Diary of an estate agent

Our Fulham agent's busy week is interrupted by one client who wants to pole dance, and another who is already bouncing on their Wii board
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Diary of an estate agent
© Merrily Harpur (harpur.org)
I arrive at the office in an upbeat mood after some great exchanges last week, and in the knowledge we have more deals in the pipeline for this one. My week starts with a valuation in Hurlingham to see one of my long-term landlords. The recent election results have left him undecided whether to stay in London or to emigrate Down Under. After a cup of tea and plate of biscuits he is still undecided - but it’s always nice to catch up regardless of the outcome. I arrive at the office after ruining my lunch with all the biscuits to find a pile of asking-price offers has landed on my desk from negotiators’ lunchtime viewings - great.

One of the sales negotiators recently completed a deal on a beautiful five-bedroom house in the popular "Alphabet Streets" in Bishops Park, and the new owner wants it to come straight on for lettings. The landlord bought the property as an investment and now lives in Kenya. Four offers promptly appear on my desk so I begin calling all my clients to discuss the offers, prioritising some of the international ones who might be getting ready for bed in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. Rather embarrassingly one tenant’s request was to put up a dancing pole as this is the latest fitness craze to keep in shape - the client politely declined.

It’s my short-lets meeting this morning so I treat everyone to a coffee from Starbucks to kick-start the day - only to realise I’ve forgotten to get one for me. My disappointment is soon reversed as we agreed two corporate tenancies for a landlord on two flats he had instructed us to let the previous week on North End Road.

I also try to squeeze in two valuations via the tenants who each, apparently, have just a 10-minute window on their respective lunch breaks - only to arrive to find one bouncing around the room on a Wii fitness board and the other devouring what looks like last night’s kebab while tucked up on the sofa watching Friends.

Morning meeting with the whole team - we go through all our instructions and summarise the offers and exchanges over the past seven days - looks like we are up for another bumper week. The day goes perfectly until I arrive at my final valuation - this particular landlord has decided to move out of London to give their Great Dane more space to roam freely. I fully understood their motivation when Kaiser welcomes me with two big muddy paw prints on my new suit jacket - argghhhh! My husband’s chances of having a dog in our house have just gone from zero to minus figures.

I start my day of valuations with a visit to a lovely three-bedroom house on Burnthwaite Road. The landlord is a great client of Foxtons’ Notting Hill office so I was keen to show the Fulham office is even better. Instructed on the property and with a set of keys to the door, I immediately bring my team over for a quick preview. This property looks set to be a success as I book five people for viewings this afternoon.

After checking the negotiators’ diaries for Saturday and Sunday, I touch base with some clients who have been away during the week.

Following this, two more instructions are achieved before lunch - a fabulous riverside flat in Imperial Wharf and a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in the gated development of Brompton Park Crescent. Then it’s a manic afternoon trying to squeeze through some last-minute exchanges before the weekend - strange how Friday afternoons always seem to be the busiest, when the rest of the world is gearing down for the weekend.

Anoushka Stevenson is lettings manager in Foxtons’ Fulham office (0800 369 8667: foxtons.co.uk).

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