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Shelby auctioneer earns marketing management designation

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By Lisa King

With more and more consumers turning to auctions to buy and sell items, a local auctioneer has taken his experience to the next level in helping his customers in their quest to buy and sell at auction.

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“Auctioneers are expanding their services both live and online,” said Shawn Willard, an auctioneer and co-owner at H. Barry Smith Realtors and Auctioneers, LLC. 

Willard said that a training seminar he participated in recently at the Kentucky Auctioneer Convention in February at Bowling Green has helped propel him to the cutting edge with an Auction Marketing Management designation awarded to those who finished the extensive training session that included an involved presentation that required the approval of the National Auctioneers Association.

“It will allow me to see all the new technology for marketing advertising, so now we can take our auction marketing advertising and reach a lot more people to help our clients and sellers and reach more buyers,” he said.

At the conclusion of the event, Willard received his designation as an Auction Marketing Management (AMM) from the National Auctioneers Association’s Education Institute. 

The AMM program provided Willard with three days of expert training from the industry’s leading marketing technology specialists.  The program’s focus is to help auctioneers understand today’s marketing utilizing technology, from branding to measuring efficiency, providing auctioneers with the tools and training to implement marketing techniques using technology into their daily business activities.

Only about 60 people in the United States hold this designation, said Willard, adding that’s because you have to complete all three days and that the required presentation at the conclusion of the seminar is very extensive and time consuming.

“It’s three days of training that some people just don’t have time to do and we also have to do that big project at the end to get that final designation,” he said. “I’ve heard that there’s been people go through the class that didn’t get their project approved afterwards.”

The presentation is very involved, he said, because it includes everything an auctioneer needs to know to be classified as a top-rated expert in the field.

“You have to do a whole branding of your company,” he said. “You have to designate the brands that you would classify your company as specializing in, and then take a specific auction and go through the whole marketing program, and then you do the results of how it fits, through Google analytics, through Facebook analytics, and you have to put all that together. Then they approve it or disapprove it [presentation].”

Willard, a Shelbyville resident who is an auctioneer/broker/co-owner with Barry Smith, specializes in real estate and farm land auctions, estates, farm machinery and commercial property auctions, areas that he says the company has been excelling in for nearly 50 years.

“Those are our focuses,” he said. “The thing about it is, now that we have our own national online bidding platform, most of our auctions that we do are available online, all over the world, so that’s helped us out a lot, to the point where we’re able to reach a lot more people now.”

Willard, a graduate of the University of Louisville and Indiana University, said the training broadened his knowledge of auctioneering marketing techniques.

“We learned a lot about Facebook advertising,” he said. “We can now advertise to specific types of groups and people to increase our bidders for our auctions. What we do now for marketing is that we can put a marketing evaluation together for people and also do evaluations on farms and estates to let them know what their values are for their real estate and personal property. We can take that education and help them out that way.”

In addition to Willard’s AMM designation, the NAA Education Institute offers professional designations for Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI), Certified Estate Specialist (CES), Graduate Personal Property Appraiser (GPPA), Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate (AARE), and Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS).

To learn more about Willard and H. Barry Smith Realtors and Auctioneers visit www.hbarrysmith.com.