BEST PRACTICEElite AgentFEATURE INTERVIEWS

Stu Benson – Keep, stop, start 2024

Just as real estate agents have had a big year in 2023, so too have auctioneers.

Perhaps none more so than Benson Auctions Director Stu Benson.

Stu says the key to his success revolves around consistently engaging with agents and vendors and setting a reserve at the most likely point of competition.

And as for the one auction technique, you’ll never find Stu doing? Yelling!

What auction techniques or strategies have consistently resulted in successful property sales, and how do you plan to continue using them?

Meeting with vendors to make sure they understand the formula to getting a competitive result, and that is a reasonable reserve. 

Setting a reserve at the most likely point of competition – the intersection of your buyers’ consensus of value – is where the ‘flashpoint’ occurs. 

If you’re able to ignite a bidding frenzy at this intersection, you’ll be rewarded with a competitive result. 

This is a dialogue I’ll always champion. 

If you give your buyers a reserve they can reach, they’ll reward you with everything they’ve got.

Are there specific ways you’ve maintained a strong rapport with sellers and buyers over the years, and how will you continue to nurture these relationships?

I relentlessly champion the agents I represent via my circa 15,000 cross-platform social media following, the majority of whom are local and engaged (unlike some industry pundits who’ve obviously paid for theirs, and receive no engagement despite having tens of thousands of followers). 

By promoting my agents’ successes, I get to simultaneously inform our marketplace of the current property values in our area, which is a win-win scenario.

I’m able to maintain a public profile as ‘the’ local auctioneer, give my agents a massive wrap, and deliver relevant content that keeps us all top of mind.

Have there been any auction techniques or practices that you’ve found to be less effective or outdated that you no longer or will no longer use?

I think the fundamentals of an auction are quite classical, tried and true. 

Like most things, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. 

In the hands of a skilled practitioner, the ebb and flow of an auction is very much like a conductor extracting beautiful music from a collection of instruments – our bidders. 

The ideal auction should contain the nuance of an orchestra – lulls, pauses, tempo, build ups, tension, emotion, joy and elation. Even sorrow. 

The one thing I’ll never use is ‘yelling’. My goodness, the yelling at people… just stop. Stop.

Have you explored new marketing channels or approaches that you believe could enhance your auctioneer services and expand your reach?

My most engaged medium is Facebook, because it’s where I receive the most comments and engagement, so it’s one of my main focuses. 

I’ve always championed video content, and feel that agents should continue to be a more visible and relatable face in their local community. 

In saying that, there is a huge difference between ‘getting yourself out there’, and making the whole video about you. 

The content should always be about the property or the success you’ve had because of how you do what you do.

What’s your real estate prediction for 2024?

There will be plenty of stock or, at least, more than we’ve had in 2023.

However, buyers are becoming acutely conscious of their outgoings due to the current interest rate landscape and the overall cost of living. 

With an increase of property supply to help satisfy the demand, agents will likely find themselves with fewer buyers per property, although it will be a case of ‘quality over quantity’.

With more options on the market for buyers to choose from, the deadline of a pending auction sale will help agents keep buyers focused on their listings. 

I believe that is a huge reason why auction, as a method of sale, will continue to increase in the 2024 market.

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