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Diary of an Estate Agent: Sensational service – our clients say it all


When it’s time to choose your estate agent, you’ll meet a handful of local sales managers...

And every one of them will tell you how brilliant their respective agency is and why you should instruct them to sell your home. But at Horton and Garton, we think potential clients would much rather hear from our recent clients before they decide to place the keys to their homes in our hands. We can tell you to expect nothing short of exceptional from our team - and we think our clients tell our story far better than we ever could. Here are just a few:

 

CASE STUDY: Fazina

Fazina sold her picture perfect cottage in St Peter’s Square in Hammersmith with us. “I recently sold my house through Horton and Garton. I had a positive experience with them," Fazina said.

"Everyone in the sales team displayed patience, tenacity and professionalism throughout. Phil Coombes [Senior Sales] always went the extra mile on viewings, while Martin Clements [Sales Manager] ensured the sale went through as smoothly as possible. In addition, John Horton [Director and Founder] frequently checked in to ensure we were happy with the approach and progress. If I were to sell in the local area again then I would only use Horton and Garton.”

“The importance of understanding your buyers’ requirements cannot be understated," Phil replied. "Unfortunately, most negotiators only hear ‘two bedrooms, large garden’ and miss the nuances inbetween. I like to spend time with clients to ensure I can visualise their next home. And then there's the dogged determination and the extra hours that go into the sales process, of course!

 

CASE STUDY: Kate

Kate, who sold her modern riverside apartment with us after a disappointing three months with one of our competitors, said: “We received excellent service from Martin; we would highly recommend him. He delivered results after another agency had failed.” 

Martin, our Sales Manager for over a decade, noted: “I enjoy nothing more than demonstrating to local homeowners that all agents are not created equal. Kate and her beautiful apartment, which we sold for asking price, were wonderful to work with.”

The buyer was Mark, who said this about his purchase: “Martin was helpful, trustworthy, easy to contact when necessary, skillful in building good relationships with different actors in the transaction and energetic in using those contacts to keep the transaction on course. He was pleasure to deal with.”

 

CASE STUDY: Tamara

“I have known Martin and Phil for many years and have found them to be fabulous to deal with," Tamara said. "I know that every time I liaise with them I will be greeted with enthusiasm, sound knowledge and a willingness to go the extra mile. It is a tricky market at the moment and sellers need agents who are prepared to do more than just list their property.

"I would not hesitate to recommend the Horton and Garton team to provide a proactive, professional and friendly service.” 

Martin responded by saying: “The sale of Tamara’s flat in Wendell Park, Shepherds Bush, was another triumph for our team. Her lovely home was joint listed with another estate agency and our marketing attracted three offers where our competitors achieved none.” 

 

CASE STUDY: Clementine

Clementine purchased her double fronted Victorian house in Brackenbury Village, Hammersmith, with us - and contracts were exchanged in just six weeks. Her transaction was managed by Phil. She said: “Working with Phil was a real pleasure from the viewings to completion."

"He is extremely knowledgeable about the area and listens carefully to what his clients are looking for in their new homes. Not once did he show me a place with too few bedrooms or that was wildly over budget. After meeting about 10 agents during my search, Horton and Garton was alone in this.

"Phil also gives clients space and time during viewings so they can make their own minds up about the look and feel of a property. To me, this was really valuable. After our offer was accepted, he worked hard and efficiently towards a smooth completion. We are very happy to recommend him, and Horton and Garton, to anyone looking to buy in Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush or Chiswick.”

 

CASE STUDY: Manny

Manny bought his double fronted Victorian house in Dalling Road, Hammersmith, through Martin.

“The entire buying process with Martin was flawless, efficient and highly professional," Manny said. "Having been in the property game for several decades one rarely comes across people like Martin – highly knowledgeable, honest and straightforward - and a pleasure to deal with.”

Martin responded by saying: “Naturally, our sellers expect an exceptional experience but this level of service is always extended to each and every buyer. Our Senior Sales Negotiator Phil assists our buyers with the care and attention they deserve.”

 

CASE STUDY: Scott

We helped Scott sell his Brackenbury Village maisonette in order to purchase his next house in Chiswick.

