There has been a lot of change in the real estate game in recent years. For agents new to the industry, there’s a lot to learn. For old school agents, there’s a lot to unlearn.
The changes relate to regulation and compliance, but also to buyer behaviour. Buyers are auction-savvy now, they’ve been schooled, and if you count watching TV shows (can you believe one of the original real estate shows, Hot Property, first aired in 1999!), they’ve probably been to more auctions than you!
The market is running hot at the moment. I recently acted as an auctioneer at a sale where the winning bidders, sick of losing out at auction after auction, bid $1.2 million over the reserve. Crazy stuff. So, in this environment, how do you be the best agent you can be? How do you make sure sellers walk away with a good impression of you and your agency?
I’ve been a real estate agent for over 30 years and sold over $4 billion worth of property. I’ve developed my own system of sharing my experience, and here are five things I tell agents who join my sales training academy about their role at an auction:
- Embrace the auction registration requirements. The legislation requiring all bidders to be registered adds transparency to the process and inspires confidence and trust. In the past, you would simply hope to see the face of an interested buyer in the crowd. Knowing who is registered provides real-time and accurate feedback to your seller on who is likely to bid.
- Give the buyers space. There is no need to constantly approach each registered bidder during a live auction to attempt to extract a higher bid. This may be perceived by some buyers as unpleasant pressure bordering intimidation. Most buyers are sophisticated and experienced with the auction process. However, don’t be afraid to step in and give guidance to bidders who lack auction experience.
- Liaise closely with your auctioneer. Give the auctioneer detailed feedback in relation to all registered parties in terms of their level of interest, price indications, and number of views they’ve conducted. The auctioneer can use that to focus efforts on getting the best result.
- Be the calm and trusted adviser to your seller. Selling a home has been well publicised as one of the most stressful activities one could undertake during their lifetime. By providing pragmatic, raw, but diplomatic advice to the seller, you can help them focus and make better decisions rather than being overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to provide your recommendation to either accept or reject an offer. Advice should be impartial, not dissimilar to recommendations made by lawyers, doctors, and accountants.
- Don’t forget the buyers. Buyers make up 50 per cent of the sale transaction, not 10 per cent. So, your obligation is to provide outstanding high integrity service to all stakeholders of the transaction.
Adrian Bo is an agent, auctioneer, director of Ray White Park Coast, and founder of the Adrian Bo sales training academy.