There is a great buzz in the lettings team this morning. Having listed a one bedroom property for £515 per week on Monday, we agree a budget-busting price of £600 per week by Thursday. In the heart of London’s theatre district, tenants were almost falling over themselves to secure this urban, edgy newly refurbished property. After a number of viewings, a bidding war took place between a Canadian student and a professional couple who work in the City. Surprisingly perhaps, we are seeing an increasing number of international student tenants pushing out the traditional finance professionals. Not the typical ‘pizza box’ students you imagine, these wealthy students are spurning traditional ‘digs’ for top quality property to match their aspirational lifestyles.
Agreeing the student’s offer, we inform a very pleased landlord and begin our stringent vetting and referencing process on the applicant. With the various documents and paperwork requested, we head-off for a ‘private view’ we have organised for all the local sales agents of a new property, just refurbished by our in-house team. This shows them how we transform properties we buy and the kind of ‘raw material’ we are looking for.
Arriving in South Kensington, we are armed with some extra accessories and ornaments to put the final touches on this two bedroom rental unit. All done, the agents begin to arrive, looking around and discussing the property with us whilst enjoying some prosecco and canapes. As we take them around, the agent who sold it to us praises the metamorphosis from tired, unmodernised unit to a well-laid out, interior designed property. We thank him and promise to pass on his compliments to our refurbishment and interior design teams. Other agents tell us they have some excellent opportunities which would fit our brief and promise to tell us more.
After the successful first half of the day, a blip was sure to arise. Leaving the property, I meet a prospective tenant, a foreign banker, at a fine red brick mansion block in Marylebone. Despite being on the first-floor, he insists we take the lift. Entering the charming but old-fashioned structure, one where you have to shut the doors and pull the grate before it will move, I press the first-floor button. Commencing its ascent, the lift shortly shudders, squeaks and grinds to a halt. As a look of horror crosses my face, I realise we are very much stuck and squashed together in the tiny space. Nail biting minutes tick by (which feel like hours) before the porter comes to our rescue and we finally arrive on the first floor.
After a quick look around the property, the tenant chooses the stairs for his way down. Not surprisingly, he does not put forward an offer. Fortunately, we have three more viewings booked in for tomorrow, so I am not concerned. The porter assures me that the lift will be fixed by then.
Back to the office for the penultimate job of the day, a tenant interview. We meet and interview all our potential tenants to make sure we get the highest quality applicants for our landlords. This particular tenant works in the media. As all her references have been checked out and she comes across well, we are happy to recommend her to our client.
Back to my desk, I end the day with email updates for all our landlords. Throughout the week, we keep them well-informed of the progress of their properties, with feedback from applicants and offers as soon as we get them in.