The auction process is a fantastic way to sell property as it is both incredibly transparent and also allows for strong results from vendors.

As a real estate agent, it's important to understand how to get the most out of an auction campaign, and what some of the best tactics are.

Bring the bidders

In some ways, the main job of the real estate agent is to bring in as many potential bidders as you possibly can. For your vendor to get the very best result, you should be looking to have at least two active bidders so they can potentially drive the price higher. To do this, an agent must cast their net far and wise to attract as many people to the property as possible, in the hopes they'll be prepared to bid on auction day.

Whenever you are preparing to launch a new campaign, the first thing you should be looking to do is to bring in as many potential buyers as possible. Find people who have been to open homes who are looking for similar types of properties.

Use your CRM to automate emails and text messages, firstly to reach out to them to show them the property. Then continue to follow up with all the various people to keep them informed throughout the process, and don't forget to remind them about open homes and of course the say of the auction itself.

You can also utilise social media to create targeted ads. Products like PropTech Group's Social Eazie make this possible, and easy to set up, you can easily target potential buyers in your local area within minimal work.

Time and place

Well before you start the auction campaign, you should have a clear plan put in place that culminates with having the auction on the right day and at the right time as well as in the correct location.

While most auctions will occur at the property, it's important to work backwards to determine the right day, and even the best time of day. You can often consult with the auctioneer on this part of the process, as they will understand the market and also how the different time slots will suit your particular property.

Be an expert

As an agent, you should be an expert in the location where you're selling the property as part of your personal brand. You should understand the buyers and the sellers, and what they're both wanting at that point in time.

You should also understand what the current market is like and which side is more in control of the market. The more expertise you can bring, the better you can work for your vendor while also assisting buyers to make them as comfortable as possible. Expertise is also one of the key factors in building trust with clients. 

Remember that most people are first-time bidders at auction and this can be a very daunting process. Many may have never seen an auction take place, so be sure to help your buyers and give them the information the might need to move through the auction process.

Right auctioneer

It's important that you work with an experienced auctioneer who has a track record of getting strong results in your area. Auctioneers are masters at understanding the crows and how the auction is playing out.

They know how to adjust the bid increments and when, and they should also have the seller's best interest at heart. They can also be a valuable partner in planning out the action campaign.

Bring energy on the day

When auction day arrives, it's important that as an agent, you're bringing positivity and energy. An auction can take a life of its own and the day itself is usually filled with excitement and anticipation.

As the selling agent, this is exactly what you want. You want buyers to be excited and eager to place bids. The more hype you can generate around the property on the day, the better the result.

Property prices across the country fell another 1.2% last month, marking six months of consecutive declines for homeowners.

This month it was Brisbane that experienced the largest decline, with values down 2%, followed by Sydney at 1.3% and Hobart with a 1.1% fall. Melbourne and Darwin both saw a fall of 0.8% while values in Canberra dropped 1%. Falls were less severe in Adelaide and Perth with just a 0.3% and 0.9% drop respectively.

CoreLogic's Research Director, Tim Lawless said it is probably still too early to claim the worst of the decline phase is over.

"Despite the easing in the pace of decline, with Australian borrowers facing the double whammy of further interest rate hikes along with persistently high and rising inflation, there is genuine risk we could see the rate of decline re-accelerate as interest rates rise further and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched," Mr Lawless.

"To date, the housing downturn has remained orderly, at least in the context of the significant upswing in values."

"This is supported by a below-average flow of new listings that is keeping overall inventory levels contained.

There's also tight labour market conditions, an accrual of borrower savings and a larger than normal cohort of fixed interest rate borrowers, who have so far been insulated from the rapid rise in interest rates."

Following a 25.5% rise through the recent upswing, housing values have fallen -6.5% across the major capital cities. Sydney home values are down -10.2% since peaking in January (after a 27.7% rise) and Melbourne values down -6.4% since February (after rising 17.3%).

House values have continued to fall at a faster rate than unit values across most regions with capital city house values down -1.2% in October compared with a -0.7% decline in unit values.

Mr Lawless said the smaller decline in values across the unit sector can be attributed to the more affordable price points across the medium to high density sector.

"The gap between median house and unit values increased to record levels through the COVID upswing," he said.

"With borrowing capacity being hit hard as interest rates rise, it's likely more housing demand has been diverted towards more affordable sectors of the market."

Change in dwellings - index results as at 31 October, 2022

Source: CoreLogic

Listings still tight

On the demand side, the estimated number of home sales has held reasonably firm through the first two months of spring. Capital city home sales were -16.6% lower than a year ago and 3.8% above the previous five-year average for this time of the year.

