In profile: Auctioneer Damien Cooley

In profile: Auctioneer Damien Cooley
In profile: Auctioneer Damien Cooley

Damien Cooley, founder of Cooley Auctions, talks about starting his company nine years ago and how to be a great auctioneer. Just today he auctioned off a St Marys industrial offering for $730,000 , with six interested parties competing for the 3,700-square-metre Bent Street warehouse property at its Colliers International auction carried out in conjunction with PRD Nationwide Commercial Penrith.

How long have you been in the industry? I started in real estate in 1999 as a leasing clerk and property manager, and in 2003 I launched Cooley Auctions.

What’s happening in the area you specialise in? Auction activity has most definitely increased since the beginning of the 2012-13 financial year. There is an increase in the level of buyer activity, and vendors are being a lot more realistic on values and yields. Buyers are quick to rule out properties that have unrealistic price expectations or do not meet their purchasing criteria. Quality assets in quality locations are still performing well, and auction is creating the urgency to sell in a shorter period of time than any other method of sale.

Describe the most interesting property you have sold. A portfolio sale in Victoria for Colliers International. We auctioned a number of properties leased to Tobin Brothers funeral parlour. Interesting and exciting for me because it was the first time that I was rewarded by a seller for achieving a terrific result. Auctioneers are remunerated per auction without incentive, and in this case the seller doubled my fee. I was thrilled.

What are the ingredients to being successful in your job? Being a great auctioneer is about understanding people. I love being able to look at sale without emotion and advise the best way to attack it. My role is to get the best result for the seller. Auction creates urgency and potentially a competitive environment. My advice on auction day to a seller and agent is critical in achieving the best result. I achieve these results by creating an environment where buyers feel comfortable with open and transparent communication.

What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most? I love the excitement of chasing a deal and getting the best out of someone.

Where would invest a spare $750,000? I don’t think $750,000 gets you far in commercial real estate in Sydney. I’d be looking to leverage off that $750,000 as much as possible. I’d be looking close to Sydney CBD for something with a strong tenancy and an 8% + yield. Alternatively something around the inner west with potential re-zoning to residential.

Which football team do you support? The greatest rugby league team in the history of the game, South Sydney Rabbitohs.

What’s your favourite app or techno gadget? Twitter App and Emma, my in car sat nav that is so polite to me every single day

Follow Damien on Twitter: @damiencooley; @CooleyAuctions

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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