“Phil did a fantastic job for us," Scott said. "He worked with us to understand the complex objectives we were trying to achieve in scaling up to a larger property. He genuinely earned his fee through tenacity, hard work, positioning our property in different ways and securing a high quality buyer who could complete the deal effectively. He worked to high ethical standards and I would not hesitate to recommend him.”

 

Want the purple carpet treatment?

Horton and Garton sell more properties in Hammersmith than any other agency. Nevertheless, we pride ourselves on treating every client like they’re our only client. If you’re considering buying or selling, we’re at your service.

If you would like to see our other reviews and testimonials, please click here.

Diary of an Estate Agent: Currying favour at Leiths School of Food and Wine


Curries from around the world land in Shepherds Bush.

Horton and Garton's lettings supremo Ashley Clements dropped by Shepherds Bush cookery school Leiths over the weekend to learn how to cook a proper curry. His wife is reportedly delighted.

If you love curries and want to learn to make them from scratch, this is the class for you. Ashley took a culinary journey around some of the world’s finest curry hot-spots as he learned to make dishes using authentic but easily available ingredients. He also learned how to select and use spices and make curry pastes, marinades and accompaniments.

"Leiths has a very friendly atmosphere," Ashley said, in-between his courses of Goan chicken vindaloo and red duck curry. "The instructor, Chef Cee, was able to design the day to suit experienced or purely beginner cooks. The ingredients were excellent and plentiful with three dishes created, eaten and enjoyed with a glass of wine.

"Plus, the various tips and techniques I used can be used in other cuisines. I think learning to peel ginger with the edge of a teaspoon was the tip of the day!"

A Leiths voucher would be a great gift for any of your foodie friends. Just like Horton and Garton, Leiths is a long-established local business that offers excellent customer service. 

Click here for more details about Leiths' spicy How to Cook Curries classes. 

 

Diary of an Estate Agent: Another victory in Cardiff


Lettings team hits Cardiff ahead of Wales winning the Six Nations.

Three members of the Horton and Garton management team travelled to Cardiff last week.

I took the team on a two-day residential training course at LetMC, our residential lettings software provider.

Cardiff gave us all a very warm and friendly welcome. We even had time to visit the castle, as well as the shop at the Millennium Stadium to take in the pre-weekend rugby match warm up.

A big well done to Wales on winning the big Six Nations title match. Roll on the World Cup in Japan! The fixtures are already in our diaries.

Fuller’s says sayōnara as it sells up to Japan’s largest brewer


Independent Chiswick brewery sold to Asahi

The Fuller’s brewery in Chiswick has been sold to a Japanese firm for £250million on the 60th anniversary of its popular beer, London Pride.

The buyer is Asahi Europe Ltd, a subsidiary of Japan’s biggest brewer.

The deal transfers all Fuller’s beer production, cider-making and soft drink bottling to Asahi, which owns Grolsch and Peroni. The London Pride brand, now marking its diamond anniversary, transfers to the Japanese company.

In a statement, Fuller, Smith & Turner said that the deal would preserve the Griffin Brewery, and said that the board (no longer led by a member of the Fuller family) had made the decision following 'changes to the beer industry' which had helped small, craft breweries to flourish.

A sad day 

Camra, the real ale campaigning group, said that it was a 'sad day'.

But Simon Emeny, brewery chief executive, said that protecting the heritage of the Griffin Brewery was important to the board. Beer has been brewed on the site since 1654. He described Asahi as 'an appropriate custodian of our rich brewing history', and said the deal would bring the Chiswick beers to a wider public.

Regulars are unlikely to notice much of a change – Pride will continue to be brewed in west London, and there are no immediate plans for redundancies.

Akiyoshi Koji, chief executive of Asahi, pledged to continue to brewing at the Griffin Brewery and supplying Fuller’s 400 hotels and pubs in London and the South East, which the remainder of Fuller, Smith & Turner will continue running, and which supplies nearly 90% of profits.

Beware the Grinch! Met Police offer advice to beat Christmas burglars


Keep your valuables safe this festive season

The Met Police is reminding residents in Hammersmith, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush to be extra vigilant during the Christmas period to stop burglars ruining your festive fun.

A retired couple who were burgled earlier this month have said, if only they had double locked their door, their terrifying experience may have been prevented.

