A complete strategy - plain and simple. Pt 1

Auction is not magic, it is not a gimmick created by a Public Relations company and it is certainly not some mystical beast to be feared.  Auction is an open and transparent process that has been used for thousands of years for sellers and buyers to exchange goods by determining their value through competition…plain and simple!

Many sellers and agents over-complicate auction in their mind.  As a result, they either don’t choose auction as their sales strategy or don’t manage the process effectively and may miss the opportunity to achieve the best sales outcome for the property.  Auction has many distinct advantages for a seller, lets discuss one of them. 

1.       NO CAP ON PRICE

Choosing to market a property with a price (Private Treaty) can provide the seller and agent with a sense of comfort by offering some invisible protection behind a price.  Unfortunately, this instantly moves the power of the negotiation to the buyers and this is definitely not in the sellers’ best interest.  Coming to the market from the outset with a price is liking playing poker and immediately showing our cards to your competitors.  Why would you reveal your hand upfront and pass the advantage your opponents? 

Revealing a price upfront tells the market you don’t believe the property is worth any more than this figure.  You have unwittingly set a ceiling on the price and capped it from possibly going higher.  Buyers will see this price as negotiable, automatically offer you less and put pressure on you to accept.  The buyer now has the ball firmly on their side of the court!

Since the dawn of time, the value for goods, services and property have been determined on the principles of supply and demand.  Supply and demand is a near perfect law of nature for determining an items value in the market of buyers seeking it.  Listing your property with a price is interfering with the laws of the Universe.  Auction uses this law to your advantage and heightens demand through competition and emotion. 

Join us for our next instalment when we look in more detail how competition and emotion in an auction campaign helps you achieve the best outcome

Damian Borger

Auctioneer & Qld Head of Business

Auctions Continue To Rise In Slowing Sydney Market


Auctions Continue To Rise In Slowing Sydney Market

While reports swirl about the Sydney market flat lining over the early spring months it is promising to see the Sydney auction market on the increase for the third consecutive week. We reported not long ago the impact that the footy finals had in terms of volume of auctions, while clearance rates, remained fairly steady. Since the long weekend both auction volume and clearance rates have been on the improve, with last weekend in Sydney yielding the best auction results weekend since September 9, with a 70.4% preliminary clearance rate reported by Domain.com.au.

While other regions across Australia experience an increase in activity throughout the spring months, the data relating to Sydney report this is a traditionally a period that slows in terms of buyer activity, putting pressure on property prices. The lack of buyer activity simply means that there is less competition for each property forcing owners to be realistic about sale prices if they are serious about selling.

According to industry experts, Sydney buyers are simply taking a little more time to make decisions and are able to comfortably do so as there isn’t the same level of aggressive competition for each property as we have seen in previous months. The very nature of the auction process counteracts this occurrence, ensuring that regardless of the buyer activity on any given week, the property is presented to the market with a clear deadline forcing buyers to compete in the auction arena to place the winning bid.

We will watch with interest this week as we approach the highest volume of Sydney auctions this financial year with more than 1000 homes scheduled to be sold under the hammer.


The Supercharged Housing Market



The Metro Auctions insight into the Sydney Property Market

The explosive property boom continues despite the consistent doom and gloom reporting from media outlets across the country. The low interest rates set to remain steady as announced by the Reserve Bank Australia earlier this week is just one factor driving the supercharged Sydney market, with lack of supply and a tax system that continues to favour property investors also contributing.

Reports indicate that Sydney has now surpassed London and New York to rank as the world’s second most expensive housing market and there is nothing certain to indicate that this trend will slow in the near future. In fact, statistics shows that home prices in Sydney have surged more than 140 per cent in the last 15 years, with the average home price now just shy of the $1 million dollar mark.

Investors continue to dominate the market, using negative gearing to claim the majority of costs associated with their investment property including mortgage interest, using this as a tax offset against other income. Investors have flooded the Sydney market and other capital cities since 1999, when capital gains tax was halved making property a much more appealing and lucrative asset.

