Diary of an estate agent: south-east London

A landlord shows up at the office in his dressing gown and a team bonding session at karaoke doesn't necessarily impress...

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Weatherwise, it’s a gloomy, rainy start to the working week but as I sit down with the team to review the weekend viewings and diaries for the coming days, the croissants make an appearance — and I perk up immediately.

But never mind the south-east London weather, we’ve got viewings to attend to. Things brighten up in the afternoon as we receive calls on a six-bedroom Victorian house we are selling in Penge. Two buyers are interested and put in offers.

It’s great news for the vendor, who decides to go with the lower offer because it involves a less-complicated chain, and it’s still the full asking price so everyone is pleased. It’s turning out to be a happy Monday after all.

A huge package confronts me as I arrive at the office this morning. It’s a branded gazebo to use for our company events this summer. We are currently preparing for a local community fair in Beckenham to celebrate our 70th birthday and we are painting the town orange —our brand colour. 

You won’t be able to miss us.

After carefully manoeuvring the gazebo into the store cupboard, I head off to value a two-bedroom flat in Crystal Palace.

The valuation doesn’t take too long but I end up sitting down to watch a video of the vendor being interviewed on the BBC. 

Nearing the office this morning, I spot a man hovering by the front door in his dressing gown and slippers. As I draw closer, I recognise him as the landlord of a property we manage. 

In true television sitcom style he has been locked out of his apartment after answering the postman’s knock and letting the door slam shut behind him. 

He couldn’t think what else to do, so he has walked to our office wearing nothing but his dressing gown and has been standing outside our door for just over an hour, waiting for us to arrive and open up for the day. 

Not wanting the poor chap to endure another moment of humiliation we contact a locksmith and get him safely back inside his apartment within half an hour.

It’s our property manager Sean’s last day before he starts a new career. We make it one to remember by decorating his desk with some embarrassing pictures and goodbye balloons — he won’t forget us in a hurry. 

Our lettings department is very busy today so Sean still has work to do. We get a call from one landlord who has instructed us to let out his property after not being happy with two other agents. This is music to our ears. 

In the evening I treat Sean and the team to a send-off meal in his honour at a local Mexican restaurant. Our new team member, Jude, joins us and we end up singing our hearts out at a karaoke bar… I am not sure the team were impressed with my singing.

We’re busy sorting through all emails and confirming appointments for the weekend. There is an open day on a property tomorrow so we gather our strength to blow up lots of balloons which we intend to attach to the boards at the house. 

We also start gathering raffle prizes for a summer fair we’re sponsoring at a local school. One of my team is looking at various options when he gets a call from a vendor instructing us to sell their two-bedroom flat in Anerley. 

We’re thrilled — our fee wasn’t the lowest on the table, but we have sold other flats in the block. We end the day on a high — and prepare.

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