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At the 2011 National Auctioneers Association (NAA) International Auctioneer Championship (IAC) recently held Friday, July 15 in Orlando, Florida, three questions were asked of the contestants. Here, we note those three questions and our answers to them:

  • The media is constantly abuzz concerning the large number of real estate foreclosure auctions.  In your opinion, have these headlines hurt or helped the auction industry?
  • If you’re named the new IAC champion, you’ll immediately be viewed as an ambassador for the National Auctioneers Association.  Please explain your goals as an industry leader.
  • The NAA’s Council on Future Practices has unveiled to the membership a paper entitled, “Give Me Five, Now Ten…Years Into the Future.”  What item or items in this paper really stuck a cord with you?

The media is constantly abuzz concerning the large number of real estate foreclosure auctions. In your opinion, have these headlines hurt or helped the auction industry?

    One of the oldest sayings about the auction industry is: “When times are good, the auction business is good, and when times are bad, the auction business is great.” With the state of the economy, there is no doubt the general consensus is, “times are bad.” What does this mean for auctioneers and the auction industry? It means there is more demand for our services. This economic crisis is indeed different than, say, the 1930’s when we were seen as the ones taking farms and homes away from people, and selling against people’s will. Today, we’re seen as problem solvers — in particular getting real property sold to prevent ultimate foreclosure and selling bank owned properties quickly and for market value. This is a great time to be an auctioneer.

If you’re named the new IAC champion, you’ll immediately be viewed as an ambassador for the National Auctioneers Association. Please explain your goals as an industry leader.

    The goals of any IAC champion must align with the goals of the National Auctioneers Association. Clearly, membership is a major issue at this time, and so it would be any IAC champion’s duty to encourage both member retention, and new members to join. Relatedly, IAC champions must spread the word to media outlets, state auctioneer associations and the general public that hiring an NAA auctioneer to handle any type of auction-related project is prudent. This would involve speaking frequently and fluently about our unique educational opportunities, networking capabilities and ethical standards. Lastly, IAC champions are in a unique position to influence the younger generation to consider the auction industry as their profession, and maybe more importantly, encourage more women, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities to look at becoming auctioneers and NAA members.

The NAA’s Council on Future Practices has unveiled to the membership a paper entitled, “Give Me Five, Now Ten…Years Into the Future.” What item or items in this paper really stuck a cord with you?

    This paper entitled “Give Me Five, Now Ten…Years Into the Future.” was historic in nature, as it was the first time the National Auctioneers Association has taken a serious of a look at both the auction industry and itself as an association. What struck me in particular was that change is inevitable, and auctioneers must do as the old adage says, “Either lead, follow or get out of the way.” In other words, as the paper stated, we must have ‘Opportunity Agility’ and always be conscious and open to new opportunities. For NAA, the paper was succinct in that it said NAA must do a better job making education available to — and actually educating — its members; further, NAA must improve awareness in other trade associations and government bodies, and increase public awareness, about the importance of hiring an NAA auctioneer.

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 serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.