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Andrew Grant held their annual business reception at Worcester Cricket County Ground. Over 200 people, old and new business friends, attended and listened to the choir from Dodderhill School, Droitwich Spa. Andrew Grant addressed his guests.

“A warm welcome to you all. Thank you for coming. It is so good to see many old business friends and new business friends.

Today there is much curiosity as to how firms might evolve. We are in a time of anticipation and excitement through to a concern at what might be lost.

Any successful company must always contemplate change. That’s something that I know from my job. When it comes to change, in a crisis it is pretty easy to make it happen. In an organisation that is successful it can be much harder.

Some people don’t see the need for it. They often fear that something precious might be lost.

Evolution can be fast or slow provided there is an early start. Failing can be dangerous. The opportunity for evolution is one you either use or lose.

The anatomy of the workplace has changed fundamentally.

After the war and through the 1950’s and 60’s there was a big expansion of managerial type roles and the growth of the civil service. The professions, especially in the UK, also started on a long march to expansion. The 1980’s ushered in the Big Bang which led to the extraordinary growth of financial services. Technology played a role in all of these. Most of the time it just facilitated what we do. It made our jobs a bit easier and sometimes more complex.

However, more recently technology has started to shape work and jobs to a much greater extent.

In our businesses we have reams of data. As a firm we are forever sending out thousands and thousands of emails each day to reach out to the marketing media. The internet and social media have taken us over.

My point is really that the workplace is changing shape more quickly now than ever before. It is a key part of everyone’s journey through life. Where we find what we are good at or not good at. The workplace is a key factor of progress and social mobility which is probably going to change even more. It will happen whatever we do. It doesn’t necessarily mean everything changes but agility is required to learn and adapt for leadership to be skilled in influencing others. So education, which was part of our school days, now continues throughout our lives. The challenge is for both employers and employees.

We all have the opportunity for evolution. I hope you feel that what I have said is important and to be taken in. The future offers great opportunities.

Our firm this year has completed 1,227 sales in the last twelve months with an aggregate value of about one third of a billion.

Most properties were sold over 97% of the original asking price. Despite draconian changes to Stamp Duty a number of houses have been sold over £750,000 and is now starting to apply to houses over £1 million.

The month of November saw record sales across all price ranges. Maybe we are having to accept the situation carrying on. We normally do. It is the British spirit.

In the last 12 months we have taken over two letting agents businesses, namely Philip Rhodes Rogers and Jolly Lettings from Malvern and Select Lets of Worcester. We now manage 1,400 properties and collect over £650,000 a month in rent.

As a firm we employ 130 personnel and have some 13 offices from Solihull to Stratford-upon-Avon to Ludlow and Hereford, covering four counties. We have an active Commercial department following the acquisition of Andrew Thompson who remains with us who is a true professional in the commercial field. With his team he covers all commercial aspects and valuations for the banking and building society industry and also the public at large be it for commercial properties or residential properties.

May I thank you for your support throughout the years with your business and wish you a very Happy Christmas and successful New Year.”

Andrew Grant, FRICS DL

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