Competition Jumpstarts Auctioneer Career

5 February 2020

A passion for real estate, a talent for maths and not minding the spotlight prompted Karen Harvey to pursue a career as an auctioneer – she just needed a way for people to sit up and take notice.

The answer for Harvey arrived in the form of the REINSW Novice Auctioneers Competition (NAC). Harvey says she entered the competition because of the exposure the competition would bring.

“I knew I wanted to be a professional auctioneer and some of the finest auctioneers in the country started their careers with this competition, such as Jesse Davidson, the owner of AuctionWORKS, where I am now part of the team,” Harvey says.

Harvey was only just starting out as an auctioneer when she entered the competition.

“I was a qualified auctioneer, though I had only conducted a couple of auctions, so I was able to fulfill the criteria to enter.” 

Harvey says taking part in the competition helped her meet key people in the industry as well as make “some great friends”.

“(NAC) gives you an opportunity to meet some of our industry’s most experienced auctioneers. It also enabled me to have discussions with prospective gave me the exposure that I needed in the industry to jumpstart my career.”

Before making the move into real estate Harvey had a successful career in sales and marketing for multinational companies. These days she is most at home on the auction floor.

“I’ve always been passionate about real estate, as a property investor myself, and I felt naturally drawn to being an auctioneer as I’m a bit of a show-off! I also have a master’s degree in business so I’m pretty good at maths which helps,” she says.

“I love having the opportunity to really make a difference on auction day – whether it’s being a calming presence in what is naturally a stressful environment, or working for every single dollar that’s on the auction floor and making sure that we achieve the highest sales price possible.”

As one of a growing number of women making a name for themselves in the auctioneering field, Harvey encourages budding auctioneers of any gender to enter NAC.

“I loved every minute of the competition, it was exhilarating and I am so glad that I took part,” she says.

“I absolutely loved the heats as there’s no pressure to well at all, you just go along and enjoy yourself.

“The crowd is always so supportive and encouraging and everyone there wants you to do well. The final was a little scarier, but I still enjoyed it.”

Harvey invited family and friends to the competition for support even if “performing in front of them was the (hardest)”.

You don’t need to currently be an auctioneer to enter the NAC. As a competition designed for novices, you can enter with no or little auctioneering experience.

NAC heats will be held in Sydney (6 March and 8 May), Newcastle (2 April) and Wollongong (19 May) with the final scheduled for 18 June in Sydney.

If you want to try your hand at auctioneering, register today and you could be named REINSW Novice Auctioneer of the Year 2020!


Beat 23 March 2020.  Get qualified. Save time and money having your prior experience recognised with Recognition of Prior Learning. Discounts offered for groups of five or more. Learn more.