One of Australia’s most seasoned real estate agent, Gavin Rubinstein, spends his time representing investors or buyers in property auctions when he’s not out personally dealing with clients or agents. Over time, he has learnt to be comfortable in the auction room, bidding millions of dollars.
“I’m as comfortable in an auction room as I am sitting in my bed in pyjamas, relaxing with a cup of tea. It’s exactly the same for me,” he says.
Gavin shares his personal “bidding process”, a technique that makes him a good member of an investor’s financial team.
Be the first person to bid – but make it low
Start the party by being the first person to raise a hand.
Gavin explains: “For me, step one is, I’m always the first person to bid. Always. But it’s very low. I’ll tell you why I do that. If I bid first, albeit low, I get rid of the hard part. Once one person bids, it starts to unravel.”
Stand back and watch
At the onset of the auction, study the people you’re bidding against and get a good grip of how the game is being played.
“Once the thread comes out, it starts to unravel. Other people start to bid. And then I shut up, and I stand back and I watch, because it’s good to see how many people are here and who am I bidding against. It’s just one other big game,” Gavin says.
He adds: “I will not bid again until the property is about to be sold, and I’ll tell you why. The person who’s about to buy it, provided that’s within the range of the budget I’ve got and the number I’ve set, I’ll bid $1,000 just before it’s about to go to that person.”
Focus on the last person bidding
Right before the bidding ends, make it a one-on-one game between you and the last person standing.
“Focus on that person, not even a look at the auctioneer again. Providing it’s within the number and budget I’ve set myself, I just focus on mentally psyching them out. As they bid, (I do) knee-jerk reaction bidding as a response to them so that they feel like I’m never going to stop. I have auctioneers throw out plenty of funny comments to me, saying to the other buyer that I’m going to run out of steam soon. But I’ll respond to the auctioneer, ‘Am I really?’ You know, it’s all just a psychological game, I feel, wherever you are,” according to Gavin.
In conclusion, Gavin advises all who wish to engage in property bidding to avoid sitting on their hands. If you’ve come to buy property, be prepared to put your hand up and bid against everyone in the room. Set up a game plan and do your best to turn the tides in your favor.
“If you’ve come to buy the property, you set yourself a limit – I think that’s important. But what are you waiting for? I don’t understand why someone waits to put their hand up, particularly to see where it unravels. I get when they’ll sit on their hands to wait for that very sharp end of it to then capitalise, but the auctions kill me when people just sit there and no one puts their hand up. [What’d you come here] for, then? Don’t sit on your hands is what I’ll always say,” according to him.
Tune in to Gavin Rubenstein’s episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to find out why he believes honesty is always the best policy and how investors can get the most out of working with an agent.