With lots of extra valuables in the house this time of year and many families jetting off for a long break, the Met has offered this advice to keep your home safe:

Met Police advice: Three steps to beat the burglars

  1. Safeguard your building

- A significant number of burglaries could be avoided by always locking windows and double locking doors when you leave your premises regardless of the length of time you are likely to be out and keeping external doors locked when you are in your home to prevent ‘walk in’ burglaries.

- Make your home look occupied: use timer lights when the nights get longer and cancel deliveries if you are going away.

- Don’t make a burglar’s life easy: Keep tools and ladders secured, minimising the opportunity for a burglar or opportunist thief to use them in accessing your property. Fit British standard locks, join a local neighbourhood/street watch or similar scheme.

  1. Protect your valuables

Don’t advertise your goods online. Always keep valuables such as tablets and laptops out of sight from windows and store keys away from the letterbox. Similarly, don’t leave empty boxes outside that may advertise the goods that you have purchased.

- Help police identify your property if stolen by using a property marking kit and taking photos. The Met is currently providing SmartWater kits as part of the MetTrace operation. Visit: www.met.police.uk/mettrace for more details.

- Consider buying a safe or using other safe storage providers.

  1. Secure the outside of your house/building

- Keep gates, sheds and garages locked

- Keep hedges at the front low and install outdoor lighting, so burglars have nowhere to hide.

- Install trellises and spiky plants to stop burglars from climbing over fences.

Diary of an Estate Agent: Stars and Sundays


Diary of an Estate Agent

James Liggins, Associate Director, Chiswick Sales 

Diary of an Estate Agent: Stars and Sundays

Monday

Gym, coffee, feedback. Before the sun comes up Paul and I are halfway through our regular Monday morning workout at the Hogarth Health Club: weights and sauna followed by breakfast to forward plan the week that lies ahead. I firmly believe that if you have a great Monday you’re going to have a fantastic week so Monday always gets the attention it deserves. The coffee is hot and the phone is cold but that’s about to change. First thing’s first on a Monday morning – every buyer I’ve met over the weekend is called so I can gather, collate and communicate their feedback to our sellers. Every seller has already been contacted so I could relay my impression of how the viewings went, but the buyers’ feedback trumps my gut instinct. An offer comes in (these phone calls are always lengthy as there is a lot of due diligence on our part) and I discuss it at length with Paul before putting it forward to our client for their consideration. Then it’s swiftly on to the new enquiries that have filtered through over the weekend.

Tuesday

Diary day. Monday’s offer is still being mulled over both by our client and our team so I spend the day generating first and second viewings and then coordinating them with our clients and buyers. We are selective with our buyers, working only with the very best and – in our jargon – ‘proceed-able’ purchasers. Our monthly Negotiator Magazine landed on my desk and our Artists At Home sponsorship board has been featured! A brilliant surprise for the whole office! We’re gearing up for the 10th annual Negotiator Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday. Paul has been shortlisted for Rising Star of the Year but it’s a crowded shortlist with 19 other incredible agents so we’re tempering our excitement… for now…

Wednesday

Sales progression. Between us, Paul and I speak to every solicitor, mortgage broker, surveyor, client and buyer to ensure each of our 14 agreed sales are coming along swimmingly. Appointments are put in the diary and missing paperwork (not in our office as we are paper-free!) is sourced so all is running smoothly. Each bit of progress is then fed back in real time to our sellers. We often say a ‘sale agreed’ is not a ‘sale indeed’ and our work really begins when the public often believe it ends! Progression, which is an absolute minefield of a process, is such an important part of what we do. This is where we earn our fee and when most sellers begin to rue the day they instructed an online agent or the cheapest agent to manage their sale. This is where the value of Horton and Garton Chiswick is felt by our sellers. Our sellers have decided to reject the first offer from Monday morning so it’s back on the phone straight away to the buyer to guide them on where we go from here. It’s open mic night at the George IV, one of my favourite pubs in Chiswick, so I’m popping along for a cold pint and a warm welcome.

