Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diary of an Estate Agent

Article excerpt

What to wear for Trinny and Susannah, a publicity-hungry spaniel and a Fort Knox flat all test a Battersea agent


My week began with a phone call from a sweet couple who had just moved into their newly rented riverside apartment.

"Where is the furniture?"

enquired a tentative voice. They had assumed the furniture they had seen at the viewing belonged to the landlord, not to the outgoing tenant.

I immediately rang our Man who Can, who has a warehouse full of beds, and he agreed to drive straight around with a suitable model. Meanwhile, I drove to Ikea, chose a sofa and arranged next-day delivery.

However, I was seduced by Ikea's offerings, and bought myself a new lamp, some photo frames and a large amount of frozen gravlax. It turned out to be an expensive trip.

Taking advantage of the sun in the afternoon, I rushed around to a [pounds sterling]1,750a-week family house we have taken on next to Wandsworth Common, to take photographs. Our attempts were sabotaged by a springer spaniel, in perpetual motion, desperate to be in every shot.

As dogs, cats and babies are banned from our rental property photography - in case people assume they are always permitted - dodging Piper was vital. He finally gave up, just as the light was fading.

Tuesday I met prospective tenants at a two-bedroom apartment in Norman Foster's Albion Riverside, only to find they were from the BBC's location team, looking for a contemporary home in which to film Trinny and Susannah's What Not To Wear series. They seemed happy, and arranged a second viewing for later in the week.

It was a quick trip to Prince of Wales Drive to show a mansion flat to two couples; both liked it.

Wednesday A colleague returned looking glum. She had been on a tour of properties with a young French family whose people-mover was crammed with grandparents and three children. The windows had been lowered to allow ventilation. Suddenly, as they pulled out from Wandsworth roundabout, a road sweeper swished by and let loose with the water cannon. …

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