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Linda Godwin & Laura MantleThere isn’t a successful auctioneer in business today lacking great support staff.

These support personnel often are a spouse, children, father, mother, or other family; many auctioneers hire employees (or contract with independent contractors) for needed support. Regardless, great support staff is essential.

Auctions to many of the general public appear to just do that … appear. In other words, when a bidder arrives at the auction, seldom does that bidder think about all the time and effort that went into to prepare for that auction, and/or all the time and effort required after the auction as well.

What do support staff do for an auctioneer?

Besides the basic duties day-of-auction, as we discussed here: The 3 Essential Auction Staff, support staff are also needed for duties such as:

  • Conducting inventories, writing descriptions, and picture taking
  • Packing, loading, hauling, and unloading
  • Sorting, organizing, unboxing, boxing, arranging, cleaning
  • Managing and/or attending appointments to assess auction properties
  • Answering the phone, emails, text messages and in-person inquiries
  • Hosting open houses and/or property previews
  • Creating catalogs, fliers, newspaper advertisements, place signs, etc.
  • Updating websites, creating online catalogs, and other computer tasks
  • Packing and shipping purchased items
  • Title searches and related legal work
  • Bid calling for auctioneer who is otherwise unavailable, or in a second ring
  • Preparing and providing auction settlements to clients
  • Maintaining records, pay expenses and other office functions
  • Managing and supervising other support staff

As auctioneers must utilize other staff for various tasks, including what we have outlined here, it is also imperative that all support staff keep the client’s interest foremost in mind. Auctioneers represent the seller and owe basic fiduciary duties to the seller-client. We outlined those in our article titled What do auctioneers owe their clients?

However, this duty to represent the client’s interests extends to the auctioneer’s support staff. All support staff must keep in mind that they must act in accordance with what is best for the client, just the same as the auctioneer.

Auctioneers must have great support staff, and most all do.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.