Involvement, flexibility important to champion’s success

It’s not always the Auctioneer with the best bid call who wins the International Auctioneer Championship, says Joseph Mast, CAI.

The 2011 men’s division winner says the interview portion of the contest might have given him an edge this year.

That’s because Mast, in his fifth year of the competition, says he felt calmer than in the past. He was confident in his bid calling, and he was well prepared to answer interview questions.

Mast says he prepared himself through networking — he talked with friends in the industry to gain a better understanding of what Auctioneers are facing in today’s business environment. He also thoroughly read each issue of Auctioneer, and he paid close attention to the news.

Everything just came together this year for Mast, owner of Real Estate Showcase, Millersburg, Ohio. He made the finals in each of his four previous years as a competitor, and in two of those years he took second place.

He says it was the IAC competitions, and his attendance at Conference and Show events the past five years, that also gave him an edge in the auction business. The National Auctioneers Association and Ohio Auctioneers Association, he says, have helped him make connections and gain education essential to running a successful business.

One of Mast’s mentors, NAA Auctioneer Steve Andrews, says the IAC and NAA education, particularly the Certified Auctioneers Institute, have contributed to Mast’s success as an Auctioneer and business owner.

Raised on his family’s dairy farm in an Amish community, Mast learned the value of hard work from his father, Jon, who encouraged his son to work six days and rest on Sundays, Mast says. And Mast, 31, attributes that work ethic to his early success as an Auctioneer.

Joseph Mast sells for Barrett-Jackson Auction Co., and he auctions equipment, real estate and thoroughbred horses as a contract Auctioneer.

In 2004, he earned his real estate license and started at Real Estate Showcase, a company he went on to purchase in 2008. Showcase now has more than 50 agents in four offices.

Mast says he stays involved in several business ventures because he believes diversity is the key to success in the auction profession. When one market is struggling, another might be thriving.

“So, I just figured, if I get involved in four or five major avenues, then they can go up and down, and they don’t affect me as strongly when one goes down or one goes up,” he says.

Mast says an Auctioneer must be able to make significant changes — whether in chant, style or demeanor — to adapt for different opportunities.

“If you can be a chameleon and be able to change and adapt to those different venues, that can really help you in the long term,” he says.

Mast says he is open to making changes to his company, whether adjustments are necessary because of technology or other factors. Although he says he wants to remain focused on the rich heritage of the auction profession, he says he must be agile as a business owner and professional Auctioneer.

“Bid calling is very important to me, but it’s not everything,” Mast says. “You need to be well rounded. You can’t just say, ‘I need to work on my chant.’ You need to work on your chant; you need to work on your people skills and your relationships.”

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Filed under Auction Industry, Auctioneer magazine, CAI, Conference and Show, Education, NAA Members, State Auctioneer Associations

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