Reading the crowd and maximising the final bid: Damien Cooley

Damien Cooley is without doubt one of Australia’s most recognised and booked property auctioneers.

Starting in real estate 20 years ago in property management, Damien is now relied upon by his many blue chip clients for his intimate style, professionalism and unsurpassed calibre of service.

Many of you have probably seen Damien working his magic on shows like The Block, which he has won a number of times. He has also regularly performs a number of charity Auctions including the upcoming House for Life.

One of Damien’s true superpowers as an auctioneer is his ability to read a crowd and understand crowd and understand where the value really is.

In this episode of the podcast, we take a deep dive into Damien’s world – why accepting $100 bid is sometimes as good as $1500, why Damien is still so involved in charity work, plus various auction strategies he’s using in this current market.

It’s the ability to be able to read a buyer, read a crowd. Know when I can connect and convince someone to bid fifty thousand dollars instead of $5,000 – and being able to press that button when I need to. But it’s also being able to pull back and give somebody time when you need to. That’s intuition – it comes with experience…

– Damien Cooley

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Some topics we discussed include:

  • Damien’s steep learning curve in real estate following a hailstorm in 1999
  • The unique position of Auctioneers in the market – what they see
  • What Damien feels about the market conditions right now – with volumes being (mostly) down
  • What to say to vendors who are waiting until August/September to go on the market
  • Where auctioneers can really add value to the transaction, both before the auction day and on auction day
  • How Damien gets buyers to bid – even when it looks like they may not
  • The ‘Theatre’ of Auction
  • Differing auction strategies (including vendor bids) based on how many bidders are registered (some, one, none!)
  • Using the reserve as a negotiation tool
  • What it’s like on The Block, and how Damien prepares for The Block, how it’s different to a ‘normal’ Saturday auction
  • The human ‘tells’ that auctioneers look for, and how that might impact the last few bids
  • The properties most suited to auction and why
  • The lack of female (!) auctioneers and why it’s such a male dominated field
  • The future of auctions and online auctioneering platforms
  • The importance of giving back.

Host: Samantha McLean, Elite Agent

Podcast Guest: Damien Cooley

References & links mentioned:

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.