EI Group provides a tool that allows you to search and categorise virtually every property coming to auction in the UK making it easier to find those deals. Not only can you see properties for sale, past and the future but you can download legal packs, research postcodes and locations and like Rightmove and Zoopla employ a large array of search filters to help you find exactly the right properties.
Using The EI Group to Find Properties at Auction
- Part 1: Using EI Group to Discover the Best Properties at Auction
- Part 2: Spotting Bargains in Future Property Auctions
- Part 3: Country Wide Property Auctions and What to Look For
Introduction to the EI Group
Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s training video, which is where we’re going to be looking at how to find the very best property deals going to auction using a service from Essential Information Group, or EI Group.
Now, this is a paid for service that have a specific tool that allows you to search and get data for property auctions across the UK.
You can see here. The strapline is, “The only place you will find virtually every property auction in the UK.”
Now, unlike some of the other property portals, EI Group is just focused on auctions and unlike some of the other property portals, it has a lot of extra data specifically around property auctions, which is why we use EI Group.
This is a paid for service. We don’t have any affiliation with EI Group. It’s not a company that we’re owned by or one that we own ourselves. It’s just a tool that we use within our company that we wanted to show you how to use it to find the best potential property deals going to auction.
Now, auctions are notoriously interesting places to buy and sell properties. There’s a whole host of reasons for that. Sometimes it’s because there’s a little bit of mystique around auctions.
You won’t necessarily have all the information you need if you’re new to the auction process. You will have access to the information you need but finding it, understanding it and digging through it is a different matter.
Before you make your first purchase at auction you need to know what to look for and what things to consider. That’s really what we want to help show you in these videos.
Using the EI Group Tool
Now, this is going to be a mini-series of three videos and this is the first video.
In this series, we going to be looking at three different things. This first video is going to focus how to use the tool from Essential Information Group.
Then videos two and three will be focusing on two specific areas of the tool and how it can be used to unearth some fantastic property deals.
Essential Information Group here. We are already logged in. Now, at the end of this video and somewhere around this video, we’ll put a link so you can get a free trial to use the service as well if you wanted to do that.
Once you’ve signed up, if you log in, and then you have access to the same sort of information we have here.
So you have My EI Group, search auctions, buying at auction, tools and services, news and information, and then below that, there are some sub-menus.
Now, ultimately EI or My EIG, My EI Group, is where you’re going to be seeing most of your search activity take place.
In here, you’ll see all the future auctions that are coming up in the next 60 days as well.
Applying Search Filters
As we’re based in Manchester, our focus is primarily in Manchester and northwest. We do look at other areas around the UK, and hence, using a tool like this, that has additional information that you won’t find on some of the traditional search portals, is fantastic.
It gives us an extra layer of data for us to use.
We can have a quick search here, which is going to be very simple, to set some minimum criteria to find those property deals. But, typically, we use a lot more detail than this.
There are a whole host of reasons for that, but mainly we just want a bit more flexibility and control on the extra layer of information that we are going to use.
Now, you can choose your area here. We’re going to be choosing M21, which is a postcode in Manchester and set a search radius of 15 miles.
I’m just going to clear the dataset here and show you how we would start again with this search function. So, type in the postcode, address or region. First, we’re going to look at 15 miles outside of Manchester or outside of the M21 postcode.
Then you’ve got the ability to add and change any of the filter sets based on the property type you are looking for. So, if you are looking for commercial property auctions, you could choose that.
We’re ultimately looking for residential property auctions, so we’re just going to want all residential tenure and tenancy.
Now if you click that, it will pre-populate all of these tick boxes for you. So it just speeds up the process slightly. You don’t have to do that. You can choose them and then put them select them manually if you wanted to. But for us, we would consider freehold and leasehold. We would consider vacant and tenanted properties.
If you click on more options. You can see here it gives you some extra drop down sets and filter sets. You also have an extra residential filter here for repossession only or new build only.
It’s nice. It’s very good if you’re specifically looking for repossessed property and you want to shortcut that search function and/or if you’re just looking for brand new build properties around different areas of the country.
By highlighting these, it will just pull in those properties only, so it just gives you a bit of a speedier way of searching through everything.
