Diary of an estate agent: Marylebone

Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman ends up paying the office lavatories a visit and a family from Singapore are hoping to find their dream home...

After seven years in the lettings market in Marylebone, I love the vibrancy of the area, so I am looking forward to the start of another working week. Today I am meeting up with a familiar client of ours who is looking to re-let property through us. 

Getting to know clients well is one of the best things about being in an area for a long time. 

I check in with one of the large property estates that we handle lettings for locally. These estates have done a fantastic job in improving the area in recent years, both in the quality of rental property and the shops. Our applicants usually want to be close to Marylebone High Street and Chiltern Street.

We recently began work with an estate which is well established in the West End. We’re marketing a wonderful top-floor flat in Carlos Place for them, and today we take a family to view it who are moving from Singapore. But first we give them a marathon tour of central London, so they can get a sense of where they will be living.

By the time we reach Carlos Place everyone is ready for a sit down. Fortunately, they fall in love with the apartment and make an offer. We are all pleased and hope that this is the start of a fruitful long-term relationship. 

We experience a surreal encounter today with an Oscar-winning actor. Our office shares lavatory facilities with the neighbouring optician, and everyone is getting on with their work as usual  when Hollywood star Dustin Hoffman emerges from our basement looking very confused. It turns out he has got lost on his way back from the loo to the optician. The irony is not lost on us. We show him next door and suggest that he gets a stronger prescription…

After work I head to Islington to play football with team members from across the Carter Jonas network in London, in a friendly match against a firm of surveyors. 

These regular games are great for networking and I enjoy the opportunity they provide of getting together with colleagues from across the company’s residential, commercial and planning divisions. 

Fitzrovia’s new Pearson Square development is a really fabulous addition to the W1 rental market, and I’m meeting a landlord who recently bought a great unit there. The scheme offers an impressive array of facilities including a state-of-the-art gym, 24-hour concierge, social and business spaces and an on-site restaurant. 

However, the star attraction is the private cinema room. Residents can book the cinema for friends and family and request their favourite film to be shown. I am tempted to hang around to put in a request for The Revenant. The three-bedroom apartment we are dealing with here has great interiors. 

Customers who refer someone to us  are being offered a £100 Selfridges voucher, in an initiative we are launching today as a way of attracting new clients. The first happy recipient of this gift is a recently placed tenant who was delighted with our service and introduced a colleague who was also moving to the area, for whom we were quickly able to find a suitable one-bedroom apartment. 

At the end of a successful week, it’s time now for the long-established ritual of 5pm Friday drinks. An applicant walks in, initially surprised to see the staff having white wine, but once we offer him a glass he gratefully accepts and we book him in for a viewing tour tomorrow.

  • Andrew Walker is head of residential lettings at Carter Jonas in Maryleboneand Regent’s Park (020 7486 8866).

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