A Blackburn agent has gone back-to-back and claimed the title of Victoria’s best auctioneer two years in a row.
Woodards Blackburn agent Luke Banitsiotis has been crowned the 2019 winner of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s senior auctioneer of the year competition.
The 29-year-old said he was thrilled to keep the crown and keen to share his top tips and tricks with hopeful buyers at hammer time.
“I find it works to bid in weird increments that are a bit unique and throw everybody else off a bit,” he said.
“Also don’t be afraid to be confident with bidding, even if you’re close to your limit.
“I like to start early and make my point known that I’m there to buy … waiting at an auction to bid achieves nothing.”
Mr Banitsiotis, who has six years industry experience, also urged vendors to make sure their property was going under the hammer with an experienced auctioneer.
“Having experience from different scenarios and understanding the body language of buyers on a Saturday goes a long way,” he said.
“It’s about knowing when you’ve got to push someone and when to back off because having somebody who doesn’t understand this can leave money on the footpath.”
The talented agent trained hard for the competition, which REIV President Robin Waters said required “a booming voice, a nimble and mathematical mind and more than a touch of theatrical flair”.
He said his secret weapon was his ability to crunch numbers, allowing him to call bids quickly and accurately. A voice coach also helped him work on the control of his speech and body language while under pressure.
“I also travelled over to New Zealand to watch the championships over there and learn from agents who are considered some of the best,” Mr Banitsiotis said.
Chief judge and REIV vice president Adam Docking said the competition was strong, with runner-up Paul Tzamalis from The Auction Company also outstanding.
“Luke was technically superior, heads and shoulders above everybody else, while Paul’s calling had a lot of life in it,” Mr Docking said.
Nine finalists battled it out in the annual competition, which included agents from across Melbourne.
Mr Banitsiotis and Mr Tzamalis will represent Victoria at the Australasian Auctioneering Championships to be held in Melbourne in October.