Up in the air with balloons and back to earth with pop royalty
Our new branch in Finchley has just opened and it’s a hive of activity but naturally, there are a few teething problems.
For example on Saturday - always a busy day - we discovered that our cars, which we had parked in a side road near the office, were locked behind a barrier, leaving us with an office full of clients and no transport for viewings.
And today when it rained our new office sprang a leak. Buckets were found and builders called, but by 8pm when I left, they still hadn’t arrived.
Thankfully this morning the leak was fixed and a note from the builder said he was here at 5am. It’s not our week for car incidents. My assistant manager Rod went out first thing to value a stunning property, very much hoping we would be the agents to sell it, and parked in the owner’s drive. While Rod and the vendor were chatting there was a sickening crunch. They opened the front door to discover a crater where Rod’s car door used to be and a very guilty-looking neighbour. But at least Rod got the instruction to sell the house.
We headed into the high street with big bunches of balloons to promote our new office but it was a particularly windy day so we began giving them away as hurriedly as possible before we all became airborne. At least the children loved them - and we even got a call from a seller who had recognised some of the staff. This is not surprising as between them they have worked in the area for 61 years.
Today I headed out to value a very smart semi-detached house and, recognising the owner from old Smash Hits magazine posters, I realised I was in the company of pop royalty who’d had four Top 20 singles. I had to resist asking him to sing my favourite - but we agreed to keep in touch while he searched for a new home.
I rushed back to our branch opening party, to which one kind client brought a bottle of champagne because he was so happy to have us in the area. That made my day.
We know our new doors are clean because this morning a client was rushing to go out and slammed straight into the glass panel - ouch! And it seems my bad luck with the cars at the start of the week has now vanished, as I see that one of our properties has been published and promoted in a local property supplement. The vendor was delighted and the phone has not stopped ringing for viewings. Happy days.
John Greenaway is sales manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward's Finchley branch (020 8970 7856)