Reaching a worldwide audience: The power of online auctions
In August 145,000 people across China watched online as two bidders went head to head to buy a dragon-shaped skyscraper at a digital property auction. The 24-hour sale drew huge interest which is little surprise given the iconic 39-storey Pangu Plaza Tower 5 building, which covers 139,356 square meters, eventually sold for £610 million.
Whilst it is possible the successful bidder was a film buff (the dragon’s head building can be seen in the 2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction) it is far more likely they were interested in the covenant of its tenants which include the IBM China office and Pangu Seven Star luxury hotel.
This sale highlights the strength of the reach of an online sales platform when selling large and expensive buildings across the world. Digital sales create competitive tension on the day and provide compelling viewing for observers in real time, and 145,000 people in China thought so too. It is why vendors in the private equity, finance and fund management fields are increasingly using online methods of sale. They understand the benefit of data and transparency and the efficiency of the online model.
This presents a huge opportunity for BidX1. By the end of August, we had sold over 4,000 properties in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa through our digital property platform. We had attracted visitors from 173 countries and buyers from 25. In September we opened offices in Spain and Cyprus, meaning we are now active in 5 countries and on two continents. This year, we are projected to sell in excess of £430 million worth of property.
Our ambition is simple; to be the biggest digital property marketplace, and we are well on track to reach that goal.
Global reach, delivered locally
The BidX1 platform has an expanding international footprint and a growing global reach, but our focus is on providing local market expertise to our customers. We know our markets inside out.
With our data insights and analysis, we can tell that over the past year 38% of bidders were located in London whilst 67% of bids were placed on properties located in UK regions, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We can see a trend towards a search for income stemming from the south east of England. This information is beneficial when marketing properties and ensuring we are producing the best possible results for our clients.
Our data also points to seasonal differences. In December last year the average bid value was £2,500 but in July 2019 it was £1,100. These insights are a huge asset to our team of surveyors and clients in the run up to a sale.
But how does an online property marketplace actually work?
Let me talk you through the sale of a cricket club in 2019. Not your average property acquisition but one that shows the breadth and depth of the BidX1 digital property platform.
Cannock cricket club had fallen into receivership and BidX1 were appointed to sell the property in an expeditious manner. Including two cricket pitches, three artificial hockey pitches, bowling lawn and tennis courts set within 25 acres of land, from the moment the property was listed it garnered interest.
Of course, every instruction comes with the want to do well for your client, but the cricket club dates back to 1860 and with receivership proceedings underway, the club had ceased use which was impacting the local community.
BidX1 were chosen not just because of the international exposure the digital property platform could provide, but because our clients were able to have a greater level of control over the contract terms, date of sale and the sale process, with the benefit of a local team of property experts on hand throughout.
Marketing of properties such as Cannock come with their own specific challenges and having received interest from a number of sources, it was important to sort the genuine interest from the simply curious.
The technology provided by our platform enables the BidX1 team to match bidders with properties in a way that traditional real estate service companies cannot, benefiting both vendor and purchaser. We know the type of assets potential bidders are interested in and in situations where we have a lot of particular interest, ensure we have verified serious buyers.
With this insight, we were able to advise our client to increase the reserve on the club ensuring we were still pricing the property to sell, whilst attracting competitive bidding. The club received a total of 243 bids, driving the sale price 84% over guide price.
From dragon-headed skyscrapers to local sports grounds, from homes to office properties and shopping centres – they all benefit from a transparent, competitive and global digital method of sale. It is why online real estate sales are gaining traction and why BidX1 is ready to take on the challenge of transforming buying and selling property around the world.
You can read the full Property Auction Buyers' Guide here.
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