While the market continues to boom, there remains those that cannot break through the entry barriers with fears that the Australian dream of home ownership in the major city could become impossible for many. Potential buyers from the Southern states instead continue to push further north or into outer suburban areas which are substantially more affordable.

While some recent media reports indicate that the Sydney market has ‘flat lined’ across August and September the data suggests that this trend would be considered normal given annual trends. Tim Lawless of CoreLogic commented that the ‘marketplace is slowing down, it certainly hasn’t gone negative yet but if we see a continuation in this trend over the coming months we may see Sydney move into negative territory’. Mr Lawless continued on however to state that ‘historically, we’ve seen downturns generally somewhere between 3 and 10 per cent across major capital cities’.

While there is no certainty in the future, it is clear to see that the Sydney property market is a formidable force within Australia and will continue to be analysed, watched, critiqued and scrutinised as time goes on.

Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian


Footy Finals Don’t Stop Auction Results


Footy Finals Don’t Stop Auction Results

The long weekend has come and gone, taking with it the football season with both the AFL and NRL finals being played out over two consecutive days. Footy fans were out in force, cheering relentlessly for their favourite teams and hoping that they can secure the illusive and prestigious victory. On the day, the Tigers claimed their spot in history while the Cowboys couldn’t overcome that underdog title being defeated by Melbourne Storm. In the real estate world however, the show must go on.

While the 953 auctions nationally showed significantly fewer numbers than recent trends, the clearance rates held strong. The preliminary results for the footy final long weekend showed a 69.4% clearance rate which is an increase on the 66.2% from the week prior.

Melbourne performed well with almost 90% clearance rate, but given the volume slump to just 85 auctions this is no ground breaker. Sydney, likely the most impressive, with a total of 447 auctions and a clearance rate just under 70%, showing that the Sydneysiders can either multitask or were not too phased by the double header weekend, focussing on buying and selling instead.


All stats aside, auctions are progressing strongly throughout spring and are tipped to continue generating healthy clearance rates right into summer. Certainly, auction remains the best way to achieve a premium price in any market, getting buyers to compete head to head for the illusive victory.

Congrats to all the winners over the weekend, whether it be AFL or NRL fans, buyers, sellers or agents!



#metroauctiontip Number 1: Choose Your Auctioneer Wisely

To date we have brought you a series of auction tips to help improve your success within the auction arena, but we have saved the best until last! This tip is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most important component in ensuring your auction strategy hits the mark time and time again.

Our #metroauctiontip number ONE is… ‘Choose your auctioneer wisely!’

During each auction campaign you want to be working in ‘partnership’ with an auctioneer that can add value to your service, engage effectively with your sellers and buyers and support you in achieving success under the hammer. The right auctioneer won’t just turn up on auction day and call your auction, they will assist you every step of the way, becoming an important and active participant from the first day of your auction campaign.

Our number one tip is to team up with an auctioneer that is proactive and will play an integral role in your auction success. If you want more information about Metro Auctions or our three point auctioneer involvement program then contact us today!


#metroauctiontip Number 5: Plan For All Outcomes


The auction process is designed to present a property to the marketplace in a manner that creates a sense of urgency, to generate increased buyer interest and enquiry within the set timeframe. The ultimate goal is to sell the property at a premium price under the hammer… however this is not always how the script plays out. This is why you need a second phase plan as part of your auction strategy.

It is important to be prepared and have a strategy in place to get a result after auction if the property is passed in. Working with your vendors in the lead up to the auction will help you devise a plan that they are comfortable with and save you from having to start discussing phase two right after the auction when emotions are usually running high. Remember, a large portion of auction properties passed in sell in the two weeks post auction – so be ready to capitalise on your efforts post-auction.

Being strategic post-auction will boost your conversion rate and deliver results for your clients. If you need training or guidance on devising a second phase strategy, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 8: Keep Your Vendors Informed!


