We lived in Financial Times

The Secret Agent

Writing this column has given me more pleasure than I can adequately express, but it’s time for me to say goodbye

The Secret Agent

A day tripper after the night before

Borough and Bermondsey brought new flavour to the afternoon – hip and happening

From beach to bars and back again

José Ignacio is the spot for my client, benefiting from solitude yet moments away from South America’s most understated glamour

The Secret Agent: bricks and mortals

Buyers’ attitudes – they either exhaust every option before being satisfied or go with their gut

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent: Resolve in the face of procrastination

The super-prime market in London is fuelled by enormous wealth and mind-boggling prices

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent: One man’s Utopia is another’s dystopia

Some effort ultimately brings rewards and instant gratification is just that – ephemeral and unsustainable

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent: the perfect pace of karma

The client, an avid acquirer of property, has the natural suspicions that come with a £1bn fortune

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent: rich ladies and a time-poor man

A funny thing about running your own business is that people assume you have more time on your hands

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent: I need to talk about Kevin – and Justin

A property can enhance a family’s life, help nourish it, though it is the people within it that really make life work

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent: Why property porn is best kept a fantasy

I’m content with my lot and quite happy to stick with my property dreams – they’re so much easier to live with

The Secret Agent: To Big Sur with love

I imagine myself a successful screenwriter with a 1920s Spanish revival house overlooking the Pacific

The Secret Agent: Bubbles move in mysterious ways

A client’s desires are not straightforward. But one man’s idea of sexy is not always another’s

The Secret Agent: The age of compromise

It’s interesting to see how people cope with compromise because inevitably we all have to – in property, in work, in love, in life

The Secret Agent: A coup de commitment

Very rarely is there a flat or house that I just fall for and as with an individual ‘the falling’ can be an irrational desire

The Secret Agent: How to charm the charmless

The key is not to take offence unless you really need to draw a boundary because no one likes to be chastised

The Secret Agent: Mission impossible

I realise that my client has a psychological barrier – a barrier that prevents her from buying anything

The Secret Agent: A hedgie turns to me for shelter

I confess to having been in talks with several ‘runners’ as I am on the quest for a number of unusual properties

The Secret Agent: Bitter tale of the £20m Twitterer

This deluge of ceaseless communication by tweets, blogs and Facebook strikes me as strange

The Secret Agent: Far from the rioting crowd

Serious work lies ahead, including keeping a keen eye on the property market’s reaction to the global events of August

The Secret Agent: Between the spreadsheets

It is better to put the client first rather than set targets or plan nefariously to undercut or side-swipe the opposition

ABOUT THE SECRET AGENT

The Secret Agent worked for one of London’s top international real estate agencies for four years before setting up his own property-finding consultancy in 2004. He works with the rich and famous, sourcing high-end homes across London and sometimes the world. He previously worked in the film industry, between New York and Los Angeles, and has also lived in Paris, Buenos Aires, Venice and Nepal. He has a degree in art history and English literature and a Masters in creative writing.

The Secret Agent started writing for the Financial Times’s House & Home section in 2007 and has a novel in progress.

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