Annual Survey of the Real Estate Auction Industry

Once again, we conducted our Annual Survey and polled real estate auctioneers nationwide this past January. Our clients provided answers to a range of questions about industry activity in 2012 and their projections for 2013.

Topics covered in our survey:

Residential Properties

Single family homes, condominiums and coops were the most common type of residential property brought to auction as reported by our auctioneers.

For more charts and numbers download our annual survey of the real estate auction industry

Commercial Properties

Auctioneers were asked to provide us with the most common commercial property type brought to auction – this time Industrial/Warehouse and Agricultural ranked number one.

Type of Auction Sale

This year Private Owner Sale was by itself at number one, with Lender REO and Estate/Trust/Guardian at a tie in second place.

Style of Auction Sale

Online auctions were a distant second to On-Site/Open Outcry, with Sealed Bid ranking last.

Format of Auction Sale

Respondents indicated that the most frequently used Auction Format last year was Unpublished Reserve/Seller Confirmation, with Absolute ranking a close second.

Most Successful Style of Auction Sale

On-Site/Open Outcry won by a wide margin, yet 4% lower than 2011. Online came in at 20%, a 5% jump from the previous year.

Amount of Auctions by Area

The Southeast and Southwest areas of the United States remain in the number one spot as having the highest amount of auctions. The Central region also ranked in first place.

Buyer Broker Representation

Once again, less than 25% of real estate auctions buyers were represented by brokers, a surprisingly low result considering that auctioneers typically offer a 2-3% commission for brokers who register their buyers.

Advertising Allocation

Hard to believe, but Print came in number one again on this, though auctioneers may have to reconsider when they see the results for our next question…

Most Effective Form of Advertising

Internet advertising claims first place as the most effective form of advertising at a steep 38%, with Signage trailing in second at 35%. Print ranked in third place at a mere 19%, a 4% drop from 2011. Maybe it’s time for a change to move all things techno up on the marketing budget?

Social Networking

Effectiveness of Social Network Advertising

Most auctioneers weren’t overly impressed with the effectiveness of advertising on Social Networks, with the majority finding it less effective than traditional advertising.

Internet Ad Network

59% of respondents utilized Internet ad network solutions such as Google Adwords to promote their auctions in 2012.

Mobile Accessibility

Only 41% of respondents offered a mobile version of their company website in 2012.

Online Bidding

The majority (80%) of respondents offered online bidding last year, with 60% of those using 3rd party systems.


73% of respondents do not offer a blog section on their company website.

When searching for industry news and updates, 44% of respondents reported that they read blog sites of those in the industry

LinkedIn, ActiveRain and LoopNet ranked as some of the favorite blog sites of our respondents.


50% of our respondents used Twitter in 2012, with 90% of those having up to 500 followers. 29% reported to following up to 25 people. 39% reported as Tweeting at least once a week.

Predictions for 2012

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