"The number of home sales is well down from the highs of late last year, however the fact that sales activity is still above the five-year average over the past three months reflects a base level of demand for housing," Mr Lawless said.

"Housing finance data shows subsequent buyers, such as upgraders, down sizers or movers, have been the most resilient sector of the market since interest rates started to rise.

"As interest rates rise further, it's likely sales activity will also trend lower as borrowing capacity is reduced."

The flow of new listings started to trend higher in October, but the traditional spring selling season remains well below levels at the same time last year and relative to the previous five-year average. Over the four weeks ending October 30th, the number of newly listed capital city dwellings was tracking -25.2% below a year ago and almost -19% below the previous five-year average. The trend in total advertised listings is holding relatively firm, tracking -5.0% below levels a year ago and -18.2% below the previous five-year average.

Rental growth slowing

Meanwhile, rental growth continues to slow down, with national rents rising another 0.6% in October, led by 1.1% rise in unit rents while house rents increased by 0.5%.

Mr Lawless said a gradual slowdown in rental growth in the face of low vacancy rates could be an early sign that renters are reaching an affordability ceiling.

"Since the onset of COVID, capital city rents have risen 17.7% and regional rents are up 25.5%" he said.

"Although rents are likely to continue to rise, it's likely renters will be progressively seeking rental options across the medium to high density sector, where renting is cheaper, or maximising the number of people in the tenancy in an effort to spread higher rental costs across a larger household."

Outlook remains soft

Mr Lawless said housing values are likely to continue trending lower until interest rates find a ceiling.

"The bad news for homeowners is most economists have recently revised their cash rate forecasts upwards due to higher than expected inflation outcomes," he said.

"Although housing risks remain skewed to the downside, there are a few tailwinds that should help to keep this downturn orderly and stave off a material rise in distressed listings.

Factors include tight inventory, strong employment and overseas migration, should limit any extreme falls in house prices.

As the property market begins to slow, building relationships and keeping your ‘finger on the pulse’ of market trends will be key to gaining client trust and driving business growth. 

While property technology and applications offer real estate agents and property professionals a treasure trove of insights, often time pressures limit how the technology is used, leading to real estate agents underutilising the data at their fingertips.

Here, we explore new ways property professionals can do more with data to benefit clients, sales, and business overall.

Break down silos

Grappling with multiple applications and CRM platforms to access useful data has long been a sore point for property professionals. It’s time to break down the silos and create solutions that give agents and property professionals the tools to seamlessly and strategically use data to create opportunities and drive growth.

A new partnership between Australian owned data provider, National Property Group and PropTech Group is taking data insights to the next level.

The integration will deliver National Property Group’s data services into PropTech Group’s CRMs Eagle Software and VaultRE, the websites provided by PropTech Group subsidiary Website Blue, and the vendor proposals created in PropTech Group’s Designly, giving real estate agents access to market data for vendor proposal creation, their sales and PM CRMs, and automatic valuation models – all with one log in.

Start meaningful conversations

With a focus on addressing the core business needs of real estate agents and property professionals, the new National Property Group and PropTech Group data integration simplifies the functions of ‘finding, listing, selling and nurturing’ into one application. 

Having access to a wealth of data insights in one application, that previously required one or more application logins, provides significant business benefits. Time efficiencies and productivity will be improved, proposals and AVMs will be presented with enhanced customer targeting and strategic insight, and customer conversations will be backed by meaningful, reliable data insights.

Identify Trends

Being able to identify data trends such as recent sales, tenure and hot spots within the CRM data creates better prospecting conversions. National Property Group’s heat map searches integrated directly into the VaultRE platform provides simple visual representations of where opportunities lie for real estate agents.

Use data strategically to deliver informed insights

When listing, property professionals build trust and confidence by having in-depth knowledge and understanding of current market conditions. Having detailed access within the VaultRE platform of property data and market activity, improves agent conversations by giving them the insights to react and answer any enquiries. Agents can generate key reports directly from VaultRE to improve the customer experience. Moving into ‘sell’ mode, the VaultRE and National Property Group integration is vital in communicating current market information that gives sellers and buyers confidence to make decisions. 

Take digital marketing to the next level

Real estate has long been a competitive industry. For National Property Group customers, the partnership with PropTech Group delivers a best-in-class experience for their digital marketing presence by providing a seamless update to “Website Blue” for all digital requirements, in addition to website management with the leading real estate web provider, and simple listing upload to key listing portal providers.

