The pandemic has driven significant change in the real estate industry, with many agents clambering to understand how to make the shift to online.
Now with shifting markets, rising interest rates and ongoing COVID considerations, Julie and Walter explain why Hybrid Auctions are here to stay.
In 2020, selling real estate online was relatively uncommon. But when the pandemic hit, that all changed – fast. “We were always in-room. We’d do monthly or fortnightly in-room auctions as a group with our three offices,” says Julie. “When we couldn’t do that anymore, we had to scramble to move online.”
“I remember having to put together a couple of MacBooks and throw the auctioneer in a corner,” explains Walter. “We had YouTube live links and some Authority to Bid forms filled out on phones. That was our first go at it. It worked! We sold two under the hammer that night.”
The shift to digital was swift, and many were left behind. But those who were able to pivot quickly saw dividends.
“Our business absolutely excelled during COVID,” says Julie. “We made that switch as soon as it happened, whereas all of our competitors were just sort of sitting there in lockdown. It really set us apart.”
With in-person auctions back in full swing, having the ability to sell online is still important. Not only is it helpful as an agent, it’s appealing to vendors as well. Julie explains: “It’s an advantage at the listing presentation. People want to know that you can get them sold under any circumstances.”
There’s no denying the energy of an onsite auction, however, and because of this, another online sales option is seeing an increase in popularity: Hybrid Auctions.
By live-streaming the action, a Hybrid Auction allows real estate agents to take bids from buyers right in front of them and from those online. It’s a non-intrusive way to increase the buyer pool and maximise bids.
“It isn’t in your face,” says Julie. “People don’t even notice it’s there.”
Walter agrees: “It doesn’t change the dynamic of the room. It only makes it better because it allows more people to participate.”
The beauty of a Hybrid Auction is that buyers can bid from anywhere, a sizable advantage for agents like Julie. Selling property in Culburra Beach means the majority of her buyers live elsewhere. People often travel hours to attend an auction or bid over the phone – solutions that require buyer time or agent resources. When running a Hybrid Auction through Realtair, that process is simplified.
“The hybrid process simply allows more people to watch that weren’t watching before,” explains Walter. “I can guarantee you right now, if it wasn’t for the hybrid events, Julie couldn’t have achieved the result she achieved through COVID.”
Running Hybrid Auctions sets agents like Julie apart from the rest – and that gets results.
Julie describes a recent auction where selling the property through a Hybrid Auction helped push the result $250,000 above the reserve.
“We had four bidders in room and five bidders online, and we had active bidding from almost all the registrations,” explains Julie. “Eventually the property went to someone who was bidding online and the underbidder was in the room.
“Having that person online helped push the price up – it really helped create competition. And mind you, that bid came in at the last minute. They viewed it only days before the auction, but we were able to easily get them registered and online to participate. We may not have been able to achieve that had we not had that online bidder involved in the comfort of their own home.”
Those participating online often make smaller increments in bids – increasing by $500 or $1000 at a time. This is far from a disadvantage, however, with those smaller bids seeing a stronger result in the end.
“We’ve found that over time it’s actually increased the average sale price,” says Walter. “We wouldn’t have gotten that if it wasn’t for the hybrid system.”
While the benefits of selling real estate online are clear, the process is not. That’s where Realtair comes in. We take care of the registrations, the live-stream and the bids. We even provide an easy-to-use QR code so buyers can quickly find your Realtair listing. Then once the property is sold, Realtair lets you generate a contract and secure the deposit immediately.
“People have one platform where we can collect their details and work with them, as opposed to sticky taping a bunch of different systems together in the hopes they work,” explains Walter. “Realtair is the solution we never knew we needed, especially when COVID first started.”
If you’re not offering Hybrid Auctions, you’re doing your clients a disservice. Today, selling real estate through a Hybrid Auction is seeing the team at Ray White thrive, despite the market shifting. To Julie and Walter, offering online options isn’t a fad; it’s the future of real estate.
“Do it yesterday,” insists Walter. “Hurry up! If you’re not doing it, you’re missing out on potential money from both [online and offline] purchases. And from the vendor’s perspective, you’re costing them dollars too.”
“I would say to anyone that is even considering continuing to be an auction business, you have to have the online component. You have to be hybrid.”