Diary of an estate agent: Shoreditch

Nine thousand donuts help agents in the new Shoreditch office win over the locals.
Today is the day. The newest addition to Marsh & Parsons’ growing London network opens its doors in Shoreditch, and I’m the sales manager. Hoarding down — check. Office looking the business — check. Phones on — check. Staff present and correct — check. And we’re off.
We start the day with our meeting to go through all the instructions. Our zero per cent offer — a loss leader — means we’ve got 13 properties to sell before we even open the doors.
The team have got full diaries with viewings and we are following up with the buyers who were taken to see the properties at the weekend.
Despite the rain, our daily and weekly targets are set in stone.
Two new instructions. The zero per cent commission campaign has been through people’s doors and is now sitting nicely on a billboard on Commercial Road, and we’re receiving lots of calls.
Some are met with cynicism, but when I explain that there’s absolutely no catch, and that the team and I are still paid to sell their property, my clients start to feel more comfortable. If they’re thinking of selling, it’s a no-brainer.
We’re doing plenty of viewings, too, so it’s only a matter of time before the offers start coming in. I hope. And in contrast to yesterday, there’s not a cloud in the sky.
I’ve also done some interesting valuations again today, in particular, a lady who has lived just off Brick Lane for 20 years — and did she have some stories. Shoreditch has such a colourful and interesting past.
The owner of a terraced house in Bethnal Green, which I’m valuing, has just told me that the park where the library stands is known locally as ‘Barmy Park’ because for two centuries it was home to a madhouse.
The day starts very early at a hotel in Hammersmith (quite the trek from Shoreditch), where the results of our company-wide biannual customer service satisfaction results are presented.
Some of the results are staggering. A total of 77 per cent of our respondents rated our likeability as excellent.

I’ve never worked at a company where the people are so well-liked, but then, I am an estate agent. I’m back at the office at 11am and it’s great to see that we’re registering more and more buyers.
All our properties are on Rightmove and Zoopla, so we’re getting some great enquiries to follow up.
It’s only day three, and I’m feeling very positive.
Today starts at 8am, which is good news for me, as I’m only around the corner, so I won’t have to travel across London at the time everyone seems to be out to kill each other. It also gives me the chance to show off our new office.
Tonight the directors of Marsh & Parsons have organised a big dinner for all the managers across the company. It’s an annual event held in Chelsea. Must not drink too much.
It’s doughnut day. As part of our marketing campaign to promote the new office and the zero per cent commission offer we’re running, we’re giving away 9,000 doughnuts (zero shaped — get it?) over the next three days.
To say we had some interesting characters approach us is an understatement. One lady we stumbled across in Victoria Park particularly made an impression.
Known simply as the Silver Surfer (check out her Facebook page), she proceeded to give us a skateboarding lesson after we’d given her a  doughnut.
In between handing out (and eating) doughnuts, I am also organising a sealed bid. Best and final offers are due at 4pm for a two-bedroom flat in an old converted perfume factory on Gowers Walk. I already know that it will go for more than the asking price.
All in all it’s been a great day and week, so we’re now heading to Hoxton Square for a well deserved drink.
But tomorrow there’s more doughnut eating. I mean sharing.
  • Mark Kempson is a sales manager with Marsh & Parsons based in Shoreditch (020 8128 0618)

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