How a pandemic supercharged the evolution of auctions
Auction clearance rates have remained strong throughout successive and lengthy lockdowns around the nation – with the evolution of the popular sales method part of the reason why, according to one of the country’s most successful auctioneers.
Three-time winner of the Australasian Auctioneer of the Year, and Apollo Auctions director, Justin Nickerson said the pandemic had forced the industry to rapidly pivot away from the traditional way of auction campaigns.
“Before the pandemic, it’s not like online or in-room auctions were not available to agents and vendors, but most of the time traditional on-site auctions were the most popular,” Mr Nickerson said.
“However, when big chunks of the population are locked down but were still keen to buy and sell real estate, the auction sector had to evolve to ensure that we were providing them the opportunity to do so.”
Auction clearance rates have generally remained in the 70 to 80 per cent range, depending on the location, throughout lockdowns showing the market quickly adapted to the new way.
Mr Nickerson said it was unlikely that auctions would return to predominantly onsite once the population was able to move around freely either.
“They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, which has certainly been our experience over the past year or so,” he said.
“However, in areas that weren’t locked down often, we have been running what I would call ‘hybrid auctions’ that provide the opportunity for buyers to interact in whichever way suits them the best.
“What I mean is that some bidders might be attending the in-room auction, others may be bidding via telephone, and some may decide to lodge their bids online while watching the live stream of the auction – this level of choice was never the norm before, but I believe it will be from now on.”
Mr Nickerson said the use of in-room auctions was also likely to continue to increase in the future with more vendors and agents now better understanding the advantages that it can bring to a sales campaign.
“One of the main things I believe they have learned is that in-rooms remove the chances of being rained on or being drowned out by traffic noise or the party raging next door, while still securing an excellent result in a more controlled environment.”