All technology has limitations. An autopilot mode allows you to fly and land aeroplanes, but no sane passenger would use one without an actual pilot. Driverless cars still need drivers. But what about tech and online bidding? Can they replace the auctioneer?
We ask The Auction Group’s James Bell to discuss this with us in the latest episode of TechTalk.
There's always talk about automation and software replacing humans and it’s an understandable–almost inevitable– question as technology advances. James says that he sees the future as a combination of really good tech and really good humans. He can’t see technology replacing the experience that comes from the whole of an industry.
An auction on a tech platform is going to be fundamentally different. One of the things that James takes pride in as an auctioneer is reading buyer behaviour. From his point of view, the tech is great for transparency, but we'd still like to be able to see buyer behaviour; the way bidders are acting on the day, in order to be able to pull leaders, tweak on their emotions to make sure we’re getting the top price.
Online auctions do have their place. In the show James shares the experience of a high-level auction that he conducted before Easter.
Some agents try to be proactive in terms of registration. They try to get their bidders registered electronically the day before or have them come into the office and conduct a meeting about their strategy on the day of the auction, but many agents still use a manual process. Being proactive in registration can be a great asset for agents since they can get some good intel and insight into buyer behaviour.
James doesn’t think tech will replace the auctioneer, but it might do a lot of the heavy lifting for the agents in the lead up to the actual auction.
Watch the interview for more.