Dan Mayes spends most of his days in a former church painted bright blue in south Phoenix. He rarely leaves his desk or takes his eyes off his computer.
Mayes runs the first real-time, live online bidding service for foreclosure homes sold at trustee-sale auctions in metro Phoenix. His team of four bidders is at the auctions each day making bids for clients and tracking and reporting all the bids at other auctions.
The service posts those numbers on its website, azbidder.com, where clients can place bids or just monitor sales.
Most of metro Phoenix's trustee-sale auctions are held in front of the Maricopa County Courthouse in downtown Phoenix.
But to track all the auctions in the county, AZ Bidder also has to monitor sales that may be done in-house at five or six law offices that handle their own trustee sales.
So anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., an auction may be going on somewhere.
Mayes watches the numbers from every auction on two large computer screens at his desk. If one of his clients is the top bidder on a home, he and the client know seconds after the auction closes.
Often, he's watching two to three auctions at the same time, the data being fed to the system by team members on the scene with smartphones.
"I am like the air-traffic controller for our system," said Mayes, who helped build the bidding system for travel site Priceline before starting the firm. "If something goes wrong or right, I see it within in seconds and can fix it or alert my bidders or clients if it's something they need to know."
Watching the auctions online can be addictive for clients and those who see them for the first time. Mayes said sometimes he looks up and realizes he hasn't moved from his desk in four hours.
Mayes along with three other partners including his brother Tim Mayes, a former banker and prominent Chicago-based investor, started AZ Bidder.com late last year. The siblings had been operating the system for several months and realized as trustee sales started to climb in metro Phoenix it could be a popular tool for other investors besides themselves.
AZ Bidder started taking subscribers early this year, charging $150 a month for access to the system, which includes a calculator to figure out rents for buyers who plan to become landlords.
Although most clients log in and set their maximum bid, some bidders like to bid live. The requests are transmitted to an iPad or smartphone carried by bidders such as Anthony Thomas, who make the bids.
Hundreds of people who knew Thomas from the auction or heard about AZ Bidder from friends and clients signed up - so many that AZ Bidder realized it could up its subscription to $1,500 a month.
Then Mayes realized competitors were using the system, so he changed the fee structure.
Now, to subscribe and bid on as many homes as they want, clients must pay a $10,000 deposit. The money is used to fund a cashier's check required to buy a foreclosure home at a trustee sale in Arizona.
AZ Bidder doesn't receive a fee unless the bidder is successful. Commissions vary by client and volume of sales but generally are $1,500 to $2,500 a house.
The company averages six successful purchases for foreclosure homes a day.
AZ Bidder has more than 800 registered users now.
"I think we have opened the door to Phoenix's trustee-sales auction for a lot of people who had trepidation about bidding before," Mayes said.
"We probably also have some customers who are willing to pay the $10,000 just to check out the auctions as they happen everyday. They might start bidding when they are comfortable."
by Catherine Reagor The Arizona Republic May. 22, 2011 12:00 AM
Foreclosure-auction website AZ Bidder a hot property
Reuters: Business News
National Commercial Real Estate News From CoStar Group
Latest stock market news from Wall Street - CNNMoney.com
- ► 2018 (71)
- ► 2017 (81)
- ► 2016 (145)
- ► 2015 (146)
- ► 2014 (102)
- ► 2013 (395)
- ► 2012 (392)
- Cities that weathered housing bust now suffering -...
- Mortgage Formulas
- Judges hear Elevation Chandler land dispute
- Be alert: Fees, taxes eat into fund returns
- Rocky Point vacation units hit by drop in buyers
- Tempe land sold for $3.24 million
- Expert: Recovery falls short of target
- Phoenix-area "shadow inventory" of homes doing wel...
- Slower growth felt worldwide
- 'It's a niche market'
- Investors optimistic about housing market, survey ...
- 2 REIT veterans begin new venture
- 12% of U.S.-backed banks were at risk in quarter
- U.S. April new home sales up 7.3% - MarketWatch
- Montelucia Resort and Spa has better outlook under...
- Foreclosure-auction website AZ Bidder a hot proper...
- Phoenix-area housing auctions fast and furious
- Smart homes in Phoenix area run by iPads, iPhones
- Fraud alleged in resort case
- CityScape developer takes on 2 more projects
- Metro Phoenix new-home market is on mend, experts ...
- Downtown Scottsdale set for 'metamorphosis'
- Metro Phoenix rental homes dominate housing market...
- The Rich Are About To Get Very, Very Rich: Study F...
- The Extended Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man | ...
- Fool.com: This Housing Market Is On Fire!
- US Real Estate: Realtors Face Off Against Mortgage...
- IMF crisis opens the door to emerging nations
- Arizona Storyteller: Robson builds career providin...
- Construction of new homes down 10.6%
- US builders see little to like in housing market
- 37%+ of area housing sales are now cash
- HUD projects waste millions
- Real-estate professionals embrace new digital tool...
- Arizona banks seeing a profit
- Lawyer-turned-filmmaker documents foreclosure cris...
- Sell now or wait? Tips to ponder
- Sun City West independent-living program helps sen...
- Your wallet is stolen - now what?
- Investment firm buys 4 Phoenix-area apartment comm...
- Scottsdale Quarter continues filling spaces at a s...
- Chandler City Council likely to approve property-t...
- Mortgages, foreclosures top agenda at BofA meeting...
- Phoenix apartments to house low-income residents
- Census: Arizona homeownership rate shrinks to 13-y...
- Phoenix-area foreclosures down slightly in April
- Chandler resort lender cries fraud
- FDIC head Sheila Bair announces resignation
- Fool.com: This Housing Market Is On Fire!
- Apartment vacancy rate dips below symbolic level
- ASU economists predict brighter future for Arizona...
- 6 laws limit HOAs' power
- Greasewood Flat, land for sale in Scottsdale
- Price fluctuation, foreclosure give snapshot of Sc...
- Phoenix-area bankruptcies drop 8 percent
- Freddie Mac Posts First Quarterly Gain In 2 Years ...
- Foreclosure activity eased in April
- Homebuilders hail law easing impact fees
- Scottsdale expanding green-building efforts to com...
- 25 most powerful businesspeople in Asia - The chan...
- Chris Davis: Financial stocks are still a great va...
- D.R. Horton posts surprise 2nd-quarter profit | Ph...
- Luxury complex planned for Chandler development
- Realty Execs set to file for Chapter 11
- Homebuilder Meritage falls back into red
- Scottsdale City Council approves revised Blue Sky ...
- City land deal near SkySong would allow for apartm...
- Fed chief shines - by saying nothing new
- Fulton Homes mediation ordered
- Phoenix residents might pay less property tax
- Home-loan-modification program remains stalled
- Loans, deposits turn a profit for Western Alliance...
- ▼ May (73)