Why would an Auctioneer Blog on Activerain.com?

Services for Real Estate Pros with The Auctionarium

There has been a thread on the National Auctioneers Association forum for the past few weeks titled:

What is so great about blogging on ActiveRain.com?

I had been watching this thread and reading the responses but waited until today to post my own. Since the forum is private for members only I cannot post the contents of the thread, but I will say that the comments from the auctioneers who blog here have been VERY POSITIVE and created a few converts.

Here is my response from this morning:

I have been waiting to post a reply on this thread since it came up.

There are a lot of reasons for an auctioneer to blog on Activerain.com.

Some of you may think I am a realtor hater but that is really far from the truth, I simply have a low level of tolerance for incompetence and many realtors are incompetent.

Face the fact that 90% of agents jumped on the real estate bandwagon during the past ten years and all they had to do to sell property was to show up, install a sign and post it on the MLS. Its the part timers, housewifes and people who don't know a thing about the business that get my goat and also that of the true professional agents in the marketplace.

Last night I posted a property that we are selling at Internet only auction.

It went up on three of my websites, the NAA Calendar, Auctionzip.com, AuctionServices.com then I posted it on Activerain.com.


There was a response from Activerain.com within 5-minutes of posting, before I had even logged off the site or my computer for the night.

This morning there was another response / inquiry about the property with some positive information about the area I simply could not have known.

In checking the groups I had posted this on (in addition to my AR blog) I found this question posed:


An agent in PA asking what to do about a listing that is expiring soon for a property that has been on the market for close to 4-years.


There were 63 comments from realtors around the country since this had been posted on January 7th and 2 of them suggested using an auction or auctioneer.

I saw this as a great opportunity to "farm" for the auction listing and since the property is in Omar's back yard to maybe earn a small fee for simply farming the deal and handing it over to Omar Bounds, CAI - AARE to do the auction.

I have gotten a lot of buyer & seller leads from blogging on Activerain.com over the past few years. In addition to getting leads, by blogging there it makes me the "resident expert" on real estate auctions to the local agents who use the site. (because I AM THE resident expert on real estate auctions)

There are a lot of networking opportunities if thats what you are into but I am looking for buyers or sellers, or to establish relationships with agents who need my help to sell their properties in this market.

Blogging on Activerain.com is one more example of how a creative real estate professional can generate business through a social networking site.

Comments (25)

Tony Grego, 317-663-4173 #1 Trade Association for Alternative Inv
REISA - 317-663-4173 - Indianapolis, IN

Blogging is social media. The more folks that know you the more folks that can reccomend you. If you have any affiliation to real estate and have the time blogging can only help


Jan 09, 2009 10:22 PM
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC

Good for you----I guess the question would be  "Why WOULDN'T you blog here?"

Jan 09, 2009 11:24 PM
Sean Dreznin
NAI Tampa Bay - Sarasota, FL
Commercial Investment Real Estate Agent


Your like the catfish of this "Active" rain lake!  LOL


Jan 09, 2009 11:38 PM
w p
Pittsfield, IL

I commented on that same discussion at the NAA forum as you know Billy and could not agree more.  I would love to see more auctioneers here.  I play double duty here as a licensed agent and an auctioneer which means keeping up two blogs. It would be great to see some indepth auction discussion from some of the best like yourself.  I'd love to see some of the auctioneers from the NAA forum come here and dump some of that knowledge onto the screen.


Jan 10, 2009 12:36 AM
Tom Wood
Ad Maker Tool & Real Estate Auction Systems - Ballwin, MO

I couldn't agree more.  They auction method is needed in todays market and any market.  Listing in the MLS and waiting for an an agent to bring you a buyer isn't cutting it anymore.

Jan 10, 2009 01:14 AM
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

My only gripe is that you put down "housewives' as people who don't know anything about real estate. You seem to be saying that women should stay out of this "man's" business. 

You don't have to be full time or in the business for 20 years to be good! Yes, there are many bad realtors, and many of them are full time, long term MEN.

Auctions are just a Different way to sell real estate. As long as realtors and auctioneers can both make a living, there's no reason for one group to put down another.

