Auctions - more than the last chance saloon

Posted on 5 Feb

Agents are stressed – sellers are on the phone, their contracts are nearing the end of their term with the best selling period just round the corner. What do you do?

Spring is coming, loads of buyers/tenants are demanding viewings – but most want them at times agents struggle with and one is ill anyway. What do you do?

With sellers agents can plead for more time, hopefully at a reduced price, or can suggest a multiple agency to keep you in the game. Otherwise your choices are limited.

This week I’ve been hugely impressed with one outfit that offers agents another chance with unlucky sellers. There are many good auction companies out there, but IAM sold seem to offer a genuine bespoke solution for agents who don’t have the infrastructure or inclination to put one in place.

Their MD, Jamie Cooke – a live wire – wants agents to be able to hand over these instructions and sit back as they do the rest.

In only seven years his company now sells the second highest number of lots by transaction in the UK – impressive.

Perhaps at last, auctions will start to become a more reasonable solution earlier in the sales process and stop being seen as the last chance saloon. From what I’ve seen, the process deserves a fresh look.

As Viewber approaches 1,000 viewings, agent sign-ups are increasing rapidly – some national, others high end – using or trialling the service to back up their negotiators. Makes a lot of sense and is surely a real enhancement to any agencies claims about never missing a viewing.

Feedback from the industry is that buyers’ and tenants’ expectations of being able to do what they want when they want is creating challenges.

I remember clearly from my days as a negotiator that we’d rate how serious someone was as a buyer by whether they’d take time off to do viewings – but in those days they’d only be talking to a few local agents on the phone and bosses were more lenient about taking time off.

Those days have changed and if you won’t show it they’ll move on to something else, such is the pace of new prospects dropping in their inbox. Solving that issue saves a lot of headaches, it seems.

Bottom line is that there are options out there to allow agents to do more with what they have, both for sellers/landlords and buyers/tenants – and outsourcing an auction function or viewings are merely two of them.

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