This morning I’m viewing the most amazing four-bedroom warehouse conversion. I have never seen such an enormous reception room — it makes the grand piano look like a black ant. The owner is moving her young family to Wimbledon so she is looking to rent out the house she moved into and converted herself over 15 years ago.
She tells me she’s been contemplating selling but can’t bring herself to. I explain our referencing process and assure her that we will find tenants who will look after her house.
A new negotiator, Rebecca, joins our team today, making us the biggest lettings and sales team in Kennington. We are so glad to see her as we have been stretched to the max over the past month. By mid-morning her experience is really showing as she has already booked in five appointments.
Just after our daily morning meeting, a lady walks in looking harassed. She says she urgently needs our help to let her flat in Kennington that has been on the market for four weeks with another agent and is still not even on the internet.
I go straight away to see the flat. It’s stunning, with two double bedrooms and a great roof terrace, perfect for cocktail parties. When I tell her that we can let it by the end of the week, she looks relieved and hands me the keys.
Competition for great homes in school catchment areas is fierce across London, and Kennington is no different. It is also common for landlords to become tenants themselves just to get into the right street.
This is what’s happening this morning. A couple come into the branch, looking to rent a house close to Stockwell Park School. We have the perfect property — a beautiful Georgian house on Grove Way — and book a viewing for 10am.
By the end of the day their offer is accepted on this property and they are so impressed by how fast we moved that they want us to rent out their house. So I make an appointment to value their home later today.
At the morning meeting we discuss a family house I saw and was instructed on late yesterday afternoon. The team can’t wait to get cracking. They start ringing prospective tenants registered not only in our office, but also those registered with our new Borough office, too, as the house is within walking distance of Waterloo station.
At the beginning of the week, I served two months’ notice to our tenants in a lovely Lilford Road flat as the landlords want to sell with our sales team. This afternoon, I take a call from the tenants in tears saying how upset they are. After calming them down, I describe the property that we have just taken on. They sound interested and agree to come and have a look — they are thrilled with it and make an offer. I love it when a plan comes together. The owners are over the moon.
It is great news for our harassed landlady (owner of the fantastic flat with the party-perfect roof terrace) as our new negotiator, Rebecca, had another viewing there last night. The prospective tenant fell in love with it and offered the full asking price of £450 per week immediately.
The tenants want to move in on Wednesday next week. We tell both parties that if we all work together this can happen and we get to work with referencing and checking. Our landlady is not harassed anymore and is so relieved that she comes into the office with bottles of wine to thank us. A great way to end the week.
Caroline Espley is lettings manager of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Kennington branch (020 7582 4040)