LJ Hooker had its annual ‘Idol’ and ‘Icon’ auctioneering competition at the Marriott Resort and Spa in Surfers Paradise, and featured the winners of various state, territory and New Zealand-based competitions.
The Idol competition is for agents who have completed less than five auctions in their career, while the Icon tournament focuses on agents that have undertaken more than five auctions.
Participants were judged by a panel of three judges, which this year featured Brett Roenfeldt, business development coach from LJ Hooker International Operations, Richard Impiombato, LJ Hooker Institute trainer and auctioneer, and Paul Moore, from LJ Hooker Sunnybank Hills in Queensland.
The competition was also watched closely by Graeme Hyde, LJ Hooker’s head of training, along with John Davis, principal at LJ Hooker Seaforth and head of the group’s international auction chapter.
The role playing exercise saw each contestant auction the same ‘dummy’ property, with pre-designated bidders throwing the same scenarios and questions at each of them. Contestants remained out of the auction room while the competition was underway, ensuring each remained unaware of what was to face them when they commenced selling.
Jason Roses, of the Tuggeranong ACT office, won the Icon competition, ahead of Darren Brady from LJ Hooker New Zealand and Aaron Booth from the group's office in Forest Lake, Queensland.
Mr Roses, who has been entering the competition since 2006, said it had helped him develop his skills in front of what can be an auctioneer’s toughest audience – his or her peers.
“Personally, I think it’s a huge platform...because what it does is helps every auctioneer improve their skills,” he told Real Estate Business at the event.
“It’s great for the inexperienced auctioneers, getting them in front of people. Most of them have never done auctions before.” And Mr Roses said he had learnt plenty since his first appearance in the 2006 Idol competition.
“I think I was a nervous wreck,” he recalled. “I had a lot of energy, I was moving across the room, so I’ve learnt to tone things down a bit....to be more calm and relaxed.”
Scott Gemmell, of LJ Hooker Project Marketing Qld, took out the Idol competition, with second place going to Carly Clough of LJ Hooker Gungahlin ACT, and third to Edward Gainer from the group's office in Stirling, South Australia.
Mr Gemmell, who said he was “stoked” to win the award, told Real Estate Business that the victory was the culmination of 12 months of focused training. This included two trips to Sydney to attend events at LJ Hooker’s training academy.
“I didn’t want to get out there and take on the responsibility of selling someone’s property before I knew I could,” he said of his desire to train hard before he headed out into the field.
Building confidence was the key, he said, along with “taking the auctioneering process seriously”; this meant taking the time to give buyers a clear run down of the terms and conditions of sale.
Mr Gemmell said the auction-focused training also helped him become a better auctioneer marketer
Mr Gemmell said he preferred the auction method of selling over private treaty as it gave buyers and sellers a more transparent view of the sale process. Often, with private treaty sales, buyers aren't certain if an agent is being honest about competing and unquantified offers from unseen buyers, he said.
At least at auction, he continued, they can see the other buyer and know that their bid is real.
Best quips, at least from this writer's perspective, came from Ms Clough when, in response to an extremely low bid, politely asked the bidder whether he realised that there was, in fact, a house on the property. The other came from Western Australian Icon participant, Grant Winning, who told a particularly painful time-waster that he had all the time in the world to respond to his queries, because his "suit didn't need to be back until 7pm."