Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The diary of a Henley estate agent

The diary of a Henley estate agent

A Homes Weekly series sees estate agents from the Henley area write about their day-to-day
reality. This week, Knight Frank partner and head of the firm’s Henley office, MATTHEW MANNALL, opens his diary...

Monday

6am

Check my phone and 12 emails have come in since last night. Then straight into helping my wife prepare our children aged three, five and six for their day.

8am

I always like to be in the office by 8am, as the first 30 minutes of ‘relative’ silence before we open our doors is very precious to organise the day ahead.

8.30am

Full team meeting to discuss the previous week’s activities, including the weekend viewings and then the plan for the coming week. We spend time brainstorming any opportunities by analysing all house viewing appointments, valuations and new instructions.

Victoria, our marketing
co-ordinator, goes through the advertising requirements and our window displays.

This is very important as we feel we have the best location of any of the other agents in the town and, therefore, our window display is key.

We also fully engage with the social media sites, including Twitter.

10am

Call and update clients with weekend viewing feedback. Set up teams visits to view “coming soon” properties.

11am

To Wargrave to provide a valuation on a delightful four-bedroom property on the river. I can think of a few clients that would be interested in this one.

Noon

Call clients and update on the progress of their sale. Check emails and see I’ve had another 15, which I diarise for later in the day as its very important for me to respond to clients and enquiries as soon as possible and certainly on the same day.

1pm

Shoot up to Nettlebed to host a second viewing for a family relocating back to the UK. They are particularly focusing on this area and want an attractive four-bedroom property. I think this could be the one!

2.30pm

Meet with a buying agent and their client to start a viewing tour in Remenham and then on to Ruscombe and Marlow.

4pm

Deal with the 15 emails from earlier, along with more received since.

5pm

Drive over to Wallingford to meet with a client regarding their property. They are selling after 20 years and supporting them fully on the sale of their home is important.

6pm

Catch up on any missed emails/ calls throughout the day and get back to all enquires before heading home to my wonderful wife and three children.

TUESDAY

6am

Check those emails!

8am

Arrive in the office and log on to computer in ready for another busy day.

9am

Go out to meet with a client to discuss their private sale. We get a lot of clients that would prefer for their property to be quietly marketed and this is something we can successfully achieve with our extensive client base.

10am

Arrive back into the office to start calling clients and generating sales along with Matt Davies, associate, and Alexander Risdon, associate.

I get a call back from one of our applicants that is looking for a property with acreage and paddocks. I have just the one in mind coming to market, so arrange an appointment to view at 5.30pm today.

11am

Meet with Daisy Casement from our country house department in London to take on an impressive 4,500 sq ft property. Our country house team deal with the most extensive and exclusive range of quality country property for sale throughout the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

12.30pm

Over to Hambleden to provide a market appraisal on a delightful three-bedroom cottage. I have a number of downsizers I know would be very much interested in this property.

2pm

One of my clients pops into the office for a chat about their property in Henley that we are about to launch to the open market.

They are slightly nervous about selling, so we sit down together in our meeting room and reassure them of our excellent marketing strategies.

They feel more relaxed and we agree a launch date.

3pm

Head back up to the property visited earlier with Daisy to show a buying agent. I know he has keen clients for this type of property.

We liaise with a range of buying agents and are always keeping them up to date with property coming on to the market.

5.30pm

Time to take the clients who were booked earlier to the property with acreage and paddocks in the Stonor Valley.

This property has been rented for one year by our lettings team — Charlotte Knight, letting manager, and Phoebe Scowen, letting negotiator. Great news! They were so impressed they have made an offer.

6.30pm

Head back to the office to make sure I have squared away the day’s loose ends. We have agreed two sales today which is excellent, and we have also had an exchange of contracts on another house.

7pm

I send a success message out to the team, summing up what we have achieved, and then head home to Benson after a successful day.

WEDNESDAY

6am

The usual check emails!

8am

Go straight up to one of our properties in Cadmore End to take picture of the access for the buyer’s solicitors.

9am

Pop up to Rotherfield Garth, Spitfire Homes’s new site in Henley, to meet with the buyer of the last remaining house.

10am

Back in the office, calling clients and updating vendors.

11am

I start my viewing tour up at our impressive property in Henley with a delightful couple who have been searching for the right property for a few months now. I think this may work for them.

12.30pm

On to the second property in Henley with the same couple. Although both properties are stunning, I have a feeling the first property will suit their needs more. We shall see.

2pm

Head over to Tidmarsh with Bruce Tolmie-Thomson from our country department for a market appraisal on a six-bedroom property with extensive acreage. Bruce has a few London buyers in mind for this property.

3pm

Great news! An offer has come in from the earlier viewer on the property in Henley. I had a good feeling for that one!

5.30pm

I am really pleased and have put the offer forward to my client via email as I’m not sure which side of the world he is on today. He responds straightaway from the USA and we agree the sale. The purchasers are delighted.

6pm

All the paperwork is drawn up for the sale. It’s been another great result today.

THURSDAY

6am

Check through emails at home as I am going straight to my first viewing today as it’s in Ewelme, close to where I live.

8.30am

Call the office and go through paperwork, accounts, billings and appointments with Sue Lewis, my trusted office manager.

9am

I have a viewing at a delightful two-bedroom cottage we have for sale in Ewelme — an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Slightly frustrating as the viewer was extremely tall and the cottage, while pretty, has extremely low ceilings. Oh well you can’t win them all...

(Note to self: Check height of viewers for this cottage!)

10am

Travel back to the office and prepare for staff appraisals. The team have been working extremely well, so this should all be positive!

1pm

Meet a keen viewer at a handsome three-bedroom Victorian property in the heart of Henley. This is a fantastic family home set back while still being walking distance to the shops in town.

1.30pm

I have another viewing at the same property with another client that I think the property may be more suited to.

2pm

Market appraisal in Marlow on a beautifully presented and renovated Grade II*-listed house. We have a number of keen clients within our database for this property.

4pm

Arrive back in the office to cover while the team visit some new properties. The whole team gets around to take a look at all the new houses every week so that everyone in the team can provide the best service, be it over the phone or on viewings.

6pm

Update contact records and call remaining clients before heading home for the day.

FRIDAY

6am

Check emails on my mobile.

8am

Arrive in the office and log on to computer in readiness for another busy day.

9am

Meet with Alexander Risdon and Matt Davies for an update on their sales progressions.

10am

Meet with developers in the office to discuss their upcoming development strategy in Henley.

Noon

Go over to a client’s house in Maidensgrove for an update meeting.

1pm

Travel across to the property in Marlow to collect terms of business and client documents in readiness for launch.

3pm

A raft of viewings with various people. My appointments take in Skirmett, Stoke Row, Checkendon and back to Henley. Time-management is key in this job and the most difficult aspect to wrestle, but we try and keep everybody happy and on time.

5.30pm

Travel across to Ruscombe to collect terms of business and client documents in readiness for launch.

SATURDAY

9am to 2pm

It’s a busy day in the office today. Both Sarah Catliff, sales assistant, and I have a day full of viewings stretching on until 4pm. Mandy Regan, sales assistant, is all set to cover the office for incoming enquires.

Fingers crossed we will have some more offers on Monday from our efforts — and then we start all over again with another busy week.

l Matthew Mannall is the partner and office head at Knight Frank’s Henley office.

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