This Highgate estate agent is keeping tight-lipped about his most shocking trade stories

Joel Woudstra, TMD Properties, Highgate

Joel Woudstra, TMD Properties, Highgate - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Joel Woudstra, assistant manager at estate agent TMD Properties, has extensive knowledge of Highgate and north London as is looking forward to buying his first home

What’s special/different about your agency?

As an independent company we are able to work closer with our clients and provide a more bespoke service than the other agents in the area. The relationships we build with our clients are the main reason why we retain such a high percentage of properties. We pride ourselves on attention to detail and this is reflected in our ranking of number one in N6, which we have had for over three years now. Being an independent we aren’t as restricted on areas to cover which benefits us as we are able to rent or sell property across north London, covering every mid-high price bracket.

One of the main reasons why I decided to get into the property industry was that I have always been fascinated by architecture and how different areas have properties from a different time period. I also enjoy meeting new people, and building new relationships - whether with prospective tenants or property developers.

Where do you live and with whom?

I currently live with my family in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

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

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I am currently in the process of buying my first property. It’s not too far from where I grew up and close to a lot of my friends. I was attracted to the property’s modern and contemporary style and also, with it being a new build development, being the first owner of the property is a real positive for me.

If you weren’t a buying agent what would you be?

If I wasn’t an estate agent, I would have liked to train as a chef. I have a passion for good food and different cuisines.

What’s your dream house?

I guess my dream house would be a large country mansion with acres of grounds and panoramic views.

What’s the most shocking/surprising thing you’ve seen on the job?

As I have been in the business for almost 10 years now, nothing seems to surprise me. There are so many stories I could tell but I’ll have to keep tight lipped.

In what ways has the north London property market changed since you started out?

The market has changed several times over the last 10 years with each year presenting different and exciting challenges. With an increasing amount of agents in the area, covering both lettings and sales, the completion for instructions is harder than ever.

From a lettings perspective tenants are choosing to remain in their rented homes for multiple tenancies. This is because of the pricey sales market is delaying the opportunity for people to purchase their first home.

What are your top tips for things to do in north London?

With north London being such a large area, there are many things to do and to see. For culture I would certainly say that Highgate has a lot to offer, with the famous Highgate cemetery where Karl Marx was buried. There are also numerous historic buildings, including Witanhurst House, the second largest residential home in London after Buckingham Palace.

My favourite pub in Highgate is the Flask, definitely worth a visit! If you’re looking for something outside Highgate there’s Primrose Hill and Regents Park offering stunning views over London as well as number of attractions and activities such as London Zoo. If you are looking for a unique experience I would suggest visiting Camden Market, which offers every type of food possible. The area is also great for sport – we have Arsenal and Tottenham as well as Saracens rugby team so there really is something for everyone.