Absent buyers at Block auctions in NZ – Joel Smith

Speaking of The Block – well The Block New Zealand is pioneering bidding with the use of an App allowing bidders to be remote.  Joel Smith from Gavl explains how it will work on a show that is pre-recorded and not live.
Kevin:    Well, viewers in Australia will be well aware that we’re well into the season of The Block in this part of the world. And, in New Zealand, our New Zealand listeners, of which there are many, would be very familiar with The Block New Zealand. Well, we’ve got some news for you, because bidding this year on the block in New Zealand could become a lot easier, especially for people who aren’t going to be there, because Gavl, the site we’ve been talking about quite often on this show, is going be streaming live, live bidding for the real estate auctions in New Zealand for The Block.
Kevin:    Joining me to talk about that, Joel Smith from Gavl. Joel, welcome to the show. Thanks for your time.
Joel:   Thank you for having me.
Kevin:    Great breakthrough for you guys. How is it going work? Because, I understand that the auctions are very shrouded in mystery. They’re done, and then replayed later that night. How will that work?
Joel:   Yeah, well, that’s generally how the auctions have been conducted in Australia, but over in NZ this year, they’re live. They’ve being broadcast live to air, as well, so it’s going to be very interesting viewing, especially seeing how the live auction is conducted. There’ll be no special edits or highlights or cut-tos, so, yeah, it’s television.
Kevin:    So, can anyone anywhere in the world be able to watch it on Gavl, or do you have to be a registered bidder?
Joel:   Oh, you have to be a registered bidder. Obviously, being a TV production, and The Block, as well, there’s all sorts of requirements around, you know, countries and jurisdictions where they can broadcast to and so on, but they have got a proviso for any bidder who’s registered. Obviously, Ray White are running the auctions over there in New Zealand, so any registered bidder through Ray White has got the ability to either bid in person on the day as they do at a traditional auction, or, if they’re not onsite and can’t get to the auction, they’re able to bid digitally and communicate to the agent through the platform.
Joel:   And that also allows them to be able to watch on their device, hear what’s going on, see the bids come up and so on.
Kevin:    And how will it work technically? You’ll have someone in the room taking the bids on behalf of the bidders over Gavl?
Joel:   Yeah, so, effectively, the broadcast of the auction itself on Gavl, all that’s required is a mobile phone and an iPad, and the iPad will be in the agent’s hands, and obviously, with a Gavl staff member beside to make sure that everything’s going well, but, effectively, they will be communicating to the remote bidder through the digital devices, so, through the iPad and through their mobile device. And, as you see at a lot of auctions nowadays, if there’s a buyer on the phone to the agent, the agent calls out the bid, and the same thing will happen here. They’ll call out the bid online, you know, a million dollars, and it’s up to the auctioneer whether they accept or decline that bid, as they do now.
Kevin:    Yeah, it’s certainly a great initiative, Gavl, and allowing people to bid who can’t get to the auction. I understand, and I imagine you’d be following very closely the impact of this on auctions. Have you got any stats to tell me how many more people are attracted to auctions, on average, because of the ability to bid remotely like this?
Joel:   It’s around about a 50 percent increase in audience numbers, and what we also have seen that for bidders who register to bid through the platform, and obviously approved by the agent, that 40 percent of those go on and bid, and it’s around about 25 percent of actually those who bid buy.
Joel:   Only very early days, but there’s a large portion of bidders, registered bidders bidding, and then, you know, one in four are going on to win the property. And we can see that improving over time, as the understanding with the platform and confidence grows around the ability to be able to buy property through the platform.
Kevin:    No, it’s a great initiative, Joel, and I thank you for joining us and talking about it. All the best for the auctions in New Zealand, mate, and all the best with the show. Talk to you soon.
Joel:   Appreciate that. Good luck to all.

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