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

Diary of an Estate Agent

Martin Clements

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”.

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…



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!

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.

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…



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.