The early February Real Estate Auction Summit in Atlanta was the best educational event Mark Manley, CAI, AARE, CES, MPPA, says he has ever attended.
Along with more than 130 fellow professionals, Manley, of Rowell Auctions Inc., Pavo, Ga., received high-level training from well-known real estate industry veterans, including Verl Workman and Terri Murphy.
Workman, a self-described “Freaking Sales Animal,” is a technology and sales guru who Manley says provided ideas and tools for lead generation and management. He also taught attendees how to use project management tools, such as those from Google, available for free on the Internet.
Manley says the ideas Workman presented could be incorporated into an auction business with little to no out-of-pocket costs. He says he would have sat through two days of Workman’s training session, which was Feb. 7.
“It was almost an answered prayer for me,” Manley says. “It was what I was looking for coming off of 2011 to jump start 2012.”
Another attendee, Greg Duncan of Cates Auction & Realty Co. Inc., Kansas City, Mo., says he also found a lot of motivation through Workman’s energetic presentation.
“He calls himself a ‘Freaking Sales Animal Armed to the Teeth with Technology.’ I totally believed him, and I believe there are other people on the planet who are like that, and I want to find them and hire them,” Duncan says.
Manley, Duncan and other National Auctioneers Association members agree the panel discussions with veterans of the real estate auction industry also were helpful.
The summit included discussions with these members:
– Stephen Karbelk, CAI, AARE, of National Commercial Auctioneers, Tulsa, Okla.,
– J. Craig King, CAI, AARE, of J.P. King Auction Co. Inc., Gadsden, Ala.
– R.D. Schrader II, CAI, of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Co. Inc., Columbia City, Ind.
– Max Spann Jr., CAI, of Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., Clinton, N.J.
Duncan says he found value in the targeted subject matter of the summit, and he says he benefited from a smaller group of attendees.
“The conversations in the hallway were more focused,” Duncan says. “I had a better opportunity to meet the people I wanted to meet and reconnect with the people I wanted to reconnect with. The movers and shakers were there. It was a good, smaller forum to get a lot accomplished in two days.”
In regards to Workman and Murphy, Duncan says it was helpful to have real estate industry experts who were consultants to the entire industry, as opposed to having solely auction-specific trainers.
“Both of them researched in advance and tailored their messages to the auction application of real estate,” he says. “That, to me, was one of the biggest advantages — the exposure beyond just our own people talking to each other.”
Duncan and other members say Terri Murphy, e-communications strategist and entrepreneur, encouraged them to improve the Internet presence of their respective businesses. Duncan says he will now change his approach to social marketing, in particular his use of Facebook.
Murphy’s and Workman’s training sessions gave Duncan ideas for better connecting several forms of electronic marketing efforts, including blogs, e-mails and social media platforms. Murphy led a brainstorming portion of the summit that Duncan says gave him myriad new ideas for blog topics.
Marianna Kacsarovszky, of Montreal-based RE/MAX Royal Jordan Inc., says the training showed her how to put together the right kind of marketing messages. For readers or viewers of her online promotions, she says she now knows how to deliver an emotional message that will receive an emotional response.
Kacsarovszky says she learned other best practices for social media promotions and Internet marketing. She says Murphy gave out advice on how to improve her personal profile, as well as her company’s image.
Murphy also encouraged attendees to incorporate video into every aspect of their auction marketing, NAA members say.
“I never really considered video on YouTube,” says Kacsarovszky, who called the summit a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“That’s what I’m going to focus on now.”
Sandy Brittingham, CAI, GPPA, of Rittenhouse Auction Co., Uniontown, Pa., says she plans to focus on improving her company’s use of social media based on information Workman, Murphy and others presented at the summit.
“It was better than I expected,” Brittingham says of the summit. “I didn’t really expect the social media to be such a big part of the future. It is, and we’ll probably be implementing a lot of those ideas.”
In addition to great education, Brittingham says the two fully packed days, Feb. 7-8, provided excellent networking opportunities.
“I loved the panel discussions,” she says. “They were both (Workman and Murphy) very personable, down to earth and easy to talk to.”
Daniel Culps, of Fowler Auction, Toney, Ala., says he also benefited from the training on social media marketing. He says his company doesn’t do a lot of social networking, but he learned it’s essential to moving forward in the real estate auction business.
“It was a great education,” he says. “I hope they do it again next year.”
Manley calls the cost of the summit a “drop in the ocean compared to what it can earn Auctioneers.”
“It was worth 10 times what it cost me to go there,” he says.
“To be in the room with the caliber of Auctioneers that were at this conference — 50 of the top 50 Auctioneers in the country were in that room.”
Kacsarovszky says she has never met any group, in any industry, more willing to share knowledge than NAA members. She says she wishes every industry had professionals who were as generous.
“Anytime I go to an NAA event it adds value,” she says.