Ten-X, the #1 platform for buying and selling CRE online, has launched season 2 of its Battle of the Bids, the largest game in CRE where participants guess the price properties will sell at auction. For the game’s second year, the firm has made improvements and added more prizes, with a total available haul of $3 million up for grabs.
The game is open to a wide range of participants including owners, investors, and brokers. You’re eligible to play if you’ve owned or sold commercial real estate in the last three years. Additionally, if you’re a client of any of the CoStar brands, you’re automatically eligible. In that case, joining is as simple as using your existing login credentials. This expansion is in sharp contrast from last year’s inaugural contest, which was open only to CoStar clients, Ten-X’s parent company.
Battle of the Bids is free to sign up and betting opened on September 8th, with the first live auction starting on September 18th. There are six total rounds to play into November. To participate, just head over to http://www.battleofthebids.com and select 10 properties on auction to predict the actual sales prices. The more accurate your guess as to the actual sales price of each property, the more points you earn. The more points, the more chances for prizes.
In each round, there are 31 prizes up for grabs, with the top winner walking away with $100,000. But even if you don’t clinch the top spot, there are prizes for participation, including rewards of $10,000 and $25,000. Players also have a shot at the $1 million grand prize which goes to the player with the highest total points over all rounds. That grand prize also comes with a $100,000 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice. New prizes this season include a “mystery prize,” valued at $100,000, along with a $10,000 charitable donation for the runner up in the final round.
Additionally, Ten-X is giving players new tools to help underwrite and estimate property values, including market data, valuation calculator, and comps from CoStar, enabling players to make better educated guesses on prices. The game has been shortened slightly from eight rounds to six to accelerate the play.
Brokers Just Want to Have Fun
Last year’s results make clear why Ten-X is having the event again. “It was the first time anyone in CRE had gamified the process of properties being bought and sold; it was a hit,” says Chris Zegal, Vice President, Marketing at Ten-X. “We had 13,000 players, primarily brokers. When surveyed after, 97% of players wanted to play again and 80% wanted to work with us. Hundreds of brokers came onto our platform because of the game.”
Last year’s participants included top brokerages across the nation, such as Marcus & Millichap, Colliers, JLL, NAI Global, Cushman & Wakefield, and more. Marcus & Millichap finished the contest with the most total points accumulated by its brokers at the company level.
In fact, many brokers within the same firms who participated in the Battle last year competed against one another, and “we are considering ways to have an official team competition next year,” notes Zegal.
Season 1 reigning champion, Mike King of Kidder Mathews, who walked away with the $1 million grand prize and says he’ll be back to play again this year. Mike also offered some insider tips to his challengers but said he’s not ready to relinquish his crown yet. “It’ll be a much larger pool this year. I think that it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out because I was watching every round last year and how many people participated in each round,” King said. “They changed the rules this year so that even if you just play in every round, you’re eligible for another prize. And so, I think they’re kind of incentivizing people to play every single round.”
CRE has been slow to embrace property auctions, yet they’re more efficient than traditional transactions, Zegal says. “We’ve auctioned $31B of commercial real estate and consistently sell twice as fast, and with twice the certainty of the offline market. Transactions happen in under 100 days, from listing to close, and we have a 96% close rate because bidders have access to all the due diligence upfront.”
Particularly compelling in this market, he argues, is auctions’ ability to enable price discovery because both sides can see pricing in real-time through the bids.
Brokers sometimes worry about auctions eliminating their positions but that’s not the role of the platform, Zegal says. “Ten-X is for brokers, every property we sell has one. We help brokers extend their reach with turnkey digital marketing programs and LoopNet diamond listings, opening doors to a global pool of buyers.” (LoopNet is owned by CoStar.)
“Battle of the Bids is really an invitation to come into our business to experience the excitement of auctions and see how they work.” After all, he adds, “I’m sure plenty of brokers play fantasy football, and this isn’t that different. And we all like to have fun.”
To get in the game, visit www.battleofthebids.com.