Diary of an estate agent: Covent Garden

Our Covent Garden estate agent is busy finding property for students to rent and does a tandem skydive for charity
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Diary of an estate agent
© Weef
After a weekend in the country it’s back to the buzz of central London. Walking into the office brings me straight back to the heart of the action, and there’s a very busy week in prospect. We’ve had a great September, and the lettings market is showing no signs of stopping.

After our morning meeting to review offers and viewings for the week ahead, we ring round the customers who have made recent enquiries. One phone call leads to an appointment in Soho with an applicant I’ve been working with for a couple of weeks. As expected, she and her friend love the apartment — resulting in an offer and a very happy landlord.

A sunny day sets the telephone ringing with prospective tenants starting their search for a new place. In particular we have a lot of students just now who are looking for apartments to share with their friends.

Staying on the line to one particularly chatty girl makes me late for an appointment on the other side of Covent Garden. The next meeting takes me into Mayfair to see a would-be tenant who has just flown in from the Middle East to view a beautiful two-bedroom flat. He falls in love with it and promptly places an offer. Another day, another deal.

Today brings good news from a relocation agent whose client has increased their offer, which the landlord is of course delighted to accept. This perfect start to the day is followed by several viewings with applicants who have all just started their searches. This is a great opportunity to show them what is currently on the market and to talk them through the letting process, so that when they find the home they want they are ready to move quickly. Finishing my viewings for the day with sore feet, I limp back to the office to catch up on my paperwork.

An early appointment with a relocation agent starts off the day with one apartment in Holborn ticking all the boxes. They have a lot of other properties to see during the day, but I’m confident mine will remain the favourite!

I then run to Soho (in the pouring rain) to meet a tenant. I’m halfway there when I get a text through saying he can’t make it and could we rearrange? So I use the gap in my day to pick up lunch from a stall in Berwick Street Market: nothing keeps a busy lettings agent going like a huge pulled pork roll! This afternoon I hear from the relocation agent, and their client would like to place an offer. After a spot of intense negotiation the offer is accepted.

I’m off to complete a tandem skydive for the charity Unicef with two colleagues. The motorway drive thankfully sees a break in the clouds with some blue sky, surely this is a good sign! Arriving at the airfield we sign in and are ushered into a hangar to be talked through safety and what positions we need to take, resulting in us adopting the “brace position” and giggling on the floor!

We settle in to wait our turn to jump, which gives me time to wonder how I got talked into this. Soon enough my name is called, I zip up my jumpsuit and harness, and my instructor gets us on to the plane. Once we reach 13,000ft the doors are opened, my instructor shuffles us to the edge of the plane and as I’m starting to doubt my sanity he pushes us out and we’re diving through the clouds. Before I know it we’ve landed and I’m still shaking from the adrenaline rush. Sometimes being a central London lettings agent is a pretty thrilling job!

Lucy Nairn is a lettings negotiator at EA Shaw, part of CBRE, in Covent Garden (020 7420 3057).

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