Ray White South Australia has appointed its first-ever chief auctioneer, charged with increasing auction market share for the real estate group.
Having spent most of his life in England, John Morris moved to Adelaide in 2010, started his real estate training in 2011, became an independent auctioneer in 2012, and has returned to Ray White with grand aspirations.
Mr Morris said he would like to see auction as the preferred method of sale across the whole of South Australia, because “in basic terms, it just works”.
“Currently in South Australia, approximately 10 per cent of all listings are auction and I’d really like to see that grow exponentially year-on-year,” Mr Morris said.
“Ray White generally holds around 40 per cent of the auction listings in the state, we have a great foot hold, but there’s still room for more auctions within our network.
According to Mr Morris, data shows properties listed for auction spend half the time on the market and it’s also the best way to create competition for the vendor.
“I’d like to train the new influx of auction agents and auctioneers and help instil the auction protocol,” he said.
“As the Chief Auctioneer, it’s my role to support and assist all offices and agents to ensure they have a full understanding of the auction process from the point of listing, right through until auction day.”
Having been at Ray White previously as a sales agent and auctioneer, Mr Morris’s career changed direction and he became a trainer, but the focus of Ray White agents using auctions more and more lured him back.
“I’ve always worked closely with Ray White and find the systems and training above and beyond anything else out there. Their focus on auctions was a big drawcard for me,” he said.
“Lots of offices are now embracing in-room events and we have a major auction event being held at the Adelaide Oval toward the end of the year.
“We have traditionally ‘non-auction’ suburbs, but the agents who embrace auction in these areas are starting to make a difference and dispelling the myth that auctions don’t work in certain areas.”
Mr Morris is currently working on an auction assist program with Ray White Norwood, which puts the auctioneer alongside the selling agent throughout the campaign and makes the vendor comfortable with the auctioneer from the initial listing right through until after the auction.
“As auctioneers, we’re often credited with achieving a successful sale result, however all of the hard work is really done by the agents during the weeks leading up to the auction day,” he said.
“I believe there’s an opportunity for me as an auctioneer to be much more involved throughout the whole process alongside the agent.
“Customer service has to be from all aspects in the real estate transaction and, in my opinion, auctioneers could make a step up in their servicing of vendors and agents.”
Mr Morris, who spent time as a professional actor for many years and worked as a croupier in a London casino, admitted he fell in love the first time he ever went to an auction.
“When I first came to Adelaide, I’d never seen an auction in my life,” he said.
“As soon as I saw one, I saw it as the merging of the two careers I’d spent years working on. I also used to teach acting methods, so when the option to train new agents came up, it seemed like destiny was calling.
“Every time I walk away from an auction with a happy vendor, purchaser and agent, that’s a highlight for me.”
Ray White SA/NT CEO Matthew Lindblom said a chief auctioneer was important for the growth of the SA business and would provide further support for members and customers.
“John is a very experienced auctioneer, calling hundreds of auctions every year and having successfully managed a Registered Training Organisation for real estate professionals,” Mr Lindblom said.
“John is well-qualified to train our aspiring auctioneers within the group, which is a key focus for John in this role.
“The auction process gives our vendors three opportunities to sell: before, during and after the auction campaign, which is a significant advantage when wanting to sell your property for the best price in the shortest period of time.
“John will mentor our auctioneers, educate our members about the auction process and how to achieve the best outcomes for our customers through this, and assist with the organisation and promotion of our in-room auction events.”