London Evening Standard - Jonathan Hudson 'Diary of an Estate Agent', November 2017
MondayAs we approach the end of the year we’ve seen an increase in buyers looking to close on purchases so they can move into their new properties by Christmas. With the Oxford Street lights now on, time is ticking.
We have our morning catch-up and go through the new enquiries. My colleague Spencer has one from a buyer who has just lost a property and is keen to find something else quickly. Spencer lines up something that ticks most of the boxes and sets up a viewing.
I’m out today with a production company looking for office space. They have two famous actors in their line-up, so discretion is key.
They’ve come to me as they know I am the local specialist when it comes to Fitzrovia and the West End. I gather some options that match their requirements and we arrange to meet tomorrow morning.
TuesdayWe’re out first thing viewing offices for the production company. The first one is not far from Charlotte Street in a wonderful, open-plan, lateral space that would be ideal for scriptwriters and creatives. The immediate feedback is positive but we have more to see.
Off now to Middleton Place, a pedestrian walkway off Great Portland Street. The space we’re looking at here has lots of different rooms and certainly has a lot of features.
It seems to work but it’s a totally different feel from the first one. We chew the fat over a coffee and it seems like the first one is the favoured option. We agree to arrange for one of the actor-owners to see it tomorrow so that he can give the official “okay”.
Spencer has his appointment up in Bloomsbury. The property is close to Exmouth Market and is a modern building with the most amazing vintage furniture. It works very nicely and his buyer seems immediately impressed.
WednesdayI’m off to a meeting in Mayfair about cryptocurrencies, a form of digital money of which hundreds of types are available on the internet. It’s a subject that’s increasingly spoken about, so it’s vital I can stay ahead of the game.
We meet at 5 Hertford Street, a very swanky members club, and the talk is both informative and enlightening. Just recently a house was on the market and only buyable with Bitcoin, so if this is a trend I need to be fully aware.
We are advised to buy some currency to help us understand it a bit better — maybe my 10-year-old son can help me with it when I get home.
Later, at the second viewing with the actor-owner for the production company, the face of the agent showing us round is a picture when he sees who the client is — he does a great slow-motion double take. The star gives the seal of approval, so we can move forward.
ThursdayEric, my Parson Terrier, is in the office today. He is much calmer here than at home and loves the walk in from Marylebone sniffing every lamp post along the way. I even take him on appointments if appropriate. One particular owner still writes emails addressed to “Dear Eric” rather than to me and insists I bring him with me every time I do a viewing.
After a little toing and froing, we get a deal agreed on the office suite and the production company wants to be in within 10 days — very unusual but totally do-able if both sides are on board. Spencer has good news, too – his deal in Bloomsbury is agreed and they want to get it done within three weeks. It should be a quick one that will suit both parties. The buyer should be in before Christmas.
We’ve been recommended by the production company we secured something for yesterday to another firm looking for space urgently, as they have a team of animators in an expensive serviced office.
I know just the place, but I need to move quickly. We arrange to meet within the hour. The viewing goes well and the space is the right feel, size and location.
I head back to the office to start tying up and negotiating the finer details. These deals can happen promptly if everyone is on the same page. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than recommendations and satisfied customers.
I decide to see if the team are up for celebrating a good week after work at the One Tun pub in Goodge Street. Just the one mind…