Jan 10, 2009 01:14 AM
James Wexler
wexzilla.com - Scottsdale, AZ

as the real estate and mortgage industry evolve we are seeing less familiar industries intertwine and now play an important part such as yours

Jan 10, 2009 01:15 AM
Billy Burke
The Auctionarium - Altadena, CA


I did not expect so many responses and pretty much all to be positive!

Margaret: I have not been MEME'd in years or it seems like the early days of the Internet so I consider it an honor ;-)

Linda you commented:

"My only gripe is that you put down "housewives' as people who don't know anything about real estate. You seem to be saying that women should stay out of this "man's" business."

Please don't take my comment the wrong way, my Mother was a housewife in Southern California who had to take the real estate exam 3 times before passing it in 1973 to earn her license. Her timing could not have been better because it seemed that everyone's houses went from being $30,000 to $40,000 to $100,000.00 PLUS virtually overnight.

Mom started earning a six-figure income from real estate in the 1970's about the same time my Father who was a NASA rocket scientist had to retire on a medical disability and she has been bringing home the bacon ever since.

I would deservedly get the sh*t knocked out of me for even thinking, let alone suggesting that real estate is a "mans business" both by my Mother but she would be ganged up with my Wife, Daughter, Sister, Brother and Dad would probably reach out from the grave to toss in a slap too!

The thing I *REALLY* like about the real estate business is the equality of financial freedom and empowerment it has provided to many people regardless of gender, race, creed, color, ethnic background, religion or social standing at birth.

The housewife comment should have been written to convey the meaning of a part time person with no training other than passing a simple license exam course, which has nothing to do with the actual practice of selling real estate.

A few years ago in Southern California I would read the "success stories" of women who once cleaned the houses they were selling a few years earlier, then were making 6-figure incomes during the bubble years. One in particular bragged how she had no real training and really knew nothing about real estate other than she could speak to people of her ethnic origin (not black or Latino btw) and make a fortune just showing them homes.

Last I heard her house had been foreclosed upon, cars repo'd and she was back to cleaning but as the owner of a cleaning company which is a *HUGE* leap forward in my book.

Your right that you don't have to be in the business 20-plus years to be good *IF* you become a student of the industry and apply yourself to a lifestyle of constant learning & improvement to better serve your customers.

My gripe is the same as most professional real estate agents, that the part-time amateurs who think they know everything just because they made a six-figure income a few years ago but refuse to engage in any personal growth or persue professional knowledge are a blight upon the marketplace.

One of the monest honest and ethical agents I have had the pleasure of knowing is a second generation realtor, with the highest ethical standards anyone could hope to have. She did very well during both the lean and fat years yet is a part time subsitute teacher for troubled teens. I think she is more of a part time teacher because she feels that is giving back to the community and only working 20 to 30-hours a week is more of a full time realtor than many agents I have known.

> Auctions are just a Different way to sell real estate. As long as realtors and auctioneers can both make a living, there's no reason for one group to put down another.

I agree that auctions are different, as a matter of fact its the negotiated sale of real estate that has been promoted by realtors which is the "Johnny Come Lately" to the scene. Did you know the word Auction comes from the Latin root 'Auctonarium' which is the place or area designated by the Romans to conduct auction sales of goods, assets, chattel and real estate. 

Did you know that auctions have been regulated for over 2000 years, with auction laws written into virtually every civilization on the planet in every written language?

The word realtor was coined from a book by Sinclair Lewis entitled "Babbitt" written in 1917 and has been in use less than 100-years, its original use was a derogatory term.

Did you know most laws governing the 'negotiated or brokered' method of selling real estate that most reatlors practice are less than 100-years old?

Please don't take this as a put down as a put down of the method or profession, heck I earned my first real estate license back in 1988 and have personally sold over 1,000 properties using a direct sale "fixed price" method over the years.

The problem has not been with auctioneers not wanting to work with realtors, it has been just the opposite until the past year or so when the market has turned.

I have personally offered realtors a 3% Buyers Agent commission at 100% of my auctions since 2001 when I went full time as a real estate auctioneer.

During the bubble years there were not too many auctions that I held where the owner/seller was not contacted directly by an agent who tried to steal my listing by talking down the auction method of marketing. There was one 11-month period where EVERY SINGLE AUCTION WE PRODUCED AN AGENT TRIED TO CIRCUMVENT MY EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL AUCTION LISTING AGREEMENT BY GOING DIRECT TO THE OWNER TRYING TO CUT ME OUT OF THE DEAL!

