Why It Pays to Enter Auctioneering Competitions


Auctions are one the most impressive spectacles of the real estate industry but developing your skills as an auctioneer is a challenging prospect. It can be hard to find opportunities for growth while standing in front of a crowd, attempting to secure the best possible outcome for the seller.  

Luckily for auctioneers, auctioneering competitions exist and they provide the perfect opportunity to showcase your talent, while also gaining valuable experience that can drastically improve your skills.

This year, the REIQ Awards for Excellence will be holding an auctioneering competition with two award categories – Auctioneer of the Year and Rising Star Auctioneer of the Year.  

Nominations are now open for the Auctioneer of the Year and Rising Star Auctioneer of the Year competitions at the REIQ Awards for Excellence – enter now before 5pm Friday 6 August 2021.  

Real feedback and real development 

David Holmes, Cooley Auctions Partner and chair of the REIQ Auctioneer Chapter, says participating in an auctioneering competition will provide you with the opportunity for real professional development that you can’t get from your day-to-day job.  

“Entering into a competition will actually allow you to be judged on points that vendors, sellers, principals and other agents won’t be able to judge you on,” he says. “So, there’s a different set of criteria and this can form a basis of future personal development for you as you continue your career.” 

Holmes points out that every auctioneer should go through the experience of competing and not shy away from the challenge, as it isn’t all about winning, but instead about what you take away from it.   

“It’s great if you win but you come away with a judges score sheet which highlights things that you can immediately improve on for your own skillset and experience.  

“It makes you nimbler around the numbers and more agile around your negotiations. And because of the focus on professional presentation and standards of appearance, it helps you adhere to a better standard out in the field.” 

Progress not Perfection 

For those who are new to auctioneering, competing can seem like even more of a challenge due to relative inexperience when compared to senior auctioneers. However, for the first time since 2014, the REIQ’s Awards for Excellence now has a dedicated auction competition for those individuals who have been conducting auctions for less than two years.  

Holmes, who won the award in 2014, says this is an incredible opportunity for newcomers to auctioneering to either give it a go, expand their skills or dominate the competition.   

“My experience in the [rising star competition] led me to become a full-time auctioneer… and it all started with having the courage to enter and say, ‘I want to be an auctioneer’,” he says. “It was my first foray into professional auctioneering, and I haven’t looked back since.”  

Winning this competition didn’t just give Holmes the platform he needed to propel his career forward, it also gave him practical feedback that he could immediately take on board to further develop his skills.  

“Since then, I have been able to polish and hone those traits a great deal in order to be much better than I was [in 2014]. I had the foundations of being an auctioneer then and, through that competition and subsequent competitions, I’ve been able to sharpen and hone all of my skills.” 

How to Compete Well 

To get the most out of an auctioneering competition, it’s important to put your best foot forward so you can be accurately assessed by the judges and achieve the best possible result. Simply turning up to a competition won’t be as beneficial as performing to the best of your ability.  

Holmes suggests authenticity as one of the best tools an auctioneer can use, both in and out of competition.  

“The worst thing that I see with new auctioneers is them trying to be a copycat or a mirror image of a more senior auctioneer,” says Holmes. “The best thing you can do is bring your personality, flair, style and flavour to the competition and let that resonate with the judges.”  

Holmes also believes that being clear about your objectives is another essential part of successful auctioneering. He says the role of an auctioneer should always be to achieve the best possible result for the seller by engaging the buyer.  

“What we don’t want is a young auctioneer who is too suave, as this will deter buyers from putting their best foot forward,” he says. 

“You want to be incredibly polite, you’re there to facilitate a negotiation. It’s not a show about you, it’s a show about the vendor’s property, and as long as you make the property shine with your own style, you’ll do well.”  

If you think you have what it takes to compete against the best auctioneers in Queensland, nominate yourself today for the REIQ Awards for Excellence.  


10 Feb 2021
2 min read