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Auction houses shut their doors and use PropTech to keep going

Auction houses are the latest part of the residential sector to seek PropTech help to attract business during the Coronavirus crisis.

For example Cardiff-based Seel and Co auctioneers is offering virtual reality viewings on some of its auction lots, particularly those which are difficult to access.

The move, says the firm, is aimed at not only innovating the auction market but also attracting new buyers who may otherwise be put off by the fact that they can’t view a property in person.


It’s offering VR on just “a few selected lots” but the hope is to extend the technology across all of its catalogued properties.

Its next auction is on March 31 with telephone bidding is also possible for those unable to attend.

Meanwhile three auctions this month scheduled by SDL Auctions are to be held behind closed doors, with remote bidding options available to buyers.

Managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker says: “We have not taken this decision lightly but the safety and health of our customers, partners and staff are our primary focus and we felt this was the most appropriate course of action in these unprecedented times.”

He continues: “Our auctions are already filmed for our live video feed and we take multiple remote bids each auction day … last year we sold in excess of £80m of property online. Our entire team is able to work remotely so can continue to provide all our customers and partners with the level of service they expect from our business.

“The only difference is that our usual auction venues will be closed to visitors and all bids will be taken remotely. As we have been taking remote bids from buyers for many years, we are confident that the auctions will run smoothly, albeit a little more quietly.”

Property viewings will continue to take place as normal but potential buyers are urged to let the company know if they cannot attend.

Yesterday evening Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers announced it would be live video streaming its March sale online over five days from Monday March 23 to Friday March 27.

Prospective bidders will be able to bid remotely online, by proxy or telephone instead of attending in person.


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