Funeral Arranger

Hello, and welcome back to Gracie Meets…! Today, I have the opportunity of interviewing Mr. Gary Heydt, an auctioneer! This job is perfect for people who enjoy a fast-paced and unusual work schedule. I have a challenge to go along with this episode and I hope you’ll try it out: record yourself doing an auctioneer chant like Mr. Gary does in this episode, tag @gracie.meets on Instagram, and use the hashtag #graciemeetsauctioneerchallenge so I can see it! I hope you enjoy this episode!

Gracie Meets...
Gracie Meets...

Show Music: 2019 07 25 cello pizz 01 and 250109 rhodes 02 by Morusque used under Creative Commons License CC BY.  No alterations were made to the original composition. 

Cover Art: Kyleigh Kinsey. Instagram: @ato._.noodle 


Intro Music 00:00

Gracie Solomon  00:14 

Hello and welcome back to Gracie Meets… Do you feel like you talk so fast that no one can understand what you’re saying? Have your parent’s teachers or friends ever told you, you talk too fast? Well, today’s interview with Mr. Gary Heydt might be the perfect job for you. Tell me a bit about yourself in your job, Mr. Gary. 

Gary Heydt  00:33 

Actually I’m an auctioneer for 39 years. I worked the purebred hosting auction circuit for the first 15 years of my life, or 15 years of my career and then the last 20 some years I’ve worked in the automobile auction industry, a dealer only auctions in the upper Midwest. 

Gracie Solomon  01:01 

I see, what do you think makes being an auctioneer more unique than other jobs? 

Gary Heydt  01:10 

Well, we definitely don’t work 9 to 5. In fact, many days I leave that do a lot of commuting over the highways and I’ll commute 160 miles one way to go to a Manheim car auction that I work at. And then the next day I will leave from my home and drive 160 miles the other way to do a automobile option for the Odessa automobile auction company and then the next day I’ll on Wednesdays, I’ll jump in the car at 4:30 in the morning drive 160 miles to do an automobile auction. We’ll leave that auction and drive another 350 miles back into Iowa and do a night auction and then get home by 11:30 at night. So it’s definitely not a nine to five job. 

Gracie Solomon  02:04 

That’s a lot of driving. Did you need any training to become an auctioneer? Or could you just become one? 

Gary Heydt  02:12 

Actually, some states require some continuing ed. Other states have no requirements. The state I live in does not have any requirements. The State of Minnesota which I also work out of, they will require a licensure with no continuing education just being bonded. I have attended some classes as far as marketing and stuff, but I am actually a self-taught auctioneer. I started when I was 14 years old. I grew up on a dairy farm and we milk 60 cows and so for two hours in the morning, I would auction off each cow I was milking and then the afternoon that evening, I would do the same thing and I actually did that for four years while I was growing up on the farm, and when I turned 18, I did my first auction with another auctioneer. Doing it that way I was, I would travel to dairy auctions with my dad and we would, there was many different auctioneers and I would pick up the part of each of their chants and I had the opportunity to work with the local purebred auctioneer, hosting auctioneer, Norm Peterson, Pete’s Auction and Photo out of Wycoff, Minnesota. And he kind of mentored me and then kind of he did help me for much of my career, so. 

Gracie Solomon  03:38 

Do you only auction off cars now or do you auction off other things as well? 

Gary Heydt  03:43 

Now we do house three days a week. I do 4 automobile options. And then the other days of the week, I either out soliciting other auctions, setting up auctions, or actually doing household estate or farm auctions. We do, like I said personal estate auctions for individual families auctioning off their household items or their automobiles.  We also do farm auctions where the farmer is either retiring or downsizing whenever and we do a few real estate land auctions as well. And when we’re not doing that my wife and I also we flip houses, and believe it or not, my wife was putting up shiplap 25 years ago long before the Gaine’s is down there in Waco, we’re doing it. 

Gracie Solomon  04:47 

Why did you pick this job over all the other jobs out there? 

Gary Heydt  04:51 

Well, like I said, I grew up with it on the on the dairy farm and I enjoyed the auction chant in the auction the action at the auctions and just thought it’d be a fun way to make a living and it has been it’s been a great career. It’s changing. I will have to say that with the internet and online auctions you lose the enthusiasm and the crowd aspect and the people aspect of an auction but there’s more and more of that being done today over the internet. 

Gracie Solomon  05:29 

The internet has definitely taken over a bunch of jobs nowadays. How would a teenager like me become someone like you, would I have to know someone to become an auctioneer? 

Gary Heydt  05:40 

I would say the best way to do it is to attend the local auctions if you can, and to find an auctioneer that you like to listen to or let you know in the area and approach them and ask them to mentor you, it is a people business and it is a lot of who you know and you have to be fair and equitable and obviously have a good clear chant. But that’s only a part of it. You have to treat your customers right. And like I said, the be fair and reputable.  

Gracie Solomon  06:21 

You mentioned your chant. What were your practice methods like to be able to talk that fast? 

Gary Heydt  06:28 

Um, actually, I just, I listened to the auctioneer that I mentored me and picked up a few of his filler with a called filler words and your chant. And, and I was able to put a few his words in my chance. And then I actually went to a few sales in southeastern Minnesota that an auctioneer by the name of Bill Kent from New York actually came out and did some sales for some people. And I liked a few of the things he did. So I put those into my chant. And basically it’s just repetition. I like to be able to understand the numbers not go so fast that someone can’t understand you know where you’re at. And so, filler words a lot of people will use the rhythm of a certain song or something like that to give them the rhythm and the clarity they need. 

Gracie Solomon  07:31 

Do you use any songs to keep a steady rhythm? 

Gary Heydt  07:35 

No, I don’t use any songs. I just, I just do after doing it for 30 some years I guess it comes naturally. 

Gracie Solomon  07:46 

Would you mind showing the listeners your chant? 

Gary Heydt  07:50 

{Most of this dialog is not able to be transcribed due to the speed and the filler words added to the auctioneer’s chant} 

Gracie Solomon  08:18 

Wow!  I’m speechless. That’s so cool!  What is the best part of your job? 

Gary Heydt  08:26 

That’s part of my job is working with the people helping them successfully liquidate their assets. I enjoy the fundraiser. One thing I failed to mention is doing some fundraising auctions is also rewarding. Helping sometimes, maybe you have in your area sometimes there’s a family indeed or whatever and somebody puts together a fundraising auction that’s always really gratifying. As far as people on how would I say at the less attractive side of the business, sometimes you get involved in family situations where not everyone is able to get along. And sometimes you also almost end up becoming a counselor to help guide them through that process and get them through it, but it’s just part of the job. 

Gracie Solomon  09:25 

Well, I’d like to thank you so much for your time. You’ve definitely given some great insight into the world of auctioneering for me and listeners. It really takes someone special to become an auctioneer. You need to be a determined salesperson, a fast, smooth talker, and willing to have an unusual work schedule. In some states, you actually have to have a license to practice a supersonic form of sales like this. Auctioneering is definitely not something a normal person thinks of as a career choice. But then again, show me another teenager. Thanks for listening 

Gracie Solomon  10:05 

Thanks for tuning in. If you like Gracie Meets… subscribe so you can listen every time a new episode is dropped and follow Gracie Meets on Instagram at Gracie dot meets (@gracie.meets). Tune in next Saturday for an informative interview with dance studio owners.