A property in Townsville's marina last Saturday sold within 15 minutes for a comfortable $700,000 during an online auction.
The 133 sq.m. residence at 22/16 Sir Leslie Thiess Drive generated plenty of interest, not least because it came with a 16m marina birth. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom waterfront apartment, with parking for two vehicles, presented a unique offering to the Townsville market.
Explore Property Townsville agent Dean Dank said he was confident that despite the auction being online, it would attract the right buyer.
"Obviously it's always something that we think about, if it's going to hit the reserve or not, but the interest that the marketing brought was massive," he said. The property attracted more than 30 enquiries.
"We launched it right in the middle of COVID. In fact, a lot of people questioned me about launching it, but good property sells no matter what the markets like."
"This was a niche market property. The last one that I know of that came up with a berth was in 2013. When they come up, the buyers come out of the woodwork."
Held via the Gavil Live Auctions app and with eight registered bidders participating in the auction.
"We knew there was significant interest, you're always a bit nervous when you can't communicate with bidders because they're effectively behind a computer screen. You really don't have any influence over what they're going to do," said Justin Nickerson of Apollo Auctioneers.
"But once the bids started coming, they came fast and furious, which was good to see."
With strict guidelines in place for the real estate industry as the country continues to fight COVID-19, agents, auctioneers, sellers and buyers are having to adapt to a constantly evolving environment.
"It's been interesting; you're almost unlearning a lot of things you've learnt over the past ten years or so and are putting a new strategy in place," Mr Nickerson said.
"To the general public's credit, people have been pretty happy to change things, to adapt and to improve and I think there will be some formats to this that will probably stay.
For Mr Dank, despite having been in the real estate industry for nearly two decades, he too has found it easy to adapt to this new way of selling.
"I've been very fortunate; being one of the older agents, I've adapted pretty quickly.
"I sold a place three-and-a-half weeks ago on FaceTime to someone that was locked down in Victoria and they never saw it. I was just brutally honest about what I thought about the house and showed them what I like to call 'the prickles', you know, the things that they would have to do some work on and the great features that it offered and the things that they could do to improve it.
"Being a North Queenslander, we're just very upfront and honest about stuff."
Mr Dank also encouraged more people looking to sell to take the leap.
"Look, in this market people have sometimes got to work outside the box. They've got to try new things. It was risky, but people need to be open for change because the buyers are there in their droves.
"For Townsville, we may not see massive increases in the short term, but they will come up under pressure."