Advice and Opinion

Rapidly Changing South African Auction Industry Requires New Vision

The auction industry has in recent times undergone numerous changes both here and abroad. These transformations have come from various developments in the rapidly changing market and have resulted in good news for consumers who are on the look-out for transparency, efficiency and technological ability when selling or buying property on the auction market. “Our Group has always believed that we owe it to our clients and associates, to be at the forefront of innovation regarding all things auction and are excited by the challenges that the industry faces in these demanding times” says ClareMart Auction Group Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Smiedt.

Smiedt believes that in today’s age of service diversification and the need to meet client’s requirements on multiple levels, has resulted in the First in Sector Top 500 Best Managed Company’s ability to successfully sell more than R50million of property across all sectors by Private Treaty in one month. “Our Group is currently running in excess of 1100 auctions a year nationwide, which are being attended by more than 10 000 members of the public, however we are able to assist sellers who wish to have their property exposed to our established network of buyers but whom do not wish to take their property to auction” says Smiedt.

Technological advancement in all industries has also led the South African Superbrand Gold Seal Award winning Group to set up an on-line bidding platform for their property buyers. “This is one of the most cutting edge developments to happen to auction since our Group pioneered the Multiple Property Auction a few decades ago” says Smiedt. These auctions are now held on a monthly basis and attended by often up to 200 members of the public. These buyers are exposed to investment, commercial, luxury residential and entry level property. ClareMart’s website and mobi-site now offer registered bidders the opportunity to bid remotely on a property. “We believe that there are advantages to on-line bidding but maintain that a live auction event with an open, competitive bidding atmosphere is still the best way to achieve an optimum price” says Smiedt.

The auction industry’s perception in the minds of consumers in general has changed and is often the first choice by private sellers who wish to disinvest of their property via a method that is expedient and achieves immediate cash offer results. “We are still the preferred hunting ground for buyers wishing to snap up legal, financial and distressed instructions however the majority of our business in today’s market comprises property instructed privately by the sellers of large apartment blocks, luxury residences and well-positioned commercial or investment assets” says Smiedt.

Accreditation and endorsements have also become hallmarks of operating a successful auction house. ClareMart is a proud member of the South African Institute of Auctioneers who represent the industry as well as accredited by SARIPA, which was originally formed to achieve professionalism in the insolvency industry.

“Finally, we believe that in the current business and corporate environment, for auction houses such as ours to remain relevant and the first choice in property disposal and acquisition, the key is to provide clients with a comprehensive and varied suite of services that will assist them in all their property needs and which are backed up by the three decades of a service that our clients have become accustomed to in their business dealings with our Group” adds Smiedt.

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