Behind the Scenes: Katherine Ilett
Monday, June 23, 2014 by Douglas And Gordon
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Whereabouts do you live now?
I grew up on a dairy farm in Suffolk selling ice cream, and now live in Clapham South – coincidentally, right above the D&G Abbeville Road office.
How long have you been an estate agent for?
I’ve been an estate agent for four years but qualified as a chartered surveyor six years ago, having worked in property since leaving university.
How long have you worked for D&G? What’s the greatest thing about working for them?
I’ve been with Douglas & Gordon for four years with a mini gap in the middle for a ski season. The best thing about D&G is the pride that everyone takes in working for the company and the friendly atmosphere in the offices.
What’s the funniest story you have from your time at Douglas & Gordon?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet some very eccentric characters, but my favourite was the wonderfully generous wife of a diplomat who rented a property in Cadogan Gardens. She sent Christmas presents to me every year including an all-over sequinned red dress and volumes of Nigerian poetry sprayed in her perfume. When property management went to inspect her flat they received a full champagne afternoon tea.
When you’re not in the office or showing people around, what do you do in your spare time? Any interesting hobbies we should know about?
I like to snowboard or escape to the country. I am also an aspiring writer!
What questions do you most commonly get asked by clients/customers?
Can you reduce your fee or what’s the lowest price I can get this flat for?
What advice do you have for people looking to buy or rent in South Kensington?
You can get some really good deals in rentals at the moment, so don’t be put off because it is traditionally seen as an expensive area.
What do you love about South Kensington? What are your favourite hangouts? Where do you grab your coffee in the morning, or take a business lunch?
The beautiful stucco fronted buildings and garden squares, especially in the spring/summer when the blossom comes out in the sunshine. I get my morning coffee from Malibu on Bute Street. Rocca on Old Brompton Road is great for a quick Italian lunch and I also love Bumpkin a bit further down the street.
What would you say to anyone looking to move into the area?
Do it now before the busy August/September period as there will be more competition for properties then. And please, please, please can I have your residents parking permit?
If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the property market, what would it be?
I would change the fact that it goes in peaks and troughs throughout the year and can change on a week to week basis. If we could be nicely busy all year round that would be perfect.