Leading real estate experts speak to ‘touch points’ in driving business success. There are the usual standard touch points such as email, text, and newsletter distribution etc, but the most important touch points are conversations that add value. To make customer conversations valuable they need to be relevant, local, and current. 

The advantage of the VaultRE and National Property Group integration is that VaultRE presents the customer who is due the touchpoint and National Property Group provides the rich information that adds value to the conversation. Utilising one platform, agents are empowered to serve and resend more information within the one platform rather than several, making it easy and consistent which improves productivity and ultimately leads to more listings and sales.

Reports for long-term success

Real estate is a long game and keeping track of reports over time can be difficult. National Property Group and PropTech Group’s integration helps solve reporting inefficiencies by seamlessly recording reports in an agent’s VaultRE file cabinet, ensuring consistent conversations over time that build trust.

Data used strategically and effectively can be the most valuable asset property professionals hold. For real estate agencies, accessing, deciphering and utilising data is the single most important function that will be the key to winning more business. 

Data in action – real world example

Let me give you a typical example: the agent is speaking with a client around the market, the client is not ready, but requests a report as an update. The agent obliges and jumps into their data platform, runs the report, and sends it as a PDF via an email. If we are lucky, they may record the interaction, but due time and other pressures they don’t, and so much valuable data is lost. 

Now let’s look at VaultRE and National Property Group integration scenario: the agent makes the call within VaultRE, the conversation results in a report request, they generate the report directly from VaultRE they send within the platform and all that golden information is captured - waiting to be used for the next touchpoint, improving customer experience, building trust so that they list with the agent.

For this reason, the National Property Group and PropTech Group integration project creates an environment that:

 

VaultRE x National Property Group - Start Your Trial Today

The real estate industry has come a very long way in a short space of time as technology has changed and enhanced the way agents and businesses go about their day.

Technology has been able to assist agents and free up their time so they can get more done and focus on higher-value activities. It's also allowed them to have more reach than ever before and get themselves and their listings in front of more people, more often.

This has had the effect of transforming a single agent or a small team into a very powerful commodity that can handle hundreds of deals every single year. Watch this short video as PropTech Group CEO, Joe Hanna, explains how PropTech Groups helps those in the real estate agency through new technology.

What is PropTech?

PropTech is the merging of technology with the property industry. Today, there are a myriad of technological tools that work to assist agents, property managers, conveyancers, valuers and mortgage brokers, just to name a few. PropTech effectively looks to use technology to help solve real-world problems that people in the industry face. When those problems can be solved with technology, it saves time and money, and importantly makes agents more efficient and better at what they do.

Good technology acts as a way to free up agents, so  they can focus on things like building real-world relationships, negotiating deals, and handling many of the in-person conversations that technology can't replace.

Up until very recently, the real estate industry hadn't seen any big changes in the way it operated for decades. Listings were posted on agency windows or in the newspaper, people were communicated with over the phone or in person. Data was hard to come by or non-existent. Records were kept on paper, or on a PC at best.

As technology improved, many aspects of real estate changed for the better. Data became widely available. The ability to communicate improved dramatically. Suddenly, you could reach more people and manage your connections through things like CRMs. Everything moved online and now even the sales process is done with technology.

By using technology, agents are able to spend more time doing what they do best - which is forming real-life connections and helping people navigate what is normally the largest financial transaction of their lives. Real-life connections with people and being able to negotiate complex deals are some things that technology can assist with, but can never replace. Technology acts as a way to free up time, become more productive, and help you reach more people, so that you can do your job better.

One way that technology has really revolutionised the way all agents operate is through automation. Automation can be as simple as sending a bulk email or SMS, or a more complex task like identifying would-be vendors from your database. Whatever it is, by using automation, you can reach more people faster and more effectively.

Another area where automation takes another big leap forward is through artificial intelligence. AI allows you to manage all the data that has been collected, sift through it to find important information. For example, being able to better identify a vendor that is getting really to sell their property based on their habits and interactions with your communications. It could be the difference between winning a listing, versus the listing not even making it to your radar.

Data is also a big game changer in recent times. These days, there is so much access to data that if you're not utilising it, you are being left behind. There is so much data on homes, market conditions, vendors and would-be buyers, that you need to be making the most of all the tools that utilise this data to stay competitive.

In years gone by, agents were trying to get in front of as many people as they could and somehow keep track of all the contacts they came in touch with. This proved to be a difficult task and many vendors got lost in the process. Today, mobile apps and 24/7 cloud access make it easier than ever to access your database wherever you are, at any time.

