Bond Wolfe Auctions will be back in the room – but only when it is completely safe to do so and there are no restrictions on distancing, mask wearing required etc.
That’s the verdict of Gurpreet Bassi, chief executive of the UK’s most successful regional auction business.
And this is despite the fact that their most recent auction was the UK’s most successful livestreamed auction raising over £30.2 million. The auction was also the largest ever held outside of London, with a total of 205 lots sold from 218 offered, representing a success rate of 95%.
There was unprecedented interest in the auction with 814,817 website page views, 161,168 video tours watched and 34,336 tuning in to watch the auction live on the day.
The 19 May catalogue has 236 lots – another record – but Bassi misses the buzz of the auction room and believes his hard core property dealers do too.
He says: “Livestreamed auctions have been unbelievably successful for us. I could not have imagined it could have gone so well.
“But on both sides of the rostrum we miss the sound of an auction, the buzz in the room, the networking and the dealing that goes on in person and virtual auctions cannot replicate that.
“The future is a hybrid version with our regular clients from London and Hong Kong, for example, still bidding online and by telephone, and everyone can choose.”
He said it was too early to say when a full return to the room would be possible. “Sometime after 21 June we hope, but it could be the autumn or perhaps early next year.
“What we do know is that we will only open the doors when it is completely safe to do so.”
And he anticipates even greater success to come for Bond Wolfe Auctions when on-site viewings become easier to manage.
“The future is much brighter. For the auction business, it is very much brighter,” he predicts.