12 April 2002

Auctioneering can be a way of life too

Chris Reeks tells Farmlife

about life as an

auctioneer

Whats the best part of your job?

The variety. Being an auctioneer, chartered surveyor and land agent means you are rarely doing the same thing twice. I enjoy the contact with so many different clients and the buzz of a market day.

Whats the worst part of your job?

As an auctioneer it is

probably having a bad

trade or not making as much for the stock/items that the farmer had hoped.

Which skills and attributes do you need to do it well?

I think a fundamental knowledge of agriculture (my father is a farmer) but also auctioneering is a bit like theatre – you have to be a good actor!

What are the three items/objects you need most for your job?

A gavel, wellington boots and a car.

How many hours do you work in a typical week?

Many farmers think that auctioneers are like vicars – we only work one day a week. However, contrary to popular belief, the average week would be 50-60 hours, busy times such as sale seasons etc can be 70-80 hours, including many weekends.

Whats the pay like?

Put it this way, I cant afford a string of racehorses yet!

How much studying/training did you do?

Four years at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, obtaining a degree in Rural Estate Management (BSc) then two years practical training to obtain my Assessment of Professional Competence and become a qualified member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Would you recommend it as a career to other people?

Yes. Like farming, auctioneering is a way of life, not high financial gain. Despite the difficult situation in agriculture at present there are many opportunities for land agents and auctioneers. There is, in fact, a shortage of young auctioneers.

What do you do when youre not at work?

I love all sports especially rugby and horse racing and I am also passionate about country sports such as shooting and fishing. I also like the occasional beer!

Which one person would you most like to have tea with?

Cherie Blair – only joking! I think it would have been Sir Winston Churchill so that I could ask him, among other things, what he thought of the introduction of the Euro!