You know what they say, ‘a prepared vendor is a happy vendor’. Ok, so that is not an actual saying but it should be. Throughout the auction campaign it is quite common for an agent to get overwhelmed with a higher than normal workload, inevitably letting vendor communications fall by the wayside. It is important however to keep in mind that your vendor ultimately decides if the property will sell come auction day and that there is no better way to secure a result on auction day than effectively preparing your sellers.

Regular vendor meetings and reports are absolutely essential to equip your sellers with key information such as buyer comments and concerns, price feedback and the possible outcomes to be expected on auction day. Your sellers should be educated well enough about the activity throughout the campaign that they feel comfortable and confident with the process and potential results.

Keeping your sellers informed won’t eliminate the stress and the nerves associated with auction for either yourself or your sellers, however it will give them more understanding and realistic expectations relating to the auction outcome. If you need training or guidance on the appropriate dialogue to use regarding price during your auction campaign, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 7: Use Price Enquiry to Gather Feedback


In an auction campaign, you will be asked about price…  over and over again. Expect this question from buyers, neighbours, friends, family, colleagues and competition. Your job is to turn this question into an opportunity to gather feedback from the wider market.

If you were to provide a price or price guide you can do extreme harm to the end result and potentially eliminate the opportunity to achieve a premium price for your seller. You are also bound by Section 216 of the Property Occupations Act 2014, which states the selling agent must not disclose to a person other than a person acting for the seller in relation to the sale, regarding the reserve, the amount the agent considers a likely price or provide a price guide for the offered property.

It is therefore essential you utilise strong, quality dialogue in your interactions regarding the price. Use the question as an opportunity to extract information and discover their opinions about the value of the home and compile this into your vendor reports. If you need training or guidance on the appropriate dialogue to use regarding price during your auction campaign, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 3: Conduct Buyer Meetings


During an auction campaign it is quite easy to slip into the habit of concentrating all efforts and energy on the seller. Your valuable time is consumed with holding regular vendor meetings to condition them with feedback, data and current trends however the same energy needs to be dedicated to working with buyers.

Buyer meetings have so many benefits and should be a consistent inclusion in your auction process. Conducting buyer meetings is a great way to get the buyer committed and locked in well in advance. During your meetings you can address their individual situation, ensuring they qualify and gaining more insight into their potential budget. A buyer meeting will also give you the opportunity to discuss bidding strategies, ensure their finance and deposit is in order and gives you a chance to explore their settlement terms. Finally, buyer meetings will assist in giving your sellers confidence in the fact that you are dealing with the best possible buyers come auction day.

By conducting buyer meetings throughout your campaign you are significantly improving your chances of a sale under the hammer on auction day making it an essential part of your auction process. If you need training or guidance regarding how to conduct buyer meetings, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 2: Support your auction with VPA


This auction tip will not detail why your vendor should pay for marketing, but will emphasise the need for a tactical marketing campaign to support your auction strategy.

A strategic campaign provides several tangible benefits that will be reflected in the sale price and the overall success of your auction. There is no doubt that quality real estate marketing attracts enquiries, encourages competition between buyers and acts as an insurance policy against underselling. With a strong marketing campaign you can rest assured, knowing that every suitable buyer in the market for this property has seen the advertising and been given the opportunity to inspect, present offers and bid at auction. There is certainly no one-size-fits-all solution for auction marketing, instead customising or tailoring your advertising to suit the property and effectively capture the interest of the most suitable prospective purchasers is imperative. Your marketing needs to be the perfect platform to launch the property into the marketplace, drive urgency, provoke emotion and deliver outcomes.

If you need training or guidance on how to pitch, secure and execute effective vendor paid marketing campaigns, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 9: Should I negotiate prior to an auction?


Picture this; Your campaign is two weeks in, everything is running smoothly, you’ve had good turnouts at your open homes and positive feedback from buyers… actually it is going so well that a buyer wants to negotiate a deal here and now. What do you do?

Whatever you do, be very clear about how you handle pre-auction negotiations. By entering into negotiations prior with out a clear objective and strategy, you run the risk of making a critical mistake which is showing the vendors hand. The beauty of an auction is that there is urgency, competition and emotions. It’s these emotions that drive the price upward and make you a superstar come auction day. Buyer psychology has shown us that if your vendor doesn’t countersign, it makes the buyer hungrier and of course willing to spend more.

