Vendors demanding skilled auctioneers

Brendan Wong

The recent strong performances of the auction market and the rise in vendor expectations have led to a demand for highly skilled auctioneers.

Nicholas Goold of hockingstuart Glen Iris said with a majority of sales being conducted through auctions, vendors were more discerning when choosing auctioneers. 

“There are quite a few people who are coming through the open for inspections and they’re doing interviews with the agents,” he said.

“They want to see how the agents conduct an open for inspection; how they operate and what the follow-up is like, and obviously once you’re out there calling the auction, you’re on show, you’re centre stage and prospective vendors are all watching to see how you do, how you come across, how skilled you are and how well you do at getting those extra bids out of people.”

Director and auctioneer of Cooley Auctions Damien Cooley agreed, saying with the recent increase in auction volume there has been a rush of part-time auctioneers and new auctioneers entering the industry.

“Vendors need to protect their most valuable asset by being aware of inexperienced auctioneers and not placing a huge risk on their property,” he said.

“The difference between a good auctioneer and a great auctioneer can be a good price and an extraordinarily great price, and the difference with a poor auctioneer can be that and a disaster.

“Like any industry, there will always be the bulk of them that will do a reasonable job and very few that join the elite ranks. Training and development is the key to a successful career. The challenge the industry faces is that a lot of these auctioneers are practicing on their clients and that’s not good for anyone.

“There are many who believe an auctioneer is an auctioneer, but until you have experienced the difference you never really know.”

Director of Auction Services Rocky Bartolotto said training was important, but the most effective auctioneers were those with real estate experience.

“Most auctioneers usually are agents, but there are some who are not, and that experience you get from being an agent for nine or 10 years and dealing with auctions week in week out and actually being on the other foot as the agent and then working with the auctioneer almost can’t be trained," he said. 

“You’re actually missing quite a bit, but it’s up to the organisation they work for to come up with a structured training pattern that will not only make them great auctioneers but make them able to work with the agent to achieve a result on the day.”

Mr Goold, who was named this year’s Real Estate Institute of Victoria Novice Auctioneer in October, attributed his early success to hockingstuart’s extensive training program.

The 12-week course takes participants through the processes of running an auction and concludes with an exam and hockingstuart’s own novice auctioneer competition one week later.

“There’s a lot of training and a lot of it is just doing mock auctions up there and running through different scenarios,” he said.

Mr Goold said much like a game of football, the key for auctioneers was to keep practising.

“One of the biggest things I’ve picked up is you don’t ever stop learning as an auctioneer," he said. "You’re always improving and there’s always something you can do better.”

Brendan Wong

The recent strong performances of the auction market and the rise in vendor expectations have led to a demand for highly skilled auctioneers.

Nicholas Goold of hockingstuart Glen Iris said with a majority of sales being conducted through auctions, vendors were more discerning when choosing auctioneers. 

“There are quite a few people who are coming through the open for inspections and they’re doing interviews with the agents,” he said.

“They want to see how the agents conduct an open for inspection; how they operate and what the follow-up is like, and obviously once you’re out there calling the auction, you’re on show, you’re centre stage and prospective vendors are all watching to see how you do, how you come across, how skilled you are and how well you do at getting those extra bids out of people.”

Director and auctioneer of Cooley Auctions Damien Cooley agreed, saying with the recent increase in auction volume there has been a rush of part-time auctioneers and new auctioneers entering the industry.

“Vendors need to protect their most valuable asset by being aware of inexperienced auctioneers and not placing a huge risk on their property,” he said.

“The difference between a good auctioneer and a great auctioneer can be a good price and an extraordinarily great price, and the difference with a poor auctioneer can be that and a disaster.

“Like any industry, there will always be the bulk of them that will do a reasonable job and very few that join the elite ranks. Training and development is the key to a successful career. The challenge the industry faces is that a lot of these auctioneers are practicing on their clients and that’s not good for anyone.

“There are many who believe an auctioneer is an auctioneer, but until you have experienced the difference you never really know.”

Director of Auction Services Rocky Bartolotto said training was important, but the most effective auctioneers were those with real estate experience.

“Most auctioneers usually are agents, but there are some who are not, and that experience you get from being an agent for nine or 10 years and dealing with auctions week in week out and actually being on the other foot as the agent and then working with the auctioneer almost can’t be trained," he said. 

“You’re actually missing quite a bit, but it’s up to the organisation they work for to come up with a structured training pattern that will not only make them great auctioneers but make them able to work with the agent to achieve a result on the day.”

Mr Goold, who was named this year’s Real Estate Institute of Victoria Novice Auctioneer in October, attributed his early success to hockingstuart’s extensive training program.

The 12-week course takes participants through the processes of running an auction and concludes with an exam and hockingstuart’s own novice auctioneer competition one week later.

“There’s a lot of training and a lot of it is just doing mock auctions up there and running through different scenarios,” he said.

Mr Goold said much like a game of football, the key for auctioneers was to keep practising.

“One of the biggest things I’ve picked up is you don’t ever stop learning as an auctioneer," he said. "You’re always improving and there’s always something you can do better.”

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