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Most Valuable Company Profile: Auction.com

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Auction.com was founded in 2007 in the then-new field of online real estate disposition. It has since become the industry’s leading online distressed real estate marketplace with $52 billion in sales, 6.3 million registered buyers, 451,000 properties sold to date, and more than 10,000 auctions per year in all 50 states.

Jason Allnutt, CEO of Auction.com, said, “To maintain that position, we continue to work hard and continuously learn, molding a company that exudes internal and external value.”

Allnutt notes that Auction.com makes a point of recruiting individuals who bring an entrepreneurial curiosity and can-do spirit to their work.

“Our employees, who come from the world of fintech, banks, and servicing, comprise a deep, rich talent base that forms the foundation of our success,” he continued. “Our employees receive the training, guidance, and trust to not only satisfy their job requirements but to take their craft to the next level.”

Allnutt’s commitment to his team was in full force during 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy. Ensuring the company’s priority was the health and wellness of the employees, as well as the ability to keep them connected to their clients, was no mean feat.

“With diligence and focus, we had all employees up and running in seven days and were meeting the needs of our entire diverse client base. We also held training to refresh and reskill our entire auction support team while auctions were paused.”

In response to the pandemic, Auction.com launched its Community Stabilization Pledge to safeguard home occupants. The pledge asked that buyers of properties on the Auction.com platform agree to refrain from starting any court or legal proceeding to evict the occupant of the properties they bought until the pandemic moratorium on evictions ended.

Before the pandemic, Auction.com launched Remote Bid, a feature on its mobile app that enabled investors to bid on select foreclosure properties from anywhere. Although initially developed to offer greater convenience for bidders interested in non-local properties, Remote Bid proved to be extremely timely when social distancing became the new normal.

“With Remote Bid, sellers now have access to a broader, nationwide buyer base,” Allnutt said. “Bids go beyond local auction attendees to include any investor using the Remote Bid feature from anywhere in the United States. This circumvents common auction attendance challenges, such as severe weather, long travel distances to the venue, and social distancing concerns.”

Auction.com also addressed the pandemic’s halt to business travel for industry conferences and client meetings by creating the video series “Disposition Download.” This series of online videos run about 90 seconds to two minutes and covers topics including new technologies, industry trends, and the latest analysis featuring the company’s proprietary deep data collection.

THE 2021 AGENDA

With a new year upon us, Auction.com remains focused on stabilizing neighborhoods impacted by the health crisis.

“We expect the number of homeowners who are facing distress will grow in 2021, and we want to ensure that our programs are suited to help distressed homeowners and the market,” Allnutt said. “With the current wave of seriously delinquent loans likely to result in disposition, Auction.com’s pre-foreclosure Market Validation Program provides a graceful exit for borrowers, better execution for sellers, and stabilization for neighborhoods and communities.”

Allnutt observed that industry data found the original pre-foreclosure sale offer from a buyer is not always the highest and best offer. However, on average, an offer made on the Auction.com platform for a pre-foreclosure is 15% higher than the highest offer received through the MLS—or, in dollars, an average of more than $28,000 higher.

“By streamlining the pre-foreclosure sales process, Auction.com validates a competitive offer for the property,” he said. “The process ensures all interested buyers are given the equal opportunity to make an offer through a transparent process.”

A COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY

Another high priority for Auction.com during 2021 is to reinforce the company’s self-promise to advance inclusion, social responsibility, and engagement into all aspects of its operations, from employee relations to community involvement and partner, supplier, and customer relations.

The Auction.com Diversity and Inclusion Council seeks to achieve these goals in a three-pillar strategy: establishing diversity and inclusion as core to the corporate culture, creating a workforce that mirrors the communities served by the company, and becoming more proactive in supporting social responsibility across the nation.

Auction.com also appointed a Head of People & Culture to help the company implement best practices, improve any disparities, and create a dynamic leadership team.

Allnutt said that despite the challenges of the pandemic, Auction.com is excited about the future and in a great position to serve its sellers, buyers, and communities.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at David.Wharton@thefivestar.com.
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