Openn Negotiation
Openn Negotiation team, with Peter Gibbons far right. Photo supplied.
  • Launched in 2017, Openn allows real estate agents to see bids in real time
  • Transparency is key, say its proponents
  • Covid and a booming market has accelerated its growth

Online real estate bidding platform Openn Negotiation has reached $2 billion in property sales.

Launched in April 2017, Openn allows real estate agents across Australia and New Zealand to facilitate transparent property transactions.

Buyers interested in a property can register and make bids in a live auction-like environment. Rather than the real estate agent running between various buyers with competing offers, the information is all transparent and visible on the platform.

The seller sits down with the real estate agent, watching the bidding action in real-time, much like an online auction.

All bids are visible, and anyone interested in a property can apply to be verified as a legitimate buyer through the platform.

It was only nine months ago the platform announced it had reached $1 billion in property sales.

Covid and the boom

“To put that into perspective, it took Openn just over 3 years to reach the first billion of property value sold through the platform. So the rate of growth we’re seeing is extraordinary,” said Peter Gibbons, Managing Director of Openn Negotiation.

Covid accelerated the business as everyone went into lockdown, and physically holding live auctions and viewing properties for real was problematical.

The 2021 property boom has only accelerated Openn’s acceptance and growth.

“We’re only a few months into 2021 and we’ve experienced some really exciting wins – in March we were named in the 2021 REACH Australia class and we’ve had two consecutive record months of property uploads,” said Mr Gibbons.

As property markets boom across Australia, Mr Gibbons said agents are realising transparency is key and cautions against accepting offers too soon without fully testing the market.

“There are properties being sold privately in a few days ‘above expectations’, but without competition, they may still not have reached the maximum value possible.

“Agents are recognising Openn enables the buyer who will pay the most for the property to secure it, which is of benefit to both the seller and the buyer, and of course the agent.”

With listings being a lot tighter on the ground, Mr Gibbons said it makes sense to utilise platforms that enhance relationships with buyers, as often they are also sellers.

“If you can deliver a positive experience to buyers who miss out, you’ve got a much greater chance of winning their listing if they have something to sell.”

The online property auction space is becoming fairly crowded.

As well as Openn Negotiation, there are several other sites including: Gavl (live streaming auctions), Auction Now (bid and watch auctions), Anywhere Auctions (live streaming and bidding), Auctions Live (plug and play auction tech), Market Buy (buying platform including auctions), Sold Online (online auction platform) and eAuctions (live streaming).

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