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Friendly Auctions will make you the Market Leader

With Mark Kentwell PRD Nationwide Newcastle

Creator of The Friendly Auction System, Mark Kentwell is revolutionising the auctioneering process around Australia. Mark’s career in real estate started when he joined his father as the first PRD franchisees in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region in 2005. He says, “I jumped at the chance. In 2012, I bought my father out of the business and today we have over 50 employees and make over 700 sales a year across Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.”

Mark has sold more homes at auction than any other agent in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie or the Hunter Valley in the last five years. He was also awarded the title of Australian Regional Principal of the Year across all brands at the Australian Real Estate Awards in 2014.

He says, “I have a brain for systems based on my faultfinding and engineering background and a passion for business along with a solid understanding of consumers and the way they think.

Auctions played a major part in us being able to break into our large, extremely tight market, which at the time was dominated by a few major brands that had been around for 40 to 100 years and were mainly focused on private treaty sales.”

Inspired by his success with auctions but frustrated with their delivery, he decided to change the face of the auctioneering experience in Australia. He chatted with many buyers in strong auction areas throughout Australia.

He says, “During these discussions I found a few common denominators. Each buyer had expended significant amounts of money and time in the lead up to bidding. Each was dealt with inconsistently by agents in the marketplace and, while they could appreciate why a vendor would want to sell by auction, most felt that something needed to change if the industry wanted to keep buyers on board with the process.

In fact many buyers I spoke to ended up simply boycotting auctions and telling everyone they could about it.”

Mark was concerned with the implications for the industry if customers were having a negative auction experience. He explains, “It doesn’t take long for negative vibes to start spreading like wildfire about a method of sale that agents know can be highly effective for their vendors. By now I could see that if nothing was done, it wouldn’t be long before a collective of disgruntled buyers would gain the support of the media or governing bodies and potentially put auctions into a ‘high risk’ category of property sale and purchase.”

Mark knew from all his experience that there was massive scope to enhance the consumer experience, which would lead to better results for vendors and create more repeat business and better reputations for agents.

He says, “I knew there had to be a better way. So I did something about it. Why couldn’t we simply look at addressing the buyer’s main concerns with auctions and then build a system to make them more consistent across the board? A system that both newer agents and the industry’s elite could follow; a system that local financial institutions, mortgage brokers, solicitors, conveyancers, and pest and building inspectors could all be on board with; a system that would be recognised and even welcomed by industry bodies and training organisations. So in 2006 I embarked on a journey to create a system that would tick all those boxes. And so the Friendly Auction System was born.”

The Friendly Auction System has created a turning point for auctions in Australia. Auctions are finally beginning to be accepted and even welcomed by a growing number of buyers, sellers and agents, even in areas not known as traditional auction hot spots.

Mark’s system is beautifully simple: it generates more interest from more buyers and therefore delivers a better result for the vendor. After all, it’s not hard to generate 10, 20 or even 30 grand more when you’ve got extra buyers competing for the one property. At the end of the day, everyone comes out a winner, including agents.

Mark says that his approach has been “designed to make auction champions out of every day agents. How? By making the process more structured and removing the common hurdles for buyers, comforting sellers in the process. It’s a system that doesn’t require two decades of auction experience in order to create a successful outcome consistently. Best of all, you can have the winning buyer, successful seller and even the under-bidders all feeling a great service experience after going through the campaign.”

He has seen agents with less than a year’s experience in selling follow nothing more than the audio and training manuals he provided to them and go on to create amazing auction outcomes, even in areas that had fewer than 10% auctions! Mark says, “This is what I’m most proud of with this system and I love hearing more and more stories of success like this from around the country. Auction champions will use Friendly Auctions to gain points of difference in the marketplace and the up and comers will succeed in running professional and ethical ‘friendly’ auctions at the same time, enhancing Australia’s opinion of auctions overall and increasing the percentage of auction transactions in our wonderful country.”

In response to requests from agents across the country, Mark has now written a compelling, easy to read and inspiring book that explains his approach in detail.

Friendly Auctions details his consumercentric system. Mark says, “The book explains how and why the Friendly Auction System works in all areas, in all types of markets and with any buyer and seller. Filled with role-plays and links to references and checklists, this book will give you the knowledge, skills and tools you need to get systemised and take your selling by auction skills to the next level. Get ready to master the auction process like never before and create a tribe of raving fans who won’t hesitate to call you ‘their agent’ and refer your name to others.”

If you want to be part of this movement, you will find Friendly Auctions will open the doors for you.

Mark will be speaking at AREC and his new book will be launched at the event and available from the Real Estate Academy stand.


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