A Melbourne start-up is capitalising on our love affair with auctions by developing an App to enable consumers to watch auctions either live or on demand from anywhere in the world. A potential buyer can “virtually” attend dozens of auctions across several states over a weekend.
In the first six weeks of operation, more than 150 real estate agencies have used the platform across Australia and New Zealand, in both metro and regional areas. Gavl has also had almost 1,000,000 auction video views and App downloads in 13 countries.
One particular auction in St Albans, Victoria has been viewed more than 35,000 times.
“All it takes is a tripod and a smartphone to film the auction and then potential buyers can view live via the App,” said Gavl CEO Joel Smith, the former AFL player for Hawthorn.
Consumers are able to search for auctions on the site in nearly 10 ways – including by price, auction status or suburb. When the auction goes live, bids are also overlaid on the stream, with consumers able to choose from multiple currencies. And at the completion of the auction you can receive a push notification with the sale result, for instance if a property you were following passes in.
In another potential game changer for the industry, Gavl is working on adding live bidding to the platform. “We are close to finalising features for the App that will give agents the ability to allow their buyers to communicate bids from the App while watching the live stream.” Also in the works are features such as digital exchange of contracts and facilitating deposit payments. The Gavl platform is available on App on iOS and Android, as well as at gavl.com.au.
In the first month of operation, more than 100 real estate agencies have used the platform across Australia and New Zealand, in both metro and regional areas.
Smith said he did not think Gavl would result in fewer people physically attending auctions. “Real estate auctions are an Australian institution. We love the theatre of a live auction. Gavl is a bit like watching footy or cricket – it is here to provide another way for consumer to be able to watch and interact without physically being there – adding to the potential audience not taking away from it.”
Gavl has had significant investment from well-known businessman, philanthropist and venture capitalist Geoff Harris, the Flight Centre co-founder, Boost Juice seed investor and former Hawthorn Football Club Vice-President.
“I get dozens of company investment opportunities pitched to me every year. Gavl is one of the select few that I have invested in. This is one of the most exciting businesses I have seen in a long time. I believe this will revolutionise the way people purchase property. “The market in Australia is enormous with about 100,000 auctions annually – 85,000 of those in NSW and Victoria. Then there is obviously overseas!” Harris said he was attracted to invest in Gavl because it was not a traditional disruptor.
“This is not an industry disruptor, this is an industry enabler, allowing more potential customers to view and bid on properties, meaning a win for purchasers, vendors and Real estate agents alike. “Anything that broadens the audience for an auction to potential buyers who can’t physically attend is a good thing for the industry.”
Gavl developers have spent considerable time cracking the major issue of live streaming-latency. “We can’t afford to have any delay on the broadcast of our auctions. They move fast, and even a five second delay can be way too late for a bid to be relevant.
Other prominent live streaming platforms can have a delay in excess of 10 seconds but with Gavl our latency is about a second – as live as you can get!” Smith said.