The Hammer Diaries: Property porn

This month Domain live streamed the auction of a Tempe warehouse to Facebook and guess how many people watched it? 20,000. Extraordinary.

The audience was 20,000. The audience was NOT ‘live’ bidding, but you can see from the comment’s string, how their emotions fired up like the were.

For that number you would expect something big right? And it was big. The warehouse; the pool and the final price tag. But despite Sydney’s long-held love affair with warehouses - a few things stood out to me.

First the Tempe warehouse sold in front of everyone’s eyes for $2.65 million. Now this is what I would call, classic property porn. It had all the qualities of porn. It was aspirational for people sitting at home. There was definitely tension between the main players on the screen. And all the back and forth was followed by a final moment of ecstasy; when one couple walked away, victorious It was only the second time Domain has live streamed an auction in Sydney and we found the audience were right there behind us. Jeering the bidders on, and jeering me on - like a local, club football game.

It doesn’t really surprise me, because Sydney just has this crazy, non stop love affair with buying warehouses, but at the same time, what on earth do people do on a Saturday morning?

The second thing was the way events unfolded in the bidding.

Chris Nunn was the agent on this and looking back, we have set a fair few suburb records together. In fact I have set more records with Chris Nunn than any other agent. Especially in the warehouse category. But what jumped out at me from this was how Chris and I work together.

For example, when I opened the bidding at this auction I expected things to start at or above the listed price of $2.4mil.

Yet one bold punter came in with a bid of $2 mill. Now when I took that bid, because the trust between us is so strong, I didn’t even have to look at Chris to see if I could accept it. Some auctioneers might have knocked that back for being too low. But I took it and thought: “I have come here to call and auction and that’s exactly what I am going to do.”

This is where you have to look at the importance overall, of the agent and auctioneer relationship. It’s really critical to how things play out. For example, before we started our auction strategy was clear and it was discussed in detail. We planned to start the auction at around $2.3mil or $2.4mil.

But sometimes you sense as an auctioneer, that you need more “runway” to get into unchartered territory. I had to change my strategy in a split second. And that kind of move requires implicit trust with the agent. I have that kind of relationship with Chris.

I find it’s trust which helps promotes creativity and allows you as an auctioneer to change gears or change lanes in the race so you can get to where you are going efficiently.

For me it’s unquestionable, this licence to make decisions to meet the mood of the moment is still absolutely paramount. I belief it is a very clear, but often understated, competitive advantage for home sellers to know their agent and their auctioneer are absolutely on the same page.

So there you have it. Property porn - unfolding in an unexpected way, but still breaking a record out in the burbs. And a happy ending! The glam Tempe warehouse went to a lovely couple from Chippendale. They already owned a un-renovated warehouse but when they saw this one, with everything completed they wanted it, they decided to sell up and move their whole life - ‘box and dice’ to Tempe.

They are the real life porn stars and I guess for the first time - everyone got to watch them doing it!

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Gavin Croft

Gavin Croft

Gavin Croft is the Director of BresicWhitney Auctions, which launched in 2015. He trains and mentors auctioneers all over Sydney, and supplies auctioneers state-wide.

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