Now, we want to look at future auctions, because we’re looking at properties that are coming available to purchase rather than looking at data historically for ones that have sold.
But there’s a very good use case for looking at sold property auctions. Maybe you’re looking for properties have just recently been sold and but there are still some unsold lots. Or maybe you just want data on properties that have sold previously.
So, if you do research into a given area and you want to see what the market was like last year, for example, you can do that by looking at what was sold.
We’re open to all auctioneers because we want to try and have a look at as many opportunities as possible. Same again for price ranges and same again for status, so the reason why the property is being listed.
But you can add in, obviously, any of these statuses that are rather to yourself. The same again for tenancy and lease information.
Now, if you wanted to search or save this search, you can come back to it later. You can save it. We’re going to call our search Manchester 1, similar to a search save that we’ve done in the past, then click search and that will bring us all of the property listings in.
Now we’ve done our first initial search. We should have all of the potential opportunities that are going to auction in the future for those criteria that we’ve added, so specifically for our location.
Now, unlike some of the other search portals, like Rightmove and Zoopla, which do show listings from all other types of sales, so not just auctions, EI Group is specifically focused on auctions.
More Search Options
Not only that, but it also gives you extra information that is specific to EI Group that other sites don’t have.
You can see here, the listings are listed in the same as on any traditional site. However, you do have extra information layered on top.
Under each listing here, you can see a lot of different icons. To understand what those icons mean, you can hover over them, as we did there, and it will tell you what they are. You have an icon legend here at the top, which will give you a quick look version of what is included.
There are lots of different ways that you can use this. It depends on what you need it to do. I’m not going to go through each individual element of it.
There are lots of videos on Youtube already on Essential Information Group and how to use the service.
Uniquely, they also have an onboarding process as well. So, when you become a new member, they will show you exactly how to use the service on a one-on-one basis.
You will need to work out how to use it best for your personal circumstances but it’s a very valuable asset. It’s very helpful.
Specifically for us, though, there are a couple of key criteria that we look for.
Certainly, legal documents, so it gives us a shortened version to download of all the legal documents. Any properties that we are really interested in, we’re going to be wanting to look at the legal packs. That’s a good way for us to get that quite quickly without having to do multiple searches.
Catalogue entry, as well, if you want to see the listing based on the catalogue entry for the auction.
Street History and Similar Properties
Ultimately, though, the extra level of data here that I’m specifically interested in for our search is street history and similar properties.
Now, when we’re searching for property deals, there’s a process that we follow that usually starts off with a shortlist. That’s where we’ll usually list or create a shortlist of potential properties that we like the look of.
Now, this process is the same if we are using EI Group for auctions or Rightmove or Zoopla for more general property listings.
It all starts with that shortlist. Once we have that short list, then we can narrow it down to potential properties that we really are keen on and want to look at further.
Ultimately, when we’re using the extra dataset here, it’s these two icons that we mentioned. So, they are a history of properties on the street (specifically auction properties) and a history of properties that have sold similar to this in the area, again, specifically for auction properties.
You don’t have that access to information on the other portals like Rightmove and Zoopla, so this is unique to EI Group and is unique for auction listings, helpful if you are buying at auction.
Not only that, but this also gives you an idea if properties have failed to sell at auction before and have been relisted. Maybe you weren’t aware that that is what was happening to the property that you’re considering buying.
That level of information there on these two searches will help you show that.
So, I’ll go in through that in a second a bit further, but the first stage you want to do is just add the properties to our shortlist. For example, if we were interested in this property here, we’d use this icon and add it to our short list.
There is also a second section within EI Group, which is adding a property to a portfolio.
That’s quite helpful if you want to separate out your lists. So, for example, if we wanted to look at properties in Manchester and properties in Birmingham, then we’d probably set them up as two separate portfolios.
In addition to that, if you wanted to look at refurbishments in Manchester and ready-to-lets in Manchester, again, we can add them to two separate portfolios.
For our purposes now, though, we’re just going to add them to shortlist. That is the first stage of the process to see if these properties could potentially be a suitable option for us.
We’re just looking at general detail at the moment to see if the location is right, the guide price is right, the property type is right. Then we just want to add them to our short list.
