Lead agents looking to promote their brand as the go-to in their market should heed the advice Maximus Decimus Meridius offers in Gladiator: “What we do now echoes in eternity!”
Irrespective of whether it’s your listing or another team member’s, everyone present on auction day needs to be on the same page and understand you are all being judged at all times.
Even if it’s your first week in the job, if you are not well-equipped and you are the only agent a prospective vendor talks to during the open for inspection, it is game over for your brand.
So let’s break down an auction into three components: the brief, the open and the auction.
Now we can set a structure that will bring a much greater dynamic to the team.
It is imperative that everyone understands that the listing agent (LA) is in charge.
There’s only ever one head chef in a kitchen for a reason.
This may seem like a burden the LA doesn’t need, but if you get this right in preparation for the auction, it will make your lives so much easier on the day.
The LA’s responsibilities to the team before the auction is to ensure everyone understands:
- Key elements of the property. In particular, anything that has been asked about consistently, such as easements on a block that is suitable for development.
- Anything different about the paperwork, such as Strata/Stratum Title or double-lot (apartment and car park).
- Number of buyers registered to bid, including a suggested budget range.
- Any potential vendors that may be attending.
All of this sounds basic, but the number of times I’ve known more about a property than the team working on it is incredible.
To make it quicker and easier, set up an SMS template, so you can text all of the information through while having a coffee.
Each interaction you have with an attendee could potentially take you closer to a win.
Some ground rules should be universal, including:
- Dress smart and look smart. Pay attention to the little things. Don’t chew gum, don’t wear sunglasses on top of your head and make sure your shoes are polished. The one percenters can make a big difference.
- Energy remains positive at all times. Each interaction you have with an attendee could potentially take you closer to a win.
- All for one, one for all. You will need your team’s support at some point, so remember that as you head into battle. The stronger you make your brand look, the more power it will have at the listing table.
- Role assignment is wise. This allows agents to slot into their role and start work as soon as they arrive.
Ideally, the listing agent (LA) should be free to roam between buyers and the vendor.
Then you need to assign:
- Host (first agent to arrive). They welcome attendees and take details. They must be available from the start of the open.
- Display agent (second to arrive). Posted at the open display, which is where most/all attendees will go to at some point. Their role includes gauging opinions and asking ‘Have you thought about a bidding strategy?’ as well as identifying neighbours/potential vendors.
- Roaming 1 (third). They constantly move around the house answering questions, handing out brochures and keeping their ears open.
- Roaming 2 (fourth). The same as Roaming 1, unless there are few attendees. Door knocking, cage rattling.
The auctioneer also has a role to play during the open. I’ve found it very handy if the LA introduces me to key buyers as it gives me a chance to break the ice before the auction has started.
This definitely helps me achieve the first bid from someone, and I can offer impartial bidding advice before the start.
The LA needs to lead from the front and set the example.
There must be a united front, so make sure you all hold each other accountable because if one of you drops in standards, it will reflect on the entire brand.
Key elements to remember here:
- The LA is the conductor for the big performance and everyone else (including the auctioneer) is playing to the conductor’s beat.
- A quick huddle to assign agents to buyers is a good idea and it also acts as a show of unity to your vendors. I recommend the team does this inside just before the auction starts.
- If the auctioneer needs a pencillor, make sure whoever it is acts as a bid-spotter and is looking in the opposite direction to the auctioneer. Activity breeds activity and energy breeds energy. No agent should stand and just gaze at the show. Put egos to one side and if the LA asks you to do something, do it.
This is just a brief overview to demonstrate how much thought and effort your office needs to put into its auctions.
When you do this you will get more opportunities to list from the most public billboard you’ll ever have for your business, even if the property passes in.
So remember – if your brand wins, you will all benefit.