Diary of an estate agent: The Docklands

We head to an exciting new development in the Square Mile, meet up with an old buyer who's looking to move again to accommodate his growing family and take a ride in a glamorous cable car.
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An early start, and I’m heading straight for an exciting viewing in the Square Mile. I meet a significant corporate  client who wants to see a fabulous apartment listed at £5.5 million.

My buyer arrives filled with anticipation — he’s looking for a home in the City of London, with a premium specification and stunning views. This flat, on the 31st floor, couldn’t fail to fulfil that brief. From speaking to him on the phone, I have preconceptions of a suave, sophisticated bachelor, looking for a glamorous pad. He immediately satisfies the James Bond criteria.

Thankfully, the apartment does not disappoint and my buyer has lots of fantastic feedback. I will let him mull it over, and see if an offer comes in. 

I start my day by meeting a potential purchaser for a tour of new development sites in east London, including Docklands and Greenwich. We have various different schemes for sale at the moment, and I have three buyers wanting to view all of them throughout the day. It’s great to see the market so hot for these new developments. 

One of the highlights of the day is taking the Emirates Air Line cable car across the Thames with one buyer to show her the views. The cable car scenes in older Bond films spring to mind.

In the afternoon, I receive a call from one of my buyers interested in a Greenwich development — he seems keen and is looking to reserve at least three units. It seems a very worthwhile day, with a potential of six sales to agree.

This morning, I make calls to purchasers interested in some of our resale properties, with details of what we have on offer, so I can book them all in for viewings. We have everything from new homes in glitzy developments to quirky converted warehouses, and from beautiful lateral flats looking out over the river to boat houses on the Thames.

I finish my day in Docklands with a family I met more than six months ago. My buyer and his entourage — his wife, one toddler and another baby on the way — are after something spacious and “toy friendly”, meaning somewhere with lots of storage space. It will be nice for him to find somewhere offeringthe sub-10 minute commute to the office he is looking for, so he can balance his high-pressure banking job and family life.

I have a viewing in Canary Wharf with a client considering a bulk purchase of five units from an off-plan residential building that we are currently selling. He says he hopes to have a written offer by the end of the week.

While I am conducting the viewing, my  manager calls and asks me to undertake a valuation nearby. He sends some area comparables and we talk though likely values. 

Reaching the property to be valued, I meet the friendly owner of a waterside apartment with views over the docks through floor-to-ceiling windows and the atmospheric background noise of seagulls calling.

I feel immediately relaxed and at home in his vast living room. It seems that he likes my suggestions and I am pretty hopeful that I will be working for him soon. 

Good news — I receive an email from the vendor of yesterday’s valuation enclosing signed terms and conditions, asking for the property to be marketed immediately. I am pleased with this, as I have a number of potential purchasers for him.

I also manage to book a second viewing for the panoramic, James Bond-style apartment in the City for tomorrow, which could potentially top off a very good week. So I head off for a much-needed drink… shaken, not stirred, of course.

James Mansfield is residential sales negotiator at CBRE in Canary Wharf (020 7519 5911).

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