Diary of an estate agent: West End

It was a great week in the West End for planning ahead, striking deals and diet-busting Tim Tams...
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It’s the first day back in the office after a fun-filled weekend, and I am looking forward to getting my teeth into another week. The usual Monday morning buzz is always infectious but this month is proving particularly busy, with a positive atmosphere in the office and the wider market.

My first meeting of the day is to discuss the forthcoming launches we are hosting, which I think will be great options for our buy-to-let investors. We are bringing a number of exciting projects to the market next month and in March, and I am sure they are going to be popular. 

The first call of the day comes in at 8am, from an experienced investor who bought in our Fulham Riverside scheme. Her acquisition completed just before Christmas and furnishing will be finished by the end of next week. After discussing potential options she chooses to go ahead and put her property on the rental market with me, which is great news.

Later in the day I meet up with an old client who is in town for the week on business and wants me to bring him up to speed on the market. We meet at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, an area he doesn’t know well. Having previously invested in new-build property he is surprised at the level of capital growth seen in the West End last year. He seems convinced by the virtues of buying in the buzzing heart of London, while I’m captivated by the hotel’s digital clock — made of smaller analogue clocks, the hands of which “spell out” the time.  

Our weekly sales meeting takes place first thing and there is a lot to discuss. With so much activity in the market, the diversity of our current available stock list doesn’t escape me. 

Straight after the meeting I head off to South Kensington to catch up with representatives of a very prominent relocation company over a coffee. We talk about their plans for the coming months and cement some exciting business opportunities. 

On returning to the office it’s nice to see our sales secretary, Amy, has arrived back safely from Australia with an abundance of Tim Tams — the  Aussie version of the Penguin biscuit. Chocolate biscuits may not be the best thing for my healthy January regime, but they are a nice accompaniment to my afternoon emailing  session… 

I start the day early with a trip to one of our developments in south-west London. Many potential buyers will be looking to put their purchases straight on to the rental market with this scheme so it’s important I make sure I am fully up to date with the local area and everything this new development can offer potential tenants.

With a huge selection of amenities from underground parking and private landscaped gardens to a fully equipped gym, it’s not hard to see why this scheme will arouse so much interest.

There is no such thing as a quiet Friday at CBRE. Everyone is in bright and early for a busy day of site visits and meetings. First up is one of our new instructions in Westminster. A group of us descend on the site to get a tour and familiarise ourselves with the development. From there I dash to east London, to one of our fantastic new developments which was one of last year’s great success stories. I love the diversity at our disposal in location and product type. 

Back at base I have a very positive meeting with our Middle East desk and one of their clients, who would like us to provide a report on an extensive portfolio. It’s a late Friday finish and the week has flown. Looks like 2015 is going to be busy, and I can’t wait.

Jack Ballantine is a senior lettings negociator at CBRE Residential in the West End (020 7182 2232).


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