The drought may not have been of Bledisloe Cup proportions, but Australia has finally reclaimed the Australasian Auctioneering Championships from New Zealand.
McDonald Real Estate Springvale director Harry Li has been named Australasian Auctioneer of the Year, ending a run of four consecutive victories by New Zealanders.
The Melbourne auctioneer beat a field of 16 competitors. The other finalists included John Bowring and Andrew North from New Zealand, as well as Sydney auctioneers Edward Riley from McGrath Estate Agents and Damien Cooley from Cooley Auctions.
Auctioneers were tested on their knowledge of best practice and legislation as well as their performance in a simulated auction, complete with complex bidding sequences and questions.
This was Mr Li’s fourth appearance at the annual Australasian event, which was held in Melbourne.
Mr Li told REB that one lesson he had learned during his seven years as an auctioneer was that agents need to invest in the process if they want to get vendors the best possible price.
Some agents make the mistake of assuming that the auction will just take care of itself, according to Mr Li.
“A lot of people just do the open-for-inspections and don’t do the follow-up with the buyers properly, and don’t do coaching and don’t invite them to the auction,” he said.
“I think a lot of times, they rest on their laurels and just expect them to turn up, which doesn't always happen.”
Mr Li said it’s also important for agents to brief buyers ahead of auction day about the process and market conditions.
This will help to relieve tension for inexperienced bidders – and it can even benefit experienced bidders if they have unrealistic expectations about local values, he said.