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How a screwdriver led to the gavel

16 January 2018

Novice Auctioneer Competition (NAC) 2017 finalist Fadi Hajjar went from auctioneering with a screwdriver to opening up his own auction business. Find out how he made the journey from a teacher to the gavel.

Fadi registered his freelance auction company Bouchra Auctions in January 2017, but actually began his career in real estate as a 19-year-old in 2006, before deciding to study at university following a market slump. 

This decision led to him earning the honour of holding the record for being the longest continually enrolled student at the University of Notre Dame Australia after studying for nine years, graduating in 2014 with his third degree!

Chance encounter planted auction seed


During his time at university, Fadi became a secondary school teacher, which he worked at for eight years. However, he couldn’t let go of his love for real estate and a chance encounter led to him trying his hand at auctioneering from which he never looked back.

He explained: “I was involved in church and community organisations and was asked last-minute to MC at a function after the auctioneer didn’t turn up. I asked them to find me a hammer to help me look the part, but the closest they had was a screwdriver. I decided to run with it and sold the sports jersey well above expectations and had an absolute blast.”

This chance encounter led to Fadi being invited back to auction next year when he came prepared with a toy hammer, before finally upgrading to a “real gavel” in the following year. More importantly it planted a seed that he wanted to auction.

Fostering positive relationships 


Fadi says there are many similarities between teaching and auctioneering.

“Research suggests that the most effective teachers are those who are able to foster positive relationships with students. I have found the same is true with auctioneering. It is about being genuine and connecting with people. 

“I enjoy the interaction and having a laugh, and I enjoy getting results. Both professions, although different, have at their heart this similarity and require good organisation and effective communication, as well as team work.”

Try your hand at auctioneering at the NAC


REINSW’s first NAC will be held in the Sydney CBD at AuctionWORKS, followed by several more heats around the State and ending with the State Final on 28 June 2018.

Fadi said: “I found the whole experience of the NAC amazing. I knew it was not a mere competition but a new beginning for me. The NAC not only encouraged me to refine my technique but it let me see and take on board the positive elements in the professional techniques of other auctioneers. 

“There was an immense range of talent and it gave me the opportunity to see the best upcoming auctioneers, and to learn from them. The experience has let me understand not only what I know but what I still have to learn.

“It is one of the best ways of polishing the skills you have and very quickly discovering the skills that you don’t have. It is also an ideal opportunity to form constructive friendships with other people in the profession.”

So do what many of today’s best auctioneers have done, and get your career started by entering the NAC – anyone can enter, no experience necessary!