online auction
Online auctions are here to stay. Image – Canva.
  • The pandemic forced auctioneers to adapt
  • Auction clearance rates have been mostly maintained throughout the pandemic
  • New "hybrid auctions" are tipped to stay post-pandemic

Strong auction clearance rates have been largely maintained across Australia throughout the successive lockdowns as auctioneers adapted and evolved to manage the challenging landscape.

But the changes may be here to stay.

Justin Nickerson, a three-time winner of the Australasian Auctioneer of the Year, and Apollo Auctions Director, believes the pandemic induces a rapid shift away from the traditional methods of auctioneers.

“Before the pandemic, it’s not like online or in-room auctions were not available to
agents and vendors, but most of the time traditional on-site auctions were the most
popular,” Mr Nickerson said.

Nickerson-auction-covid
Apollo Auctions Director, Justin Nickerson. Image – Supplied

The pandemic inhibited physical contact but certainly did not hinder the enthusiasm of many to buy and sell real estate.

Mr Nickerson said the auction sector simply had to evolve to provide people with the best opportunities to transact property.

“They say that necessity is the mother of all invention, which has certainly been our experience over the past year or so,”

Justin Nickerson, Apollo Auctions Director

During lockdowns, many auctions were run remotely.

This played a significant factor in auction clearance rates performing fairly well throughout lockdowns.

However even in areas out of lockdown, “hybrid auctions” have been held which Mr Nickerson said allows prospective buyers to interact in whichever way suits them.

“What I mean is that some bidders might be attending the in-room auction, others
may be bidding via telephone, and some may decide to lodge their bids online while
watching the live stream of the auction.”

“This level of choice was never the norm before, but I believe it will be from now on,” Mr Nickerson said.

He believes in-room auctions, when the actual auction is held off-site, will continue to become more popular into the future.

“One of the main things I believe they have learned is that in-rooms remove the
chances of being rained on or being drowned out by traffic noise or the party raging
next door, while still securing an excellent result in a more controlled environment,”
he said.

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