The dialogue you need to call on here if the offer comes early in the campaign is; thank you for the offer, the vendor is appreciative of your serious intent to purchase prior to auction, however it really is too early in the campaign and we still have numerous interested buyers that need to inspect the property for us to evaluate serious feedback. At this stage, my seller is committed to selling at auction.


The dialogue you need to call on here if the offer comes later in the campaign; thank you for the offer, the vendor is appreciative of your serious intent to purchase prior to auction, however being so late in the campaign, we have so many unconditional buyers in the mix that my seller is committed to selling at auction.

Of course, be sensible in this situation. If the buyer is showing tenacity, consistency and actually willing to offer an auction busting amount with no conditions or cooling off period… take the cash! It could be the best offer and again, the process has worked for you.

If you need training or guidance in regards to handling offers, negotiating with buyers or dialogue to use throughout your auction campaign, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 6: Implement An Auction Calendar


One of the fundamental elements that makes an auction successful is time! You are setting a time limit on reaching a result for your sellers, so it is imperative that you manage the campaign and your time within the campaign with the utmost of precision. One of the best ways to do this is to implement an auction calendar.

The beauty of an auction calendar is that it’s multi-faceted. It is a great tool within your listing presentation, it provides your sellers with a clear and tangible promise of what you are going to do throughout the campaign and when you will do it.

Think of the auction calendar as an ‘accountability partnership tool’ that you can utilise to demonstrate your performance and keep your sellers informed. Also a great communication tool, you can simply report back to your sellers based on the milestones within the calendar, making the entire process more transparent, gaining your sellers trust and building their confidence. The auction calendar also adds to your value proposition, within the listing presentation you can itemise the tasks you will complete and their objectives, show your sellers the workload involved with an auction and essentially justifying your commission through demonstrating value. Finally, an auction calendar will keep you accountable to yourself; it will boost your prospecting plan by giving you nowhere to hide and ensuring that you don’t just go through the motions.

There are so many positive benefits associated with the auction calendar and its implementation that you simply shouldn’t run another auction campaign without it! If you need training or guidance regarding the auction process, or how best to strategically handle the setting of the reserve price, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 4: Utilise Assisted Reserve Setting


Many agents find it difficult to respond to buyers asking questions about the reserve price during an auction campaign, often feeling uncertain on the best approach and not wanting to give away too much information. It doesn’t have to be like this, instead you can utilise the buyers to assist in setting the reserve.

Clever agents are able to incorporate price feedback into their reserve strategy, allowing buyers to become involved and sellers to feel comfortable with the process of setting the reserve. Explaining that the reserve price has not yet been agreed upon but that the sellers are keen to hear from interested parties is a great way to increase buyer involvement and really start those serious conversations around price throughout the campaign.

This technique, coupled with preparing a thorough comparative market analysis will improve your interactions with buyers, encourage honest market opinions to discuss with your sellers and ultimately assist in setting the perfect reserve price.

If you need training or guidance regarding the auction process, or how best to strategically handle the setting of the reserve price, then contact Metro Auctions today!


#metroauctiontip Number 10: Always Trust The Process


It is all too easy to get lost in the noise when running an auction campaign. Focussing too much on buyer feedback, on your competition, or insignificant details and forgetting about the big picture.

Remind yourself that you used your professional judgement to recommend an auction and why was that? Because you know that it is the most suitable sales process, allowing you to present the property to the marketplace, generate interest from genuine buyers within a set timeframe and ultimately get buyers competing for the property, ensuring you secure the best price for the property in the given market conditions.

If you execute your auction strategy effectively you can remain confident that you have; grabbed the attention of the most suitable buyers, are equipped to handle any objections or reduce any buyer hesitation, have adequately prepared your vendors prior to auction day and are going to achieve the best possible outcome. It is a matter of following and trusting the process.

