From Saturday spectacles on the lawn, to air conditioned offices during the week. The location of many auctions may be changing, but the skillset of an auctioneer remains critical, says Nest Realty’s Vasco Horta.
Mr Horta is part of the growing number of auctioneers recognising the benefits of Openn – an online method of selling property. With more agents utilising the process as an alternative to private treaty, auctioneers are reaping the rewards.
With over 10 years' experience as an auctioneer, Mr Horta was initially drawn to the transparency offered by the Openn process, which also allows buyers with flexible terms to participate.
“When I learnt how it actually worked, I said, ‘This is the way to do it.' Everyone can see what is going on. There’s no smoke and mirrors,” he said.
“It doesn't take the agent out of the equation of selling the property, but it takes the agent out of the possibility of being accused of misleading or lying to buyers – all those things that happen often in multiple offer situations.”
While Mr Horta sees the place for the theatre of a Saturday auction, he recognises the benefits that are unique to the Openn Negotiation method.
He believes Openn’s ability to accept bids from day one, and reveal them transparently to the market, offers sellers more certainty and leads to faster sales.
“Openn Negotiation is the quickest way to visually demonstrate to the seller where the market's at,” said Mr Horta.
“At live auctions, we've got less certainty, other than the limited verbal feedback, and we've got no way of knowing who's turning up on the day.”
Communication is Key
As an Openn auctioneer, Mr Horta is able to communicate more freely with buyers during the final bidding stage of the process.
“With Openn, you can be more direct with the bidders when you're on the phone, as opposed to in a crowd. Plus, because it’s online, there’s no shyness or embarrassment from the buyer, so it gives us a stronger relationship with them,” he said.
The final bidding stage also provides vendors the unique opportunity to hear real-time feedback from buyers. Mr Horta says this gives sellers confidence if they need to adjust their price expectations on the night to meet market demand.
“I call the bidders and they say, ‘We just cannot see how this house is worth that much. It's not for us.' The owners hear that because I've always got the phone on loud speaker. When four or more people say words to that effect, it's really powerful to the owners,” he said.
An Opportunity to Sell More Properties Under the Hammer
Mr Horta believes Openn allows more properties to be sold under the auction methodology, which is broadly accepted to be a more efficient, transparent and superior method of sale.
“I think we are much more powerful and much more likely to get an outcome with Openn than with traditional methods, especially private treaty. I find Openn has a far better success rate either on the day or within two weeks,” he said.
Mr Horta frequently lends his skills as an Openn Auctioneer to other agents – something he finds immensely rewarding from an earning perspective, as well as personally.
“I have auctions booked pretty much daily. There's only a couple of days here and there where I don't have any,” Mr Horta said.
“One agent I've worked for - it saved her career. She began using Openn, started making sales, and those sales started getting her more business. It's just a beautiful circle of positive results bringing more and more business, and it was all because of Openn.”
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