy something larger and are prepared to press on and sell and rent elsewhere.
Viewing mid-morning on a five-bedroom stone cottage goes very well and a second viewing with husband and extended family is booked for the weekend. Back to the office to remove all sharp objects from Wendie’s desk as she is likely to cause a life-threatening injury while trying to talk the local paper through the amendments to that week’s adverts.
I wake up early and walk the dog we haven’t got — my father-in-law’s suggestion when I suggested that I’d be a lot slimmer if we had a dog. Off to the office for a midweek round-up on hot new buyers and houses that might suit them. A call comes in from a client whose circumstances have changed and so will not now be moving. I try to call the buyer but he keeps killing the line — I know it’s the due date for their second baby because we were trying to exchange before the birth. My phone beeps, message reads: “In delivery room at hospital with Sarah, will call when I can but really not convenient today.” (I hear later they had a baby girl).
Full of expectation for the weekend and with the headlines on world events rather than the housing market, we can press on. One of the most difficult things to broach, more easily done with a dash of humour, is budget. It can cause all sorts of arguments when carefully honed figures are blown away by the perfect “must-have” house. So I call a lovely lady who has told me I look like TV chef James Martin. If anyone is going to make it happen, she will. I describe the house and I confidently predict this is a seller.
First job is to meet a couple at our offices and talk about the house they have viewed, and just as importantly the area it’s in. This is followed by a very good viewing where the purchaser decides not to tell her husband that a new kitchen will be required — until they have moved in. Tomorrow is full of bookings, so today involves all of us juggling a busy working diary for the weekend.
Richard Banes-Walker is an associate with Strutt & Parker in Farnham (01252 821102).