Diary of an Estate Agent
Kirk Owen discusses how the lettings' market is full steam ahead in the run up to Christmas...
There is a perception that since the summer rush is over, the lettings market should be quieter in the run-up to Christmas, but this is far from the truth. Lots of tenants are scrambling to get into new homes before the holiday season and we are as busy as ever.
This morning we run through everyone’s schedule for the week ahead — and as we are so busy this catch-up is crucial.
Over the weekend, one of the negotiators had an urgent call from a corporate client looking for a three-bedroom property in Mayfair for a new employee relocating with his family.
I suggest we get them round to see an apartment that I have just been instructed on and we book in a viewing for Wednesday. Then I plough through emails and get on with arranging market appraisals.
I start off at a market appraisal on a luxury three-bedroom penthouse in Portman Square. This area is in high demand. People love the views across Hyde Park and the city, as well as the proximity to Oxford Street and Selfridges.
I run back to the office to inform the team of the new instruction, as I am confident we will have some interested clients. The negotiators start calling around and it feels like a City trading floor for the next hour or so.
I agree another long-term offer before heading off to a market appraisal in Marylebone Village, another seriously popular area.
I wake up feeling a little groggy, having been up most the night with my poorly baby, but head off to meet one of my negotiators to give him a preview of the Mayfair property ahead of his viewing with the corporate client.
He calls me after the viewing to say the apartment is a hit and I’m hopeful we can get the family moved in before Christmas. Picking up a much-needed coffee on the way, my next stop is a client meeting with a luxury retailer looking for some advice on their estate.
The portfolio is in a fantastic location just a few minutes’ walk away from their flagship store and I am confident that we can help them. I end the day with a viewing at the Marylebone property from yesterday and, as predicted, receive an offer on the spot.
There are a lot of offers at the moment on long leases of two to three years, as tenants look to lock in their rentals. I then have a very special afternoon appraising some penthouse apartments adjoining one of London’s most iconic five-star hotels.
These are some of the best penthouses I’ve ever seen, with astounding views.
The client shows me around the hotel and the multi-storey spa. It is rumoured that a well-known Hollywood actor rents one of these penthouses.
I call a few contacts for whom yesterday’s penthouse apartments could be perfect, then head off to an agent’s new development launch.
Once back in the office I am thrilled to have multiple offers on my desk, all at the asking prices, including an offer on the Portman Square penthouse. It is agreed immediately and the couple are over the moon.
All these rentals agreed in four days, all to move in before Christmas — a record week for the team. There’s time for a quick celebratory drink with my colleagues before I head home to the family.
Kirk Owen is lettings manager at CBRE Henrietta House.