Most estate and letting agents have a celebrity client story to tell. It might be an A-lister viewing a city pad or country pile, a downsizing ageing rock star or a recently-enriched boyband member on the hunt for a party pad.
It’s not always plain sailing, though. Last year Rowan Atkinson at first listed his Cotswolds home with agent Carter Jonas and then, after a buyer wasn’t forthcoming, decided to switch agent and try Strutt & Parker.
But for online-only letting agent Upad their celebrity moment came recently when former Hear’Say member Noel Sullivan decided to log on, much to the surprise of its staff.
The singer and more recently TV actor, who was brought up in Cardiff and initially trained as an opera singer, is now a client. He’s currently on tour with the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and also has a new album out, Here I Go Again, and has just landed a TV role in BBC drama Ordinary Lies.
Sullivan has been renting out his one-bedroom apartment in SW London for some time and recently switched from a traditional local agent to Upad, and now appears to be an enthusiastic convert to the online model. He cites “astronomical fees” and “shocking” customer service, although he doesn’t name the agent he’s used in the past.
He could do with some professional help, nevertheless. His internal pictures that appear on the Upad site are clearly self-snapped as they were taken on a sunny day late in the afternoon and subsequently feature strong shadows obscuring many of the property’s features.
But presumably he likes the Upad service because it’s pure and simple.