Diary of an estate agent: East Dulwich

An East Dulwich estate agent gets the chance to market a house by famous architect Berthold Lubetkin and has a busy week of valuations
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Diary of an estate agent
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It's the start of a new and we have a new negotiator who is very eager in the morning meeting and keen to be successful in his new position.

As the day continues, I am invited to value an immaculate six-bedroom house in West Dulwich which is beautifully decorated and something I would love to market. We are quite fortunate in Dulwich that most of the properties we take on are owner-occupied and furnished to a high standard, which makes my job more enjoyable and is a key reason, along with the great schools, why many choose to move to the area.

The day gets off to a good start, winning two new instructions, one of which I have been very keen to market. It's an amazing five-bedroom house on Crescent Wood Road, close to Dulwich Woods. A famous architect, Berthold Lubetkin, built the property in the Thirties for the headmaster of Dulwich College and it is a fine example of modernist architecture. There were rumours that the headmaster and his wife didn't get on, so the top floor of the house is mirrored with two bedrooms and a bathroom with a roof terrace on either side of the house so that they both essentially had their own wings.

I get into the office bright and early and discover an influx of online enquiries have come through overnight which is great news. Since returning from the Easter break we have noticed a big increase in the number of tenants registering in the area — the spring market has certainly begun.

The sun comes out in the afternoon and the atmosphere is vastly different. There is a hive of activity on Lordship Lane with a mixture of mothers with three-wheeler buggies to young couples moving from north London coming into the office.

We end the day on a high with a deal agreed on a new instruction resulting in the tenant signing for a long-term tenancy which seems to be the latest trend.

The week is drawing to a close and we discuss what we have achieved for the week so far, which on the whole has been successful. Our new negotiator has had a fantastic start to his career in his first week, and has three offers agreed already. We've also had eight new instructions to the market with a good variety of properties, from a charming one-bedroom flat in West Dulwich to a grand four-bedroom house in North Dulwich.

Later in the afternoon I set off on a "board run", which basically entails me driving around and seeing what new "To Let" boards have been erected. It's always good to keep an eye on the competition. After the run, I'm pleased with our board presence in the area, but there is always the feeling that more can be done.

The morning meeting is all about maximising viewing numbers for Saturday and getting as many applicants through our properties as possible. Following the meeting we have our weekly quiz, and since it's my turn this week to come up with the questions it involves a mixture of property questions and general knowledge.

Friday means lunch from North Cross Road market, which is a small road just off Lordship Lane, and today there is a good selection, however it's not as busy as Saturday's market when the road will be full of stalls offering a wide range of products from a hog roast to popcorn. After lunch I have two valuations. One of them results in an instant instruction, and my arrival back in the office it's all about pushing the staff to book in as many viewings as possible.

James White is lettings manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward's East Dulwich branch (020 3280 3523)

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