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Auction roundup – strong alliances and online endeavours

This week Property Investor Today takes a look at SDL’s recent partnership with Scotland-based Shepherd, and Regional Property Auctioneers’ switch to online auctions.

SDL Property Auctions strengthens alliance with Shepherd

SDL Property Auctions is now preparing for its first dedicated commercial property auction of the year after forging a new partnership with Scottish chartered surveyors Shepherd in late 2020.


The auction will be held on Tuesday March 30 and conducted by auctioneer Andrew Parker. As a result of the partnership, SDL Property Auctions is selling commercial properties in Scotland on behalf of Shepherd via both live-streamed Auction Events and Timed Auctions.

Several lots have already been sold including 15 lock-up garages in Prestwick, South Ayrshire, which produce a combined annual rental income of £12,180 and sold for their guide price of £80,000.

Two retail properties in Aberdeen have also been sold. 29 Victoria Road, a traditional three-storey mid-terraced granite building with consent for use as a café, sold for £50,000 from a guide price of £45,000-plus. Meanwhile, 15 Castle Street, Aberdeen, a ground-floor retail unit with food and drink consent sold for £90,000 from a guide price of £85,000-plus.

The partnership has brought together two property companies which are both prominent firms in their respective fields.

Shepherd, a RICS-regulated business, is one of Scotland’s leading chartered surveyors and property agents, with 34 regional offices located around the country and 1,250 commercial properties on its books.

SDL Property Auctions is an industry pioneer thanks to its live-streamed national property auctions, which have been broadcast from its head office auction studio since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020. 

Andrew Parker, managing director of SDL Property Auctions, says: “Despite the challenges of the pandemic and Brexit, now is still a great time for us to be expanding our reach into Scotland, and for Shepherd to be diversifying into auction sales. Commercial property can be a sound long-term investment and the market remains strong in Scotland, with good returns for investors based both in England and Scotland, especially while interest rates remain low.”

“While the pandemic may force some businesses to downsize, there will always be others looking to upsize. For example, demand for warehousing is growing along with the booming online retail industry.”

Steve Barnett, managing partner at Shepherd, adds: “By adding timed and live-streamed auctions to our range of services, we now offer our commercial vendors complete flexibility as to how and when they would like to sell their property.”

“The partnership with SDL Property Auctions allows us to reach more potential buyers and drive the best possible prices, while providing speed and certainty within a fixed timeframe.”

Property auctioneer makes the switch to online auctions

Having operated a successful online auction system in recent months, Regional Property Auctioneers is fully embracing the online platform to offer fully remote, online bidding.

The team has found the online system to be more convenient and accessible, enabling people to bid from wherever they are, as well as being just as exciting.

James Vandenbrook, director and head auctioneer at Regional Property Auctioneers, comments: “When the pandemic forced us to stop holding an actual event at our auction house, we set out to find a way of making online auctions just as lucrative for buyers and sellers as the traditional auction house, but we quickly discovered that there are many ways in which they can be even better.”

“We’ve put a lot of work into finding the best systems to combine the transparency and security of a traditional auction hall with the simplicity and convenience of online retail. After running some very successful online auctions last year, we’re taking the next step to fully embrace this as a service that goes beyond what we could have done before.”

According to Vandenbrook, the online system is far more accessible, giving buyers and sellers more control and greater flexibility while being completely safe and secure.

“While the final moments as the bidding closes are just as fun and frantic as in an auction hall, the extra time we allow, combined with the ability to place bids and track an auction from wherever you are, means it’s perfect for people who don’t have the time to go to an auction in-person,” he says.

“The online auction platform has also enabled us to operate further afield, acting for a number of clients who have properties out of our immediate area. This allows the online platform to reach bidders and buyers far and wide and we have seen particular growth in the North East.”

He continues: “Every business has had to adapt as a result of this pandemic, but it’s often the case that the best way forward is to accept change, rather than fight it. At Regional Property Auctioneers, we’re convinced that online property auctions are the future and we’re really excited to have launched a fully-fledged online auction facility to bring the many advantages of online auctions to buyers and sellers.”

Regional Property Auctioneers specialises in the sale of residential and commercial properties at auction and is part of the Barnsdales Group; a family-owned company which has supported property owners, buyers and sellers since 1905.

The organisation hosts six or more auctions each year, with a 70% sales success rate. 

Catalogues of upcoming properties are published online prior to each auction and interested parties can arrange in-person viewings in advance. Bidding then takes place online over a set timeframe, with optional email alerts and automated bidding facilities for when you’ve been outbid.


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