A double espresso from the local coffee shop is first on my list this morning and is now very much part of my day as the new father of twins — a role which is also improving my multi-tasking skills no end.
As far as work is concerned our goals are set for the week, and even though the festive season is closing in rapidly, activity levels are still high in our sales, lettings and commercial departments with people trying to get in for Christmas.
Our team has designed a large interactive outdoor advent calendar. The location is Rathbone Place, at the end of Charlotte Street W1, where we have our office. Local workers, residents and visitors have the opportunity to win a prize each day donated by one of the businesses in the area. This is a chance to interact with the community and have a bit of fun. We are on a mission to speak to business contacts and friends to involve them in our calendar, and my first call is the nearby wine merchants.
I have a quick drink at the Charlotte Street Hotel with a couple I sold a flat to. They moved to London from Los Angeles and wanted a property in a very central location that is vibrant with a good community and transport links. Today is a chance to thank them for their business, and they give me a present for my twins. That’s the kind of client we all want, all the time.
We have just completed the sale of an apartment in a popular West End square and the buyer is a young IT whizz kid who has been very successful, by all accounts. However, his business is currently in the process of moving overseas which he only discovered recently. As a result, he will be looking to rent out the property he just bought. Even though he is pleased with his new purchase, he seems a little disappointed that he will not be living in it. It is a great flat — sounds like a job for our lettings team.
After recently returning to work from maternity leave, my colleague Margaret is soon back in the swing of things, quickly agreeing her first sale today. Her knowledge of the market and understanding of buyers’ requirements is extensive, so it is great to have her back. I have lunch with a couple of industry colleagues at a new Hawaiian bistro in Goodge Street — another world cuisine for the neighbourhood.
I am sure the diversity of food on offer in the immediate area around Charlotte Street is greater than anywhere else in London. It’s a competitive market, but there is certainly no shortage of customers.
I have a meeting with a client who has a local development he is working on and wants my input on specifications and layouts. Dealing directly with a variety of buyers gives me a great understanding of what is required to make the apartments attractive to the market. The launch is not until spring but preparation is key. Meanwhile, the advent calendar is on its way to becoming a big hit, after the team succeeded in getting a number of local businesses to donate gifts for it.
Simon Bray is sales director at Hudsons Property in the West End (020 7631 8708).