Diary of an estate agent: south-east London

A large scale project may be on the horizon in south-east London, and an estate agent has a tricky situation with a French client in a lift...

Monday
It’s 7am and I am already sitting at my desk. To be honest I’m in this early most mornings so that I can work through all the lettings admin while the phones are quiet. Once my team is in we go through the volume of sales, which we are pleased to say are on the up. 

In the last month we have seen valuations increase sixfold — which means our diaries have been extremely busy. A great start to the year.  

We have some fun in the afternoon by video calling a few friends on Skype to practise our skills. Not all the staff are Skype savvy — me included — but we need to be able to identify clients abroad as part of the new Right to Rent legislation checks that are in full swing. 

Tuesday
A colleague from our land & development department joins me for a meeting with a national property company’s representative to discuss an opportunity for a large-scale project in south-east London.

Back in the office, I’m straight on the phone to return a number of calls regarding a two-bedroom flat to let in Beckenham.  

This flat is in a prime spot in the area so I am not surprised it is proving very popular. My ear is glued to the phone for the rest of the day and I end up receiving a call with the news that we have been instructed to sell another three-bedroom semi-detached house in Shirley, where our office is. The week is getting better. 

Wednesday
We’re off to a shaky start today. I am at a development to see one of the flats but I don’t quite make it, as the lift suddenly stops dead between floors. I’m sharing the lift with a heavily pregnant woman. She is French and doesn’t speak English so I try a feeble smile and keep calm for both our sakes. Thankfully there is an emergency button. I press it and within 15 minutes we are back on the move.  

My next meeting is back at the office and fortunately it is lift free. The meeting is with our account manager at Rightmove. We discuss expanding our presence on the website with a property sales micro site, which we agree to do. She leaves happy.

Thursday
There is a birthday in the office today. Bryce has been with our branch for over 20 years, and still sits in the same seat. We celebrate in the morning with a birthday breakfast before it’s back to some serious hard work. 

We have just been instructed to let a five-bedroom house in Park Langley, Beckenham, on a short-term basis. It is a stunning property, and I imagine it will quickly get snapped up. 

I am booked to go out on valuations for the rest of the day. We give away a free “Proctor”, our company piggy bank, with every market appraisal. Our marketing team has given Proctor a makeover with our 70th anniversary logo, so he’s ready to celebrate.

Friday
First meeting is with Susie from our new homes department to discuss the launch of a development in Croydon. There are five homes under construction, which, so far, seem to be on track.

Next up, I put my writing skills to the test. I have some quotes to write for a newspaper article on top tips for choosing a tenant. Then — great news — we agree a sale on a six-bedroom house, on the market for £1.95 million in Shirley Hills.

The vendors are very happy so as it’s Friday I celebrate with a little cha-cha-cha and a glide around the office. Did I mention I have a gold medal for dancing the cha-cha-cha?

  • Nick Vincent is a director at Proctors in Shirley, Croydon (020 8777 2121).

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