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The four finalists in the REIQ Auctioneer of the Year, with winner Gavin Croft (front left)The competition saw a volley of more than 100 bids designed to test the competitors on their memory, maths, resilience and endurance. Scripted challenges came from a lawyer, who attempted to de-legitimise the auction on multiple occasions, and from an extremely litigious registered bidder whose winning bid was ultimately not accepted by the vendor.Auction chapter delegate, and author of the scripts, Peter Burgin said the goal was to create a realistic setting as well as testing the competitors’ legal and technical knowledge.“We wanted this competition to feel like a real-life auction, but also we wanted to make sure that the competitors had the knowledge and the understanding of the legislation that someone at this level should have,” he said.But in the end there could only be one winner and there was no love lost between Mr Croft and Mr Nickerson.“We’re people who tend to hang out a lot, so we get along,” Mr Nickerson said. “We’re all crazy in our own crazy ways.”Mr Croft and Mr Nickerson will now represent the REIQ at the Australasian Auctioneering Championships in 2019, when the REIQ will host the event. REIQ Auctioneer of the Year winner Gavin CroftJETSETTING auctioneer Gavin Croft has been named Auctioneer of the Year by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.Mr Croft, who flies between Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane every week to call auctions, beat friend and 2017 winner Justin Nickerson for the top gong.“I think to come back to where I was born and bred, it’s a nice little award,” Mr Croft said.Mr Croft grew up in Queensland but has spent time in Sydney calling auctions for Bresic Whitney. He recently returned to the Sunshine State and will continue to call auctions in Sydney, Brisbane and New Zealand for Sotheby’s International.“Auckland and Sydney are really sophisticated markets,” he said. “The Sydney market expects high performance.“You sense things are changing, and starting to change quite quickly.“We saw that in eastern Sydney about 30 years ago, and we’re starting to see that here in Brisbane, hence why I am starting to spend a little more time in Brisbane.”Runner-up Justin Nickerson, who has won the title five times, will represent Queensland at the Australasian Auctioneering Championships in New Zealand this October with 2018 runner-up Mitch Peereboom (Ray White). He said Brisbane’s strength was its reliable and stable market.“I think the Brisbane market is seeing a lot of consistency,” Mr Nickerson said. “We haven’t had the huge dips.”It was a sentiment echoed by Mr Croft, who is Mr Croft is now only the second person to win an REI Auctioneer of the Year title in two states. He said Brisbane’s stability was in sharp contrast to behaviour witnessed at Sydney auctions.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago“People climbing over each other and so on. It was just an interesting experience,” he said. It was a tough battle between the top four contenders for the title, which included former REIQ Auctioneer of the Year (2015) Mark MacCabe (Apollo Auctions) and LJ Hooker national auction manager David Holmes.