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Smart glasses could enhance auction transparency

Virtual reality smart glasses have the potential to bring greater transparency to the real estate industry and help auctioneers and agents improve their craft, but they won’t become widely used until they are mainstream in people’s homes.

Leading auctioneer, coach and speaker, Andy Reid, said he had recently tried the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses to film one of his auctions and used them to create a ‘day-in-the-life’ of an auctioneer-style video, and was astounded by the quality of the audio and the vision they captured.

He said while the smart glasses and other VR goggles, such as Apple’s Vision Pro, were still in their infancy, they already held very clear use opportunities in the real estate industry.

“The very first thing this is going to be incredible for is transparency,” Mr Reid said.

“Transparency of the auction process.

“If there’s a questionable result, or if there’s an underbidder that may accuse someone of bias, or claim they didn’t have a chance to bid, or if someone questions how an auction is run in comparison to the legislation, the ability to show true transparence in the process goes up a level with these (smart glasses) because they literally see what the auctioneer sees and hears.”

Mr Reid said VR glasses could also be used when training auctioneers and for established auctioneers to analyse their performance and look for areas of improvement.

He said auctioneers could wear the glasses during an auction and then have their respected mentor or coach analyse the footage, looking for how they could improve their body language, energy levels, interaction with the bidders and the onlookers. 

“To be able to watch from the first person means that another auctioneer, who you trust and respect, can see exactly how the auction plays out and say, ‘Look, I think I probably would’ve done this at this point or that at that point’,” Mr Reid explained.

“So the opportunity to collaborate and improve a skill set is obvious now.”

Mr Reid said using the glasses to record a first person, auctioneer’s, view of an auction could also benefit teams and how agents on the floor interacted with buyers and the auctioneer.

“The thing is, this auction game is a team game,” he said.

“The auctioneer is like a lead violin, but a lead violin does not make an orchestra.

“The ability to be able to analyse their performance as a team is huge, because there’ll be a huge amount of accountability.

“With regular videos, they barely see any of the agents running around or anything.

“But with these (recordings from smart glasses) they will be able to see every single agent and at the next team meeting they can look through the video and say, “at this point, Agent A was still doing nothing. Agent B was with this buyer, but there was a third buyer over there and if someone stood with that buyer and interacted with them, we could have got a first bid, or another bid, out of them’.”

Last weekend, Ray White Cheltenham agent and auctioneer Greg Brydon sold a property while wearing a set of VR goggles from Melbourne company Webtron.

He said his vendors were able to view the auction in real-time on a computer and get a feel for how the auction was flowing and playing out.

“They get a real time understanding exactly how hard we’re working, what we’re doing in the auction, people’s body language, how they’re bidding and what the crowd looks like,” he said.

“A lot of the time, as an auctioneer, if we have a half-time break or walk inside to seek vendors’ instructions, the vendors are asking us lots of questions about who has been bidding, how has it been, is it fast or is it slow, who holds the top bid?

“So for them to be able to see exactly what we were seeing, as an auctioneer, was pretty powerful.”

Ray White Cheltenham agent Greg Brydon wears the VR goggles during his auction. Photo: Ray White.

Mr Reid said one negative about the goggle styles was that they prevented the auctioneer making eye contact with bidders.

He also said, despite all of their benefits, goggles and smart glasses wouldn’t become mainstream devices at auctions until they were much more prevalent in society in general.

“At least for the next five or so years, until the Apple Vision goggles become commonplace in the home, vendors won’t go for it,” Mr Reid said.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.