If you need training or guidance regarding the auction process, how to setup your auction strategy or how you can achieve optimal results using auction, then contact Metro Auctions today!


Top 10 Phrases Agents Dread Hearing… But Do!


Being a real estate agent is often a thankless job where you need to have pretty thick skin to survive. Yes, there are amazing perks that come with being an agent, but we think the following 10 phrases will have been encountered by all agents at some point and all have that little element of ‘ouch’.

1.     Oh, I didn’t even think, I just listed with ‘insert any other agent here’ –  friend or family member that has known what you do for years

2.     Why don’t you pay for the marketing, it is only going to increase your profile anyway – prospective seller at a listing presentation

3.     We have been instructed by our clients that they have not been able to obtain satisfactory finance and therefore your contracts is now terminated – solicitor that just advised your holiday you had mentally planned is now delayed

4.     You don’t mind if we hang about for the open home do you? – current seller that wants to micromanage the entire process

5.     Did you see this mistake on your print advertisement for ‘insert address here’ – office colleague that has a strange look of fear andamusement as they point to the magazine

6.     I got told by ‘insert any other agent here’ that my property is worth wayyyy more than that – prospective seller trying to make you squirm

7.     We are so keen, we will just have a talk about it and then we can get back to you with an offer – the infamous disappearing buyer who suddenly never returns a call or message

8.     Your job is so easy, I could sell ice to eskimos, I bet I would be a good agent – budding sales person with no real estate experience

9.     It must be nice getting to sleep in as long as you like every day, I wish my job was as easy as yours – annoying friends that think you don’t have to work hard

10.  Ohhhh, you’re a real estate agent – someone you just met as they screw their nose up



5 Ways To Prospect You May Have Never Tried (But Should)


There are so many ways to prospect and we probably feel as though we have tried them all, cold calling, letterbox drops, door knocking, the list goes on. But here are a few ideas that you may have never tried before that could boost your success rate when prospecting for new business.


Set aside some time to call all your happy vendors that you have previously sold for and ask them verbally what they liked about your service, let them explain – take notes if you have to, but at the end of their response, ask them who they know that could benefit from your service. This way you have them thinking about your positive performance and they are more likely to provide a name and number for you to add to your list of warm leads to follow up.


pend some time to organise a group of non-competing industry professionals to meet for a ‘Referral Lunch’, each member of your group is aware of the purpose for the activity and comes prepared with prospective leads for other members of the group. This could be a regular occurrence and will help each members business through building a strong network and providing a set time to communicate regarding prospects.


People like to feel special and there is nothing more personal than a handwritten note rather than a mass produced marketing letter. Take the time each week to select several clients you want to make contact with and tailor a handwritten note that will make them feel important to you. Most importantly follow up in the days after with a phone call to acknowledge the communication and continue forward with your prospect.


It is very easy to assume that adding a prospect to your company CRM and relying on automated communications will convert your prospect one day. But do not forget that your competition are also using these techniques and may be working harder to develop an actual relationship with your prospect. There is no better communication to build a relationship than face-to-face interactions. Segment your contacts into categories and make time to physically see your ‘hot contacts’ at least once a month. This will set you apart from your competition.


There is nothing more powerful than being equipped with knowledge about your prospects interests, likes and dislikes. There are so many ways you can obtain information about a prospect these days, simply by doing your research. We are not suggesting you stalk your clients, but you can easily connect with them on LinkedIn and other social platforms that will provide you with a greater understanding of your prospect and will help to develop a stronger relationship long-term.  


Four Pitfalls To Avoid In Your Auction Strategy


Four Pitfalls To Avoid In Your Auction Strategy

The property industry is becoming and more and more comfortable and confident with auctions; as clearance rates improve, sellers embrace the process and buyers are more open-minded to purchasing at auction. Agents however, appear to be becoming more complacent and a little too comfortable with the process and falling victim to several pitfalls that can damage or destroy an auction before the call has even begun.

Every auction agent should be mindful of these pitfalls and ensure their auction campaign is structured, professional and thorough to get the best results possible every time...

