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MEET THE TEAM AT BEST GAPP

Best Gapp is one of Belgravia’s oldest residential estate agents, selling and letting houses in the area for over 100 years. Meet its team of property experts who can advise you on everything from long and short term lettings to leasehold enfranchisement, property management, corporate recovery and nationwide solutions

Belgravia lettings and sales property experts Best Gapp estate agents1 Alistair Boscawen, Partner overseeing Sales and Lettings

What is your experience as an estate agent? 
I have 33 years’ experience working in the country house and central London markets. Now I specialise in high net worth town and mews houses and flats on short or long leases in central London. 

Which area in London do you focus on at Best Gapp? 
I have worked in Belgravia, Chelsea and Knightsbridge for the last 25 years. 

What is the biggest achievement in your career to date? 
There are a couple. The first was being involved in the valuation of The Gunter Estate and our client winning the bid. The second was selling a flat with a one year lease, back to backing the sale with a 90 year lease extension, which the purchaser paid for, and my client walking away with £3,500,000.

What example of good customer service are you most proud of? 
Advising a client with a substantial house in Belgravia, that he had lived in for 30 years but had a lease of under a year left, getting good value on a sale for that house and then finding him a house to buy in Chelsea that he would get as much enjoyment out of as his previous property. 

What do you think makes a good estate agent?
One who knows his market place, gives sound advice to the client, but is also prepared to listen to the clients wishes.

Why should someone buy in Belgravia? 
Belgravia has a good mixture of flats and houses in all shapes and sizes giving variety for everybody, while being built around three principle gardens squares, and having excellent schools nearby. The area’s strong sales market makes it a good area to invest in, retaining value and achieving excellent rental figures.

How would you suggest choosing an estate agent to work with?
You should talk to an independent agent who knows the market place and will offer sound and impartial advice, rather than one who will give advice just to achieve market share.

If money was no object where and what would you buy in London?
A house and mews in Chester Square or a lateral flat in Eaton Square with some form of a terrace

 

2  Joshua Cantor-Fuller, Head of Lettings Belgravia lettings and sales property experts Best Gapp estate agents

What is your experience as an estate agent? 
Nearly a decade’s worth of working for boutique and independent agencies, as well as conglomerates and franchises. Now I specialise in lettings, advice on marketing strategies and business development. 

Which area in London do you focus on?
I cover Chelsea, Westminster and Belgravia. I spent a year dealing with high net worth individuals in Chelsea and specialising in town houses, while my experience in Belgravia and Westminster covers a broader demographic.

What is the biggest achievement in your career to date? 
A couple had just returned from holiday. Before leaving they had all their items moved into storage as they were due to pick up the keys to their new apartment on the day they returned. Upon touching down in London they were informed by their agent that they had agreed a let on their property whilst they were away as the agents were unable to get hold of them. Stranded with their suitcases and travel gear, they contacted me as I had helped them previously with another property. From the moment they called me to the moment they moved into their new apartment was less than four hours, during which time we did three viewings, carried out references, contracts signed and monies cleared into our clients account. I was also able to help them move their belongings out of storage as well.

What example of good customer service are you most proud of? 
I agreed a let with a foreign diplomat, he was sent here for a long term period. Once everything was agreed, we got chatting about the area and the interesting and fun things to do. I quickly learned that he did not know anybody in London, so I offered to take him and his wife on a proper tour around the capital after work one evening, after which we went for dinner at Bluebird in Chelsea – he is one of the most interesting men I’ve ever spoken to. That was four years ago – the three of us still meet for dinner.

What do you think makes a good estate agent?
The ability to ask the right questions and the understanding of how to turn that information into something the client is really looking for.

Why should someone buy in Belgravia?
Prime Central London prices are higher than any other price in the UK. We have a rich heritage and an impressive history of significant events and buildings. You can hardly walk 100 yards without seeing a blue plaque on the outside of a house. The ambiance and buzz of Prime Central London is why people want to live here.

How would you suggest choosing an estate agent to work with?
Reputation does come into it, but a bigger name is no guarantee of satisfaction. Out of the several different types of agencies I’ve worked with, I’ve always wanted to go back to a boutique agent like Best Gapp. I started in a boutique at my father’s firm (Allan Fuller) in SW15. I’ve found that it’s the best way to truly get to understand what the client is after. It also affords me the time I feel is necessary to get to know the applicant and their needs. The majority of the lets that I’ve done in my career have been put together before the property officially hit the market, because I knew exactly what the client was looking for in their tenants and was able to offer it to them because of the report I build with my applicants.

What is the biggest misconception about estate agents?
Unfortunately all agents tend to get tarnished with the same brush. It’s no secret that our industry is one of the last unregulated property industries in the world, and government will often use this as an excuse to have more stringent regulations and legislations introduced in a populous move. I agree ‘rouge agents’ need to be exposed, but I personally feel there are better ways of going about it. If government worked with the industry bodies such as ARLA and RICS we may find that better and more relevant regulations would be introduced, ultimately satisfying the needs of the public. In the build up to the 2015 general elections there was a lot of talk about changes that both Labour and Tory parties wanted to make to the industry, but very little was mentioned about the parties working with the very well-established governing bodies which were initially set up to police existing agents and ensure they were meeting the needs of the public in a legitimate and ultimately fair way.

If money was no object where and what would you buy in London?
I have always had an internal battle with whether I would want to live in a house or an apartment. If I chose to buy a house, location would be Belgravia again and again. However if I ultimately decided to buy an apartment, the lure of Knightsbridge is too hard to ignore.

 

Belgravia lettings and sales property experts Best Gapp estate agents3 Mike Wood, Consultant to Sales Team

What is your experience as an estate agent?
I have 30 years of experience in the central London sales market and a diploma in Estate Management. Now I specialise in high net worth property sales and have experience in development and project management. 

Which London area do you focus on? 
Initially I worked in Kensington, then I moved on to Chelsea and now I focus on Belgravia.

What is the biggest achievement in your career to date? 
Selling two houses in the same week in Albert Place W8 and selling two adjoining houses in Belgravia to a client, when neither property was on the market.

What do you think makes a good estate agent?
Knowledge of the market, people skills, team interaction and humour, plus being aware that a job well done should lead to further business.

Why should someone buy in Belgravia?
Belgravia has huge character and excellent schools, parks/gardens in close proximity. It is an excellent place to bring up a family being well served for retail therapy and transport too.

How would you suggest choosing an estate agent to work with?
Seek independent professional advice from someone amenable who has sufficient experience in the market place. 

If money was no object where and what would you buy in London?
I would buy a House in Chester Row, to take advantage of its special community atmosphere.

4 Noora Leskinen, Team Coordinator/Office Belgravia lettings and sales property experts Best Gapp estate agentsAdministrator

What is your past experience? 
Having graduated from Oxford Brookes with a degree in Psychology, I went onto work for an American insurance company before moving on to Best Gapp 

What do you think makes a good estate agent?
Someone who is reliable, honest and has excellent knowledge of the property market and the area you are looking in. A sense of humour helps too!

How would you suggest choosing an estate agent to work with?
A recommendation is a great way to select an estate agent.

If money was no object where and what would you buy in London?
I would buy a lateral three or four bedroom flat in Eaton Square.

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