Thursday

Final push. Today we push for an extra round of weekend viewings and focus on our strategy for managing Saturday and Sunday. Once every relevant buyer has been contacted we step into strategy, planning and marketing ideas for 2019. Our brainstorming session is interrupted by a call requesting a valuation. Eighty percent of our new listings come our way via word of mouth but this gentleman has read a commentary on the W4 property market by Paul and wants to meet him at lunchtime today which is, of course, perfect with us. If you can’t rearrange your diary to accommodate a first meeting with a potential client at their preferred time, that first point of contact won’t accurately tell the story of our service. After a brilliant valuation in the Glebe Estate, we’re back in the office for a flurry of creative thinking. We loved using humour in our Halloween campaign, which was well received by both Chiswick locals and property press, and are wondering if we could integrate some more fun into our plans for 2019.

Friday

Ready to launch. We have arranged five off-market viewings for a property that won’t officially come to market until January. I’m readying myself for a weekend packed with meeting brand new buyers and carefully gauging their responses. This is one of the best bits of my job. I love meeting our buyers so I can get to know their exact requirements and source their ideal home. For us, agency isn’t a numbers game. We look after our buyers and sellers for life, truly getting to know each of them. We change into our black tie and head to the Grosvenor House Hotel for the 10th annual Negotiator Awards. Paul brings home Silver in the Rising Star category – we couldn’t be prouder!

Saturday

Best day of the week! I love Saturdays. Not because it’s a day off (it never is!) but because I’m meeting new people and making new friends. (I pray for sun to showcase our properties at their very best.) Two of the lovely buyers I met last weekend will be, I’m certain, my friends for life. We’ve already put a dinner in our diary and I couldn’t be happier to be handling their purchase. The day is always so packed that I’m rearranging viewings on the fly and working from either my bike or car… and there is never time for lunch! There is lots of mad scribbling in my diary which I then decipher after the fact and a flow of instantaneous feedback that is sent through to sellers as the viewings are taking place. Those client feedback conversations go on well into the evening…

Sunday

Reserved. Sunday is – officially – my day off. However. I do reserve the occasional viewing for the most important and serious buyers. There is a very high chance of a very good offer if buyers are requesting a Sunday viewing. My second ever sale in Chiswick was agreed on a Sunday for well in excess of £2m. This taught me the value of a Sunday viewing… a lesson I won’t soon forget!

Diary of an Estate Agent: Prioritising Property Management


Diary of an Estate Agent

Ashley Prowse

Monday

I'm on my bike earlier than usual and and cycling in to our King Street office, basking the glorious summer sunshine. As a Property Manager, I'm in my highest gear on Monday. I log on and immediately begin sifting through the weekend's correspondence to ensure the urgent jobs are dealt with straight away. On Sunday afternoon, a tenant's boiler broke... I have a feeling one cold shower will be quite enough for him! I organise a specialist engineer, check his availability and with permission from the tenant I arrange keys and access so he can sort the problem before the tenant arrives home from work. Fortunately it's a simple fix and the engineer was able to carry out the repair on the spot. I immediately update the tenant and ensure he's received the report. The engineer's invoice goes over to our account's team to ensure it's settled promptly. We endeavour to deal with every incident seamlessly and with as little aggravation to the tenant and landlord as possible. If it's a minor issue, it is reported back to our landlord within their monthly report but if it's significant I notify them personally straight away.

Tuesday

The day begins with some light football banter (I'm a die hard Arsenal fan but our Sales Manager supports Tottenham). Tuesday is property inspection day. As part of our fully managed service, our team carries out regular inspections of our landlords' properties, compile detailed reports and ensure they're up to speed on the tenancy. I coordinate the inspections with the tenants at their preferred time and ensure access is arranged. I visit a terraced house in Shepherds Bush and check every room, take photos and note any potential maintenance issues. A shelf has fallen down and an internal door handle is very loose so I note these and make recommendations within my notes to secure these. Back at the office, I type up the notes and upload the photos. These are sent across to our landlord for their review.

Wednesday

Today I'm returning deposits to tenants, depending on the results of the check out report. Once a tenant has checked out of one of our properties, we send the landlord and tenant the report, compiled by a third party. We then wait to hear how to proceed regarding the return of the tenant's deposit. Of course we want every tenant to receive their full deposit back when they leave one of our properties but if they've not had the property professionally cleaned or they've left items of furniture that the landlord would need to pay to have removed, we encourage them to rectify these before the landlord retains part of their deposit. If, once the tenants have gone, lightbulbs need replacing, decoration is required, removals need to be booked etc, we cost these with our trusted tradesmen, who always deliver to a high standard, and approve the items with our landlords who are invariably very grateful for our efforts. One of our fully let and managed properties in the Hammersmith Grove area is going on the market this week with our sales team. We were able to use the tenants' deposit to spruce it up over the course of a week, fix broken items, decorate and clean the property and make it 100% sale-ready. The landlord is over the moon with our efforts and our sales team is chomping at the bit to get it sold for her.

