It’s a busy Monday — in fact it has been a busy couple of months — so I find myself in the office early, tying up loose ends, finalising deals from the weekend and preparing for the week ahead. By 9am I’m at a valuation for an instruction I received last week, a quite incredible studio apartment owned by a well-known client of ours. After a rival agency failed to sell the home, we’ve taken up the challenge on both the lettings and sales teams. Game on.
There is also a long overdue catch-up scheduled in with one of my good industry contacts, an old friend who I’ve known for 10 years. We have a great chat and he then asks for our help on more than 40 new instructions. An astonishing outcome — and a great challenge for us all.
Martial arts practice sees me up before 6am. My days always start early, but today I’m training for my upcoming World Championship jiu-jitsu tournament in Las Vegas. It’s a passion of mine and a great release, so recently my early mornings have been filled with sparring sessions at the studio practising game plans, although the office is rarely far from my thoughts.
Fresh from practice I get to work on letting a property off-market, a method which is becoming more of a trend in the super-prime lettings market — it’s typically more popular in prime sales. The instruction is a wonderful family home in Belgravia, which is currently being refurbished. I’ve had interest from a family who have viewed the home five or six times mid-construction work. It’ll be ready soon and they can’t wait to get a feel for the finished product. I get the feeling that will get them over the line.
I showed a student around a wonderful penthouse apartment in Marylebone last week, and today begins with a catch-up with her. Despite the stunning panoramic views, her father would prefer her to live in Mayfair. Not to worry, I’ve found her the dream property in Duke Street. They make an offer immediately — my efforts to find the perfect home that meets their needs has paid off.
I head out later to meet Jake, one of the directors at Russell Simpson, for lunch at The Orange in Pimlico with a landlord and his team. We’re working with them on various projects. We discuss the market and how, despite Brexit, the prime central London lettings sector is still thriving, especially for us. We’ve taken on a huge number of instructions in recent weeks.
I’m back in Chelsea first thing this morning, visiting an instruction in Cadogan Square that we believe should be valued at slightly less than one of our competitor agents has said. The landlord picked us to help alongside another agency, showing that accuracy in valuation is still key in the lettings business.
Later, I meet a relocation agent and show him around a magnificent four-bedroom family home in the heart of Chelsea. The lettings market always gets busy with relocation experts in August, who are out to ensure that they secure a deal before businesses get busy and the schools reopen in September.
A thank you note arrives at the office from the student I found a home for in Mayfair. It’s always good to get positive feedback and I’m sure we will work together again.
I meet up later on with a lady who is in search of a central London family home. The last time we met I showed her a wonderful mews house in Kensington. She loved it but wanted to offer significantly less than the asking price, so my new task is to find her the perfect home at the perfect price tag for her.
She is keen to stick with us and I have shown her a few more homes since then. Some offers have fallen through close to the finishing line, but today we strike gold as I have matched her with a first-floor apartment in Kensington.
What a week. I’m looking forward to a weekend with my family and some time out to perfect my jiu-jitsu in time for the City of Lights.
Charlie Woods is lettings director at Russell Simpson in central London (0207 225 0277).
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