Ray White Rockhampton City held its first twilight laneway auction last week after deciding to capitalise on the city’s growing laneway culture.
The event was the first of its kind for the office, which struck upon the idea after noticing an increasing number of auction bookings in a city that traditionally sells by private treaty.
“My principal and I and another colleague sat down at the end of last year after seeing a number of auctions starting to get booked,” Ray White Rockhampton City auctioneer Andrew Leach told REB.
“We were sick of doing them in function rooms or individual ones on site so we thought ‘Let’s do something different’. Laneway events are very much flavour of the month here in Rockhampton with outdoor festivals and art shows, so we are trying to emulate the laneway culture of Melbourne,” Mr Leach said.
The real estate office hired 20-foot LED screens on the back of double-axle trucks, rigged them up to a laptop and presented the properties to a 50-strong crowd with over a dozen registered bidders.
Ray White Rockhampton City is in its eighth year of business and Mr Leach said he has been calling auctions since 2007.
While auctions are usually held in function rooms or on site, the new strategy meant that a number of auctions could be called on the same day in the same location.
“But by doing this, we thought we’d attract people who might be interested din buying or selling property to see how the auction process works,” Mr Leach said.
“It generated quite a crowd. We were extremely pleased. The amount of people who came up to us afterward asking if we will do them again – we’ll definitely be back.”
Rockhampton is still very much in favour of private treaty. Mr Leach said it has never been a big auction town, and suspects that auctions will never overtake private treaty.
However, the laneway auction has created an excitement among property owners about the possibilities of auctions as a way of buying and selling real estate.
“It’s an option for the sellers that they may not have considered. We’re in a quiet period here and prices have stayed steady. It’s a great chance for people to pick up properties at good value, and for sellers to find out more about the auction process,” he said.
“The local regional counsel has been very proactive with the laneway activity and have developed a great dining and arts culture in Rockhampton over the last few years.
“When we started to see the number of auctions coming up, we thought ‘How great would it be to do them all together?’ We had a perfect laneway beside us and thought it would be the ideal location.”