Thursday

Thursday is gas safety day. This is one of the most important areas of my job. The gas must be checked annually by law to prevent our landlord clients incurring hefty fines and, most importantly, to ensure the property is safe for the tenants' use. I double check my gas safety list to ensure each of our landlords has four weeks' notice when expiration is approaching; I follow up as each week passes. When we reach one week before expiration, if I haven't heard from our landlord, I book in the engineer to ensure both our landlord and tenant are protected. We handpick and triple check our contractors and ensure each has the proper qualifications and insurance required. Our main gas safety contractor does these inspections every day. Our property management team has longstanding professional relationships with most of our regular contractors which means that they bend over backwards to make our appointments when we push the emergency button. Thursday night is the office five a side football match. We meet at Rocks Lane in Chiswick, smash the opposition and have a beer in the Tabard afterward. It's a pleasure to work with people I genuinely like.

Friday

Friyay, people! At lunchtime we order an office Nando's to help usher in the weekend. I love Fridays as it's my opportunity to catch up on administrative tasks, ensure that jobs are updated within our system. All scanned invoices and reports are uploaded and every outstanding maintenance job is actioned and booked in. Every loose end is tied up as I want to be prepared for the influx on Monday morning. Of course we have an emergency system that allows our tenants to contact us 24 hours a day on the evenings and weekends but this is for genuine emergencies only. The weekend's here and we head out for a pint at The Airedale, the Hogarth Health Club's bar. Their beer garden is unbelievable, a private oasis just off Chiswick High Road. Team H&G is currently in the midst of a hotly contested office tennis tournament at the Hogarth so we're frequently spotted tearing up the courts!

Diary of an Estate Agent: A Decade of “Knuckles”


Diary of an Estate Agent

Martin Clements

Monday
I was in high gear last week, working all hours, so the quiet of the Easter holidays is welcome, if a little unnerving. Hammersmith feels eerily quiet, the roads are bare, coffee shops empty and incoming calls more intermittent than they usually are on a Monday morning. With the “Beast from the East Mark 3” threatening to hit, I don’t blame those wishing to escape London early - but for Horton and Garton, it's business as usual. We start every Monday morning with a meeting where we share our individual highlights of the week and develop a plan of action for the week ahead. As John says, it's always “onwards and upwards”.

Tuesday
Despite another fresh, cold and windy morning, Spring is on the way. Coming into our King Street HQ, I can't help noticing the cherry blossom bursting through. It always brings a smile to local residents in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush and makes for some fantastic street photography. Starting the day with a coffee is a must here in Horton and Garton HQ. Germain, our Operations Manager, has brought in some new coffee for the cafetière. As the coffee brews we start our daily meeting. With all feedback up to speed, we're looking forward to an exciting day ahead. A central Brackenbury home that we have been marketing has a second viewing arranged and all the right noises are being made that an offer is forthcoming.  The viewing went very well although as we often see in our business, some buyers have better poker faces than others... we await the outcome...

 

Coffee 

Wednesday
The roads are even quieter this morning and the team is eager to speak to our sales negotiator Phil to see how the second viewing went. The wait continues with a third viewing booked today!! All very exciting but time to keep a cool, calm and professional head for our clients. Having anticipated a quiet week, I can't stop the phones from ringing this morning. With many buyers and sellers away, those who were off and deciding to stay at home during the holidays have seized the opportunity to book valuations. I've been selling properties in Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith for so long that I've valued several of them twice or three times over. It's my favourite part of the job - getting to know owners and their property. Whether we list it or not, I love meeting West Londoners. As a result of the valuations, today was action packed from 10am (post morning meeting) to 7pm which definitely means Thursday will be a day of admin!

