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Vendor Management


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Mark Kentwell, Client-Friendly Auctions, is there such a thing?

Why is it that just mentioning the word ‘Auction’ sends many vendors into a spin?

After all, auctions have consistently proven to be an excellent means of reaping maximum reward from a property sale over many decades. They generate maximum exposure and interest during what is widely considered to be the peak selling period (the first 4 weeks) and they encourage emotional attachment and competition among prospective bidders. So why do so many buyers and sellers continue to shy away from them?

Does the negativity stem from a bad experience at the hands of an unethical or unprofessional real estate agent? Is it due to negative press or word of mouth from others? Or is it simply the result of a lack of understanding (in other words, fear of the unknown)?

Too many are missing the point

Establishing yourself with a point of difference when it comes to auctions requires you to come at them from another angle. And that angle is to put yourself fairly and squarely into the shoes of your client. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But so many miss this vital point! One real estate professional who does this very well is Mark Kentwell, from PRD Nationwide in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter.

Mark is the founder of the Friendly Auction System (FAS), a consumer-centric auction system that has resulted in him consistently achieving more property sales under the hammer than any other agent in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter and at times also on a national scale.

Friendly by name and by nature

The Friendly Auction System is true to its name. By listening carefully to his clients and the needs and wants of consumers in general, Mark has devised a system that successfully wins the hearts and minds of both buyers and sellers. Why? Because it ticks all the boxes that traditional auction methods miss. The system has already proven a hit with other agents as it allows them to successfully explore the market and achieve the best possible price through its brilliant, yet straightforward process and techniques. So what’s it all about?

1. The power of buyers

The Friendly Auction System addresses the main concerns and “hot points” expressed by buyers when it comes to the auction process. Paying close attention to your buyers will often move them from being attracted to fully engaged. Mark says, “If you score 10/10 on the Friendly Auction System Preparation Checklist with one buyer, then there’s a pretty good chance they’re bidding. Do this with several buyers and you’ve got yourself an auction.”

2. It just makes sense!

The Friendly Auction System is simple and makes sense. For example, many believe a buyer cannot bid at auction if he/she does not have a 10% deposit on them on the day. Many also rule out bids from anyone not prepared to settle within 35 days. The Friendly Auction System defies these ‘rules’ by asking why not? After all, how do we even know what 10% will be when a final price is not yet known? And what’s wrong with a winning bidder paying the deposit over 2 installments or allowing for an extended settlement period? Provided all parties are in favour, it’s written into the contract and the winning bidder is paying a premium price in return for greater flexibility, there’s no reason why it can’t work in everyone’s favour.

3. Communication is king

Too many agents neglect to ask their vendors for feedback on how they feel things are progressing as they go. Mark has devised a number of suggested scripts to handle a variety of scenarios, including overcoming many common challenges.

4. Become the director of your own show

Mark teaches agents to play the role of ‘Director’, instructing and guiding vendors on how to play their part in the ‘show’. This includes everything from ‘what if’ scenarios (if this happens, then how about we do this…) to everyone’s role on auction day.

5. Develop alliances

An integral part of the Friendly Auction System is developing alliances with likeminded professionals who are prepared to “help not hinder” the auction process. Examples are solicitors who are prepared to be flexible in terms of settlement timeframes and deposit terms, preferred lenders, and building and pest inspectors who are prepared to pre-arrange reports that may be viewed by multiple parties. All alliances recommended in Mark’s system are formed to ensure a smoother more streamlined and user-friendly auction process for both buyer and seller.

6. Shine in your own unique way

Under the Friendly Auction System, agents have the freedom to maintain their own key points of difference while using the system to achieve maximum return for their clients in minimum time and turning buyers (and future sellers) into raving fans.

In a nutshell, Mark Kentwell’s Friendly Auction System defies the traditional ‘rules’ that often drive buyers and sellers away in droves, while still maintaining sensible conditions to ensure that nobody gets burnt in the process. The system is 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 you.

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Mark Kentwell, Client-Friendly Auctions, is there such a thing?