Finally, one of the most powerful game-changers in real estate has been the ability to customise marketing pipelines into different segments. This way, you can put your time and energy into marketing, and allow the leads and contacts to be filtered through various pipelines. This means that your leads are getting information that's relevant to them and suited their stage of the buying and/or selling journey. That way, you're able to offer more value, creating a better reputation for yourself and your business.

PropTech has revolutionised the real estate industry in ground breaking ways. As technology continues to improve, it's vital that agents and agencies continue to stay on top of the latest tools and trends to make sure they not only stay competitive, but actually create a competitive advantage.

Book a Demo on PropTech Group Product Suite

Home price growth has begun to slow down, with values falling across the country in May according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

National home prices fell -0.1% in May, dragged lower by Sydney (-1.0%) and Melbourne (-0.7%), while Canberra (-0.1%) recorded its first monthly decline since July 2019.

Adelaide was the top-performed market in the country once again, seeing values increase 1.8%, followed by Brisbane at 0.8%. The smaller cities are still rising, however, their growth was not enough to offset falls in Sydney and Melbourne.

Sydney has been recording progressively larger monthly value declines since February, while Melbourne has fallen across four of the past six months.

Since peaking in January, Sydney housing values are down -1.5%, but remain 22.7% above pre-COVID levels. Comparatively, Melbourne, which experienced a softer growth phase, has recorded a smaller peak-to-date decline of -0.8%, with housing values now 9.8% higher compared to the pre-COVID level.

Index Results as at 31 May, 2022

Source: CoreLogic

CoreLogic’s Research Director Tim Lawless said despite the 0.5% rise in housing values across Australia’s combined regional areas, it was not enough to keep the national index in positive monthly territory.

“There’s been significant speculation around the impact of rising interest rates on the property market and last month’s increase to the cash rate is only one factor causing growth in housing prices to slow or reverse,” Mr Lawless said.

“It is important to remember housing market conditions have been weakening over the past year, at least at a macro level.”

Mr Lawless noted the quarterly rate of growth in national dwelling values peaked in May 2021, shortly after a peak in consumer sentiment and a trend towards higher fixed mortgage rates.

“Since then, housing has been getting more unaffordable, households have become increasingly sensitive to higher interest rates as debt levels increased, savings have reduced and lending conditions have tightened,” he said.

“Now we are also seeing high inflation and a higher cost of debt flowing through to less housing demand.”

Regional Australia has also come off peak growth rates, Mr Lawless said, with the annual growth trend easing to 22.1%, down from its January peak of 26.1% and likely to trend lower through the rest of the year.

“Considering we are already seeing the pace of growth easing across most regional markets, it is likely we will see growth conditions softening in line with higher interest rates and worsening affordability pressures,” he said.

“Arguably some regional markets will be somewhat insulated from a material downturn in housing values due to an ongoing imbalance between supply and demand as we continue to see advertised stock levels remain extraordinarily low across regional Australia.”

Listings on the Rise

Sydney and Melbourne have been seeing a surge in new listings, while across the country advertised stock levels remain -10.3% below levels seen this time last year and -28.4% below the previous five year average.

In Sydney and Melbourne listings are now higher than 12 months ago and against the five-year average.

“With stock levels now higher than normal across Australia’s two largest cities, buyers are back in the driver’s seat,” Mr Lawless said.

“Higher listings add to tougher selling conditions more broadly.

“Vendors in Sydney and Melbourne have faced lower auction clearance rates since mid-April and those selling via private treaty are taking longer to sell with higher rates of discounting.”

Outside of Sydney and Melbourne, stock levels remain below average, especially in the cities where housing values are rising the fastest: Adelaide (-39.5%), Brisbane (-38.2%) and Perth (-34.7%) all have advertised stock well below the five-year average.

Along with rising listings, sales numbers are also starting to slow down according to Mr Lawless.

“Our estimate of home sales nationally over the three months to May is -19.2% below the same period a year ago, but still 12.1% above the five year average,” he said.

“A combination of higher interest rates, lower rates of household savings and a potentially more cautious lending environment is likely to reduce housing demand further just as total advertised stock levels are likely to continue rising, further empowering buyers by creating increased competition amongst vendors.”

New and Total Listings Rolling 28 Day Count

Source: CoreLogic

Rents Still Rising

While housing value growth has slowed, rents continue to rise up 1.0% in May, taking the quarterly rate of growth to 3.0%. The annual change in rents is now tracking at 8.8% across the combined capital cities and 10.8% across the combined regions.

