In news from Irvine, California, Auction.com is auctioning off some $154 million in commercial real estate notes on their online real estate auction portal. Online bidding begins August 15th at 10 am PDT, according to the news. RealtyBizNews takes a look at a massive online auction, and the offering platform.
Auction Houses 2011
Auction.com is a leading web based auction company that not only offers up properties for research and bidding, but provides services like; residential loss mitigation, titling, escrow, and closing services. Also, according to this news from the company, after the headline auction, the company will be offering up some 50 commercial REO properties with a collective value over $50 million. Auction.com CEO Jeff Frieden had this to add:
“Investors can perform due diligence on our website, and we are seeing enormous nationwide pre-auction interest in the myriad of properties available. Despite market volatility, investors are interested in acquiring notes secured by commercial real estate and REO properties. We are gearing up for an aggressive and lively online auction.”
Nothing’s Perfect – Not Yet Any Way
These two auctions total over 100 commercial properties across the US; hotels, multi-family units, retail, mixed use, industrial, you name it, if it’s commercial investors can find it. But here is where the press about Auction.com meets the reality of online showcases sometimes. Auction.com is calling previewing properties on their site “due diligence” – when the platform has a couple of flaws that need to be fixed. Not massive ones, mind you, but the same old haunting oversights so many real estate sites stumble into.
Due diligence where property is concerned (especially online) has to involve images in quality, size, and quantity so that potential buyers – investors – can view the property sufficiently well. Auction.com appears to use “whatever” images are given them, and puts them in a weak slideshow, as illustrated below.
Beside not offering a closer look at what the buyer is in for, the only other major problem with Auction dot com is the apparent inaccessibility of the primaries. Robert Friedman and Jeffrey Frieden have their profiles tucked away down in the site, but a direct line to either of them, Twitter, Facebook, nothing much leads to the main people behind the company. While this kind of exclusivity was popular in the dot com era, accessibility and transparency are a must these days. If you don’t want to be bothered, stay offline.
I will say this about auction.com, the site does allow for searching and finding properties very well. Filtering, looking up just about anything you want to know about an offering, before you make a bid, is very well organized. Would I fork over a dollar without more “dilligence?” Not on your life. But the suggestion by auction, is backed up by contacts for principle people who can answer questions – maybe even shoot you some more images – a video?
All in all, auction.com offers a sound service, and on Monday, a huge auction will start. We’ll contact the founders and see if we can get more info for you. Until then, check out some killer commercial opportunities. We leave you with another aspect Auction.com takes care of nicely, video info bits. Aside their lead in music (hate being picky but) sounding like porn background, the presenter is credible and the company does a good job of adding value here.