Hav­ing the cru­cial con­ver­sa­tions and build­ing trust with your ven­dors em­pow­ers them to head into the auc­tion process with the tools to make a clear well-in­formed de­ci­sions.



Set­ting ini­tial ex­pec­ta­tions in a list­ing pre­sen­ta­tion then re-cal­i­brat­ing those ex­pec­ta­tions at a later date can be a dif­fi­cult thing for an agent, and it’s bet­ter to ‘go ugly’ early. “I think the agents are very able to talk up a story to a ven­dor, and we can kind of over-prom­ise and un­der-de­liver... then you end up de­flat­ing ex­pec­ta­tions,” says Hart.

Through­out a cam­paign, if the mar­ket hasn’t de­liv­ered feed­back to sup­port pre­vi­ous as­sump­tions agents need to be brave enough to have the tough con­ver­sa­tions to avoid dis­ap­point­ment on auc­tion day. “If the lead-up work hasn’t been done prior to that point, we [auc­tion­eers] are pow­er­less on the day,” says Nick­er­son.

James Keenan agrees that you shouldn’t be afraid to have the hard con­ver­sa­tion, be­cause ul­ti­mately the ven­dor will ap­pre­ci­ate it. “Quite of­ten the ven­dor will feel re­ally good af­ter you’ve had a hard con­ver­sa­tion with them, be­cause they ac­tu­ally feel they know what’s go­ing on. Agents think they’re do­ing the right thing by not hav­ing hon­est con­ver­sa­tions with [ven­dors] be­cause they’re pro­tect­ing them, but ac­tu­ally in the long run they’re do­ing a lot more harm.”


Karl Se­condis is a man who knows a lot about cru­cial con­ver­sa­tions. Work­ing in a mar­ket where neg­a­tive eq­uity means that clients may need per­sonal loans to pay agent com­mis­sion re­quires a bru­tal hon­esty.

“It’s tough love straight up,” he says. “My glass is al­ways half full, but I sound like it’s still half empty on that phone call.

“It’s like, ‘I don’t make money telling you not to sell your prop­erty, but if you are [ go­ing to sell] you’re go­ing to have to grab the bull by the horns, pull the band-aid off quick, be­cause there’s no point fluff­ing around about it’.”

Some­times the con­ver­sa­tion you need for a re­sult is just ask­ing a ques­tion.

Peter Gour­douros de­scribes a sce­nario with one of his past clients where bid­ding had stalled at $975,000, just shy of the $1mil­lion dol­lar re­serve. In­stead of lead­ing

the buyer to their next bid at $1mil­lion, he in­vited the buyer to put their best foot for­ward as their next bid. Their next bid was $1.1mil­lion and the gavel fell. The strat­egy had a $100,000 im­pact on the re­sult. “This is a fun­da­men­tal mis­take that agents make ... They ask the wrong ques­tions at the wrong time,” he says.


As mar­kets cool, buy­ers should no longer be con­sid­ered a guar­an­tee. Agents have to educate and nur­ture the buy­ers to be able to present a mar­ket to the ven­dors on the day.

“Now that we’re see­ing a great de­gree of dis­par­ity be­tween sup­ply and de­mand, agents re­ally do need to fo­cus on mak­ing sure they keep the buy­ers warm on those prop­er­ties. Keep­ing them in com­mu­ni­ca­tion on a reg­u­lar ba­sis... it shows enough en­deav­our that you ac­tu­ally care about them want­ing to be at the auc­tion, as op­posed to just treat­ing them as an­other num­ber,” says Hamp­son.

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