Diary of an estate agent: Battersea

A tense bidding war takes place on a desirable flat and attending a meeting with a crying baby is normal day-to-day life in "Nappy Valley".

As usual, it’s the busiest morning of the week with our meeting and run down. I then return calls and emails, giving feedback to landlords from Saturday’s viewings and calling potential clients.

The office becomes manic later on with negotiators from all over the company dashing in and out, borrowing keys, and processing offers. 

I am thankful for the peace and quiet of the early afternoon as I drive to my first appointment, but then unfortunately my car starts playing up.

I borrow another car and rush to the appointment — only to find that the client had completely forgotten about our meeting.

Two competing offers that are almost identical have been made on a one-bedroom flat near the river. I call the landlord, run over the details with him and suggest that we go to best and final offers.

He agrees, so the team set about calling their tenants from their mobiles outside, so as not to give any details away to the other party.

One party gives their best offer straight away, the other needs to speak to her boyfriend. I call the landlord, he makes a decision and I walk back in to find two eager faces looking at me, waiting to hear who has won.

It feels like I should be opening an Oscars envelope. I announce the decision. The winner celebrates, the other looks crestfallen.

It’s time for the morning competition. First person to book three viewings, with a minimum of three properties shown per viewing, can choose something from the local shop — seeing as we are suckers for Raj’s chocolate, fizzy drinks and ice cream selection.

I throw in a scratch card to really up the ante. Forty-five minutes later we have a winner and at 11am they strut down Northcote Road to choose their prize.

Today is another busy one, with multiple offers received, descriptions to write for some new properties and a few rental increases to let current tenants know about.

A sweet little girl greets me as I arrive for my appointment at a stunning house “between the commons”. Her frantic mother apologises profusely for her son, who is crying and chucking his toys around the room.

I tell her it’s no problem, it’s just a normal working day for me — this area isn’t nicknamed “Nappy Valley” for nothing. I have a look around the house while she calms her son down, we start chatting and so far, so good.

After about 10 minutes he’s bored and starts screaming again so we raise our voices until we are  shouting across the room. We agree to rearrange the meeting.

The highlight of every Friday for the girls in the Battersea office is our sushi lunch delivery. Noon arrives and we are straight on the phone to order; they know our number and our order already.

Friday is always manic with the phone ringing off the hook and people wanting to view tomorrow.

Our diaries are already pretty full at this stage but we manage to squeeze in a few more people and get the rest booked out for Monday. 

Next, we’re booking viewings in for tomorrow, trying to persuade tenants that they should allow us to view their properties at 10am, and that it doesn’t matter if they have a hangover. 

When the clock hits 6pm we’re all ready to enjoy a glass of rosé while catching the last of the sun.

  • Emma Proctor is associate director and lettings manager at Marsh & Parsons in Battersea (020 7326 9926).

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