Diary of an estate agent: Canary Wharf

A tenant paints the town red... including his front door.
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It’s 5.30am and I head for the gym — which seems even harder to do on a Monday than on any other morning. By 8.15am I am in the office and Canary Wharf is looking stunning in the spring sunshine, which is always good motivation at the beginning of the week.
I’ve got a big day ahead of me, with an important corporate viewing at The Heron, the incredible 36-storey tower in EC2. The appointment is with a very large American social media company looking to take all of the remaining units, and I am pleased when the tour goes well.
For my next appointment, I am still at The Heron and it’s a fast shuttle up to the stunning 6,000sq ft penthouse for a viewing. My prospective buyer arrives with a full entourage and they all get busy, setting about ticking off the check list. The view is mesmerising at sunset and his team snaps away. I think it’s one of the most incredible views in London.
I begin the day by reviewing my notes from last week’s meeting with a client, a key developer, regarding the regeneration of a tower in Bow. At 10am we have our follow-up meeting to discuss the progress of the build and advise on launch strategy and marketing time-scales. We expect to launch this scheme next month and with attractive pricing, I’m hopeful of a busy Easter.
This afternoon my team agrees the sale of a £1.2 million riverfront property close to our office on the Isle of Dogs. This impressive sub-penthouse — extremely popular due to the Thames and City views — manages to achieve an asking price offer, which is a great result. The sales market really seems to be turning now and the phones are busy with enquiries all afternoon.
I start with a team meeting to review the week’s sales and lettings activity, and assess where our focus should lie for the rest of the week. We discuss the sales pipelines, new properties coming to the market and any further marketing we could be doing.
One of my negotiators is looking a little worn-out but it’s all in good cause — he ran up the 1,037 steps to the top of the Gherkin with CBRE for charity.
We end the day with a very unusual valuation of a houseboat in Limehouse Marina. There’s something particularly charming about this boutique-style narrowboat moored against the Canary Wharf backdrop.
Today’s first task is easy. I have the pleasure of presenting an offer 10 per cent above the asking price for a property in Millennium Harbour, and the vendor is delighted.
Later I hear that one of our favourite tenants has locked himself out for the third time this week. He adds: “I also had a ‘small gathering’ at the weekend and my front door may have been painted. Is this a problem?”  He is told he is allowed to paint the town red — but definitely not his door. 
Our property managers are experts at dealing with unusual problems from our tenants, and if it reduces the hassle for our landlords, then we are always happy to help.
I have two valuations booked in for today. One is a lovely 18th-century warehouse conversion in Liverpool Street and the other is a 3,500sq ft penthouse in West India Quay.
It’s amazing how diverse our market is. I get a call at lunchtime instructing us on the houseboat, which highlights the diversity even further.
As the sun sets over Docklands, we toast another busy week for CBRE Residential.
  • James Bearryman is agency manager at CBRE Residential in Canary Wharf (020 7519 5900).

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