I am not talking about one or two isolated events but over 25-auctions and it seemed like 25-different agents who thought nothing of "cutting me out" of the process. These were not crappy little $30,000 to $50,000 rentals but high end waterfront homes and resort property at the beach. Those were not newby part timers by the way, it was usually a seasoned pro who was greedy and wanted both sides of the deal.

How would you feel if that was done to you by auctioneers?

Would you still be holding your arms open and offer them both buyer & seller commissions like I am after the market hs turned to the auctioneers favor?

All in all I think that auctioneers and realtors can work together once the realtors have a better understanding of the services an auctioneer truly provides.

If you send me your contact information I will be happy to send you a copy of my new book, "The Secrets of an A.A.R.E. Auctioneer" or 'How to get paid USING real estate auctions whether the property sells or not!'

You will find it very intersting as a primer on real estate auctions compared to the viewpoint of what an auctioneer provides by several top selling real estate agents.

As to the blogging on ActiveRain.com this is a great way to bridge the gap and provide the communication and EDUCATION that is needed by realtors to survive in this business.

Any comments?

Jan 10, 2009 01:56 AM
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Billy- now this is what Active Rain should be about! Real Discussions, not just " great post ageements"! thanks for the LOOOONNNG response (lol).

We had a CE  course here on Auctions in 2007 and I thought it very interesting. They were only offereing 2% buyers agent commission though, where as normally we get a minimum of 2.4 - 3%.

Thanks for the history lesson on auctioneers. Very interesting.

And also the story of your Mom and other "realtors". I agree with you, I have seen MANY realtors who don't study real estate or the market, but rather spend their time marketing themselves. Maybe that's because that's what we're taught to do by the companies we work for.

I became a realtor because I've always loved houses and the real estate market. I actually look at and study the numbers, and go out and preview homes all the time.  I'm not into the high profile promote myself type ads, maybe why I'm not the biggest agent in town! But I so know my stuff! And if I don't know, I know where to find out.

I can definitely understand your frustation with having to deal with realtors that want to cut you out of the deal. But the same thing happens to us all the time with buyers and sellers who cut you out of the deal, after doing a lot of work for them.

I'll email you my contact info. I would love to read your book. Yes, I have a shelf full of Real Estate books, and I've read everyone of them- some more than once!.

Jan 10, 2009 02:21 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Billy,  Interesting post.  I know just enough about auctions to be real dangerous.  Actually, I have tried to educate myself and have advised a few sellers to investigate it.  If I may make a suggestion:  Why don't you become more active here in the "Rain and perhaps, if there isn't already an " Auctioneers Blog " consider starting one and make an effort to attract agents to it.  It could be a great referral tool and help educate agents along the way. 

Jan 10, 2009 02:24 AM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

I agree that you should post on Active Rain. After all, you're in the real estate business. Always happy to see another perspective or another side. It's part of the learning experience.

I haven't been to an auction yet, although I've always wanted to. Guess I should drag my butt out one day to see it in action. But I was under the impression that one has to pay to get in. Is that correct?

Jan 10, 2009 02:57 AM

Very interesting post on auctioneers.  I had a conversation this morning about realtors, and why most of them get in the real estate business.  I'd say 60%, probably more, are not full time. Most of them got in the business to either sale their own home, or make a sale(s) to a friend or two.

Jan 10, 2009 06:37 AM
Dona Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Stein Summers - Saint Joseph, MO
St. Joseph MO

Hello Billy:) Glad to have you on AR.  I have worked with auctioneers in my area for many years and has worked really well.  They have referred sellers to me that was just having a household auction but did not want to auction the property.  On the other hand, I have purchased many properties at their auctions to clear estates.  I am proud to have a great working relationship with auctioneers in my area.  Best to you in 2009.

Jan 10, 2009 11:25 AM
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Auctions are another viable avenue in the real estate market and when done properly and at the right time can be a win win for all involved.  I too enjoyed the auctioneer history lesson and have now added you to my list of bloggers to read. After all I need to keep up on all aspects of real estate and what better way to keep up on the auction side than by learning from the best.

Jan 10, 2009 11:35 AM
Billy Burke
The Auctionarium - Altadena, CA

Actually I am not new to ActiveRain.com having been a member since January of 2007 after being invited from another auctioneer located in Michigan.


