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We sold lots of real and personal property at live auctions for decades, until our first online (simulcast) auction was held. In that time prior, we would have an occasional bidder note some property had a certain defect, loudly proclaiming such for all to hear …

We wrote about such a phenomenon in 2011 here, where this bidder does this to discourage other bidders from participating to his advantage (knowing the defect may not exist, or at least now everyone knows about the defect): https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/proverbs-2014-at-auctions/.

For example, a buyer walked into a home where the auction was about to begin, and asked, quite loudly, “I smell mold … has there been a mold test here?” There was in fact no material mold in this home, and this potential buyer just wanted to put doubt in other bidder’s minds, so he could possibly purchase it for less.

Over the past several years we have promoted auctions on social media, especially for real estate auctions. Our last ad ran for no more than 3 hours and our website had over 1,000 clicks. There is no question, Facebook and other such ads have worked.

Yet, we’re seeing even more of this same type of chatter online that we only occasionally had at live auctions. For any ad or post, we have comments made only to put doubts in other people’s minds about the property. Here are three recent examples, where we messaged the commenter:

Another broker in our town (B) and we are the broker/auctioneer (A)

B: Is there a buyer’s premium?
A: Yes, as is noted at the top of the ad. Did you not see it?
B: Oh, yes, I just wanted to be sure everyone else did.
A: Thanks. We’ll be announcing it at the auction as well.

A possibly interested buyer (B) and we are the broker/auctioneer (A)

B: The inside of the house is a wreck. Appraisal seems high.
A: Are you interested in this property? We are open Monday 4-6 pm
B: We’ve seen the house and yes, we’re interested.
A: You realize it’s a wreck on the inside …?

Another broker (B) and we are the broker/auctioneer (A)

B: Why aren’t there more pictures? Why do I have to click to see more?
A: What else can we answer for you? My number is above.
B: I’m a broker, but I’m not interested.
A: We’ll get you some more pictures.

Our advice when running any social media or other electronic advertisements, where you are pushing your content to people who you aren’t necessarily friends with, nor know otherwise, is to constantly check those ads for comments where people are disparaging your property, terms, you, or complaining otherwise.

Even if you could find a way — or an app — to turn off comments on your ad, we would recommend allowing comments, then keeping the productive comments, and deleting all else. Many times social media users want to communicate with you (in their mind) immediately with a comment, and you should be aware.

As the auctioneer, you are in charge of your advertising and it’s in your seller’s interest to delete or block such comments which will injure their position. Our job as auctioneers is to maximize the bidder pool, with people interested in the property. These other people can and should find new hobbies.

If you’re not getting good results from social media advertising, maybe you’re selling property nobody wants or aren’t good at placing these advertisements and other posts. Further, if you’re just not good at it, we recommend you find out more about it.

In this day and age of marketing auctions, Facebook and other social media marketing are imperative for any material assets being put up for auction — possibly the most important marketing such an auction event requires.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.