National Auction Round Table Part 5: Becoming an Auctioneer

In Part Five of our 2018 National Auction Round Table video series, we look at what makes a great auctioneer, and the steps to take to become an auctioneer. With thanks to Agent Advantage.

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Steve Carroll: What’s the difference between an ordinary auctioneer and a very, very good auctioneer?
James Bell: I think understanding the dynamic of buyer and seller. I feel blessed that I’ve had the ability to have sold in our industry for 18,-19 years, and be an auctioneer that has sold and can read buyer-pattern movement, things like that. For me, having that background, knowing when to push, not to push. For me, having time in Sydney was invaluable. Bringing that back to our Queensland office and personally in auctioneering.
Karl Secondis: For the younger up and comings and auctioneers, in my earlier years at auctioneering, being in a remote location like Darwin, the only way you could learn was to invest in yourself by travelling and for me, shadowing people and immersing yourself in a space. I’d spend the whole day with Scott Kennedy Green, driving round the eastern suburbs of Sydney, doing twelve auctions in a day. Adrian Butera in Melbourne, Jonathon Moore in South Australia. Yeah, they’re all different styles, but you’ve got to expose yourself to the really good operators in the market that are highly skilled, you can have a bit of banter with them in the car between the auctions. 
You’re pulling up to an auction in the wrong suburb, realising you’re meant to be 20 minutes that way, and you’ve got 15 minutes to get there and it’s kind of like you’re driving like a transporter. But more of the fact that you’re exposing yourself to just soaking up all these little pieces of information, and kind of, it just goes in there and there’s so many good auctioneers that’d be happy to be shadowed. But I think for those younger people coming through, like you’re practising on real-life clients. You’ve gotta invest in yourself, to really upskill yourself very, very quickly, in the beginning. 
Andy Reid: I’d hit the charity auctions as well. One thing that I did straight away was try and find myself as many charities and non profit organisations to go to fundraisers at. Because that way you learn all about the mechanics of yourself, when you’re in front of a crowd. So, how you control your breathing, whether you’re going to run out of energy or run out steam towards the end. Bid counting. And generally it’s from these fundraisers that are half-cooked. So you know-
Alec Brown: A lot of free dinners, too.
Andy Reid: Yeah, that too! I think just being able to get your brain into that method of thinking, with regards to the maths and all that sort of stuff in front of a crowd and you’ve got various people shouting various different things, you got background noise, fillers are fantastic. Even now I’ll use charity auctions just like a testing ground for new fillers or for new lines that I’m thinking about using. As well as, that you’re doing a good service to your community anyway.
Steve Carroll: ‘Cause the one thing about this industry is there is a willingness to share.
Karl Secondis: I think that’s why we talk about upskilling and charity auctions and shadowing. The other thing is encouraging the younger people coming through to compete. Because that’s when you kind of, your balls really kind of, you know…you’re accountable then. Because you compete with your peers. And a lot of people avoid it. But that’s, you know, every time you compete you get better ’cause you sharpen your sword every time.

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