Process Driven Outcomes

“Clearance holds strong across Sydney’s biggest auction weekend ever” screams the headline. Readers sigh with relief - the lauded boom lives on.

But later in the article, we discover that the “clearance rate” of 80.5% is actually only based on the collection of 814 results out of 1154. That means in truth, the headline clearance rate only factors in results from 70% of the total number of auctions conducted.

This makes sense, given I’ve heard of many agents who have begun to struggle in that marketplace and are certainly not selling eight out of ten under the hammer.

So what happened to the other 30% of auction results? The truth is, some agents just don’t report. Others report sometimes, usually when they do well. Still, others misreport by fudging the numbers upwards, on the basis they reckon they will sell some properties in the coming days, so “they’re as good as sold anyway”.

We all know it. It’s pretty clear voluntarily reported results are likely to be skewed. And a high result, therefore, doesn’t necessarily indicate a boom.

In Queensland, of course, the clearance results are generally much lower – over the same weekend, 43%. But we don’t expect a high clearance here, with the main justification being that the market’s not booming.

At the same time, we have several Queensland clients who regularly achieve 80%+ clearance rates week in, week out, some of whom operate in regional markets. If it were true that headline auction clearance rates were market indicators, these results would be impossible.

The only possible conclusion? Processes and skills determine auction outcomes, not market alone.

While we’re at it, here’s some other industry “truisms” we could all consider facing up to as nothing more than excuses for average outcomes.

“Auctions don’t work in my area” (yes, they do)

“My vendors/buyers don’t like auctions” (no, you don’t like auctions – but with the right approach, you probably would)

“Auction’s not just about the day, it’s a process” (no, every agent is capable of achieving a sale more often than not on auction day – and I can show you how)

If you’re keen to achieve high auction clearance rates regardless of “market conditions”, pick up the phone and call us.

All the best,
Gordon Macdonald