Diary of an estate agent

Our South Kensington lettings agent pursues a lost cat strategy, fuels up on espressos and closes deals like crazy as he dreams of buying a Ferrari



The rental offers just keep on coming. I arrived this morning with five to agree, four of which are at the asking price. It is clear to see the corporate market is getting stronger, with all five offers from tenants wanting to rent with companies relocating to London. On the other hand, the student market is now starting to slow down as their new term gets under way. This market will be calm until Christmas. I can't believe I have just mentioned that word — where has this year gone?




Success - all five offers accepted. One of the deals received multiple bids and went for £150 above the asking price for a one-bed in Queensgate Gardens, SW7. The HR director I was dealing with needed to get the flat for one of his company's senior managers at any cost — it's great when that happens. My client is over the moon and has magically produced another instruction around the corner. All the move-in dates are by this weekend, so I need to get them signed and sealed today.






One of my corporate tenants has pulled out. They have been relocated to the Far East at the last minute and no longer need an apartment in London. I contact one of the disappointed tenants, who had previously offered, and they're thrilled — every cloud has a silver lining.

Sadly the smile on my face doesn't last long. One of my team has just entered a flat in a popular mansion block but didn't know about the cat, which escapes into the communal gardens as soon as the door is opened. He calls me to ask what he should do. My instruction... "CATCH THE CAT". Pleased to hear that the rescue mission is a success.






My two babies didn't sleep last night so I feel a little jaded after just four hours sleep. Thank goodness for double espressos. After my fourth of the day I am off to recruitment at our head office. As Foxtons is expanding so rapidly we are on a massive drive to get great people on board for all our new office openings.






A very good week, and if all goes to plan we will end up with 25 exchanges. I also have five valuations today with three instructing us on the spot. The jewel in the crown is an appointment in the Belvedere in Chelsea Harbour. One of my largest clients has a beautiful three-bedroom apartment in the development. We let it three years ago and it still looks incredible as the tenant has not been living there very much.

When the current tenant asks us if we want to sneak a look at his new car we jump at the chance, and when the lift descends into the car park we are met by the sight of a bright red Ferrari Enzo. I need one... so I need those 25 deals to go through.

James J Clarke is lettings manager at Foxtons' South Kensington office (020 7590 1000)



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