A brilliant morning. We list six new and very desirable rental properties including a one-bedroom flat, a four-bedroom detached house and a two-bedroom penthouse apartment. In just an hour I’ve organised a back-to-back viewing on the penthouse tomorrow.
The first viewing, at 3pm, is with Ms Ruby, a new applicant, who is thinking of moving from the country. The second, at 4pm, is with Mr Woods, with whom I am already quite familiar.
His wife sadly passed away 18 months ago and he is looking for a complete change in lifestyle, having sold the old family home with us late last year.
His daughter, Sophie, is studying at King’s College London and has accompanied him on a couple of viewings. He wants to be closer to her, but not so close that she feels she has to “look after” him. I have become very fond of the Woods clan and am excited at the prospect of showing Mr Woods the penthouse.
The morning is taken up with credit and reference checks and sorting deposits for customers who are about to move into their new homes. Then it is time for me to head to the penthouse.
Mr Woods — late fifties dressed in cords, tweed and cashmere cardigan — is early. Whereas, Ms Ruby — stunning, 50-ish, pink hair, leather jacket — is late. Both meet at 3.30pm inside the plush, ultra-modern property. Together, they look out at the spectacular view of the city and chat about the area.
“You don’t look very arty Mr Woods,” she jokes softly. “This is a very arty part of London, you know.”
He laughs. “I am more than willing to learn to look more ‘arty’. I’m quite taken with your hair, rather Helen Mirren.”
“My hair has always been pink,” she retorts, but not seeming the least bit offended. “I like to be noticed.”
Smiling, as I walk respectfully towards the kitchen, I am pretty sure I catch a mention of a “coffee” in their drifting conversation.
I call and leave messages, but there is no feedback or news from either Mr Woods or Ms Ruby on the penthouse. I really thought one of them might take it. I set off to my scheduled viewings and before I know it we’re halfway through the week.
I meet some really lovely people today. James is relocating with work and I show him a four-bedroom detached house — he has two boys and a new baby girl, so they need a good amount of room.
Marion is a recently divorced mother-of-two. She is looking at a three-bedroom flat for her and her two teenage daughters. She likes it. Not only is it in need of a bit of TLC — she’s a designer, so making her mark on a place is on her wish list — but it is also near to the cinema and restaurants, which is great for her and the girls. We chat for a while about life’s twists and turns. I’m often involved in such important moments in people’s lives…
Mr Woods and Ms Ruby are still on the missing list. I’m slightly worried.
Mr Woods walks in first. He is grinning broadly. I grin back. Behind him is…Ms Ruby. She, too, resembles the Cheshire Cat. “We’ve decided on the penthouse… we’ll take it,” she exclaims.
I turn to Mr Woods with a somewhat questioning look. “We’re moving in together,” he announces with a hearty laugh. “This week has been a bit of a whirlwind.”
To our collective surprise the whole office cheers. And I must admit that I’m feeling a little emotional. I give them both a big hug and congratulate them. I’m very much looking forward to handing over the penthouse keys to Mr Woods and Ms Ruby next week.
Craig Anderson is a senior partner at Hunters in Hayes, Middlesex. Call 020 8848 0978.