Not all auctions or auctioneers are the same.

Right now there are a few companies promoting mega-auctions with multi-million dollar budgets to sell 500 to 1,500 bank repo homes over a 3 to 5 day period.

While those are a good experience and a great place to buy houses at auction, they are not representative of the average real estate auction.

The National Auctioneer Association actually has a real estate auction MLS system where you can shop for properties on-line for free from your own personal computer.


Its a comprehensive listing tool for auctioneers and the public has rapidly embraced it since being rolled out in early 2008.

Someone posted that they thought there was a charge just to attend a real estate auction, that could not be further from the truth!

The people who had a TV Show about their house flipping in the Charleston area tried to charge people $500 for a "catalog fee" for an auction of about 100 homes and condo's last year. I laughed my a** off when reading about it before the auction, e-mailed the owner of the company warning him but if any of you have seen that show, HE KNOWS IT ALL AND NOBODY IS GOING TO TELL HIM ANYTHING ABOUT SELLING REAL ESTATE... except at auction bucko...

They had the civic center and spent over $100,000 promoting the "auction" and something like 9-bidders paid the $500 non-refundable catalog fee for admittance. It was a joke and nothing sold because there were no bidders.

A professional real estate auctioneer will require anyone who wants to bid to post a hard money deposit.

If you are the winning bidder the deposit is held and applied to the contract price of the property.

If you are not the winning bidder your deposit check is handed back to you uncashed before you leave the auction, its really pretty simple.

A lot of auctioneers, myself included will often restrict attendance to registered bidders and their guests.

The reason for that practice is there are always nosey neigbors and someone who is a "spoiler" that will talk bad about the property, the owners, the auction process, the area, how the foundation is sinking, that something was built without permits, you get the picture and its never true.

At an auction where the property is being sold with reserve or seller confirmation there are usually 2 to 7 groups of bidders, which can easily be handled by a team of two people.

If we allow anyone to attend the auction then the crowd often swells to over 100 people requiring a staff of 4 to 7 people to police the 97-people who have stated they are not there to bid, they have no interest in buying the property "but we just want to watch or are thinking of selling" and believe me I am an auctioneer not a policeman.

So we limit attendance to registered bidders and their guests.

When someone approaches me on auction day whom I have never spoken with before trying to get in by telling me they have something for me to sell my response is:

Gee thats great but did you know our sellers have pre-paid thousands of dollars in auction entry fees to produce todays event and today I am working for them to deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars for this fine property. How would you feel if you paid me thousands of dollars and I used the time and money that should have been devoted to the cash buyers on hand, to try and get future business?

I give them my card and ask for their contact information, if they are serious they give it up, if they are a nosey neighbor or a spoiler they walk away in a huff. Either way the truth of the matter is when its auction day I am there to deliver cash for my sellers. 

We work nationwide and pay referral fees to agents who bring us sellers, so please feel free to contact us if you know anyone who would like to sell their property for 100% of the present cash market value, in as-is condition using an all cash, no contingency, 30-day closing, with no seller commission.


Jan 10, 2009 11:58 AM
Dona Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Stein Summers - Saint Joseph, MO
St. Joseph MO

Bill ~ Thanks for the additional info, I am glad to know this and have bookmarked.

Jan 10, 2009 12:48 PM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Billy, I think Brett's comment needs to be deleted.  LOL.  And it may take me a few extra days to get that meme done and tag you because I accidentally wiped out my nearly completed post and have to start over.  So much for the automated "save draft" feature.  I'll email you when it's ready.

Jan 10, 2009 04:51 PM
Stephen Nestel
Statewide Real Estate Auctions - San Rafael, CA


I finally got educated Billy and joined this Real Estate Blog.  It is great to visit with my friends from the NAA and meet new folks.

Jan 13, 2009 08:21 AM
Billy Burke
The Auctionarium - Altadena, CA

Hi Stephen:

Welcome to ActiveRain.com this is a very educational community.

Jan 14, 2009 06:55 AM
Billy Burke
The Auctionarium - Altadena, CA

It's also a lot of fun.

Here is a link to our latest auction

Over 50 properties most absolute or with no minimum and no reserve.

The way auctions should be!


It's all in my book


Jul 03, 2009 08:29 AM