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Auctioneering Championships Harcourts’ success

National Auctioneering Championships highlight Harcourts’ success

Press Release: Harcourts

26 June 2014

Auctions can be unpredictable, but they tend to get the vendor the best price the market is prepared to pay.

That is why Harcourts places huge importance on auctions as a marketing choice for clients. It is also the reason why the Harcourts group trains, mentors and is home to the best auctioneers in the business.

This was very evident at the recent REINZ National Auctioneering Championship where 11 of the 20 competitors were from Harcourts, including two of the finalists Aaron Davis and Andrew North, both based in Auckland.

Andrew North was last year’s national champion, placed runner-up this year and will compete at the Australasian Championships in October.

The Rising Star award also went to a Harcourts’ novice, Christchurch-based Conor Patton.

Andrew and Aaron say they both initially made the decision to become auctioneers after admiring the talents of established and talented auctioneers within the Harcourts Group.

Aaron says at Harcourts there is a strong auctioneering fraternity. Experienced auctioneers mentor the newcomers, and both he and Andrew were helped in their early careers.

“It’s not easy starting out, and that’s why support is important. We want to create a depth within our auctioneering business because with that depth comes an ability to create a culture of excellence,” Aaron says.

Andrew says as an auctioneer it’s important to be able to bring out the best in people, and he works hard to be prepared for all circumstances.

Both Andrew and Aaron are advocates of auctioneering competitions, which they say hone the skills necessary to prepare you for the most difficult auction you will ever face.

At the National Auctioneering Championships competitors are thrown all manner of difficult legal questions and extremely complicated bids.

As well as giving correct, authoritative answers and being required to add complex numbers instantly, competitors are expected to be entertaining, connect with the audience and present the property being auctioned in the best possible light.

Aaron says it’s a very high stress environment, and he still feels nervous going into competitions, but it’s an anxiety he has learnt to enjoy.

“If you don’t have that level of nervousness, you are going to be giving a flat performance. It keeps you thinking on your feet and attuned to your environment.”

Andrew has been an auctioneer for 14 years, and Aaron has been auctioneering for the past six years.

Between them they have called thousands of auctions, up to 20 a week each, but both still put in hours of practise before competitions.

Andrew says there is a certain amount of “rehearsed spontaneity” that comes with being a good auctioneer, and a remark that can seem off the cuff is often one of many rehearsed to put the buyers at ease.

He says vendors have embraced auctions and understand they are the best way to get the best price in a competitive market.

Harcourts’ auctioneers are skilled negotiators and adept at encouraging buyers to pay the “emotional price” necessary to secure their dream property.

“I often tell them they will thank me in five or ten years, and they will,” Andrew says.

Even if a property does not sell on auction day, the auction system has not failed.

Instead the previous three to four weeks of market research provides the sellers with the confidence and ability to set a fair market value price on their property. There is also good opportunity to negotiate with those who may need to sell another property or arrange finance before they can commit themselves unconditionally.

“We have a very high clearance rate at auction, and it is really the only place where the magic can happen – that is where you can have several buyers, all competing for your property and finally achieving a premium sale price beyond the vendor’s expectations. Fixed price sales will never achieve that,” Andrew says.

Harcourts has consistently had a winner or runner up in the REINZ National Auctioneering Championships for the past decade.


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