We hit the ground running this week — the phones start to ring earlier than ever these days. First off, I head to an appointment in South Kensington where my applicant arrives on his micro scooter.
The lift is not operational yet so it’s a brisk walk up to the fourth-floor penthouse. As soon as I open the door to the apartment the buyer’s on the phone to his wife insisting that she comes straight over. I run downstairs to see his very heavily pregnant wife arrive on a matching micro scooter.
The site manager and I exchange nervous looks as she puts on a hard hat, although I receive equally nervous glances when they notice the height of my heels in the middle of a building site — my trademark.
Thankfully the baby decides to stay put for the 10-minute walk up the stairs and the course of the viewing, and the couple love the flat.
The day starts with a 6.30am call from a colleague. He needs me to cover a 9am viewing. I arrive on site in the City to show a buying agent and his client around what will be a great collection of apartments overlooking St Alphage Garden. Just as I am leaving, Mr Micro Scooter calls to tell me that Baby Scooter arrived into the world last night so he’s putting his property search on hold for the time being, but will be back to speak to us as soon as possible.
Back in the office, the phone keeps ringing. It has been over a month since the launch of Royal Waterside, a new development in Park Royal, but interest in it is still keen. I take a call from a British buyer of mine based in Los Angeles. He’s interested in buying a couple of apartments. His brother and business partner, who lives in Singapore, will call me in the morning with a few more questions.
The call I’m expecting from Singapore comes at 7am. This brother prefers one of our schemes in Islington and asks me to speak to his brother in LA — this is all before I’ve reached the office.
Arriving at work I discover that the buying agent who viewed the St Alphage Garden site on Tuesday has made an offer on behalf of his client and he has come in at the asking price — a great 24-hour turnaround.
It’s barely lunchtime and my Los Angeles applicant is on the line. He wants me to call his brother in Singapore and convince him that Royal Waterside is a better investment than the development in Islington. It turns out that both brothers only need three hours sleep a night — so I spend the evening refereeing an international family dispute.
We’re off to a promising start today with an offer on a Midtown building that we haven’t brought to market yet. My applicant hasn’t seen the place but he wants to offer £14 million for all of the apartments.
The vendor is quite rightly confident that he can achieve more if he sells the flats individually, but the early interest is a really positive sign. After lunch I receive a call from one of my colleagues in Abu Dhabi. His Saudi client owns a stunning residential block in Westminster that he wants to let. It’s a great building in a part of town with more tenants than properties, so our lettings team are delighted with the instruction.
Both Singapore and LA are on the line at 8am. They have decided on an apartment each, one at Royal Waterside, the other in Islington. I am delighted that we have come to a conclusion that pleases them both. A week of international phone calls... maybe I should think about working for the United Nations instead.
This afternoon, to toast the success of a launch last week, my team is taken out for a celebratory meal at a local pub, the Ape & Bird. It can’t be all work and no play after all, especially when the Scotch eggs are this good.
- Safina Ahmad is a senior sales negotiator at CBRE in the West End (020 7182 2477).