1. You assume your seller understands the strategy

So you have explained the reasons for auction and the benefits that come with an auction strategy - the fierce competition between buyers, the opportunity to receive market feedback and the ability to set a distinct timeframe for the sale. However, have you explained what they should expect throughout the process? Are you working towards selling before auction? What dialogue will you be using when buyers ask for price expectations? What can they expect offers prior to auction to entail. The devil is in the details. If you can provide your seller with a clear understanding of your strategy and how you are going to achieve the best result for them, they will be less likely to question your actions and develop concerns between going live and selling under the hammer.

2. You don't take buyers seriously

You have so much confidence in the auction process that you dismiss low ball offers or enquiries that don't appear perfect early on in your campaign. It is very important that you maintain the strategy regardless of your buyers initial offer, terms or even questions. At the end of the day, your whole campaign is about finding a buyer to turn up on auction day and place the highest bid. You need to treat every potential purchaser as if they are 'the one' to avoid losing them. A low offer pre-auction can be turned into a sale by a good negotiator - it is all a matter of sticking to the game plan.

3. You don't show up

An auction campaign allows you to not only get the best chance to sell a property for the highest price but to also profile your expertise and your professionalism. Every interaction you have during an auction campaign reflects on your skills as an agent. Going through the motions will not impress anyone, so you need to treat the campaign with the importance it deserves and put your best foot forward.

4. You don't communicate with your auctioneer

Possibly the best support you will have during an auction campaign is your auctioneer. Your auctioneer should be well informed on property values in the area, they should understand current market conditions and most importantly they know what to expect come auction day. Communicating with your auctioneer throughout the process will not only make your job easier but it will improve the outcome on auction day. The more information your auctioneer has about the property, the sellers and the campaign, the more support and guidance they can provide. Make sure you work with your auctioneer rather than just have them working for you.



The Savvy Seller Calling All The Shots!


In recent times I have increasingly noticed that Metro Auctions is not only competing for auction business from agents but also competing to grab the attention and the hearts of their vendors. Obviously the Metro Auction business is committed to and focussed on providing our agents with the level of service and support that they need to execute an auction campaign in a professional and polished manner which ultimately is a win for their sellers, but recently I have noticed that it is the vendors selecting the auctioneer, not so much the agents.

It is evident in all market data and statistics that there has been a significant rise in auctions throughout the nation over the last several years. Auctions are no longer the daunting, feared event that the Jenman system and media fought so hard to ‘protect’ sellers against. Instead, the rise in reality TV programs that feature property auctions, such as The Block has assisted in educating our marketplace and reducing the scepticism that was previously prevalent amongst sellers.

Instead, sellers are asking their agent to auction their home. They are enthusiastic and keen to present their property to the market knowing that competition between buyers will achieve an optimal sales result in comparison to a private treaty campaign where a price tag is published as the home hits the market.

With this enlightened seller comes their increased capability and motivation to research, not only the market but the agents and the auctioneers working the local market. These savvy sellers are watching, be it at local auctions, on realestate.com.au, on Youtube or other social media channels – they are watching. They are doing their research and appointing their agent and their auctioneer accordingly.  

The savvy seller is officially calling all the shots.  

It is for this reason that Metro Auctions provides a three point ‘Auctioneer Involvement Strategy’ – we involve your seller in the auction process. We are not simply auctioneers that will show up on the day, call the auction and leave. Instead, we provide your sellers a minimum of three separate touchpoints during the auction campaign to ensure your seller receives the level of service they deserve and the level they now demand. We make a call to your vendor in week 1 of your campaign to introduce ourselves and explain the process or answer any questions your seller may have. We then follow up closer to the auction date with a call or meeting to work on a strategy and set the reserve price. We then finally work with your vendors on auction day to ensure the auction is transparent, comfortable and ultimately a success for you and your seller.

We go the extra mile to make our agents look good and make your sellers happy! So if you have a savvy seller, suggest they head to our website and review our videos and let the research begin!