New App to help auction buyers – Joel Smith

A Melbourne start-up is capitalising on our love affair with auctions by developing an App to enable consumers to watch auctions either live or on demand from anywhere in the world.  The App is called GAVL and with it a potential buyer can “virtually” attend dozens of auctions across several states over a weekend. GAVL is the brainchild of Joel Smith who tells us about it today.


Kevin:  One of the most common questions we’re asked is “How do I get on with auction? What really happens with auction?” Getting around of them can be quite tortuous. I’m going to tell you now about a new app that’s just been created by a company called GAVL. The CEO for GAVL, Joel Smith, joins me.
Joel, tell me about the app and what will it do and why have you introduced it?
Joel:  Thanks, Kevin. Thanks for having me on your show. The app really came out of a need for consumers, I guess. A work colleague of mine was in house-hunting mode, and he couldn’t be in two places at the one time. He’s based down in Melbourne and for whatever reason, most of the auctions in Melbourne are on at 11:00, 12:00, and 1:00. He found it hard physically getting around all the auctions at one time. It was that 21st century question, why isn’t there an app for this? So, we set about a task of developing one.
We found that the key or the secret or the reason there hadn’t been one before is that the issue was mobile-based broadcasting technology. There’s quite a delay in the technology – upwards of 10 or 15 seconds – and with the real estate, you can’t afford to have even a one- or a two-second delay.
We set about rectifying that problem and we built our own livestreaming technology in which we got the delay down to one second, which we think in any one’s language is live, and then set about building an application that allowed real estate agents to broadcast their core product, which is an auction, to a greater audience.
Kevin:  Now, with this, Joel, is someone able then to bid online. If they’re not there, are they able to bid through the app?
Joel:  There’s not bidding at the moment. But we will build features that will allow an agent the ability to talk to a buyer and communicate bids. As we know, at auctions, a similar process already happens, where you can have a buyer on a phone communicating their bids verbally to an agent or an advocate. In the same way, they’ll be able to communicate to an agent, but this time digitally, while being able to watch.
What we’ll be able to do to is we’ve just built what we call a bid-capturing technology. We’ve digitized the penciller’s role, and now, we’re able to overlay the bids over the screen. We have an in-built currency converter especially for the Chinese buyer and also some other interactive features where their agent is able to engage their buyers.
Kevin:  You’d need to tee this up with the agent so that you can actually watch it, wouldn’t you? There has to be someone at the other end?
Joel:  Yes, the technology has been built that it will all be done by the agent. It’s quite a simple setup. It’s all mobile phone-based streaming technology. The one constant at every auction is the agent, and we all know they have a mobile phone. It’s literally a 10-second job to set a tripod up, mobile phone on the tripod, two presses of a button, and they’re live streaming.
From a consumer’s end, they just download the app or they can jump on a PC computer if they have time. Literally download the app, search through our app. The app’s been built in a similar way to an REA or a Domain, where agents upload all their properties, all the photos, property details. A consumer can search, shortlist, and they’ll get a notification when the auction goes live. And they can sit there and watch.
Kevin:  Okay. How do we get a hold of the app, Joel?
Joel:  Just in the app store. We have released the app for the iOS. It’s new with Apple. The Android app has been released, so Google Play. If you don’t have one of those phones, you can obviously jump on and watch it on the website.
Kevin:  Yes. It’s aptly known too, GAVL – as in auctioneer’s gavel. Very easy to remember and very catchy name too, Joel.
Joel:  Yes. We were quite surprised when it comes to the challenge of picking names when you try and find something short and catchy. We thought we’d have a little bit of a play on words there with the GAVL, and the feedback, so far, it’s been very good.
Kevin:  Yes. Certainly anything that’s going to increase transparency for auctions and get the word out there about auctions to get more people participating is something we’d certainly support. The app is called GAVL. Already 500,000 auctions have been viewed, so it’s well and truly underway.
Joel, thanks for your time today. Also, congratulations on the move. I think it’s fantastic. Well done.
Joel:  Thank you, Kevin.

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