Derry Bennett, Georgia Auctioneer and GAA Board Member contributed the following blog about auctions and how he became and Auctioneer. We hope that this inspires you to recall what you love about the industry or spark a passion to learn more…
Auctioning, in my opinion, is the most efficient way to sell goods and/or property in a short amount of time for top dollar. My interest in the auction business was sparked at a young age. When I was twelve, I attended my first auction. My father and I went to an on-site land auction held by Charles Smith, Real Estate Broker and Charles Shiflett, Tobacco Auctioneer in the small town of Adel in South Georgia.
A few weeks later my dad and I attended another auction where a female was working the crowd! I was amazed as Hilda W. Allen held the land auction in this primarily “male-dominated” profession. I learned at that time the variations of auctions and the professionals that lead them. Tommy Rowell, owner of Rowell Auctions in Moultrie, GA, held an auction a few months after that which intrigued me even more. I knew at this point in time, after attending several auctions that I loved this industry and wanted to make this my career. After graduating from high school, I didn’t initially pursue auctioning as a career. I continued working with my father at our family business, only tinkering with auctions part-time. I started from scratch in a small auction house on Friday and Saturday nights. After a few years I began selling real estate in a traditional manner. My career grew to small equipment auctions on to Real Estate auctions. I gained a tremendous amount of experience from John Strickland from Moultrie. John taught me to remember not to overlook the little alligators while chasing the big ones. Little alligators need to be sold too, and they help sustain you during difficult times.
After a while I had the opportunity to work with my close friend, Myers Jackson. He opened doors for me to become highly successful in the auction industry. Myers encouraged me to join Georgia Auctioneers Association. Once I became a member, I learned so much more about the industry. I have met wonderful people from around the state that I learn from each time we have a conference. Auctioning has such a wide spectrum of possibilities and opportunities, which is why I find it so interesting. Farm and timber land is my preference because that is my background. However, I enjoy learning about other auctions, such as jewelry, furniture, etc.
The auction industry has been a rewarding and fulfilling career. Today, I am a Broker myself. I co-broke with other auction companies. The professionals in this industry are extremely helpful, and I have always enjoyed learning from their wisdom. I highly recommend that anyone in this field join Georgia Auctioneers Association. There is no end to the amount of information that I learn at conferences and from the other members’ with whom I’ve been able to network.