Q&A with Jay Howard and Piotr Rusinek, authors of Before the Hammer Falls

By   Hannah Bickerton 4 min read

Tell us a little about your collaboration and your experiences in the property auction industry.

@the.auction.insider (Jay Howard) – Our collaboration started in the first quarter of 2018, but we’ve been working together for the last eight years. I’ve been working as an investor for sixteen years and as a property professional for the last fifteen, twelve of which have involved buying and selling at auction. Most recently, in the past five years, I’ve begun working as an auction professional at Auction House London.

@the.auction.pro (Piotr Rusinek) – I first started working in property after I met someone at a silent meditation retreat in 2010. I began working as a property consultant, buying property for clients. Five years ago, I launched my own business, Synergy Property Partners, with the aim of helping people buy and sell at auction. Jay and I first met when I invited him to guest lecture at a training conference – when I decided to write a book, I asked Jay to co-author it with me.

Why did you decide to write Before the Hammer Falls?

@the.auction.pro – I decided to write Before the Hammer Falls in order to connect with potential clients and colleagues. After being asked the same questions about property auctions over and over again, I knew it would be beneficial to put all the information into one easily digestible book.

@the.auction.insider – There is huge confusion surrounding property auctions. In our experience clients, buyers and the general public see a cheap house but don’t understand the auction process. We knew that there was space in the market for a book that offers accessible, succinct information about the benefits, risks and rewards of the property auction industry, and we decided to fill it. Before the Hammer Falls offers the reader basic steps to understanding the industry and making sure they have a successful buying or selling journey.

Is there one message you want to pass on to your readers about property auctions?

@the.auction.pro – We want to encourage our readers to get as much information about the process before making a financial commitment. The auction industry is like driving on the motorway – if you don’t know how to drive, you avoid it, but if you do know how to it’s the most cost-effective, fast and efficient way to travel.

@the.auction.insider – We believe auction should be the go-to option for anyone looking to make the most sensible property investment. Of course, it does come with risks (which we have detailed in the book), but it is a valid route to market for a buyer or a seller, and once you understand the misconceptions surrounding the industry it’s a wonderful way to access opportunity and advantage at a price that estate agents are unable to offer.

What was your experience of writing and publishing Before the Hammer Falls?

@the.auction.pro – Writing the book in collaboration was hugely helpful. We were able to talk everything through and bounce ideas off each other. Although we come from different areas of the industry and have different areas of expertise, working together helped us to merge our unique perspectives in a dynamic way.

@the.auction.insider – Before I started writing Before the Hammer Falls with Piotr I had absolutely no writing experience; the writing and publishing approach was completely alien to me. For four months we would meet every Saturday and work for eight hours on the book. But, once we’d finished, we just didn’t know what to do with the manuscript. When we were put in touch with whitefox, everything started to come together. We didn’t have a second thought about using their services; it was a seamless, easy approach – author friendly.

What does the future hold for property investment?

@the.auction.insider – Things have been changing steadily in property investment for the last three years. Increases in legislation and the housing crisis are just two factors that, I believe, will contribute to a crisis point in the coming years. There are not enough homes for everyone, but the government is not giving developers and investors the opportunity to increase housing stock. I also think the high street will be significantly affected in the coming years. Everything is online now, and property is no different; the high street will have to morph into a community-centric space in order to reduce retailer costs.

@the.auction.pro – I agree. Property investment is always going to do well, and will always work – how property is used and value created will continue changing.

What do you hope to achieve with the publication of Before the Hammer Falls?

@the.auction.pro – We want the general public to have access to information about property auctions. Before the Hammer Falls includes advice from specialists in property finance, providing the reader with important contacts for every element of the property process.

Writing a book is also a way for us to connect with more clients – it offers us the opportunity to meet and interact with people in a more meaningful way, by offering them substance and value (in the form of a book!).

What are your plans moving forwards – what is next for your businesses?

@the.auction.pro – I’m working on a few collaborative projects at the moment and continuing to invest and trade property – this is what I enjoy the most. Since we released Before the Hammer Falls we have seen a significant increase in the number of enquiries that are coming in, especially people wanting to auction off their property. The book has also directly impacted my ability to convey information about property auctions; clients understand the process much faster now. When I attend a conference or give a talk on property auctions, I am able to leave prospective clients with something tangible and of substance, and this has had a huge impact on business.

Click here to buy Before the Hammer Falls

Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.