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Are ‘blended’ sales the future of real estate?

By Duncan Anderson
22 March 2022 | 1 minute read
Duncan Anderson

Many agents will swear by, and ruthlessly champion, a specific sales method – whether that’s auction or one of the many iterations of private treaty. You can sit and argue for hours, but what if neither is correct?

Personal preferences aside, we should always act in the best interest of our vendors and their situation. The problem is often until you canvass the market, you are missing crucial information to make the best recommendation.

An emerging trend in real estate is the ability, and necessity, for agents to pivot with ease depending on the circumstances of the sale. By arming yourself with the flexibility to choose a sales method after you have more information, you can ensure you’re not underselling the home.

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Employing a combined sales approach is not a new thing. Some agents will start with an off-market campaign then advertise it online if the interest isn’t there. Or more commonly, a private treaty campaign often follows a “passed in” traditional auction.

What is new are digital platforms that provide the capacity to convert between sales methods with ease. They also have the added benefit of attracting significantly more buyers by virtue of the convenience they offer.

Openn is a platform that has digitised and enhanced traditional sales processes, enabling agents to capture offers, negotiate with buyers and finalise property sales with more efficiency. The platform now supports all sale processes, including:

  • Online auction  Openn Negotiation is a fully transparent online auction solution where conditional buyers can participate, and all buyers sign a contract in advance.
  • Online private treaty/sale – Openn Offers allows price transparency and ranking to be controlled by the agent  culminating in an optional final offer stage.
  • NEW - Online tender – Openn Tender allows offers to be submitted digitally by a set deadline for the agent and seller to review.
  • COMING SOON - Offer management – Openn Access allows agents to receive offers, review terms and send contracts for digital signing through an intuitive and private interface.

What we’re seeing is agents adopting a blended strategy, whereby they adjust the level of transparency in their campaign to suit the demand for the property and ensure they capture every cent for their sellers.

Here’s how that might look. You market the property through your usual methods. You start with a private treaty campaign and invite buyers to submit offers through the Openn platform. If multiple buyers present similar offers, you turn on price transparency to allow them the opportunity to beat the highest price. Or you convert the campaign to an online auction, which also allows those buyers to compete transparently, with the added advantage of no-cooling off under auction rules. By adjusting your sales strategy based on real-time market feedback, you’ve secured top dollar for your vendor while giving buyers an equitable opportunity to secure the property.

Adopting a combined approach is excellent in a hot market, but even more so in a cooling market where stale properties are frequent. Numerous agents have used Openn to reinvigorate a slow campaign and bring renewed attention from buyers.

If the experiences of the past two years have taught the industry anything, it’s that persevering with rigid frameworks isn’t the way. We need to be flexible. With increasing signs the market is shifting, being able to offer a blended sales approach will prove vital – especially when you have vendors expecting prices of yesteryear.

Duncan Anderson is the chief technology officer of Openn and president of Openn North America Inc.

Are ‘blended’ sales the future of real estate?
Duncan Anderson reb
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