We sat down with Penny Mosgrove, CEO of Quintessentially Estates, to discuss her views on the London property market in these uncertain times.
9fi5th: What does a typical day look like for you as CEO of Quintessentially Estates?
PENNY: No two days are ever the same. It starts with waking up and looking at my phone. We have an office in Hong Kong, so everything from Asia comes in overnight and I deal with that from about six to nine in the morning. I am usually at the office by about 7:45 to 8:00. Days can be filled with anything, like pitching to new clients, attending meetings about the progress of sales, speaking to clients, checking accounts, and other things like that.
9fi5th: What does a really good day look like for you?
PENNY: Days filled with deals are very exciting because I have done deals since I was young. The other thing I find exciting involves coming up with new ideas for businesses. Such an activity really allows you to be creative and exercise free reign in the development and implementation of your thoughts. I also still enjoy meeting with clients and pitching to them. As a salesperson you never lose that side of you.
9fi5th: Are you very close to your clients?
PENNY: Yes. They never leave me. It is such an emotional process. You are literally living and breathing every second with them when it comes to a purchase like that.
9fi5th: Within London, what are the hot places right now? Are people moving outside of PCL? Are there any trends that you have seen this year?
PENNY: People still want PCL. It is a safe asset. We have seen a bit more in North London, like Islington. Investors are a bit more keen to go farther out now, but only when it comes to investment buying. Home buying will always be our bread and butter.
9fi5th: Are there any developments that you are crazy about in the City right now or anything special you see coming up?
PENNY: There are some really good projects in development, but they are very hard to come by because they always incorporate some design feature that makes no sense to me. I always go for something with loads of light. You cannot change that. You can change an interior, but you cannot change where the sun rises and sets. The Centre Point ones that are about to be up for sale will be really exciting. Some of the investment ones, like the Barratt one at Aldgate Place, will also be really good. Fulham Riverside will have a lovely outlet and it also has loads of natural light. Natural light just really excites me. It is what makes an apartment great.
PENNY: You should always buy when people are not buying. That is the way I have always made more money. Uncertainty changes markets. We have Brexit, the London mayorial election, the stamp duty, etc. Now is the time to do it. Even when the market is roaring, there is always a level at which you have to stop. Trees don’t reach the sky.
9fi5th: If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
PENNY: Take more educated risks. People are too careful. You don’t get anywhere without taking risks. You have to take them. You have to learn your trade, of course, but then you have to take risks on certain things and not be too careful. If you think about things too carefully, then you wind up doing nothing. I would also tell my younger self to take an opportunity to live abroad. Building on the networks you establish during such times can add so much to your life.
9fi5th: Thank you.