The Demanding Art of Auctioneering

28 May 2021, Lynette McFadden

The Demanding Art of Auctioneering

With auctions being one of the strongest driving forces in today’s marketplace, I thought I’d talk about the world of the auctioneer or at least my impressions gained over many years of observation. And what better place to start that conversation than here in Wellington at our National Auction Competitions.

It takes a special individual to master auctioneering and although I personally gave it a try over 24 years ago, I didn’t have the passion that I’ve witnessed in others, and sensibly decided against pursuing it.

Now join me whilst I share the scene of the event I’m watching.

There are 15 individuals, predominantly men (come on ladies), and they all have one thing in common, confidence – and, for the most part, eloquence too.

Dream-weavers and scene-setters, some are an absolute joy to watch and listen to.

But the competition itself is tough. Tricky numbers and numerical equations all designed to trip and trap a weary contestant. The questions have involved contractual fine print and minutiae at their best and highly orchestrated scenarios at their worst.

Some of the contestants answer with confidence though not accuracy and the odd one is completely bamboozled. It’s funny how as an observer you start rallying for any underdogs, hoping they’ll recover from a difficult start or a testy bidder.

The best today have been storytellers, authors of a new occupant’s dream and the current owner’s decorating ambitions. Their stance can either help or hinder; open arms, eye contact and a ready smile favour the better contestants. 

I’ve yet to pick the winner as that will come later, long after I’ve submitted this article for publication, but overall, I’m very impressed.

A competition has an artificial element to it that makes it extremely hard, harder than real life, in fact. For real life, feel free to join us every Thursday at Harcourts gold Papanui, whilst our very own team of auctioneers guide clients through their auction buying and selling ventures.

Dedicated and determined, I value deeply what they add to our company – and to their profession. Property inspection and auction calling, as well as negotiation participation, define part of their role, but the main element is teamwork.

A culture cornerstone and an enduring business value of mine.

So, let’s hear for the auctioneers out there. Collectively, they add something very special to our industry and our city.