Grays marketplace is launching itself into the real estate and property market, calling its foray into the sector “the next frontier”.
It’s kicking things off with the sale of several blocks of land in Western Australia’s Kimberley in a series of online auctions.
The Kununurra sites are being auctioned through a three-stage process in conjunction with First National Real Estate Kimberley, and on behalf of liquidator Meertens Chartered Accountants.
The move into the real estate sector by Grays comes as it offers criticism of the real estate industry.
According to the online auction provider, while Australians have “swiftly embraced online auctions for a wide variety of categories, the real estate industry has not evolved much in recent years”.
It’s flagged what it calls a number of “fundamental problems of the real estate sales and auction process”.
Despite what Grays has called “tentative moves into virtual inspections and live remote auctions” by a number of real estate players, it’s taken issue with the fact that when it comes to real estate in Australia, auctions are over in minutes, are usually considered very high-stress environments, and bidders are generally constrained to people physically in attendance.
The platform’s chief operating officer, Jeff McLean, said: “We see a huge opportunity for buyers and sellers of all kinds of property to take advantage of our database of over 3 million Australians and our leading auction technology platform.”
Mr McLean added that “Grays has been perfecting online auctions for more than 20 years, so we are well placed to successfully move to property sales”.
It comes as Grays has noted a “large increase” in online auction activity across all categories, and recorded more than 5 million unique site visitors over the space of one month.
While one in 25 Australians has made a purchase previously using the platform, one in six Australians is on the Grays database.