Working in property auctions

Auctions: graduate property specialism

Auctions are a well established part of the commercial and residential property investment market.

Working in auctions is simply the process of selling properties at auction. It involves every aspect of the creation, development, management and sale of commercial and residential property investments.

It’s not the best known specialism in the property industry, but practitioners say that it is a unique and exciting area to work in: they say that selling property by private negotiation is similar but it does not have the deadlines or adrenaline that the auction process has.

The process of selling at auction is very clearly defined. Properties are researched, appraised for their potential value and visited in order to catalogue them accurately. The marketing process follows: this takes approximately four weeks and finishes on the day of the auction sale.

What should graduates expect from working in auctions?

Auctioneers need to become familiar with the clients, who are instructing them to sell the property, and the buyers. Graduates are often given a large amount of responsibility from day one. Initially you might be researching and visiting properties, taking pictures and updating records. After this you will progress to discussing properties with potential purchasers during the marketing period. You will usually spend the week getting out and about: one day in the office may be followed by two inspecting different properties. You will observe experienced auctioneers at work and should get some experience at the rostrum yourself.

What kind of graduate would auction work suit?

This area would suit you if you’re a genuine ‘people’ person: you will need to inspire confidence in your clients and liaise with a range of different professionals within the industry; the relationships you build up will be crucial to your success. You need to have confidence in your own abilities: both to be able to stand up at auction and to carry out work unsupervised when necessary.

Essential skills for graduates planning to work in auctions

  • The ability to learn quickly
  • Willingness to take on responsibility from the start
  • Willingness to travel widely.