Diary of an estate agent: Covent Garden

Our Covent Garden estate agent hunts for a home for a Royal Opera House ballet dancer and helps a client to pick out paint colours
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Diary of an estate agent
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Monday always starts with a team catch-up to plan out the week ahead, and respond to weekend inquiries. This results in appointments dotted around Covent Garden, Soho and an exciting trip to a penthouse on Hanover Street in Mayfair, on the market for £4,250 a week. It’s a stunning apartment, so I really hope the prospective tenant loves it!

Mid-morning, I meet one of my applicants, who is flying from Bulgaria, specifically to see two apartments that aren’t yet on the market, ahead of her move to the UK at the end of October.

As expected, she loves one of the flats on St Martin’s Lane — she puts in an offer and the landlord readily accepts it. A happy client, a happy applicant and an agent with a box of chocolates.

After a Monday high, a rainy Tuesday morning. This job certainly keeps us fit with all the walking we do, even in the pouring rain. My tour of two-bedroom apartments is shortly followed by a dash to meet a client at his flat to discuss redecorating and paint colours. This is a hot topic in our office; our particular favourite at the moment is Dulux Dusted Moss 3!

My afternoon viewings are with an incredibly enthusiastic young ballerina looking for accommodation close to the Royal Opera House. We manage to find her an apartment in the heart of Covent Garden, on Floral Street, moments from the ROH and with plenty of room for her to practise her pirouettes.

I’m out on a market appraisal on Shaftesbury Avenue first thing and weave my way with practised steps through the throngs of tourists and shoppers milling around the Covent Garden Piazza. The landlord I’m visiting would like to market the apartment at over £100 a week more than I would advise.

It’s crucial to market properties at a realistic level to make sure void periods aren’t too long, so I talk him through the pros and cons of higher marketing prices, and we come to a happy agreement. The property goes on our website later in the day — and we know that the inquiries will soon come in.

I’m out in Soho with a stockbroker who is looking for a home in the heart of the action, but with a short commute to the City. Some of the lovely flats I show him are a bit too quiet and tucked away (this is not the sort of complaint we normally get) but it’s third-time lucky with the last apartment we take a look at. With a generous open-plan living space, it’s the party pad he’s been looking for, set among Dean Street’s restaurants and watering holes.

The last day of the week is flying and the offers are rolling in. My Friday afternoon treat is a viewing with a Nineties pop star — a few colleagues are particularly thrilled at this news and soon enough, they break into song. I manage to get him out of the office and looking at apartments before he can catch any of the caterwauling!

Alie Horton is a senior lettings negotiator at EA Shaw's Covent Garden office (020 7240 2255).

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