“There are plenty of obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.” Ralph Marston.

The truth is, sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Sometimes success stares us in the face, but we don’t reach out and grab it.  Maybe we’re scared of change, maybe we don’t recognise the opportunity, maybe we simply think we don’t need to change.

Kodak is a fantastic example of failing to see an opportunity and thinking that there was no need to change.

You might be surprised to know that a Kodak engineer invented the first digital camera in 1975, yet now, Kodak isn’t a name you associate with digital cameras.  In fact, younger generations probably don’t recognise the name at all.

Kodak was in the film business, but digital cameras didn’t use film, and apparently management’s reaction to the invention was “that’s cute – but don’t tell anyone about it”.

Even when a study in the early 1980s pointed out that digital cameras could replace film, Kodak weren’t worried as the same study showed that it would take time for this to occur and they had about 10 years to prepare for the change.

But they didn’t prepare. Interestingly, they did develop a digital camera that still used film. It didn’t succeed in the market place – after all, why would you buy a digital camera but still pay for film and the printed photos? They clung to their film business and in the meantime the rest of the world passed them by.

I see parallels with auctions and the WA property market.  About 80-90 percent of inner-city Melbourne properties sell by auction, yet across Perth that figure is a tiny 2-3 percent.

The statistics show they sell properties faster on average – days on market for private treaty for the three months to February 2017 was 75 (REIWA), days on market for auctions was 28 (ASWA).

WA has even broken with auction tradition and introduced subject to finance auctions to bring auctions to a wider market, further improving results for sellers.

Yet despite evidence of their success, agents aren’t grasping this opportunity to get the best results for their clients, in a shorter time frame. And as agents, faster sales, at potentially better prices, are good for us too.

Like Kodak, maybe we don’t see a reason to change, to embrace something different. Maybe we don’t see auctions as a ‘threat’ to private treaty, maybe we don’t see the opportunity they offer.

However, as Henry Ford said “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” If you want more, why not try auctions.