Diary of an estate agent: Richmond

Our Richmond agent has a full week with top dogs, A-list celebrities and birthday boys
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Diary of an estate agent
© Weef


I hit the ground running following a hectic weekend trying to get to grips with the move from PC to Mac — silly idea, so how come the kids manage it so easily? Thankfully, the new office computer network is PC-based or the week would certainly be lost.

Usual tour round our offices to catch up on the weekend’s activity. Busy, busy busy and thankfully no issues — although that could well change.

I’ve a meeting at a film studio to sign non-disclosure agreements relating to two American A-listers who are about to rent through us while filming — it’s really frustrating. I want to spread the word but I can’t…


I attend an 8am site meeting with a developer we are advising who is building 13 flats in Richmond for the rental market. I manage to agree a sole agency on the sale of the project — building business for the future is vital.

Then it’s off to the Institute of Directors in Piccadilly to meet a Hong Kong-based client of Fitz-Gibbon passing through London and just wanting to “catch up”.

I get a call from the office to say Oscar the office spaniel has taken exception to a client’s retriever — much barking, no blood. Oscar is duly placed in the naughty corner. However, during lunchtime walkies, Rolf the retriever decides love is the best way to make amends. Oscar isn’t impressed.


It’s the usual Wednesday morning meeting, with the agenda set by Raj, assistant manager at Chiswick. It’s utterly successful with ideas flowing from every direction. Then it’s straight back to my office to complete a rental appraisal on 30 new flats.

The new website has been live for three weeks and traffic has more than doubled, but a little fine tuning is due. By the end of the afternoon the search radius and a few other areas are tweaked, and a decision is made to set up individual Twitter pages for each office.

A call comes in from a would-be tenant bitterly complaining — despite his desire to move in next week — that we are pressing him to sign the tenancy documentation. He feels we should have known that it’s his birthday and made allowances for his celebrations both at lunchtime and in the evening. Hmmm. I drive to Manchester for a breakfast meeting tomorrow.


I meet up with two agents handling a portfolio of 50 east Manchester terrace houses for one of our clients, three of which were broken into last week, with complete kitchens, boilers, copper piping and carpeting taken. We agree a repair strategy and then I head back to the relative calm of west London, serviced by revolting garage coffee.

I consider mailing a belated birthday card to yesterday’s disgruntled potential tenant but decide it’s not appropriate. The celebs from Monday are signed up and very happy bunnies in their London homes. The day ends at 11pm following a meeting of Richmond-based agents.


I go into central London to meet trustees of the bone cancer fund we support — Chordoma UK (chordoma-uk.org) then it’s back to pick up my dinner jacket for an Association of Residential Letting Agents presidential dinner at The Savoy. It’s a big evening for us as my wife Susan is elected president for 12 months.

Meanwhile, we find our complainer has written directly to our landlord client. Bet he thought we didn’t keep our landlord properly informed, but he put him in his place and he’s now an ex-potential tenant. Oscar the spaniel, meanwhile, features in a local magazine — very much the top dog.

Gerald Fitz-Gibbon is joint managing director of Richmond-based letting specialist Fitz-Gibbon (020 8892 8921; fitzgibbon.co.uk)

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