What a year so far. Its difficult to know where to start. I could talk about our commercial success and about the steady increase in our weekly sales. I could also talk about the success of our property sales and the rise in jewellery and watches from our new valuation office in the Jewellery Quarter. However I want to concentrate on two things.
The first is our long term development of digital solutions to auctioneering. This may seem a little geeky and boring but for years we have been punching above our weight in developing systems for our customers. We are one of the few auctioneers in the country who have developed their our own auction bidding software. However any of you who have used these systems will know, they are slow, and it’s virtually impossible to watch the video and bid at the same time. Well the team has been working on this for years and now they have found a solution. We think it’s a game changer. You can now bid instantaneously on your smart phone. It’s like live Ebay. From the comfort of your own home you can watch and bid with an instantaneous feed of the auction. Obviously you’ll need a good wifi connection, but please try it out, the live feed is now running on our home page and it’s really easy to sign up and take part.
The second and most exciting part of the business is the people who work here. Several years ago we decided to move away from the male dominated egocentric world of auctioneering and we hired some of the most talented graduates from our great local universities. They happen to be mainly female! The idea was that we would properly develop people and bring them through the business. There’s nothing they would not be allowed to try. Unlike many auction houses where the owner does all the fun jobs, all of them have been trained to be auctioneers, and have started to make inroads in their chosen fields. It’s a very happy place to work and it’s a totally inclusive environment. Congratulations to Ellie and Fraser who have become the first official Biddle and Webb couple to get married. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store.