Australian and New Zealand’s top auctioneers set to compete at AUSTROS

Australia and New Zealand’s best auctioneers have been named as finalists for this year’s Australasian Auctioneering Championship (AUSTROS) in Hobart.

The event, which will be held from May 14 – 16, ranks the competitors on their style, charisma and skill under the pressure of an auction.

This year’s group of challengers is set to include a combination of upcoming and more experienced auctioneers including Anthony DeMarco, Paul Hancock, Paul Tzamalis, Prash Nayar, Nic Salter Harding, Jake McIntyre, Robert Tulp, Bronte Manuel, Clarence White, Luke Banitsiotis, Richard Kerr, Alec Brown and Mark McGoldrick.

The Auction Company, Director, Paul Tzamalis was recently named 2024 REIV Senior Auctioneer of the Year and said he was excited to compete in the national finals.

“The first thing is that you have to earn the right to be there, it’s not given to you,” Mr Tzamalis said.

“Winning the Victorian Championship last week allows me to qualify and if we’re looking at AUSTROS as the goal, the real reason to compete is to finesse, refine and develop our skills as auctioneers.

“If you look at any professional sportsman or any professional for that matter, that’s at the top of their game, they refine their skills off the field so that they’re better on the field.”

Mr Tzamalis said he continually worked on his craft so he’s ready to compete with the very best on a national level.

“Practice makes perfect and I don’t think we ever attain perfection,” he said.

He said he trained daily using voice exercises to strengthen his voice, practices maths equations with Apps to improve his mental skills and works on building his vocabulary.

“These things don’t happen by chance,” he said.

“I think they take many, many years to build up.

“But when you’re trying to win a competition, you want to try to bring that achievement forward, so you’ve got to build it into your weekly routine.”

Mr Tzamalis said that while winning awards doesn’t necessarily bring in more auction business, it’s an important part of supporting your career.

“There’s no question that the acknowledgement from peers in the industry and the family, congratulations that have flown in, gives you that sense that you’re on the right track and you’re doing something right,” he said.

“I don’t think it wins me more business, but it certainly reaffirms and strengthens the relationships with the people that I’m already working with. 

“That’s important to me, that my customers, the real estate agents, feel confident that they’ve got the right person and the best person, to call the auction.”

Perth Realty Group Auctioneer, Prash Nayar, said being part of the novice competition in 2017 and 2018 before moving into the seniors in 2019 has been something that has helped him grow as an auctioneer.

“I think that the skill of an auctioneer to being able to speak in front of an audience and also run live negotiations in front of an audience, is really something that has trained me to become a better negotiator,” Mr Nayar said.

Mr Nayer won REIWA’s Gift of the Gavel this year and said he has been studying scripts from previous year’s competitions in preparation for the event.

“Beyond that we are trying to make sure our body, mind and spirit are aligned because it’s like the Olympics for us,” he said.

Mr Nayer said he was hoping to do well, to encourage other auctioneers to join the industry in Western Australia.

Apollo Auctions Auctioneer, Richard Kerr, said he last competed at the championships 10 years ago and wanted to get back into it and help raise the profile of auctions in Western Australia.

“The media presence that comes with the awards, regardless of the outcome is going to help get more WA agents aware of the auction process,” Mr Kerr said.

Mr Kerr said he’s been busy practising in preparation for the event.

“We catch up once per week and just go through old bidding sequences and just practising auctions together,” he said.

“Practice is the main thing.

“I’m still practising, my dialogue, the introduction, the formalities of the auction because it’s about delivering a textbook auction.”

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