Diary of an estate agent: West Chelsea

So glam they call it The Beach, our part of town’s full of hot property.
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Springtime is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year in the property market and things do seem to be picking up. It’s only a short drive from home to our office on the corner of Drayton Gardens, a fabulous location just two minutes’ walk from the fashionable stretch of Fulham Road known as “The Beach” because of all the glamorous people who stroll up and down it.
Our weekly team meeting allows us to catch up on news from last week and discuss potential lets. Easter is just around the corner but we have a lot of active applicants ready to move within the next couple of weeks.
I show a delightful elderly couple around a pretty mews house in SW7 which they would like to use when they visit their daughter in London twice a month. The house would make a perfect pied-à-terre for them and we spend over an hour there.
Afterwards I dash off to meet a landlord who has just finished refurbishing a gorgeous, three-bedroom lateral apartment in SW10, which I am eager to see. We are finding that many of our prospective tenants are more discerning than ever before and demand a very slick finish, so this property should be snapped up very quickly.
Later I get a call from my elderly clients to say they have left their sunglasses at the mews house so I head back, unset the alarm, rush in and thankfully it does not go off. Manage to find the sunnies. Phew.
We launch a beautiful three-bedroom flat to the market and the photography looks great — the effort and time spent on the shoot has really paid off. It’s so important to get the marketing strategy correct at the point of launching a new property as the majority of prospective tenants start their search online.
This afternoon I meet a relocation agent and we show the new flat to a family moving from Fulham who are seeking lateral living. The viewing goes really well and we book in a second viewing. The landlord is impressed that things have got off to a speedy start.
The family are selling their house in Fulham as they are moving back to Australia, so we refer them to our SW6 office for the sale. Having the six central offices so close by is really useful and means we can provide a convenient one-stop shop for clients like these.
We have our monthly manager’s meeting at our head office in Mayfair. All report a busy market ahead for the month with lots of people in the position to move quickly, which is excellent for us in a swift and competitive lettings market.
In spring everyone wants outside space so we are showing homes with gardens, roof terraces and balconies on our website. In fact, our recent Housing Futures survey results showed that nearly 95 per cent of people across the UK are looking for outside space with their new home. Perhaps surprisingly, the demand is just as strong in the capital as anywhere else.
It’s a very busy day with three offers coming in, including one from my Australian family who secure the three-bedroom apartment they loved. The day zips by, and come 5.45pm I am looking forward to the weekend. I am just about to pack up my things when I get a call from a lady who lives next door to a house we are trying to let.
The house has just become vacant and some work is being carried out with scaffolding at the back of the property. The lady is worried because she can hear a distressed cat she fears has been left behind. Off I head with a torch and I can hear the cat, too — but I can’t find it.
After several attempts with my best cat impersonation, a little white moggy appears from nowhere as if she hasn’t a care in the world. She is wearing a collar and I can make out the address, so I deliver her back to her owners round the corner. An unexpected but happy end to a successful week.
  • Nicky Upton is head of lettings at Strutt & Parker’s West Chelsea office (020 7373 1010).

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