A 94-foot industrial chimney in Dublin, which generates income by accommodating mobile phone masts, is one of the most unusual properties auctioned during the past year by BidX1, the pioneering, UK-based digital auction house which has now launched in South Africa and is set to disrupt the local, traditional property auction space.
Founder and CEO Stephen McCarthy, who was recently in South Africa paving the way for the launch of BidX1 South Africa, says this will be a game-changer for the local property auction industry.
“The process is so simple, enabling anyone to buy or sell property on auction in a secure and transparent manner, and at a market-related price.
“While BidX1 was only established in 2011, although not called that at the time, it has already sold over 7 000 property assets raising over EUR 1.4-billion and is the second largest commercial and residential auction house in Britain and Ireland. Apart from South Africa, we are rapidly expanding our footprint globally, including southern and central Europe, with a recently opened office in Cyprus and then Spain coming on stream this year (2019).”
McCarthy says it makes perfect sense that digital appeals to the auction market, significantly enhancing the buying and selling experience. “Digital disruption has taken the world by storm, no less so here in South Africa, where the property industry lends itself to on-line auction bidding. Globally, we are already seeing that approximately 42 percent of our transactions are being conducted via handheld devices, and over vast geographical areas, which is incredible.
“Coupled with this, many of our transactions are concluded by repeat buyers and sellers, enabling us to build up a massive database. A key contributor to our success is that we have developed our own bespoke technology, designed by property experts and adapted after each auction.
“A good example of the power of the digital platform was illustrated in March last year (2018), when Ireland came to a standstill due to extreme weather conditions. This placed no dampener on our two-day on-line auction held in the midst of the country’s worst storm in 30 years, when we sold over 210 properties.
“There is an appetite for such change from consumers who have seen technology enhance so many other areas of their lives. This process is convenient, accessible and efficient, and is backed by a global company whose innovation and track record speaks volumes.”
In launching in South Africa – where BidX1 is in association with Pam Golding Properties – leading auctioneer, MC du Toit, who has an impressive track record in the local industry, has been appointed CEO, Auctions & Sales of BidX1 South Africa.
Says McCarthy: “Du Toit understands the local, traditional market very well, and with his experience and skill-set, has already transitioned into digital with ease.”
BidX1SA will offer on auction a full spectrum of properties from residential to commercial, retail, industrial and agricultural property and investment portfolios.
Their first auction will be held on Wednesday, April 10 (2019), with an exciting array of properties. The catalogue of properties will be launched in early March 2019.
Says du Toit: “For sellers, through ground-breaking technology, they now have access to previously unseen levels of speed, transparency and worldwide exposure, while buyers and investors have the ultimate convenience of being able to bid and transact in minutes, from wherever they are globally.
“You can bid from the comfort of your home, on holiday, in-between meetings, even in the middle of the night, depending on your location and time zone.”
The platform provides trust for both buyers and sellers, with legal documents available for inspection online prior to auction and properties able to be viewed on site as required.
Adds du Toit: “We have all the relevant information available on the property, and can therefore give sellers and buyers the guidance and information they need to make the right decision. Buyers for the first time have full access to the auctioneer during the auction process and buyers can contact BidX1 while bidding if they require any assistance or have any questions.
“Every bid placed during the sale of a property is logged and displayed in real time and along with the final sale price, can be viewed publicly on the website. This assures buyers that the process is fair and transparent. All bidders go through the same registration process and all bid on the same terms and conditions. They can see competing bids as they come in and accurately assess demand for the property.”
They also know that the successful buyer will instantly enter into a legally binding contract once the lot is sold, as BidX1SA immediately exchanges contracts on their behalf.