NAA Auctioneer Hopes Videos Will Help The Public Better Understand The Auction Profession
“Auctioneer”, National Auctioneer’s Association June-July 2011 issue
By Sarah Bahari, Contributing Writer
Auctioneer Justin Ochs noticed a disturbing trend in auctions. More people were foregoing traditional auctions and opting instead for the convenience of the Internet.
But Ochs, an Auctioneer in Madison, Tenn., knew online auctions lacked a crucial element.
“A live auction engages people in a manner that creates competition and generates thousands of dollars,” Ochs says. “A computer can’t put a hand on your back and tell you to bid one more time.”
To educate the public about auctioneering, Ochs created “Life Behind the Mic,” a video blog that sheds light on the industry through discussions about hot topics, talks with up-and-coming Auctioneers and interviews with some of the most influential figures in the business.
Launched last fall, the series is already attracting scores of viewers in the auction industry, and Ochs hopes to find ways to reach more of the general public.
When people find out what Ochs does for a living, he says, they immediately wan to know more about the Auctioneer chant. But they do not know much more about auctions.
“There’s a misconception that Auctioneers are the guys who sell cattle, and that’s it,” Ochs says. “Throughout the industry, there are a lot of elite business men and women selling many important assets, and we want to reveal that.”
Ochs, 32, who owns Diamond Ochs Enterprises, decided early on that “Life Behind the Mic” would include a mix of interviews and live action shots from auctions around the country.
In one clip, he is interviewing Amy Assiter of Assiter Auctioneers, Canyon, Texas, who is the 2000 International Auctioneer Championship winner, about women in aucitoneering. In another, he talks with Joseph Mast, CAI, of Real Estate Showcase, Millersburg, Ohio, about being the youngest Auctioneer at Barrett-Jackson.
Other videos take viewers to the American Quarter Horse Association World Show in Oklahoma City and an elite heifer sale in the Tennessee Valley.
Interspersed throughout are family videos, which Ochs says give the project a personal feel. In one, he and his wife, Kelly, wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. In another, he takes his son, Weston, to his first cow sale.
Using a small camera, Ochs spendss several hours every week conducting interviews and editing the footage into two-minute clips.
The videos are on his website, www.TennesseeAuctioneer.com, as well as on Facebook and YouTube.
Mast says Life Behind the Mic has been beneficial for Auctioneers eager to spread the word about what they do.
“Anything we can do as Auctioneers to get our name out to the public is a big help,” Mast says.
“There are a lof of people very naive about what we do, and we would love to educate them.”
Ochs‘ auction career started relatively late. He studied animal science at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., and taught at a North Carolina community college while managing the barn for the equestrian team. While there, he tried out announcing for a horse show.
After moving to Tennessee to earn a Master’s Degree in event management, Ochs met and apprenticed with a Tennessee Auctioneer’s Association Hall of Famer.
“Once I did that,” Ochs says, “all sorts of doors opened.”
Ochs won the state’s Rookie Bid-Calling Championship and was the 2009-2010 Tennessee State Champion Auctioneer.
Educating the public about auctioneering has become a goal for Ochs, who says young Auctioneers in particular have the ability to engage people through technology and projects such as “Life Behind the Mic.”
“This is a huge, huge business. Auctioneers sell everything from livestock to antiques to website domains,” Ochs says. “We want the public to know more about the benefit of our services.”
Diamond Ochs Enterprises
"Choosing the right auctioneer to handle your auction often makes the difference. With a passion for excellence and extraordinary performance, Diamond Ochs Enterprises, your Tennessee Auctioneer, works to secure the highest dollar for your assets"