Phil Arnold celebrates 100 auctions!
Our next auction on Friday 6th December will see our auctioneer and managing director Phillip Arnold receive his 100th property auction cap. Here's what he's learnt over the years…
What do you remember from your very first property auction?
Phillip Arnold: "I was petrified! I think the first one was 15 lots and we sold about six. I didn’t sleep for days leading up to it - I was as complete nervous wreck. I've come a long way since then so I’m not as terrified to go up there any more thankfully. Even now, I still get apprehensive going up because you don’t know how it’s going to go but it’s a far cry from that first one."
What’s the most important thing you've learnt as an auctioneer over those 100 auctions?
"Be calm, engage with the audience and realise what will be will be. I think I also now appreciate that a lot of the audience are more nervous than me. It might be their first time there and they can definitely be more nervous than we are. I remember one lot we sold where the bank stopped someone’s deposit cheque because his signature didn't match. The problem was he was still shaking when he signed it and he just couldn’t write properly. I just try make everyone feel relaxed and be a bit amusing while being professional and trying to make everyone feel welcome."
What do you do differently now?
"You build your own personal routine over the years and there are certain things I do every time even though I'm not overly superstitious usually. For instance, I have a pen the kids gave me for my 40th and I have to use that one. Other than that, I just try enjoy the process now and I think that’s key for me."
What’s the oddest thing that's happened at one of your auctions?
"We had an interesting house in Harrow once. The neighbours either side went head to head on it and neither would give up. The open market value on it was probably 500,000 and we ended up selling for around 620,000 I think. The neighbours were determined to outbid each other. I don't know if they’re still talking…"
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the property market since you started?
"When I first started it was always dealers in the room. Whilst they are still there, we're getting a lot of first time buyers and owner occupiers coming in who are actually buying places to live in. There's no question that people are confident to now do that. That's a big movement we've seen, largely because of TV programmes like 'Homes Under The Hammer'. They’ve given people the confidence to come along, which is fantastic.”
What do you predict to come over your next 100 auctions?
"I think we’ll see the auction method becoming even more popular. It’s not a closed club any more and hopefully more people will feel more and more able to come along. And if I can get up to 200 auctions, I’ll be very happy!"