Spotlight On: Maverick Commins, Owner and President, Supreme Auctions

October 13th, 2014 by melissa

Spotlight on . . .Maverick

We had the opportunity to speak with Maverick Commins, Owner and President of Supreme Auctions. Possessing unparalleled experience in the luxury real estate market, Maverick has acquired large success in this niche area of the industry and specializes in Accelerated Marketing. We covered several current topics including potential sales prospects, international auctions and the future of online-only auctions.

PA: Tell us about Supreme Auctions and your role with the company.
MC: Supreme Auctions is a global Luxury Auction firm who has revolutionized the way luxury properties are sold both in the U.S. and abroad. Supreme Auctions is currently the largest luxury real estate auction firm in the U.S., with eight offices across the U.S. and the first U.S. firm to open an office in London U.K. As the CEO/President of Supreme Auctions, it is my job to direct the company brand awareness, and the expansion both here in the U.S. and overseas. Integrity, knowledge, innovation, experience, and honesty are the keys to our company’s success. These core values are the reason why Supreme Auctions has never been in any litigation during the company’s history.

PA: How do you think the recent rise in real estate sales has affected luxury auctions over the past year?
MC: Most of the rise in real estate sales have occurred at a lower price point that we do not deal in. As the market improves it just raises our prices on auction day as more people are interested in buying luxury properties. Real estate agents now realize the value for their clients of getting their property sold in 45 days versus years lingering on the market.

PA: What do you look for in a property (or in a seller) when you decide whether to take on an assignment?
MC: Our firm is very selective about the properties we choose to sell and the sellers we work with. We only take on approximately two out of every 20 properties that come to our firm. In general, we look for why the sellers want to sell, do they have equity in their home, and are they willing to sell at what the true market value of the property is.

PA: How is marketing a luxury property different from traditional real estate?
MC: I teach that to real estate agents in my classes globally in an hour training session. The big difference between marketing traditional real estate to that of a luxury property is that our marketing creates the urgency for buyers to act. In traditional real estate, the “for sale” sign message creates no urgency in the luxury market. The most luxurious items in the world are sold at auction for a reason – they simply bring a better price than putting the item for sale. Where else can you sell the “Batmobile” for $4.2M but at an auction? Christie’s and Sotheby’s – where I started in the auction business in London – are the clear leaders in the art and antiquities business. They have a proven brand for almost 400 years.

PA: How does your company set itself apart from other luxury auction companies (J.P. King, Grand Estates, Concierge Auctions, etc.)?
MC: I really don’t pay that much attention to other companies. To quote one of my mentors Oprah Winfrey, we just run our own race. I believe there is plenty of work out there for everyone. With over 3 billion dollars worth of real estate sales in 70 countries for over 30 years, I think we have done ok. With our expansion in the U.S. market and abroad, it looks to be a very interesting next five years.

PA: How would you compare the international auction market to the U.S. auction market?
MC: The international market has changed with the Euro for sure. It is easier to conduct auctions in some countries and almost impossible in others. We have found after our two recent record breaking sales in both the U.K. and Italy that the marketing is still very effective to the public- it drives the buyers to act. We are still one of the only luxury auction firms conducting auctions in other countries.

PA: How strong of an advertising vehicle has social media been in your marketing plan?
MC: For certain properties it is very effective. How you “use” social media is the key factor to success. It is not a silver bullet.

PA: How are you incorporating mobile marketing into your advertising strategy?
MC: Through Auction Alerts, our website, and social media. It is consistently changing, the key is to stay alert and be aware of the opportunities.

PA: How do you see the development of online-only auctions for real estate?
MC: Online-only auctions work very well for commercial properties and bare land. I don’t believe in the next 10 years online-only auctions will be that effective in the luxury market. One firm tried that – spent millions to find out that the product, that of a luxury residential home, is an emotional buy. Hard to get emotional about pictures and video online. You can’t sell a luxury residential home online like you can commercial properties.

PA: What are your top tips for buyers and sellers?
MC: For Buyers:
1. If you want to buy a luxury property at market value, there is no better way.
2. Do your due diligence on the property, the auction firm, and the brokerage.
3. Don’t be fearful of auctions or auctioneers.
4. Bid high.
For Sellers:
1. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE ON THE AUCTION FIRM! Many times people hire firms without even checking them out first. It would be like having a doctor do open heart surgery without first checking to make sure he is fully qualified to do so. Do your research, check out the management, the firm, etc. Google is a wonderful tool. If they are in litigation or bankruptcies, or have been, beware.
2. Don’t fall for flashy websites and promotional material. See above.
3. The best price you are going to receive for your property (if you choose the right firm) is going to be through the auction process.
4. Repeat 1&2!

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