Thursday
I am a keen cricketer and as a bowler (who tries to charge in) there is a basic level of fitness required. With the season fast approaching, it's time to have my first run. A heavy dew settled overnight and with less runners about it was an ideal time to start my training. Arriving into work, I was greeted by Phil Coombes requesting “some knuckles."For those in the know, this can mean only one thing - he's received an offer! The third viewing did indeed materialise into an fantastic offer! In my experience a first offer is rarely the last and I am sure we can do better for our very patient client. After discussions with our client, I presented the buyer's counter offer which the buyer accepted: SALE AGREED! This was a particularly special transaction as our client came to us via personal recommendation and she has been incredibly patient with us in what continues to be challenging market conditions. Likewise the buyer had been looking with us for so long but had also been selling their property and thus had not previously been 'proceedable' (industry speak for secure). Needless to say, I have a very happy client and relieved buyer. If you're seeking guidance on your property, a market update or want to learn more about what's happening in your patch of Shepherds Bush or Hammersmith, drop me an email, give me a bell or pop into our King Street office.

Friday
It's Good Friday and time for a 10th anniversary spruce up of our King Street HQ. The dust sheets are out, computers deactivated and a fresh coat of paint expertly applied by our most trusted local contractors. Whilst it was technically a day off and I should have been enjoying some peace, I spent the day catching up on administrative duties and forward planning new launch strategies for properties that we'll be bringing to the market post-Easter. We don't have one single formula at Horton and Garton - every property and client is unique so a lot of energy goes into planning each individual property launch. One thing's certain... we have Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush's best book of buyers and I'm leaking one of our new launches to a handful of them today...

 

Quote 

Saturday
The decorators are in overdrive refreshing the office for the post bank holiday buzz. For me, a trip to see the family down in Dorset was in store. Fielding calls the whole way down (the beauty of the hands free) and with my laptop making the journey, I felt comfortably connected to my clients. With three new homes launching on Tuesday the morning was spent writing descriptions, preparing brochures and approving these with our clients... all with the stunning vistas from my father's office window. Each of our clients is informed of the legislation changes regarding EPC's - marketing a property for sale with a rating below "E" will affect potential buy-to-let investors who need a better rating to rent the property to tenants.

Diary of an Estate Agent: Managing March Madness


Diary of an Estate Agent

Ashley Clements, West London Lettings Manager

Monday
Our weekly planning session morphs into a lettings quiz - low scorer washes up the coffee cups. This starts the day with with a fun energy but also imparts some key legislation updates to the team. Fortunately I'm not washing up…. The benefit of writing the questions of course! My first incoming telephone call is from a landlord who has just completed a large-scale, high spec refurbishment on a Brackenbury Village house... and I have been invited to visit them later today. Having peeked inside many times walking past during the last year it promises to be a very unique property and after a debrief with the team we already have a particular family in mind for the next tenancy...

Tuesday
Team Lettings had a blinder yesterday with evening viewings resulting in two offers on the same property. As a local and independent agency we have been able to create a competitive but open and honest environment for our team. We work for one person - our client - so instead of choosing the quick or easy option, discussions are held at length about each offer, the suitability of the individual tenants and their positions. We then put the two different tenants to our client because, even though I offer my informed opinion, the choice is theirs. On a side note, I am feeling flash today with a new pair of cufflinks courtesy of my future mother-in-law. I'm convinced they help me type emails quicker... the same feeling you got lining up in new shoes as a child, facing the start line of the dash across the concrete from water fountain to bike shed, safe in the knowledge your new trainers would help you set a record time.

Wednesday
The lettings industry is far from dull; thanks to ever-changing legislation no day is ever the same. What you learned last month has been rewritten with new legal documents to pore over and fresh challenges to overcome. Today I attended a seminar on legislation updates. With a mountain of information to absorb, breaking it down within the seminar certainly helps! It is however reassuring to realise that Horton and Garton is already doing everything as we should, whilst we now have several new ideas to implement within our current systems and procedures. So much sitting today means I need to move so it's time to hit the Hogarth Health Club in Chiswick for a wind down with a swim and a steam.

Thursday
A full diary means I am helping to cover viewings for our lettings negotiators. I grab the brochures and keys before hitting the road. I spend the majority of my time with new and existing landlords and landladies, which I really enjoy, but I'd forgotten how much fun it is to help tenants find their new home! One offer received and a second viewing booked on one of our riverside flats, not a bad day at all… I may be a little greyer and older since I was last a full time lettings negotiator but it's been no trouble hopping back on the bike!

