Through a huge investment in marketing and technology, Auction.com increases third-party sales rates and price execution for its clients. By making sure every home receives maximum exposure, Auction.com improves sales rates for its clients by as much as 100%, while increasing price execution by as much as 10%. Auction.com has sold nearly 100,000 homes through this industry-changing program.
The company currently provides foreclosure sale services for the majority of the top 20 servicing institutions in the country, including both national and regional banks, and specialty servicers. Auction.com has worked to make sure loans insured by federal agencies and GSEs as well as private securities and portfolio loans are all approved for the program.
Where possible — in non-judicial states such as California and Texas — Auction.com conducts the foreclosure sales. For these events, which generally draw large pools of potential buyers, professional auctioneers lead the auction process, generating interest and activity for each property. The result is higher bidding activity, higher sell through rates, and ultimately, higher sales prices.
Whether the company is conducting the foreclosure sale or not, marketing the properties going to auction is critical to ensuring that investors or other potential buyers are aware of the properties being sold.
“In states where Auction.com is not able to conduct the foreclosure sale, we are still able to market the property to increase interest from potential buyers at the foreclosure sale,” said Eva Tapia, senior vice president of foreclosure and trustee operations at Auction.com. “By investing in marketing collateral and title and photo products, investors are drawn to these assets that are set for easy and low cost analysis. Additionally, our on-the-ground concierge teams help to answer questions and educate buyers live at the auction.”
Auction.com takes a multi-channel approach to marketing foreclosure properties, which means sellers get a broad, global pool of potential buyers. The Auction.com website boasts more than 4 million active users and more than 300,000 unique visitors each week.
Auction.com maintains a network of millions of investors and sends targeted email campaigns to these investors based on an analysis of their past property acquisitions and search queries on Auction.com and partner sites.
The company also offers an exclusive VIP program that delivers time-saving benefits designed specifically for real estate investors, providing more active investors with a streamlined auction process that leads to better execution.
These services are reserved for investors buying or selling a minimum of five properties per year on Auction.com. Among other program benefits, VIP members receive a biweekly emailed list of all assets to be auctioned in the upcoming three-week period. Filters within the spreadsheet, such as Newly Vacant, Broker Co-op and No Buyer’s Premium, allow VIP members to go straight to properties of interest, reducing the time required to search for properties.
Auction.com spends millions of dollars annually marketing properties that are going to foreclosure sale. By strategically targeting properties to the most likely buyers, the company is able to generate significant interest in the properties going to foreclosure sale.
Auction.com’s extensive marketing includes key partnerships with industry-leading real estate websites to generate maximum exposure, as well as retargeting efforts that provide digital ads to online users likely to be interested in foreclosure properties.
“We had more than 18 million visitors to our website in 2015. This exposure is key to generating interest and encouraging potential buyers to attend the foreclosure sale,” Tapia said.
The company’s marketing efforts also include offline support, with print collateral, direct mail and outbound call campaigns to its buyer network. In addition, Auction.com uses street teams and events in local markets to actively recruit new buyers.
EDUCATING FIRST-TIME BIDDERS
Many people are interested in purchasing properties at a foreclosure sale, but are unsure about the process and requirements. New investors may also have questions about dealing with the property after a purchase. To continue to cultivate potential new buyers, Auction.com created a unique Concierge program that addresses these issues.
Auction.com’s Concierge program is focused exclusively on buyer education. The company hosts in-person events around the country that attract both new and experienced investors. In addition, they’ve set up an extensive knowledge base on their community site, Auction.com Community, where potential buyers can access videos, FAQs and other documentation.
Auction.com’s cultivation of first-time bidders is strategic considering the results of a survey it conducted that found a whopping 30% to 40% of its registrants were owner-occupants — people who wanted to buy houses to live in them.
The company walks new bidders through the whole process, from explaining the basics of the foreclosure process to comparing online versus live auctions. It also provides step-by-step instructions for buying foreclosure properties at a live sale, with links to FAQs and payment guidelines broken out by state.
In addition, Auction.com answers customers’ questions on the site, providing real-time feedback and transparency into the process.
The Concierge program has been so successful that “new-to-Auction.com” investors who attend these educational events have purchased more than $80 million of properties at foreclosure sales since inception, with nearly $40 million of that total from the first half of 2016 alone.
Providing bidders with due diligence information ahead of time is a cornerstone of Auction.com’s process. Every property listing has a documents tab at the bottom of the property details page that links to due diligence documents such as outstanding liens or whether the property is occupied. Licensed public record data can also be found on the site’s property details pages.
Supporting materials outline what bidders should be looking at and give tips about assessing property condition and potential value.
“All properties that are coming up for foreclosure sale are listed on our website with property details and due diligence information. Having easy access to due diligence information helps potential buyers prepare ahead of time for the properties that they are interested in,” Tapia said. “Of course, we encourage all bidders to conduct their own due diligence on any property they intend to bid on.”
A DYNAMIC PARTNER
Since the initial launch of the foreclosure program, Auction.com continues to innovate in order to help servicers optimize the process, lower their risk and reduce costs. With dedicated experts, Auction.com continues to deliver performance and value, having sold more than $12 billion in foreclosure properties.
“We’re dedicated to delivering outstanding performance at the hundreds of foreclosure sale events and online REO auctions we conduct each and every week by constantly finding new ways to match investors with institutional sellers,” Tapia said.