Diary of an estate agent

Our Kensington agent suggests slipper satin and definitely not magnolia
diary cartoon

Monday


My week starts with a real challenge in the form of Mr Smith. He has been looking for a property with us for a long period of time and wants to view even more properties today. He has now seen over 20 properties this month but needs to move in less than a month.

I need to really maximise all my best persuasive powers to help him make a decision before he misses out on all the best deals. In this market nothing good is sticking around!

Tuesday


After a morning team meeting I whizz up to Holland Park to meet an investment landlord who has been recommended to me through our commercial team. My client is completely refurbishing his apartment and keenly shows me his interior decorator’s plans. But the alarm bells immediately start ringing when I spot the bright and vivid designs he wants to use as part of the facelift.

I politely suggest that although his 'modern' look is certainly unique, a more neutral colour palette might be more appealing to a broader-base market. An hour later I receive a call from a somewhat irate interior decorator to advise she has been told that she is surplus to requirements and the whole apartment is now going to be painted magnolia. I assure her that I definitely would not have suggested magnolia (how very 80’s!) but instead had recommended a Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin as a better alternative for a modern contemporary feel.

I cannot be sure of the exact obscenities that next reverberated through my receiver from having to hold it well away from my ear to avoid the deafening yells.

Wednesday


After a successful sales meeting I take Mr Smith to properties in Palace Gate and Queens Gate. True to his usual style, he says he will let me know his decision in 24 hours.

In the afternoon I pop over to view a delightful newly refurbished mews house off Holland Road with the sales team. The team need a price for their vendor and any potential buy-to-let investment landlords.

Thursday


My day starts with a meeting with the PR team. This is a chance to catch up with colleagues, get excited about the successes of the previous month and hear about any interesting stories. There’s never a dull moment working in property lettings!

I get a call from a film company of behalf of an American singer touring at the O2 looking for a short-term let. They want a three-month contract and the property furnished to a high standard. We have seen an increase in short let enquiries this year especially from clients who have already sold and are looking for a stop gap until they decide what they want to do.

Friday


A fantastic end to the week! First thing, we win a sole agency instruction on a stunning family house in Brunswick Gardens. This is the perfect time of year to start marketing family houses as clients tend to start researching now for Easter and summer moving times. We immediately call all our contacts to start marketing this super property.

Mr Smith has finally offered on the apartment on Queen’s Gate and we all breathe a sigh of relief. Later in the day, I receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a secret admirer - how exciting! Upon further investigation, a thank you note reveals they are actually from a very grateful Mr Smith for all our hard work and patience!

The team in the office are intrigued to know who the American VIP is that I will be taking out on Monday and their imaginations are running wild! At lunchtime, curiosity gets the better of them and they Google American singers playing at the O2 during the time of the short-term let...and that’s all I can tell you.

Sophie Wedlock-Smith is head of lettings in the Kensington office of Strutt & Parker (020 7938 3866)

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