Tom Butler, Sales Manager, Sheraton Law
Describe your property career to date?
I have now been selling property for 20 years and it has honestly flown by. I started my career in Kennington where I worked for two years, before moving out to Surrey where I worked around Esher and Weybridge for a number of years. I was enticed back to South London when I joined Sheraton Law in 2011 to set up the sales department where I have enjoyed working ever since.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and what have been your highlights so far?
I enjoy the different challenges you face every day in the job; whether it’s keeping a property sale together, winning a new instruction or tying up a new deal, it’s all about keeping everyone happy. The biggest highlight to date has to of been seeing the sales department continue to thrive in what has been a very challenging last couple of years.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in estate agency?
One of the obvious points to remember is that you are dealing with the public on a daily basis and therefore you cannot afford to have an off day. You always need to be well presented, good at listening and most importantly whatever happens remain calm as you are normally the one in the middle keeping everyone happy. Oh and of course enjoy working long hours!
What advice would you give to vendors in the current market
Despite the current market conditions, we are still agreeing sales and despite some negative press they are generally being agreed at close to the guide price. If the time is right for you there is no need to hold off. Make sure you get good honest advice from the agent and do not overprice, this is the main downfall in the current market. Remember with less properties on the market at present, there is less competition and your property can stand out against others.
Recent highs, Recent Lows?
The High – finally completing on a property that had fallen through twice due to historic subsidence, both previous buyers had been aware of the issue but got cold feet during the sale. Our client was very patient throughout and he achieved a good price in the end.
The Low – England rugby raising my hopes in the Six Nations this year only to lose a tight game against Wales in the third game!
In your view, how does the South London market differ from other areas of London?
Over the past ten years prices in south London have caught up with prices north of the river. I think the good transport links and outstanding schools have continued to make this the first choice for many young families and young professionals.
Where, in your view, is the best place to live south of the river and why?
I think there are many popular places to live around South London all offering their own unique benefits; however, for me it would have to be Clapham Old Town where we are based. Within minutes of your property you have the Common and Underground plus a huge selection of restaurants and bars. All of this, yet it manages to retain a village feel to the area.
If you were not an estate agent, what career would you choose and why?
My wife and I have discussed for a number of years about how exciting it would be to sell up and buy a bed and breakfast in the south west, or even a gite in France. We keep on finding reasons to hold off, however hopefully one day our dream will become a reality!