Diary of an estate agent: Fitzrovia

A one-bedroom flat in Covent Garden causes a flurry of interest and a buyer from Thailand is keen to come back to his roots...

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A gorgeous Grade II-listed Georgian building in Lamb’s Conduit Street is my  first visit of the week, straight after the Monday meeting. I’m showing one of my favourite flats here to a professor of Victorian literature — and I have the feeling it is going to suit her perfectly.

The landlord has done a wonderful job of maintaining many of the original period features, and my applicant immediately knows where she will put her writing desk. 

Rental property in Covent Garden is always very popular and today starts with news of a very interesting one-bedroom flat close to the Piazza.

As expected, there are plenty of enquiries for this one, particularly as it comes with a roof terrace equal in size to the internal living space. By lunchtime I have already booked three viewings for this afternoon. 

The sun is shining, great for showing off the roof terrace. However, we soon discover the current tenant is storing their rather large cacti collection in the hallway leading out to the terrace.

As the pots are too heavy to move, it makes for a prickly obstacle course to get outside, but my intrepid viewer seems very interested and asks to arrange a second viewing with her partner. 

Our manager sets the negotiators a challenge by offering lunch at Roka, the award-winning Japanese restaurant near our office in Charlotte Street, for whoever can let a particular flat within a week.

We all hit the phones with gusto and I manage to book two viewings for Friday morning. Fingers and toes firmly crossed. 

This lunchtime, however, we are off to the launch of some new apartments. We arrive first, so we get the pick of the sandwiches and some uninterrupted viewing. I leave the launch for an afternoon of viewings at a terrace house tucked down a quiet side street just off Fitzroy Square. 

I’ve a viewing tour planned today with a gentleman who is relocating from Thailand for work. We are seeing several high-end properties, all within the central Fitzrovia area. London born and bred, the client used to work around here in the Swinging Sixties.

After our viewings, we go for an espresso at Tap Coffee in Rathbone Place to discuss his thoughts on what he has seen. Making the most of the sunshine, we sit outside and he tells me he was a postman at the huge Post Office in Rathbone Place when he was a student, earning £9 a week.

Amazing when you think that Royal Mail sold the building to Great Portland Estates in 2011 for £112 million. It’s being redeveloped into a mix of residential and office space, with Facebook renting the offices as its new UK headquarters.

It is an exciting new development for Fitzrovia, and will hopefully bring many to the area looking to rent. 

Back at the office, I have a catch-up with a fellow negotiator who has just come back from a viewing in Covent Garden with an actress who has risen to fame through a role in Game of Thrones. I love working in the West End alongside so many celebrities. 

With lunch at Roka firmly in mind, this morning I have my much-anticipated viewings at the flat in question. The first is with an American woman who is having her king size bed shipped over, so we spend a while with a tape measure trying to see where it could fit in.

My second viewing is with a man who is about to start a course at Le Cordon Bleu in Bloomsbury Square.

The location is perfect for him and there’s a well-equipped kitchen with plenty of counter space. He makes an offer there and then at the asking price, so I hurry back to the office to call the landlord, who happily accepts.

I manage to get the holding deposit just before the end of the day. It is a great way to end the week — and now I have a lunch at Roka to look forward to…

  • Ursula Gore is a lettings consultant at Hudsons, 24 Charlotte Street, W1 (020 7631 8696).

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