Executive Conversations is a HousingWire web series that profiles powerful people in the financial industry, highlighting the operations and the people that make this sector tick. In the latest installment, we sit down with Jason Allnutt, general manager at Auction.com, to talk about the big changes going on at the company. Auction.com won the HW Tech100 award for market potential for the second year in a row for its decisive move into non-distressed assets and expanded opportunity with Chinese-speaking buyers.
Q. Auction.com recently launched a new retail platform — Ten-X Homes. Can you tell us about that platform and why now was a good time to do that?
A. Actually, the entire company has gone through some pretty significant changes. We’ve re-branded the company as Ten-X, and will be operating three distinct lines of business: Ten-X Commercial, which will focus on commercial real estate sales; Ten-X Homes, which will focus on move-in ready residential properties; and Auction.com, which will continue to focus on foreclosure and bank-owned properties.
Our new Ten-X Homes platform will offer our clients the opportunity to sell using online auctions or, for the first time, use a more traditional non-auction option. It will take the traditional offline real estate transaction process and move it online, with the transparency, efficiency and ease that the Internet delivers. We felt like the market was ready for this – over 90% of home purchases today include the use of online services like Zillow and realtor.com, and a large percentage of the people who register for our online auctions identify themselves as owner occupants.
Q. What does this consumer platform mean for servicers?
A. Ten-X Homes provides servicers an ideal platform for their move-in ready REO homes. Their properties will still receive the same world-class marketing that servicers have come to expect from Auction.com, delivering buyers from around the corner and around the globe. And in addition, they’ll now be able to market their properties online in an environment that isn’t populated with distressed assets, which has proven to increase execution by as much as 8%. There are significant benefits the platform offers, including the fact that it works seamlessly with existing broker and asset management processes. Finally, the Ten-X platform is designed so that we can work directly with a servicer to list their properties, or have their agents list them and we’ll handle all the transaction details.
Q. How does Ten-X Homes fit into Auction.com’s overall integration strategy for dispositions?
A. Auction.com has created a wonderful marketplace for foreclosure sales and investment grade REO, and with Ten X Homes we can now help servicers maximize the return on all assets, including their retail friendly, move-in-ready homes.
Q. Ten-X just won the very competitive Market Potential award for the HW Tech 100 for the second consecutive year, which is quite an accomplishment! What's next for Auction.com and Ten-X?
As the US economy and housing market continue to recover, the needs of our clients are changing. We hope to continue to adapt and work with those clients to develop innovative new products and services that help meet those changing needs. We plan to build on the success we’ve had – selling more than 200,000 properties worth over $37 billion on our Auction.com platform – and expand into new markets. Ten-X Homes is just the latest innovation: a product that will empower banks, servicers, builders, Realtors and consumers to execute online transactions for move-in ready homes with transparency, efficiency and simplicity.