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August 31, 2015

Auction technology brings in off-site bidders

A Brisbane real estate agency is using IT to bring distant bidders to its auction events.

Ray White Wilston has adopted a video platform for in-room auctions, allowing participants to bid online in real-time.

Alistair Macmillan, principal of Ray White Wilston, says the company’s rural division brought the technology in from the United States.

“As soon as I saw it I realised it was a fantastic application to use for residential auctions.

“We’re the first office in the country to be able to stream our auctions each fortnight.”

Macmillan says the agency sets up two cameras in the auction room ­– one trained on the auctioneer and another on the audience.

Pre-registered buyers then click on a website link to get a real-time feed of the event, and can put forward bids via their keyboard.

Macmillan says the feed is not limited to just those participating in the auction, with the general public able to log in as well.

“A couple of weeks ago we had an auction that had 13 registered bidders online with a few from interstate and overseas, but we had up to 1,000 people actually watching [remotely].”

He says that while there’s still the opportunity for buyers to be on the phone with agents at the auction, online bidding provides another option.

Since implementing the programme in June this year, the strategy has successfully broadened the reach of the agency.

“We’ve been achieving a clearance rate of about 93.5 per cent,” Macmillan says.

“The first time we went live, we had nine sales from nine auctions with one bidder in the United Kingdom, two in China and others from interstate.”