Agents who want to maximise their selling price on auction day should remember that the hard work needs to start weeks earlier, according to Belle Property auctioneer and performance coach Andrew Robinson.
Mr Robinson says the best auction campaigns include set-to-sell meetings between agent and vendor. That way, clients are not only fully briefed about everything that will occur on the big day, they are also prepared for things that may happen during the campaign.
“I wouldn’t be doing the set-to-sell meeting at the signing of the agreement – I think that’s a very emotional moment and everyone’s excited – but do it before the first open for inspections,” he says.
“That might be a week after or a couple of days after, but actually set out, ‘This is what we could potentially expect throughout the campaign. You’re going to need to make quick decisions as we go through, because with a four-week auction campaign, if you take a week to make a decision, that could add two or three weeks to the end of your process.’”
Don’t forget your buyers
Auction Services director Rob Trovato says it’s also important for agents to work with buyers – not only to get the best result for their current campaign but with an eye to future business.
Mr Trovato says agents should remember that buyers will generally have little or no auction experience and will be grateful for guidance.
“So if I know I’ve got the right buyer for a property, if I’m an agent, I’m going to work with them to help them buy and come to an auction with a strategy to buy,” he says.
“The problem is that most buyers come to auction with a reactive mentality, and they’re going to wait to see what everyone else does before they do something. So if someone really wants a property, I’m going to help them with a strategy to buy.”
For example, that might include advising the buyer to bid aggressively so that the other bidders never feel as though the property is within their grasp.
Mr Trovato says even when buyers don’t land the property, they will still be grateful that the agent gave them a strategy for handling the daunting auction environment – and will possibly make a mental note to hire that agent in the future.
“They’re going to want their buyers for their property being worked with the same way that they were worked with,” he says.
“How much do agents spend prospecting for new business when they have the business in their hands and they just treat it like crap?”
How to shine on auction day
The difference between a good agent and a great agent is highlighted when the auction stops, according to Leon Axford from Axford Auctions.
Mr Axford says agents have two options once the hammer falls – they can approach the vendor or approach the buyer. The right option is for agents to walk over to the buyer.
“If your first choice is to tell the vendor to drop their price $10,000 – hang on, you haven’t even gone out to try to get it. The same thing applies if you’re above reserve. Reserves to me are irrelevant. The job is to get as much as you can, whether it’s $100,000 below or $200,000 over,” he says.
“If you’ve got a strong buyer out there and you’re $100,000 over the reserve – if your auctioneer is calling it on the market as soon as you hit reserve, you’re not doing the right thing by your seller. If he’s going up by $25,000 and everyone else is going up by $5,000, there’s probably a case to go talk to him to get him to increase his offer.”