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Islington

I became partners with Geoff Hotblack in 1981; our ‘divorce’ in 1986 was friendly and I bought his half back in 1998 when he retired to his guns, cars and the country. I have worked in Islington on and off since 1976 and sold my first house in Theberton Street for £26,000! Remarkably HD is the oldest agent left in Islington now; many having been swallowed up by the larger and flashier types. Being the company insomniac, I am usually in the office at 7am but leave early to go running or to the gym. Pleasures outside include watching lots of sport and enjoying the achievements of our 4 grown up children.

I have spent the majority of my life living in various parts of Islington. I started at the firm over 25 years ago as a trainee under the tutorage of Geoffrey Hotblack and I rose to partnership in 1998. I opened the Highbury office in 2006 and ran that before handing it over to Alasdair.  I now look after new business, working with developers and contractors which I am finding pleasantly challenging. To unwind, I get out my bike and go cycling – my colleagues call me a MAMIL – grossly unfair!  I organise the Hotblack bike rides which are a great way for us all to get to know each other out of the office and keep fit too!

Originally from Manchester, I came to London in 1985 and cut my teeth on the London market on Upper Street in Islington. I joined Hotblack Desiato in 1987 and became a Director in the early 1990’s. I headed up the sales team in Camden Town for the past twenty-something years and have gone full circle as I have now moved to the Islington office and back to the area I first started at all those years ago. I look forward to the challenge of working in the competitive environment of Upper Street, which has changed more than just a bit since 1985! Even after all these years I still get a buzz from the business, whether gaining an instruction, the cut and thrust of negotiation or successfully concluding a sale. I have made many friends of buyers and sellers over the years and have a great affinity with the area. We are often privileged and trusted to be let into the lives of high profile clients, celebrities and their families who appreciate our friendly yet discreet and professional approach, which is an aspect of the job which I particularly enjoy. I am married to Marion and have 2 sons. I am a keen golfer and lifelong supporter of Manchester City – a true test of character for anyone, though it has become a little easier in recent years!

Islington born and bred, I have worked for Hotblack Desiato since 2008. I have a very sporting background in that I used to play for Leyton Orient and Arsenal and for three years was a professional tennis coach so I am not entirely sure why I chose to be an estate agent but hey ho – maybe it was the free car. After working as a lettings negotiator here at Hotblack Desiato for a few years, I learnt enough to be promoted to lettings manager.  I am really enjoying the challenge and I have a great team of negotiators so looks like I will be here for a while!

I have lived in North London all my life, and am the youngest of 4 siblings. Having previously worked in the Camden Branch, I took a break and moved into the busy and wonderful world that is Islington. I took some time out to explore my passion for baking, which I have loved since I was a child.  During my time away, I enrolled in a patisserie school and  I qualified as a pastry chef. I can either be found at home covered in flour, shouting at people on the ‘Great British Bake Off’ and playing netball in the park.

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen when I came into the Islington office to interview for the job with “the head honcho”, “the gaffer”, “el présidente” the distinguished David Pinnick. During our dialogue he discovered that I had previous and varied careers in Media, Education and the Restaurant industry and had recently returned from three months of travel through South East Asia. He seemed to like the cut of my jib and I was employed as a Lettings Negotiator and sent to the Camden Office. I started going into the summer period and it was busy like Wall Street! My love of meeting new people and getting to know our applicants and tenants over the phone and in person has held me in good stead. My favourite part of the job is when going on what I call “road trips” with the car, viewing multiple properties. There are quiet days too, however, there’s never a dull moment in the office with the bunch at Hotblacks. Most recently I have moved to the Islington Office. Outside of work I love cooking and eating; this has meant that I have to take part in crazy fads like running and boxing to stay trim, however, I can’t give up eating…my life depends on it so I guess these sporting activities have to continue.

I’m Rafé, one of the sales negotiators working in the Upper Street office. With my family having years of experience working in the industry, I was given an opportunity to try it out and haven’t looked back since. My career in estate agency began in 2016 and has now brought me to Hotblack Desiato. I’m enjoying the opportunity of working here and especially in this interesting world that is Islington. I have lived in North London for the majority of my life and when I’m not at work I try and spend my time seeing family and friends, but my love is for cooking and expanding my palate. The best part of working in Islington (apart from the job) is finding all the great restaurants and bars it has to offer. I’d hope that you remember our name, not only because it’s unique but more that you’ll be happy you came to see us. I’m very lucky to be working with great individuals here and look forward to what’s to come.

Hi, I’m Shell. I’ve been here with Hotblack Desiato for 10 years now, I used to deal with all the rent renewals but I now work in property management. I have a young daughter so I work from home 2 days a week, it saves me the commute and I do manage to get my work done.  However, I really like the buzz of working in the Islington office on my ‘office’ days.  Outside of work I am a keen runner and enjoy spending time with my family.

Hi there, I joined Hotblack Desiato’s property management team over 4 years ago and I received a warm and friendly welcome from everybody.  Originally from up north I have lived in London for almost 20 years.   I enjoy being a property manager – it keeps me on my toes as no day is the same.  I am a ‘people person’ and I naturally go above and beyond to meet the needs and requirements of clients and tenants.  In my spare time I enjoy chilling and spending time with my family near Birmingham, they do great fish and chips up there!  I also enjoy travelling, reading, cooking and studying historic pictures.  Don’t laugh but I also collect old dictionaries – I love words.

I grew up in a small town just outside Prague. After graduating I decided to master my English and moved to London for six months. Ten years later and I am still here, fully enjoying the London life. After 6 years working as a bar manager in Soho I got tired of working long, unsociable hours and was looking for a change. I tried my hand as a lettings negotiator, but I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the best driver in the world so I very quickly discovered the role was not exactly suited for me. That lead me to apply for an office based role at Hotblack Desiato on Upper Street, Islington in the Summer of 2017, which I’ve been loving ever since. Currently I am taking care of renewals for all three offices. Every day is different and throws up new challenges. In my spare time I enjoy outdoor activities, learning new languages (currently Portuguese), reading classic literature, and discovering the beauty of the world. I am also a huge fan of board games.