Auctions are often described as the real estate industry’s ‘piece of theatre’, and a background in acting has helped novice auctioneer Emma Brown-Garrett secure a place in the State Final of the REINSW Novice Auctioneers Competition.
Ms Brown-Garrett, a sales agent based at the Woollahra office of Di Jones Real Estate, won the 10th and final heat of the Novice Auctioneers Competition, beating 11 others.
“I’ve always wanted to compete in the competition,” Ms Brown-Garrett said.
“I’ve been working in real estate for 15 years and my colleague Mitchell Dansey won the same heat last year, so my auctioneer mentor Josh Larsen encouraged me to give it a go.
“I have an acting background and have performed since I was 14. I was part of the NIDA young actors program, and have appeared in short films and on stage. From 2008 to 2013, I took some time out of the real estate profession to move to India where I had a successful Bollywood career.
“Auctioneering is a type of performance and that’s why I feel comfortable with it. I really had to ask myself if I was auctioneering or playing the role of an auctioneer.
“I feel like I take it on as a role and do a performance. I think a big part of it is trying to find your own style. It was nice to have a male influence in Josh and learn the craft. I was then able to implement a more feminine side,” Ms Brown-Garrett said.
Auctioneering is gaining popularity among female agents, with Ms Brown-Garrett one of four women to compete on the night. Eleven women in total have competed in this year’s Novice Auctioneers Competition across 10 heats – the largest number the competition has ever seen.
“There was no barrier to entering the competition,” Ms Brown-Garrett said. “As women, we do things differently and in real estate when you’re engaging an agent to sell your property you look for someone who has the right style to suit your needs. Why not do the same with your auctioneer?
“I’m just starting out, but auctioneering is something I really want to continue,” she added.
REINSW president John Cunningham said Ms Brown-Garrett had a strong presence.
“As soon as she walked on stage she set the scene and had the right voice projection, tone and flow. Emma was professional and it was clear she well prepared,” Mr Cunningham said.
Ms Brown-Garrett auctioned a Porsche driving experience for $700, and a total of $7,726 was raised on the night for the McGrath Foundation.
She will compete against the nine other heat winners at the Novice Auctioneers Competition Final on 10 August 2017 in Sydney.