Online Property Auctions: Reasons for successful growth
We were recently asked by property magazine Property Week to respond to:
Why property auctions are shifting online and away from the ballroom model
This is what we said:
Our recent launch of weekly online property auctions is, we think, one of the most exciting developments in the UK property investment market for years. And following the success of our first two events in February, we very much see live online bidding as the future of property auctions in the UK.
With over 150,000 visitors to our auction site in February, it would appear that the UK is set to follow the trend in the US, where our partner REDC, the world’s largest property auctioneer, has rapidly transitioned over half their sales online over the past two years with their online auction events now accounting for sales of over £50 million monthly.
Online auctions offer a number of benefits over the traditional ballroom model for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, it offers the ease and convenience of viewing properties online up to 30 days prior to the start of an event and bidding from one’s own home or office over a 4-day period. For sellers, the online model provides significantly greater and faster exposure for their properties and opens up the process to a new and growing audience not constrained by space, geography, availability and who typically might not attend physical auctions.
Property is somewhat different to other asset auctions where physical attendance often involves inspecting the asset on the day. With the ability to generate exposure online the same day as opposed to producing and distributing a catalogue and being able to hold weekly events without limitation versus the typical model of quarterly events, it appears to call into question the physical ballroom auction model other than for the ‘theatrical’ value.
Zoopla.co.uk online auction events are held weekly with bidding starting Thursdays at noon and closing on Sundays at 6pm.