Andy Reid: Auctions are a team effort, not a solo performance

The campaign’s run its course, the buyers have been through, and the crowd has formed.

When the auctioneer trots out and welcomes everyone to the auction, all eyes and ears point towards the one with the gavel, as the listing agent takes a deep breath in the hope that they’ve done enough for a successful auction.

But as the auctioneer runs through the formalities, a lot of agents tend to stand like spectators if they’re not the listing agent, watching the auctioneer do their thing and believing that their attendance is in support of the office.

You can see it on live streams and auction videos all over social media – as the auctioneer gets going, agents line up behind the auctioneer or off to the side like centurions, gazing aimlessly at the crowd.

Now, I love the showing of support, after all if you win as a team, everyonel benefits as individuals, but how much productive support do you really think you’re providing?!

At best you’re modelling suits, but at worst you’re potentially hindering the progress of the auction, while providing a rather pedestrian impression of your brand.

How is your current behaviour affecting the situation?

As mentioned, it is wonderful that you are showing a level of support by attending the auctions, but if you are one of those that is standing there feeling a little bit like a spare part…then you could be causing more harm than good!

Firstly, energy breeds energy, so if you’re standing there with a degree of nervousness because you don’t know what to do, then chances are that’s how you’ll be making those around you feel too.

Loitering with intent but no action also creates anxiety, which could put people on edge and/or distract them from the job at hand.

Not only that, you need to become a lot more aware of the message that it’s sending to onlookers, who could become potential vendors in time.

If the only person a spectator sees or interacts with doesn’t have a clear directive, understanding of the situation at hand, and a strong grasp of the process along with their role in it, then what chance does your office have of winning that person’s business in the short or long term?

The influence that every team member has on auction day cannot be understated.

In fact, you need to understand that if you are at an auction representing the property and the business, then you have a degree of responsibility towards the outcome, irrespective of whether you’re involved in the campaign directly or not.

It’s not just about the auctioneer! So what needs to change in order to provide tangible support to both the auction and the brand moving forward?

Inevitably a little bit of preparation goes a long way, but the smallest amount of effort will lead to a multitude of benefits.

  1. Listing agent – brief the team about the property and the situation.

Ideally, you’ll have the team in the office beforehand, but it’s so important that the crew understands not only the property, but also what the outcome is likely to be, so they can tune in to the situation they’re likely to face.

It doesn’t have to be done in the boardroom of an office though.

If bringing everyone into the office at the same time is a challenge, then the listing agent can at least send a video message to the crew, letting the team know about key focus points of the property (according to buyers), potential challenges buyers are likely to raise and the crowd expectations, so that the team can mentally prepare for what they’re about to walk into.

  1. Team members – get more proactive!

Don’t turn up on auction day not ready to show up with the right attitude!

Bringing the right energy, getting up to speed with the property before you walk into it, and seeking instruction from the listing agent is critical.

Before the auction begins, engage with onlookers so that they feel included, and during the auction make sure that you’re offering value to the process by at least encouraging bidders once they’ve bid.

  1. Auctioneer – bring teammates into the play.

Yes, us auctioneers need to encourage teammates to get involved, as well as the buyers!

The very best auctioneers have an ability to be aware of what every team member is doing at any one moment and bringing them into the action can be tremendously helpful for the call as well as the individuals in the team.

If you watch your last few auctions, or observe your next couple, and you notice that the team is doing very little aside from standing and looking pretty, then you’re losing a good 15-20 per cent of an auction’s power and potential, both in the moment and beyond.

It is worth putting some thought and effort into the team components of an auction, especially when considering the simple truth that it is ‘the’ public representation of your office and your brand!

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Andy Reid

Andy Reid is an award-winning auctioneer, host of the ‘High Performance Humans’ podcast, real estate coach and speaker.