For me, the main thing I’m looking for is generally the imagery, so what the property is. We are looking for properties that we can buy, refurbish, add value to, and then sell or maintain and keep in our own portfolio.
Obviously, I’m also interested in guide price, but just really to see if it looks about right for the type of property that is being sold.
This particular property, for example, is quite a large property. It’s got an extension. We know the area quite well, Burnage. And that price is quite top heavy for the area. But, obviously, the price or the size of the property is reflective of that.
So I probably wouldn’t add that to our shortlist at this stage. We can do some more research on it and look at it a bit more but the initial data and the initial information tells me that this isn’t a house I will probably be interested in.
As you can see here, now we start to build up a bit of a view of what properties in our area could potentially work.
Once we’ve done that, we can then click on our shortlist here and see the information in a viewpoint that’s more specific to the properties that we are interested in. These are all the shortlisted properties that we viewed before.
Once we’ve got the short list, our next stage is then to ultimately assess the deals a bit further. If we start from the top and work our way down, we can click on the link here. That will take us to the listing. Then there are the two filters that we mentioned before. Street history and similar properties, that we really want to dig into.
Now, you can see here the range of different filter sets that you have as well. Obviously, you’ll have to create your own scenario and use the tool in a way that suits you.
For us, however, it’s primarily these two filters. Street history and similar properties.
This is important because it will give us an idea about the property, the street, the location, and will let us see if anything has happened in the local market, recently.
Now, as we can see here on this top property, this is the original listing, the one that we’re looking at. But on the street history, there’s a property here below it that is exactly the same.
So, unlike a normal or traditional search where we would not know necessarily if that property has been sold recently and/or what price it sold for and/or what the detail was around the sale, we know specifically, here, that this property actually sold at auction less than a year back.
It sold for £143,000 when the guide price for this sale is only £125,000.
That’s quite interesting, because for a start, why would it be sold, bought and sold within such a short space of time, both at auction?
You certainly see properties being purchased, refurbished, and then sold on the open market, but it’s unusual to see a property brought to auction and then sold to auction within a short space of time.
There might be some problems or issues with the property. So that would usually indicate to us something that we wanted to look at further.
Maybe the property was purchased, a planning application was put in, and then the planning application failed or was rejected. This could explain why these people are looking to sell the property on.
It could also structural problems with the property or maybe issues with the legal pack that the original buyer wasn’t aware of.
It doesn’t mean the property is a definite no. It just gives us an idea of what we should be digging into and an understanding of what the issues potentially could be with that property.
You can also see any other additional listings that have sold on the street. Now, this is quite an unusual property, because it’s a former pub. The comparisons here for terrace house, semi-attached houses aren’t going to be directly relevant.
What it gives us is a little bit of an indication of possible value and what the general area might be for valuations.
Again, this property here. You can see it’s sold a couple of times at auction over a period of time as well. So that initial search is very helpful because it gives us more information about other properties on the street.
The next search is also helpful because it gives us an idea of local properties within a given area. We may see properties similar to this sold at auction. You might have another pub, for example, within a given distance that has gone to sale at auction and then also the data of that particular property.
There’s none now showing on this listing, so it just gives us really a snapshot view as to what that property is going to potentially be compared to.
If we go back to the original shortlist, we would then do the same with all of the other properties on our list. Then we would either keep them on the short list or we would remove them from the shortlist if we felt that certain properties were not suitable.
Once we’ve made that first shortlist, we will know which properties are coming up to auction. We will know which properties are being sold at auction that an inherent value in them (by checking local sold prices).
So by checking properties that have sold recently and properties that have sold on the same street at auction, we can then pass them on to the next stage – which involves further due diligence, physical viewings and an examination of the legal pack.
And that’s it.
That’s how we would usually use Essential Information Group to do our searches for auction properties.
That just gives you a general indication and a guide as to how we typically look for those properties.
Now, there are a whole host of different methods that you can use, and there are two other key criteria that we use within our auction searches as well, which I’ll show you in the second and third part of this mini-series.
I look forward to catching with you in the next video. All the best.
If you have any questions or thoughts about the EI Group or buying properties at auction then leave them in the comments section below.
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