Carrie Qian talks to us about life as an estate agent in the city with the property market booming. The demanding clients and gruelling work schedule is enough to drive anyone to violence so we meet her in the boxing ring at Red Town Club Hero to discuss how she winds down after work.
Where are we and why have you brought us here?
We’re at Club Hero right now because this is one of my favourite places in Shanghai. We don’t have many places to do boxing training and this one has the best trainers and a great environment. The whole place looks like the real deal.
How often do you make it down here?
Probably once a week, I do some running and work out at the punch bags. Sometimes the trainer teaches me how to kick or punch.
Tell us about your normal day as an estate agent in Shanghai?
I start work at 9:15am, check my emails, talk to clients, find sources of apartments and post advertisements. This job is really random, sometimes we just get calls from clients asking about apartments and we just go right away. After lunch we walk around the French Concession because that is where most of our clients want to live. I finish around 6:15pm and I usually go to the gym. If I eat with friends I’ll get some drinks after. Usually I go to Windows at Jiang’An temple because it’s quite cheap.
How does your job differ from those of your friends?
My job is really spontaneous. Most of my friends do office jobs, 9 to 5 doing paperwork usually just communication with colleagues in the office. With what I do now I need to contact many people I don’t know. One thing I like about this job is you learn how to deal with different people in different situations, you know how people will react in different situations.
Tell us about a particularly difficult client you’ve had to deal with?
I had one client from Iran, I had heard they were quite picky and ask for the best properties and want to pay less. We had been taking him around looking at apartments for two or three months already by the time I met him. Finally we found a really nice young landlord from Shanghai who was OK with everything. The landlord asked him nicely to pay the last month in advance and said he would pay him back but he (the client) refused. I had to go there and pick up the bill.
What are the perks of working in your industry?
The best thing is that I don’t need to stay in the office in the summer. I walk around, see people in the street and get some sun. You don’t waste the day of the sunshine. I tan really easily so I don’t care for whitening.
What’s the hottest property on the market right now?
Right now I think it would be Jing’An. The market it crazy, apartments are rented really quickly. The price is not that high and everyone loves to live there because it’s quiet, the roads are wide and it’s really easy to get to other places because of the metro.
Red Town Club Hero
Red Town B104, No.570 West Huahai Road
Metro: Hongqiao Road