In March 2020, Allsop went fully online with both the residential and commercial teams’ auction catalogues. At the time, it seemed an almost impossible leap and a huge challenge to the auction, but we have found this digitisation has brought with it a whole new marketing tool, delivering benefits to our clients and buyers alike.

Before lockdown, HMRC required us to register all our buyers. While this was of course for good reason, most of us saw it as a great inconvenience. Now, however, we’re able to use buyer registration to our significant advantage, as it feeds neatly into our new digital system, becoming central to the online auction process.

Within our digital system, there are many datasets recording upwards of 35 different data points for each auction lot offered and sold. This amounts to some 2,500 lots every year across both the commercial and residential auction teams, totalling around £1bn in sales each year. There have always been earnest analysts who record their own interpretations of sector, geography, lot size and every other definable nuance, but it is the buyer activity that they can’t add to this matrix – and which gives us, and through us our clients and buyers, a competitive advantage.

As a result of the registration process (did I hear a “Thank you, HMRC”?), every time a buyer looks at a lot, we record who, where and when they visited the lot online. In this way, we can assist in providing the latest information as they progress to bid at auction, without plaguing them with irrelevant marketing.

If these buyers are successful, we record their preferences and buying criteria, which presents opportunities for offering them a similar lot in the next auction. For every competitive sale, there will be underbidders with unspent funds that we can then match to more opportunities in the same or future auctions – which can be a powerful start to a transaction. Funds burning a hole have a habit of getting spent. However, the last and longest-lived aspect of this data is the archive we are building, combining the property, circle of interest, buyer and underbidder with those 35 data points. Pricing information is always key for any sale, to which these datasets give us and our valuation teams live access.

However, having access to the best data in the world would, on its own, be like a carbonara without lardons: a significant piece would be missing. That piece for us, and the true strength behind the data, is our relationships. For years now, auction – like most forms of agency – has revolved around relationships with our buyers and sellers, new and old. It is at this point that captured data must be read correctly and made the most of when applied through the lens of the relationships we have cultivated. These relationships will remain the final piece of magic in the process to help our clients. A wonderful and recent example of this playing out involves a property in Southall. 40-40A The Broadway originally listed for sale with us back in October 2018 for £4.5m and it did not find a buyer – sadly not every lot will sell on the day it goes under the hammer.

Fast forward to 2022 and a new buyer comes into the market. This new party shared with us their desire to build a portfolio and we thought that 40-40A The Broadway perfectly fit the bill. We were still in touch with the seller, and we married the two up – the result being that we sold the asset some four years after it first came onto the market. Our data gave us the initial step, but it was our relationships – the cornerstone of agency – that got the deal over the line. And there will always be more deals to be found if we keep investing in the two resources. In conclusion, Auctioneers will always be mass marketeers, provided that we keep listening, learning and using data sensibly, we can keep getting closer to becoming the perfect brokerage platform to harness the cash and appe

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