Beating out six finalists in the state finals, voice-over artist turned auctioneer Liam Bradbery has won the 2021 REINSW Novice Auctioneer title.
This year’s competition was fierce, as for the second time in NAC’s history, novice auctioneers were given an actual property to auction off – a rural property in Oberon.
To add further pressure, the event was held online for the first time ever due to the COVID restrictions.
“The added pressure of calling an online auction is very different than calling a stereotypical online auction. I think that was quite representative of what the entire industry has had to deal with during the pandemic, especially in NSW over the past three months,” said Thomas McGlynn, NAC head judge.
Even with this auction being held in a virtual setting, the property sold for $400,000 over the reserve price.
Mr Bradbery said he didn’t expect the property’s price to hit that level: “I’d only been practising in the hundreds of thousands (of dollars) so once we got over $1 million, trying to track the numbers correctly was a new kind of challenge, but I’m very proud that I managed it.”
The NSW-based auctioneer, who started his career in the real estate industry in 2018 and is now taking a full-time degree in property valuation, had to overcome several challenges to take home the crown.
“I was gutted; I didn’t place in the Newcastle heat earlier in the competition and just started working so hard – drilling the auctioneering basics over and over,” he said.
He cleared his path towards the finals by winning the Sydney CBD heat in May. And the rest, they say, was history.
Speaking on his win, Mr Bradbery said: “It was great, so fantastic, I’m just so happy!” The budding auctioneer said his previous public speaking experiences, coupled with his passion for property and auctions, aligned with his current career.
Mr McGlynn said Mr Bradbery’s progression throughout the competition was his trump card.
“The judges look for a level of improvement from finalists between their heat and the final, and Liam displayed a high level of commitment,” he said.
McGlynn also praised Bradbery’s rhythm and tempo in the way that he called his auction during the final round, which the official said gave the judges the impression that Bradbery was an experienced auctioneer.
“He really scored well across all facets of his auction during the competition final. He was able to get a couple of bids that the others didn’t, and it was very noticeable how much practice he had put in in order to refine his auction call and make it so polished and professional.”
Overall, McGlynn said that all competitors handled the pressure well. He revealed that finalists were informed on short notice that the auction was going to be online instead of the regular in-person setup.
“I was really impressed with the way that all the competitors handled that extra pressure on the night,” he said.
McGlynn said NAC expanded its horizons this 2021 “by taking the competition back out to the country”.
Commenting on the competition’s direction this year, he stated: “I’m very happy to see that we are continuing to create pathways for everyone in NSW to learn, to improve, and to potentially become full-time auctioneers.”
He also highlighted that the mixture of both “metro and country people” in the finals is an exciting prospect for everyone in the auctioneering industry.