An auction is a popular way of selling a property, and follows a slightly different process to selling in a traditional way. Whilst buyers might see the auction as a stand-alone event, those in the industry see it as the final culmination of a great deal of hard work behind the scenes.
At an auction, real estate agents are working hard to achieve the best sale price for their client, vendors are usually anxious and emotional, and buyers are nervously hoping to secure the property at the lowest possible price.
It’s the role of the auctioneer to juggle all three elements at the same time and ensure a happy outcome for everyone.
Being an auctioneer is a highly specialised, fast-paced job that requires passion, confidence and the right skills. So how can you become better at real estate auctioneering?
1) Do your homework
As with any job, having a plan makes everything easier, and as an auctioneer you have to set up the auction so the home sells. You’re in control of how everything pans out.
Discuss with the lead agent things like how many buyers you should have, price expectations and any recent, equivalent sales in the area. Plan your strategy based on the information you’ve been briefed with and do a run-through with the team.
Always have a Plan B too. You can never truly predict what buyers are going to do, so if you don’t get the price you need in the first bid, work with the tools you have at your disposal. If you plan for the worst-case scenario you should be able to handle any situation that arises.
2) Have confidence
A great auctioneer will be able to instil his or her audience with confidence. Buyers need to feel confident before they will put their hand up; it’s a substantial purchase after all.
The confidence you exude comes from the pace and rhythm of your words. If you start off speaking too quickly, looking nervous or stumbling over your words, buyers will pick up on this and become wary. There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance, and there’s a difference between being assertive and being aggressive.
The key is to find the balance and be confident and assertive enough to encourage the bids to flow.
There will always be moments of nerves, especially if it’s your first auction. Remember to take deep breaths, rehearse your spiel before you start, and control your pace and rhythm.
3) Remember the bids
There’s nothing worse than forgetting the amount the bidding is up to! Remembering your numbers takes concentration, and is surprisingly easy to forget. Some auctioneers struggle more than others, and if this is you, you’ll have to work harder.
Being able to think on your feet and add up quickly and accurately in your head is a skill that comes with practice and experience.
4) Communicate well
Auctioneers must be fantastic communicators. They are the link between buyers and sellers and must be able to build rapport with the crowd and read body language.
A great auctioneer needs to determine when is a good time to push for higher bids and when the crowd needs to stop for a moment and take a deep breath. They also need to be prepared to get involved in negotiations and interact face to face with buyers when necessary.
5) Put on a show
We’ve all seen auctions where the auctioneer is rambling on in undecipherable gibberish. It’s all part of a show where the auctioneer is the entertainer and is expected to set the tone for the auction.
Whilst you do need to be understood in a real estate auction, you also need to use your charisma and personality to create some excitement, drive bidding and put the crowd at ease.
Being a great auctioneer is about being confident, assertive, entertaining and an excellent communicator. If you can have fun and make it look easy, you’ll have the crowd scrambling over each other to make another bid!