James Pratt – What makes a good auctioneer

Removing the focus from the auctioneer, being skilled to sell a house in a slower market and having social media tools in their repertoire are some of the key skills a good auctioneer should have, James says.

“We make sure the auction is not about the auctioneer. When the auctioneer wants to be the centre of attention, the client and owner pick up on that really quickly.

“The agent has done 97% of the work before an auction commences. The best auctioneers are those who don’t make the auction about themselves but have a really clear understanding what they have to do for the last 3 per cent of the sales process.”

James says that in a good market, a lot of auctioneers can get away with counting numbers. Sometimes there are 15 parties fighting for one property and it’s going to sell no matter what. As the market slowly cools and registrations go from 5-6 in Sydney to one or two, a good auctioneer will know how to resell the home when there is silence.

“A good auctioneer knows how to auction differently in different areas and highlight features of a house according to the demographic.”

Social media is another important aspect of good auctioneering.

“We are very social media orientated. It’s the quickest way to update the buyer network we have in America and China. If we have a client’s property that is suitable for the international buyer, it’s important to have all social media channels up.”

Most memorable auction?

“I did an auction in Coogee about 7 years ago. The house was on the beach in Coogee, the agent was a good agent and had done his best. The vendors had gone bankrupt. Even with the reserve they had set, they would be 100k in debt. The agent had done a good job preparing them for it. We sold it for $230,000 over their reserve. We got 3-4 unexpected registered parties. When I finished auction, the vendors were in tears and thanking us.”

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Azal Khan

Azal Khan was a in-house features writer for Elite Agent Magazine.