Australian TV boosts Highland Title sales
Friday 28th January 2011, 10:00AM GMT.
UNPRECEDENTED sales figures have been achieved by one Alderney business this week after one of its employees was interviewed for Australian TV.
Victoria Street-based Highland Titles sells plots of land in Glencoe Wood, starting at £29.99 for a square foot and ranging up to £199.99, which allow their owners to be known as Laird, Lord or Lady. Peter Bevis has run the business in Alderney for 10 years and sells plots of Scottish land ranging up to 100 square feet. The company has grown steadily over the past decade but its sales figures have soared since Channel 7 featured the company on its Sunday morning show Sunrise.
Managing director Peter explained how the interview came about.
‘I was in Scotland when I heard that Channel 7 was interested and the first thing I thought was that I wasn’t going to Australia,’ he said.
‘But then I thought of Alex Flewitt, who is so bubbly and the perfect person to interview. She’s very good at putting stuff across and good on camera.’
Sales and marketing manager Alex got in touch with Channel 7 and just a couple of days later she was flown to Jersey to record the interview at the BBC.
‘We received the email last Wednesday but didn’t speak to anyone in Australia until Thursday, due to the time difference,’ she said. ‘It turns out that the producer had found out about us and liked the idea, so they wanted an interview.’
Alex was asked a range of questions during a 15-minute chat.
‘They asked whether you could be a genuine lord and why the company started. They also asked what people can do with the land.
‘I was quite nervous being in the studio, but I enjoyed the experience. I actually asked if the BBC would give me a job.’
And just 15 minutes after the interview aired – at 10.30pm Channel Islands time on Saturday night – the orders came rolling in. I stayed up to watch it and the phone started ringing at 10.45pm,’ said Peter. ‘That was it, then – I was up all night and the orders just kept coming.
‘The website was utterly overwhelmed and I had to put a note on the homepage to direct people to our back-up website, but that soon got overwhelmed as well.’
Alex, who was spotted by several Australia-based friends on TV, said: ‘The reaction has been mega. It’s been non-stop and we’ve been working some serious overtime to keep up with demand. More than 2,500 were sold in the 48 hours after the show – we’ve never seen sales like it.’
Peter said: ‘We made three months’ sales in three hours and that’s unprecedented. Straight away I thought we needed to get out there, especially as Australia is our second biggest market after the UK.’
Peter said that all six members of staff had pulled out all the stops.
‘I came down early on Monday morning, as I was so excited, and couldn’t believe that Alex was at her desk at 6.30am. Everyone’s pulled together – they’re a fantastic team, but that’s Alderney.’
The phenomenal response means that Alex will be spending a month down under to promote the business.
‘In the next few weeks I’ll be off to do a tour around Australia. I’ll be going everywhere, including Caledonian societies, radio stations, TV – the lot.’
And Alex will even get to visit her best friend, Rachel O’Toole, in Perth.
‘I never thought I’d go to Australia – I can’t wait.’