The Kiwis have done it!
Andrew North of Harcourts Cooper & Co is the Australasian Auctioneering Champion for 2014.
It means the North Shore-based auctioneer has outperformed the very best auctioneers from across New Zealand and Australia, demonstrating the most outstanding talent at the competition held in Auckland by the Australasian Real Estate Institutes this week.
He and 15 other competitors first had to fight their way through regional battles, with two New Zealanders and representatives from each Australian state selected to compete at the Australasian Championships.
At the heats on Wednesday each of the 15 competitors was required to call the same complicated auction, devised to test their aptitude, attention to detail and ability to think on their feet.
These auctions are like nothing you will see in the real marketplace. The auctioneers are thrown the most difficult questions you can imagine, testing the very limits of their legalese and auctioneering knowledge. The bids are complicated and extremely difficult to add. Distractions are regularly thrown in from the floor.
To win the competitors must be incredibly cool under pressure, a master at adding vast sums in a matter of seconds, charming, entertaining, and able to enthral the audience with their performance. The competitors must also not exceed an allotted time period, answer all the questions thrown at them correctly, and finally make it all seem effortless.
A business owner and auctioneer for the Harcourts Cooper & Co group on Auckland’s North Shore, Andrew North has 14 years of experience calling auctions. He has competed at National and Australasian Auctioneering Championships before, however this is the first time he has won the supreme prize.
Andrew says this is his fourth Australasian Auctioneering Championship final, and going into this competition he did everything in his power to be prepared.
“I met with some of our Harcourts auctioneers once a week and practised new techniques, bidding sequences and tweaked my whole performance with them. I knew going into the competition I had done everything possible. To win feels amazing. Four times at the final, and finally a win. It’s a monkey off my back.”
Harcourts CEO Hayden Duncan says watching Andrew North call an auction is similar to watching an artist.
“He takes the audience along for a ride. Every single person in the room is hanging on his words, laughing at his jokes and trying – and failing – to do the same calculations he is performing. It seems effortless, but those of us who know Andrew know he spends hours and hours practising complex calculations, revising his legal knowledge and working on his calling presentation.
“We are hugely proud of Andrew. He is a role model for all our auctioneers and demonstrates the level of talent they all aspire to. Vendors everywhere can rest assured with someone like Andrew North calling your auction, you are going to get the best possible price.”