Diary of an Estate Agent: Central London
A busy week of new sales launches from London's Docklands to fashionable Marylebone
At 6.30 I’m rousing and cajoling two sleepy children into their school uniforms and curtailing any protests with a swift bagel in the mouth before the mad dash to school. From there I take the train into central London, taking the opportunity to WhatsApp and email my contacts. I send out images of interesting products, snippets of information, and updates from our excellent Research team. Currently they are producing a series on the future of our cities, and since residential property is most people’s single biggest financial investment, buyers appreciate insights into the factors likely to impact on property values in the future.
Once in the office we gather for our weekly Sales Meeting, where we go through each project. We run through the plans for an important launch event this week, marking the release of new apartments at a unique riverside neighbourhood in London’s Docklands. In a competitive market, we need to make sure that there’s a clear identity to each new launch, and that people are intrigued enough to want to find out more. This is particularly the case where developers are regenerating previously overlooked pockets of London, or establishing new neighbourhoods. These new apartments are part of a stunning new community with an abundance of leisure facilities and culture on the doorstep, and great transport links.
I am waiting on a smart street, ready to meet a potential buyer looking to spend up to £20m for the perfect property. The apartment is immaculate, with high spec finishes and thoughtful features.
The buyer likes what he sees, but needs to speak with his family and return for further viewings. Such a big purchase is taken very seriously, and we expect all parties to be doing further homework on the market. Being a working mother has helped me build rapport with buyers from across the world. Many have families, and therefore share similar concerns about finding the best place for them to live happily.
It’s a hard hat day, and I have all the protective gear on to travel up a building that is under construction. The cage judders a little, but the view is breath-taking. You can take a 360-degree tour around the whole block and view London’s landmarks from every angle.
In the evening the launch event is a success, the show apartment makes a great first impression and there’s a buzz about the area. Finishing at 9.30 in East London means I’m late home tonight, and I make do with blowing a kiss to my sleeping children.
On Thursday I head to fashionable Marylebone to see a new show apartment. The builders are still working on the other apartments so there is quite a bit of dust and noise in the communal areas. Stepping into the show apartment, all that falls away. There’s the gentle warmth from fine home fragrances, a tinkle of a Steinway over the audio system, and beautiful couches to sink onto. It’s bliss, I think my potential buyers will love it.
It’s time to update all our clients on developments this week. I also have a couple of viewings, including a first-time buyer exploring that first step onto the housing ladder, and a young woman studying in London who is managing the property search for her parents.
As I travel towards home, I suddenly receive a barrage of Parent Mail messages. There’s a ‘Teachers’ Forum Evening’ on the horizon and it appears I’ll be making a Roman shield with my son this weekend – Carpe Diem!