Diary of an Estate Agent: James Hughes

Our Battersea and Nine Elms Lettings Manager, James Hughes, discusses a typical week at CBRE Residential...


Today marks the beginning of an exciting new week — our new lettings office in Battersea and Nine Elms opens this morning!

My day starts with our very first team meeting in the new office, where we discuss our current listings, communications with applicants looking for a home in the area and our upcoming opening event. My afternoon is filled with viewings; we already have a number of beautiful properties on our books, and a long list of applicants who want to find their ideal home through us. My first one is with a successful model who has just been in town for London Fashion Week. She wants to find a stylish new pad close to central London, but somewhere a bit different; as an area experiencing lots of development, Nine Elms fits the bill perfectly. The apartment she views first is in one of our new developments and boasts incredible facilities, including a private dining room and cinema room. I’m feeling confident she’ll snap it up.



Though I know the local area well, I spend the morning soaking up the atmosphere, walking between properties and researching the amenities in the area. The regeneration and local development means it is constantly changing and improving, and I always come across interesting new places to recommend to my clients. I am a particular fan of Italo Deli in Bonnington Square and always try and take my clients to the Nine Elms Tavern on the Thames for the fantastic views. Just as I’m getting back to my desk, my phone rings and it’s the model from yesterday. She loved the apartment and wants to make an offer — I’m thrilled to get another deal agreed and immediately get to work organising the paperwork. This afternoon, I’m leaving the office early to head to West Ham United’s old football ground, Upton Park, for a charity tournament hosted by one of our developer clients. It’s the last ever match to be held at the ground and we’re all feeling privileged to have been invited. Despite a valiant effort we’re knocked out in the semi-final, but loved the thrill of playing in such a special place.



I get in early this morning for a meeting with one of our developers, to discuss ways to help promote their scheme. I’m so passionate about the area that I’m full of ideas and it’s a hugely productive meeting. I don’t notice we’ve overrun — I take a brisk walk to my next market appraisal! In the afternoon I head to the launch of one of our exciting new developments in the Pimlico area. The location is brilliant and the views across London from the upper floors are spectacular. The launch is well attended and our sales team secure a number of reservations on site from potential buy-to-let investors. When the project nears completion we will start marketing the flats to rent, so it’s brilliant to see the project all the way through from such an early stage.



Another early start, as I’m in the office sooner than expected. The new office is just round the corner from Vauxhall station, so such an easy place to get to. When the Northern line extension opens in a couple of years, the Nine Elms area will be even more accessible — savvy buyers and tenants can see the potential already, and are securing new homes in anticipation of all the improvements.



As Friday comes around I manage to tie up the paperwork on the first deals from our new office. The model has agreed the lease on the very first flat I showed her so, to celebrate, I buy the office a bottle of champagne to share. We raise a toast to a very successful first week!