Diary of an estate agent: central London

Spring is in the air and it seems buyers are in overdrive.
It’s a day of organisation — ahead lies a week of running around central London taking buyers on viewings. When you’re covering nearly eight miles a day on foot, from Covent Garden to Soho, up to Fitzrovia and back down to Southbank, it’s important to have an organised diary and a comfortable pair of shoes. I book in appointments for the week, and start by directing people to our CBRE Residential website to look at floor plans and photos before they see the property “in the flesh”.
My manager rewards me with a gift to unwrap, and it’s a pink hard hat. About half of the work we do requires going on to construction sites for our new-build developments, so I am delighted with my present. Normally I wear the boys’ safety gear, which is too big and very unflattering.
Little things like this can make your day, and my hat makes its debut as I spend the afternoon showing a buyer around Hop House, a luxury boutique development in the heart of Covent Garden, and The Buckingham Collection, another fantastic development just off the Strand.
Today we launch a development in Duck Lane, Soho, comprising a pair of modern mews houses and two ultra-chic apartments. It’s a very interesting conversion, in a fantastic spot. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle just behind Wardour Street, buyers would get a peaceful hideaway in one of the most dynamic parts of London.
Duck Lane has a very rock’n’roll history, being the location of the first rehearsal by four young musicians who went on to become known as the Rolling Stones. Our launch is a fantastic success with plenty of interest generated in all the units. One in particular catches the eye of a high-powered media executive.
Our team has its usual Thursday morning meeting. With spring finally in the air it seems as if buyers are in overdrive, while the sun is shining and my diary is packed. I have three different searches today. The first is for an English couple looking for an investment flat, and they are interested in the area around the Strand. The second is for a Chinese investor looking to buy a few apartments for the family portfolio. We look at a mixture of new-build developments and resale properties and he is very keen on Hop House in Bedfordbury.
The last is for a Scottish lady looking for a London base. She likes Fitzrovia and luckily we have flats to show her that are just the type she is after. We have a look at a few of them and then take a walk around the area. A lot of what we do is helping people to understand the area and the exact location they are buying into.
I call my potential buyers to see what their thoughts are on the properties I showed them. My Chinese investor particularly likes one flat we viewed and is gearing up to make an offer.
The afternoon is spent with a buyer with “no budget”. He already has a portfolio of smaller properties, but this is a search for his primary London residence. He doesn’t have much time this afternoon, so we put two hours in the diary and go to see a fantastic house in St James’s overlooking The Mall and St James’s Park. This amazing house is over 20,000 square feet and requires renovation. It really is a very special opportunity to create one of the grandest houses in London. This is not lost on my buyer who leaves smiling and assures me we will speak on Monday.
  • Lucie Eckhardt is a sales negotiator at CBRE Residential in Bow Street, Covent Garden (020 7240 2255).

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