“As rental affordability pressures mount, demand for higher density rentals has steadily grown due to the unit sectors’ relative affordability advantage,” Mr Lawless said.

“More recently, demand has been boosted by international arrivals returning to the rental market.”

As interest rates normalise over the next 12 to 18 months, the expectation is most of Australia’s capital cities will move into a period of decline brought about by less demand.

With the housing debt to household income ratio at record highs, household balance sheets are likely to be more sensitive to rising interest rates.

“With the RBA set to steadily raise the cash rate through the rest of the year and into 2023, we are likely to see falls in housing values become more widespread as mortgage rates trend higher,” Mr Lawless said.

However, there are a number of mitigating factors that will help support housing including a tightening labour market that is putting upward pressure on rents, the return of international migration, as well as the fact that mortgage stress should also be minimised to some extent by mortgage serviceability assessments according to Mr Lawless.

House prices across the country have continued their strong run of increases closing the financial year 13.5% higher.

After widespread talk of doom and gloom in early 2020 on the back of widespread lockdowns, house prices across the country have clearly proven the so-called experts wrong.

The latest data from CoreLogic showed that dwelling values across the nation rose 1.9% in June marking yet another strong month for property prices.

Once again, much of the strength came from the upper end of the market with Sydney house prices growing by 2.6%, adding to what is now an 8.2% in three months. Hobart was the other strong performer last month, seeing a 3.0% increase in house prices.

Australia Change in Dwelling Values - June 2021

All of the major capital cities and regional areas increased in price last month, marking an impressive year around the country.

In the last 12 months, Darwin house prices bounced back from a long period of decline recording a gain of 21% making it the strongest market in the country. While Canberra and Hobart both gained, 18.1% and 19.6% respectively over that same period of time.

While markets remain bullish, there is clearly a loss of momentum across Perth and Darwin. For Perth dwellings, the monthly growth rate in values had averaged 1.4% between January and May 2021 but fell to 0.2% through June. Across Darwin, the monthly growth rate in dwelling values averaged 2.1% between January and May but was just 0.8% through June.

While it appears that the momentum is starting to slow down in certain areas and segments of the property market we’re still seeing a clear move towards houses over units - particularly at the higher end.

Notably, house prices in Sydney are up 19.3% over the past 12 months compared to a rise of just 8.7% for units. The trend is similar across all the capital cities as well as homebuyers look for more space, with many attempting to work from home and forced to endure long periods of lockdown - especially in Victoria and NSW.

Australia New Listings Data June 2021

Head of Research at CoreLogic, Eliza Owens, believes that there are still plenty of fundamental factors driving the market at this time.

“Before the recent uncertainty of growing COVID-19 case numbers, there were plenty of demand-side factors driving housing market growth through the first half of 2021.”

“In May, the unemployment rate fell to 5.1%, and the underutilisation rate fell to 12.5%, the lowest level since February 2013. Consumer confidence remained elevated through June, although down from the recent April highs. Elevated savings accumulated through COVID-restrictions last year, along with a more confident consumer sector, has encouraged consumption of larger goods, such as housing.”

“This has all occurred against a backdrop of continued low mortgage rates, which is one of the most significant demand drivers.”

While price growth might be slowing down in some areas, Ms Owens believes that low stock levels will continue to keep house prices buoyant.

“The latest listings count from CoreLogic indicates that in the 28 days to June 27th, total advertised stock remained 24.4% below the five-year average. This dynamic of strong consumer demand, and low housing supply, continues to create some urgency among buyers.”

New listings have risen alongside prices, but total stock on the market remains low. CoreLogic estimates that there were approximately 126,320 fresh listings advertised for sale in the three months to June, 7.9% above the previous five-year average for the June quarter. However, in the same period, there were 167,450 sales nationally. This shows there was more than one sale for every new listing added to the market.

While the last 12 months have been incredibly strong with the housing market showing just how resilient it truly is, it’s clear that momentum is slowing.

CoreLogic notes, that with high house pieces and the continued impact of lockdowns on transactions and on employment, it will be difficult to sustain the current level of house price growth.

Looking forward, with looming rises in interest rates and affordability issues still a factor, while house prices will still likely continue to grow, it’s unlikely that they will be able to maintain the current momentum headed into 2022.


 

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To choose just five property marketing trends wasn’t easy. We could have given you any number with the potential to shape real estate marketing.

However, the trends you’re about have been prevalent across Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world in the last 12 months.

(more…)

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