Meet the estate agent who wants you to keep things clean

Danielle Lester, Aston Chase

Danielle Lester, Aston Chase - Credit: Archant

This Hampstead lettings negotiator has plenty of tips for letting your property - just make sure you tidy up before she comes round

What’s special about your agency?

Aston Chase is not a ‘high street’ agency and our negotiators are not restricted by postcode. Instead we are entrepreneurial and property focused. Year after year we out-perform our competitors through our unyielding commitment, local knowledge and our ability and determination to achieve results. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and our professional approach, enthusiasm, dedication and attention to detail ensure that our customers receive an outstanding service above and beyond what one might ordinarily expect.

Where do you live and with whom?

I live by myself in Watford.

Why did you buy your current property? What’s your favourite thing about it?

It was one of the last available properties in a new build development which was priced very well and it matched a lot of my requirements such as it being modern, and having outside space and underground parking. It is also easily accessible to the M1 which is the route I take to work so my journey would be straight forward. My favourite thing about my property is the fact that because it is new, no one has lived in it previously.

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If you weren’t an estate agent what would you be?

If I was not an estate agent I would be an events planner. I am very sociable and organised and I think these traits would work well in the events industry.

When did you buy your first property and what was it like?

My current property is the first property I purchased in 2013. It is on the second floor of a purpose built block in a large newly built development. It has been built to be energy efficient which is perfect for a first time buyer like me who wanted to keep costs down as much as possible.

What’s your dream house?

My dream home would be a penthouse with views across the whole of London. It would have floor to ceiling glass windows to get as much light as possible. A private gym and swimming pool would occupy an entire floor and there would be a large roof terrace, perfect for entertaining and watching the sun set on a summer’s night with a glass of wine.

How long have you been an estate agent? What’s the most shocking/surprising thing you’ve seen on the job?

I have been an estate agent for just over 10 years. I started off in Stanmore working for another prestigious agency and after six months I was asked to move to their Hampstead branch. After five years I decided I wanted to try a different market and I moved to the St John’s Wood office which is the area I have remained in. Joining Aston Chase has provided me with the opportunity to work in other areas and further my knowledge of the industry. Simple things like cleaning and keeping things tidy does not come naturally to a surprisingly large number of people!

How has the local property market changed since you started out?

I think the market is a lot more unpredictable. The spring/summer months used to be considered the busiest time for rentals but I have found over the last few years that this has changed my busiest months have been in winter albeit prices have stayed relatively stable due to there being a constant demand from clients coming from overseas who need a property to rent whilst they work in London.

What are your top tips for the local area?

If you are thinking about letting your property, research the market so you price your property competitively and present your property in good order to avoid prospective tenants noticing the negatives instead of focusing on the positives.

Are you good at Monopoly?

I have always been good with money so I would have to say yes. I like being the role of the ‘Banker’ so I know no one is cheating as this seems to be a problem when I play with my family!

Aston Chase