Gearing up to launch its first catalogue of properties for auction early in 2019, BidX1 South Africa – a JV formed between Pam Golding Properties and BidX1, the second largest auction house in Britain and Ireland – foresees a busy year ahead.
Says BidX1 founder and CEO Stephen McCarthy: “Based on our overall vision as a multi-jurisdictional digital auction platform which will see buyers and sellers across the globe transacting in the most seamless, efficient and transparent manner, we see ourselves as a complementary platform for more traditional property agents and businesses who want to expand their market reach.
“Alongside further expansion in the UK and the recently announced JV with Pam Golding Properties in South Africa, we are targeting Southern and Central Europe. Spain, Portugal and Cyprus are all due to come on stream in 2019, so we’re confident that next year (2019) will be as busy as 2018 in terms of expansion.
Why South Africa?
“Offering a core proposition with a foundation of transparency and efficiency that benefits both buyer and seller, while backed by property expertise, has ensured that the digital platform has been successful across the full range of property types and across multiple locations.
“There is a strong tradition of auctions in South Africa, and therefore an existing understanding and appreciation of the benefits of that process. Auctions are used in South Africa across all property sectors and they are often the preferred method of sale – from both a buyer and seller perspective.
“Providing greater transparency and accessibility to everyone, BidX1 South Africa will offer a full spectrum of asset types, from houses and apartments to offices, industrial, hospitality and development sites, as well as large-scale investment portfolios.”
Says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group: “We are excited about our 50:50 partnership with BidX1 South Africa. This innovative new technological platform in the auction space enables us to offer clients an additional service complementary to our existing diverse range of sales channels.
“It goes without saying that greater accessibility to a broad concentration of interested buyers all brought together simultaneously during the bidding process is a benefit to sellers. They also benefit from the detailed pre-auction analysis available through the platform. Advanced reporting mechanisms provide instantly available real-time information on individual property performance, emerging trends, bidder locations and buyer profiles – all backed up by access to property specialists who are experts in their fields. This allows for ‘real time engagement’ with sellers, thereby maximising the sales potential of their property before going to auction.”
Gateway into Africa
Adds McCarthy: “Together with Pam Golding Properties, and via their extensive footprint in South Africa and in Africa, our strategy is to expand our digital offering on the continent. With a network of over 2 000 agents working across 300 offices makes Pam Golding Properties an ideal partner for expansion in the region. BidX1 SA aims to offer the South African property market previously unseen levels of transparency, speed and worldwide exposure.”
Says David Murphy, chief operating officer at BidX1 South Africa: “As the BidX1 platform uses technology to enhance and upgrade auction processes, South Africa is a really exciting market for us. Making auctions more transparent, more accessible and more efficient is an important step in the evolution of the sale process and we believe there’s a strong appetite for these advancements in South Africa, not only among those who have prior experience of traditional auctions, but also for those who are new to the process, and including those who have only used the somewhat traditional methods of marketing and sales.
How the process works
“As mentioned, as the BidX1 platform is fully transparent, it provides a foundation of trust for both buyers and sellers. Legal documents are available for inspection on our online portal prior to auction. Starting from a stated reserve price, every bid placed during the sale of a property is logged and displayed in real-time, and this record, along with the final sale price, can be viewed publicly on our website. In this way, buyers are assured that they are competing against other genuine parties that have completed the same process as themselves. They can see competing bids as they come in and accurately assess demand for the property. The successful buyer will instantly enter a legally binding contract once the lot is sold as BidX1 immediately signs contracts on their behalf.”
Murphy says it makes sense that the digital auction appeals to the auction market – as you have the ability to place bids from the comfort of your own home or office, or even on the golf course or on vacation, and on whatever device you are most comfortable using, wherever you happen to be in the world.
“Our auctions are uniquely accessible. Over 40% of bidding is from a mobile device, a testament to the intuitive and user-friendly nature of the platform. There has always been an international quality to our auctions, regardless of the location of the asset being sold, because they allow buyers from anywhere in the world to partake on a level playing-field in the local market. In the last three months, we’ve seen bidders from New Zealand to the USA bidding on property in the UK and Ireland through our platform. We’ve also already received enquiries from South African expatriates living in the UK who want to buy property in South Africa via our platform.
“The auction market has changed into a multi-billion Rand industry, with properties forming a big part of this. Auctions are a platform for best determining the fair and proper market pricing of a property – in fact, some of the prices that have been achieved via auctions far surpass the expectations of sellers – and we foresee a continuation of this trend.”
MC du Toit joins BidX1 SA
Appointed from 1 November (2018) as CEO of Auctions & Sales for BidX1 South Africa is renowned auctioneer, MC du Toit, who served on the South African Institute of Auctioneers Board for six years, two of which he was vice chairman. Active in the auction market for 16 years – and a 4th generation auctioneer, for the past seven years he was a director and lead auctioneer for ClareMart Auction Group.
Says du Toit: “BidX1 offers an exciting platform for both sellers and buyers which will change the face of auctions in South Africa. Designed to assist buyers and sellers from the start of the process right through to the successful conclusion of the sale, we provide the opportunity for everyone to participate in the auction, no matter where they are located, but still with the benefit of the guidance and direct contact with the auctioneer.”