Diary of an Estate Agent – A Flying Start

Diary of an Estate Agent

John Horton, Horton and Garton

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!