As businesses and employees across the country come to terms with isolation and the
logistical trials of entire staff pools working from home, so too are real estate industry leaders pivoting to adapt to the new COVID-19 way of continuing ‘business as usual’.
As a result of fresh government restrictions on the inspection and auction of property, Harcourts moved all current and future auction listings to a digital platform.
“Harcourts, like many organisations across the country, is following the advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Australian government, Department of Health and the World Health Organisation,” said Marcus Williams, Harcourts Australia CEO.
“Auction is in our DNA and online auctions are not new for Harcourts,” Mr Williams continued.
Harcourts is an industry leader in auctions, taking its highly successful auctions model to the American real estate market for non-distressed property. Over the past year, Harcourts launched a dedicated online auctions portal that has seen a high engagement of success for clients across California and the Northwest.
“Because of the technology and training developed around online auctions combined with our in-house Technology & Development Team at our disposal, we were able to quickly resource Australian agents,” said Mr Williams. “In just over two weeks of online auctions being mandatory practice for Harcourts franchises, we have seen terrific success for our clients.”
Industry-specific apps Gavl, Auction Now and Everywhere Auction are all part of a full list of tools ensure all Harcourts agents across 400 strong Australia-wide network can continue to service its clients to the highest level, but do so while operating within current industry guidelines.
Harcourts Queensland Chief Auctioneer, Christian Hamilton, said now more than ever was an auction such an important method of sale.
“It’s important to note that auctions have not been banned, it is simply the ‘gathering of people’ that has been banned and as a business we are adapting quickly to now offer remote/virtual auctions,” Mr Hamilton explained.
“Yes, we are having to change the way we run auction day; however, this is a 15-minute exercise in a 3- to 5-week campaign. The rest of the process stays the same and the fundamentals of what make it the best method to sell real estate have not changed.
“The Auction process has never been about auction day; it is truly a process that allows sellers to sell prior to auction, on the day, or after. In a world that is changing every day, making the property selling and buying process transparent and easy to understand is the goal of an auction, and much needed for all parties.”
REIQ figures show that there has been no evidence of reduced housing values to date and the sentiment is that buyers who are serious and, in a position, to purchase immediately are embracing online auctions.
Mr Hamilton said that while we may not be able to shake hands and celebrate successful results, Harcourts was dedicated to ensuring all current and future online auction listings continued to meet the best outcome for clients.
“Our business has always been based on people and delivering the finest client experience, we look forward to being a guiding light in real estate during these uncertain times,” he added.
Harcourts Online Auctions Quick Guide
- Online auctions will be held off-site with only the selling agent and auctioneer present in a designated office
- Buyers and sellers will be able to engage or bid via phone or a designated online platform
- Online auction platforms allow bidders to register to bid, live stream and bid on the property in real time, all from the comfort of their own home (or anywhere in the world)