The newly crowned REIQ Auctioneer of the Year for 2019 is Gavin Croft and the runner-up is Justin Nickerson.
In a final between four of the most experienced auctioneers in Australasia on Thursday, 23 August 2018, Mr Croft emerged victorious after a tightly scored battle that came down to the wire, with reigning REIQ Auctioneer of the Year, Mr Nickerson named runner-up.
Former REIQ Auctioneer of the Year (2015) Mark MacCabe (Apollo Auctions) and LJ Hooker National Auction Manager David Holmes completed the four.
Mr Croft is now only the second person to win an REI Auctioneer of the Year title in two states. He has won REINSW Auctioneer of the Year title twice – 2015 and 2013. He follows in the footsteps of Paul Cavanaugh, who has also won the title under REINSW and REIQ flags.
Mr Croft grew up in Queensland but has spent time in Sydney calling auctions for Bresic Whitney. He recently returned to his home state and will continue to call auctions in Sydney, Brisbane and New Zealand for Sotheby’s International as a member of the REIQ.
The auction script featured an extremely long bidding sequence, of more than 100 bids, designed to test the competitors on their memory, maths, resilience and endurance. Scripted challenges came from a lawyer, who attempted to de-legitimise the auction on multiple occasions, and from an extremely litigious registered bidder whose winning bid was ultimately not accepted by the vendor.
Auction chapter delegate, and author of the scripts, Peter Burgin said the goal was to create a realistic setting as well as testing the competitors’ legal and technical knowledge.
“We wanted this competition to feel like a real-life auction, but also we wanted to make sure that the competitors had the knowledge and the understanding of the legislation that someone at this level should have,” he said.
Runner-up Justin Nickerson, (Apollo Auctions) is the reigning REIQ Auctioneer of the Year and will represent Queensland at the Australasian Auctioneering Championships in New Zealand this October with 2018 runner-up Mitch Peereboom (Ray White). If Mr Nickerson had won at the REIQ Auctioneer of the Year finals it would have been his fourth consecutive REIQ Auctioneer of the Year title win and his fifth overall.
Mr Croft and Mr Nickerson will represent the REIQ at the Australasian Auctioneering Championships in 2019, when the REIQ will host the event.
The five judges were Mark Frater, Gordon MacDonald, Phill Broom, Dene Tucker, Mark Sumich.
Mr Burgin said the competition had pitted two of the most awarded Australian auctioneers against each other.
“Justin Nickerson and Gavin Croft are two exceptional auctioneers who are very skilled and very dedicated to their craft,” he said. “It was a long call tonight, testing endurance and resilience and they both proved to be tough competitors,” he said.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the event had provided a fantastic occasion for everyone.
“It was simply incredible to see all four of these auctioneers, easily among the best in Australasia, delivering such high-quality auction calls,” she said. “It was amazing and very entertaining.”
Mr Croft and Mr Nickerson have also battled in the shortlived State of Origin Auction Competition, when Mr Nickerson competed for Queensland and Mr Croft competed for New South Wales. On the first occasion (2016), Mr Nickerson’s Queensland team won the day and on the second occasion (2017) Mr Croft and New South Wales were victorious.
CAPTION: Gavin Croft (left) and Justin Nickerson.