First up is our weekly team meeting, which can run for a couple of hours as every department in the business is in attendance — from sales, lettings, property management and development to refurbishments, commercial, investment and consultation.
As the day progresses, Mayfair comes to life and we have a steady stream of walk-in enquiries. One couple come in looking for a two-bedroom rental apartment in central London. Sounds simple enough, but here’s the catch — they need one bedroom for themselves and the other for their three dogs.
While we do, on occasion, have some landlords who are pet-friendly and are happy to allow tenants to move in with a small dog, I’ve never known one to allow three. It could become a bone of contention...
The main priorities for our property management team today are our mid-tenancy reviews. Having agreed access with a particularly high-profile tenant, a sportsman who is currently away for work, this is an opportunity for us to review and report back to the landlord on the tenant’s behaviour and use of the property. These checks can be quite challenging, and today is one of those days.
On entry, all seems well — that is, until we reach the main reception room, where we find a collection of boxes with large stickers on them that read: “SNAKES”.
Upon carefully opening one of the boxes — which was not, I hasten to add, sealed — we discover a number of live snakes. Closing the box, we decide to make our exit. The tenancy does not allow for pets of any description, so we draft a quick letter and send it asking for the snakes to be re-housed, or the tenant will regretfully be forced to re-house himself.
I have a viewing booked for a sales instruction in Shepherd Market this morning. The client is looking for an investment property offering a good rental yield and capital growth. We meet at the property and, as people pass by in the piazza, we realise we have a number of mutual friends in common — it’s a small world.
Back from the viewing, I have a quick job-list check with team members to see how the week’s tasks are progressing. Since Monday, we have received a number of online enquiries for sales and lettings instructions, so the team are full steam ahead.
At lunchtime a hedge fund manager comes in to enquire about a one-bedroom apartment to rent. We take his details, go through our cache of suitable properties and set up some viewings. It looks like another busy afternoon.
The busiest day this week. Following an article on the new Pastor development in Monaco called Le Stella, we have a walk-in enquiry first thing. We work closely with our Monaco office, so we get in touch to arrange a meeting with the client when they are out there next week.
Midway through the morning, a property management emergency arises not far from the office in Mayfair — an apartment appears to be on fire.
When we get there, all the occupants are outside and we liaise with the fire service. It turns out that a faulty kettle stored in a cupboard had somehow continued to boil after being used, with the excess steam causing the alarms to go off. The alarms are reset and the kettle removed.
It’s the end of the week and a big deal that has been looming looks as if it could happen — a special home with some of the best views of the city, which has attracted major interest. After calls back and forth and a few nervous moments, we finally agree a price and have an offer accepted. The paperwork and legal side will be resolved next week.
Soon we will celebrate, but not before my last meeting of the day, which is spent reviewing our quarterly news-letter with its round-up of the latest events in the London property market. Definitely one to watch out for.
- David Lee is head of sales at Pastor Real Estate in Mayfair (020 3195 9595).