Auctions Don’t Work Here, Our Market is Different!

Jason Hellyer from Landmark Harcourts explains why regional and rural operators should consider having a conversation with vendors that covers both auctions and private treaty sales.

In one sense, it is true that real estate markets can and do differ significantly from region to region, state to state, but generally only from a legislative, economic and landscape perspective. In my opinion what doesn’t change, regardless of whether you’re in a regional, rural or metropolitan setting is the conversation we should be having with our prospective vendor about the benefits of both Private Treaty Sale and Auctions.

“Here we go,” you say, “another city slicker trying to tell us that auctions are the way to go!”

No, that’s not what I’m on about, in fact nothing rubs me up the wrong way more than someone that I’ve never met before telling me how to run my business – so I wouldn’t do that to you. What I am suggesting is that we, as agents, should keep an open mind to all sale options, discuss them (and their benefits) with our potential vendors at every opportunity and then let them (the vendor) make the choice as to which method of sale best suits them.

What I am suggesting is that we, as agents, should keep an open mind to all sale options.

How can something “not work” if it’s never used?

Let me ask you this. How can something “not work” if it’s never used? Furthermore, if you did use it once and it didn’t work as planned, does that mean that it won’t work next time with a different approach? Where would we be today if the Wright brothers gave up after their first attempt!

You’re going to think I’m nuts, but I believe more auctions are conducted in regional and rural centres throughout Australia on a weekly basis than any of our major capital cities. In fact, I will go as far as saying that there’s an extremely strong auction culture in country Australia – with auctions being the preferred method of sale in the bush for over a hundred years!

For example, the other day I was in a regional town where I witnessed several very experienced auctioneers conduct around 100 auctions in a morning session. There was a crowd of close to 200 people in attendance and circulating amongst them, I could sense that several punters were there to buy. As the auctioneer sparked into action for the very first time with a brief and feverish description of what he was about to sell, the crowd shuffled closer to the fence in anticipation of what was to happen next. At a frenetic pace, the auctioneer broke out into his call. Within two or three minutes of winks, nods and flicks of fingers the auctioneer was counting down the bid and with the hammer falling the word “SOLD” was belted out.

That morning I witnessed a small group of auctioneers run through 100 or more lots, selling over 3400 head of cattle with a clearance rate of 98%!

Am I “drawing a long bow” comparing the acceptance and success of livestock auctions with property auctions in regional rural markets?

Well let’s go back to the original statement “auctions don’t work here, our market’s different!”.

When we take a generalist view of auction activity in regional and rural markets, there is no doubt auctions are an accepted, and in many instances, only way of doing business. The methodology is the same, the auction is conducted on a set date, vendors agree on a reserve, buyers bid in an open and transparent market and when the hammer falls the sale is (in most circumstances) unconditional.

Given these facts, in your next listing presentation would it be worth raising the benefits of an auction campaign particularly if you are dealing with a farmer that buys and sells livestock on a weekly basis using the same regime?

Perhaps integrating this analogy into your next presentation, you might strike a chord with your prospect and list their property for auction. One thing is for sure though, if you don’t have the conversation you’re absolutely right – auctions won’t work!

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Jason Hellyer

Jason Hellyer is General Manager of Ray White Rural Victoria. Ray White Rural Victoria and our regional Victorian franchise network, specialises in regional and rural property marketing and sales, property management and livestock marketing