Join us for a Q&A with our award winning Director of Hall and Hall Auctions, Scott Shuman who has spent years learning the trade, asking the questions, teaching others, and working the profession. We’ll dive into his motivation for writing A Million Acres and Counting as well as his views on how Auctions can benefit Sellers and Buyers.
Scott, you’re an expert auctioneer with an uncanny ability to read a room as well as entertain the crowd and keep everyone engaged in the process. How much of this do you feel is natural talent and how much is plain hard work?
Thank you for the nice comments. While we all have certain gifts I believe that we are also always learning and growing. I’ve always loved being around people and interacting with groups and teams. Nevertheless, throughout my career I have always watched and learned from other auctioneers.
What was your inspiration for writing A Million Acres and Counting?
There are many people curious about auctions and how they work. Further, there are many misconceptions about auctions. I travel frequently and when I share that I am an auctioneer I’ll often encounter the question, “why would someone sell at auction?”. When we were first shut down by Covid restrictions I helped rework our marketing material and website using questions that I am often asked while traveling. I thought it might be fun to also share some auction stories and situations in which Sellers have found themselves. My hope is to better inform potential Sellers as well as Bidders.
Can you share a few key insights from the book?
I don’t think a reader will finish the book saying, “I’ll bet the author is great at Quantum physics”. However, I do think the reader will be glad they took the time to further understand the auction profession. There are many short takeaways from reading each auction story. It is a quick read with many great little nuggets along the way. It has been fun for me to hear from people throughout the country who all seem to like something different about the book.
Who is your target audience?
Sellers of high-quality farms and ranches and Buyers thinking about purchasing through the auction method. I have also heard from many auctioneers both young and old who have been happy the book was written.
How will a Buyer and Seller benefit from reading A Million Acres and Counting?
Real Estate holdings are typically the highest value asset in any portfolio. If a person is considering selling their property they would be doing themselves an injustice to not explore the different avenues of marketing before putting the property up for sale. There are many reasons that a property might benefit from an auction campaign and the book will highlight those. The auction industry has been around for thousands of years, the Roman Empire was sold at auction! That said, it is interesting to see so many Buyers who don’t understand the process and would like things explained to them. It has become widely accepted to purchase real estate at auction and Buyers understand that auction doesn’t mean fire sale. In fact, just the opposite, real estate auctions mean there is a one-of-a-kind asset that will be offered to the highest bidder on a given day.
When would an auction work best in a Buyer’s market or a Seller’s market?
People often think of auctions when the market crashes. Why? They know they need to stop the bleeding. An auction is date certain and it allows for competition starting low and battling until the winner is declared. Conversely, When the market is hot as we have seen recently, there are often competing offers and we are hearing of properties selling very quickly over the listing price. I recently heard of a residential listing that went on the market for $360,000 on a Friday and by Monday with 49 offers submitted it sold to the highest cash offer of $395,000. The broker was excited until I shared my thought of inviting the 48 other people to compete against the $395,000 offer.
Did you enjoy your authorship venture? Can we expect more of your insights and anecdotes?
It was certainly a learning experience. I never set out to be an author and I think my high school English teacher will agree that I am better suited to be an auctioneer. After publication it soon became obvious that I didn’t mention or thank many of my best friends, people who have helped me in my career, and most importantly I failed to give much of a shout-out to my wife who spent hours editing and changing my grammar. That was a pretty costly lesson! I do hope that people enjoy the stories and I would love to hear from folks who read the book. I don’t expect to be signing books at any big book stores but I sure enjoy handing the book to farmers and ranchers as they are my people!
Thank you, Scott!!