Friday
As usual there is plenty to do on a Friday with recapping on any outstanding points from the week before arranging the jam packed Saturday diary. A fantastic treat arrived today…flapjacks home made by one of our favourite landladies! We get many thoughtful gifts, often food, including home made brownies, sweets and cookies. Thank you to everyone and do keep the sweet treats coming! A team drink in the pub after work to round off the working week and it is noticeable just how much Horton and Garton has grown in recent years with everyone together including our Chiswick office.

Saturday
It's a typical Saturday of back to back appointments. Full diaries are par for the course with appointments often carrying on outside official office hours. A new team member joining us next week lives locally so stops by the office to say hi. Just what I like to see, another keen and enthusiastic person joining our crew. As an independent business in our tenth year we still see every team member and client as a part of our Horton and Garton family. We live and breathe property, working tirelessly to make the lettings process an enjoyable and seamless experience.

Diary of an Estate Agent – A Flying Start


Diary of an Estate Agent

John Horton, Horton and Garton

Monday
I love Mondays… especially after a previously busy weekend in the office. I knew today would be a good one as I could smell the hops from Fuller's Brewery on the walk to work. I'm not superstitious but when on a Monday morning you feel the sun on your face and already smell the beer brewing, you know it's going to be a great day! This morning I'm approving copy for the Spring edition of Our Patch community magazine which will hit doorsteps in early March. Our two offices agreed half a dozen sales last week - with one Brackenbury Village property receiving twelve sealed bids - so we have a lot of disappointed buyers to look after today. We pride ourselves on being able to match our buyers to their perfect property... a job that never stops in this popular part of West London. I've been the phone for hours and my voice has nearly given out... I need a hot ginger, lemon and honey tea.

Tuesday
This morning I attended a valuation with my Sales Manager Martin Clements and my Lettings Manager Ashley Clements (no, they're not related!). I've worked with both for over ten years and know our combined experience and knowledge of West London's property market is unmatched. From the fashionably unmodernised house to the riverside penthouse flat we're invited to appraise the very best homes in West London. The three of us helped the owner decide whether renting or selling his home would be the best course of action. Our clients are all different but have one thing in common - they're seeking experienced guidance and honest advice without the added pressure. I happily spend hours of my working week deep in conversation about the property market with local residents over cups of tea and coffee.

Wednesday
In the good old days the telephone, fax, paper and pen ruled the office however today it’s the smartphone and internet. My IT skills may not be the sharpest, being the most senior member of the team, but today I was made up as I managed to teach a “shortcut” to the 30+ year olds! My lettings colleagues have been ringing the bell all day to signify lets agreed. To the non-agent it might seem like 'job done' but this is just the beginning for our team. The referencing process, agreement of contracts, and finer points like furnishings and move in dates are all still to be agreed - this is when the years of expertise and skill are put into practice.

Thursday
The weekend is nigh, but unlike the liquid lunches of the 90's my lunch meetings now consist of espresso or sushi! We're proud to support many local charities and good causes within our neighbourhoods and this morning I've been in an extended meeting at The Hogarth Health Club along with my communications colleague to discuss a charity event we're supporting in March. Helping to raise awareness of charities and giving generously is part of our mission statement. After lunch, I'm feeling brilliant. I have to say The Crucial Café makes some of the tastiest and healthiest food I've ever eaten.

Friday
Fridays are usually exchange and completion days; the day of the week when keys are handed over to buyers and fizzy bottles are popped. Completion tends to happen from 11am – 3pm and as the selling agent we cannot release keys until we have confirmation from the seller's solicitors that all monies have been received. This Friday is no exception and I've been able to deliver the highly anticipated news to a delighted seller and ecstatic buyer. Achieving an all-round positive result is, for me, what this profession is about. The office closing on Friday evening means it's Beer O’Clock at The Hampshire Hog!

Saturday
My Saturday is consumed by back to back viewings and valuations. We knew January would be busy but truly didn't expect such a manic month! With so many sales and lets agreed we've been actively listing new properties that we know will be snapped up by buyers and tenants who've missed out. The evening will be spent on the town at a 1920's "Gatsby" themed Valentine's Ball, at a secret location which is to be announced. The spats are pressed and the brogues are polished - what a way to end the week!