We sat down with Chris McKnight, Sales Manager at Martin & Co, who have been partnered with iamsold for more than 5 years. He told us about the benefits he receives both for his business and his vendors and buyers.
Chris leads a team across two branches in Derby and Coalville and has enjoyed a great deal of success selling houses at auction in partnership with iamsold.
What is it about working with iamsold that benefits your business?
The first thing to say is that the team is great. They’re so helpful – always there to support and advise, both at the end of the phone and in person (when regulations allow). They’re so knowledgeable and efficient that it makes our lives as Estate Agents as easy as it can be. The team just gets things done. The conveyancing service is outstanding. We’ve worked with other auction partners before, but this is the best success we’ve ever had.
Secondly, the training and advice iamsold provides is second to none. Whatever I or my team needs is available within minutes, which means we can pass those benefits on to our vendors and buyers.
Finally, it’s so helpful to know that the fees are upfront. There are no hidden surprises or charges for different ways of selling – it’s all straightforward. We know the fee we’ll receive as a basic rate and it can only go up from there depending on the price each property is sold for. That’s huge for our revenue.
We worked out that 40% of our total revenue comes from iamsold fees, which is a huge part of our business. As a Gold Partner we enjoy the self-billing benefit too, which means we get paid as soon as the reservation fee comes in from the auction. There’s no better cashflow than that.
How does the iamsold team make life easier for you?
Our Auction Specialist is as much a part of our team as everyone in the office. I speak to our Specialist at least three times a week to discuss all the properties we have on our books. The houses we put forward to iamsold make up a good proportion of our stock list and the team there has worked hard to get to know us, our market, and our processes. It all works well – they’re an integral part of our team and our business.
The training we receive from iamsold helps everyone within our business. We have a Business Development Manager as well as our auction specialist and they both ensure we’re happy with, and knowledgeable about, every step of the auction process. We all enjoy the webinars – they explain the auction process and benefits brilliantly so we all feel confident pitching auction as an option to our vendors.
When it comes to getting our customers on board, I hand them over to our Auction Specialist who explains the whole process. They spend as much time as they need to with the buyer, explaining all the details, while I get on with the work I need to do to make sales happen.
Working with iamsold almost provides us with a one-stop-shop. We have confidence in their team, processes and abilities and we always know there will be someone on the end of the phone or an online chat to answer any queries we have. The support is amazing.
What are the main benefits for vendors and buyers of going to auction?
If a vendor wants to sell their property fast then auction is, hands down, the very best option for them. It’s also an incredible option for buyers – what buyer wouldn’t want to get their property in two months rather than four or six on the open market?
Vendors and buyers also get a guaranteed completion date from the outset. Auction selling takes away the stress that comes along with uncertainty. The conveyancing process from iamsold, which can ordinarily take up to four months with open-market selling, is done within two.
We send so many properties over to auction for exactly those reasons. Once the process is explained to vendors, they see the benefits and jump at the chance of speed and security.
For buyers, the ability to set a maximum online bid is fantastic – it helps buyers feel secure that they won’t get carried away and blow their budget. They don’t have to be on the phone or in the room – they can set their maximum bid and let iamsold do the rest.
How does the Reservation Fee help your process?
Explaining the Reservation Fee to buyers is crucial. Once they understand why they need to pay it, they don’t look back. Paying the Reservation Fee means they’re guaranteed to get the house. The vendor won’t walk away from the sale and they’ve set their intention from the outset.
While other countries around the world have non-refundable deposits as standard in the house-buying process, the UK open market system doesn’t – which leads to a certain degree of uncertainty for buyers and vendors alike. Paying a Reservation Fee shows a buyer’s commitment from the outset and means the property will change hands in the timeframe that benefits everyone.
Do you find that vendors are wary about selling at auction?
There are so many misconceptions about auctions, but we explain the benefits to all the vendors for whom it’s a good option. We generally know when the open market is best for a property, but if we believe that auction is the best option, I hand them over to our Auction Specialist to educate them on the process. We deal with that on a case by case basis.
Working with iamsold has transformed our business and we’d highly recommend it to other UK-based Estate Agents too.
Does selling at auction and working with iamsold sound like a great option for your business? Get in contact today for a no-obligation chat to find out more.