Spotlight On: William Bone, President, National Auction Group, Inc.

March 4th, 2014 by melissa

Spotlight on . . .William

For this month’s Spotlight On, we spoke with William Bone, President of National Auction Group, Inc. Covering real estate auctions in every sector nationwide, National Auction Group has established itself as a prominent leader in the field. In our interview, various topics were discussed including the current real estate market, the importance of mobile marketing, and international investors at auction.

PA: Please describe your background and your role with the company.
WB: I have been president of the National Auction Group, Inc. for 20+ years and have overseen operations and auctions which resulted in billions of dollars in real estate sales in 44 states and 6 foreign countries.

PA: How do you think the recent surge in real estate sales is affecting property auctions – positively or negatively?
WB: It has been a positive for auctions. Auctions continue to grow in popularity with buyers and sellers. Auctions take away all of the negotiating and back and forth between buyers and sellers, but still leave both parties feeling like they have gotten a fair deal. Auctions will continue to make up a larger portion of the real estate market.

PA: With the real estate market and current economy appearing to move in a positive direction, what are your predictions for the property auction industry this year?
WB: I foresee a continued increase in the number of auctions. We have noticed the trend of more sellers moving directly to the auction process and foregoing the traditional listing approach. Auctions have proven time and again that they bring fair market values. It seems that more and more buyers and sellers are educated about auctions and have an increasing comfort with them.

PA: Are you seeing a rise in international buyers at your auctions?
WB: We have continued to see an increase in interest from international investors. Primarily our buyers are still from the U.S. It seems that international investors are closely monitoring the U.S. market and see the promising return, but have to compete with a very strong domestic buying pool.

PA: How do you think The National Auction Group sets itself apart from other real estate auction companies?
WB: Experience, Experience, Experience. It’s impossible to find a market in the U.S. that we haven’t had multiple auctions in. We have proven time and again that our marketing strategies and database allow us to be successful when others may not. We have been successful in selling residential lots, entire resorts, islands, thousands of acres of land, and commercial properties. We have the ability to promote and find buyers for all types of properties, where most companies only specialize in a certain niche. Most companies have a set territory – ours is North America and the Caribbean Basin.

PA: What type of property auctions are drawing the most potential buyers – Commercial? Residential? Land?
WB: For the National Auction Group, there has been an upsurge in the real estate market in general. There is still a variation of what types of properties are in demand in different regions.

PA: What properties do you think work best with an online sale format?
WB: All properties do. The National Auction Group held the first real estate auction online 20 years ago. A multimillion dollar beachfront estate in Delaware was the property being auctioned and the buyer was an online bidder that had not visited the property yet. Online bidding technology is something that we need to embrace and online sales are a part of the industry now. Almost every National Auction Group auction has online bidders.

PA: Is mobile marketing a part of your advertising strategy? If not, do you foresee a mobile campaign for your company in the near future?
WB: Yes, we have incorporated mobile accessible ads in every auction. Mobile technology is rapidly advancing and we have advanced with it.

PA: Does social media play an active role in your marketing plan?
WB: The National Auction Group has utilized social media for years. Social media offers an avenue to reach people in a more interactive way and has to be considered in every auction. Each auction is different but social media has to be evaluated as an option.

PA: Lastly, what would your three top tips be for buyers and your three top tips for sellers?
WB: Buyers: 1) Do your homework! 2) Be there early and be there often. 3) Get involved.
Sellers: 1) Let the process work. 2) Get involved. 3) Hire an experienced company.

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