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Industry passes litmus test with online auctions: Lucas and McGrath

30 March 2020 Cameron Micallef
Geoff Lucas and John McGrath

The real estate industry has once again proven its adaptability in difficult circumstances, with online auctions and virtual inspections being a successful substitute while social distancing is maintained.

According to McGrath CEO Geoff Lucas, the hard work by agents has allowed the industry to continue to service its clients, which in turn is keeping the wheels of commerce moving despite strong regulations preventing people from gathering. 

“Today is a great litmus test of how the business of real estate can continue, where the live streaming of auctions has seen multiple bidders participate from the safety of their own home, as the auctioneer conducts the auction from either the property or from another location,” Mr Lucas stated.

Mr Lucas said recent online auctions were a success, attracting a large number of viewers across the board.

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“We’ve been pleased to see many examples of live-streamed auctions today across our network that have proven to be popular with our clients, with multiple bidding activities through the platform.

“We’re also seeing large numbers of digital onlookers, with over 130 viewing the activity online for the successful Alexandra Street Hunters Hill auction. Equally, our agents have been conducting virtual inspections of properties through Facebook and Instagram Live, with the ability to showcase and highlight special features of the properties.”

Founder John McGrath has also weighed in the need to adapt, noting: “We are simply shifting the way real estate is being conducted whether it be open homes to private appointments and how we transact real estate.

“We are fully supportive of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus and we will continue to make whatever shifts required to comply with the legislation and, of course, maintain safety for our staff and customers.” 

New CoreLogic data has found for the week concluding 29 March 2020, 40 per cent of the 3,203 homes originally scheduled for auction across the combined capital cities were pulled from auction.

“The high rate of withdrawals weighed on the preliminary clearance rate, which dropped to 51.4 per cent, the lowest reading since June 2019,” CoreLogic said.

Industry passes litmus test with online auctions: Lucas and McGrath
Geoff Lucas John McGrath reb
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