Shown with their first place award in the digital promotion category at the 2013 Minnesota State Auctioneers Association’s State Auction Marketing Contest, are Grafe Auction representatives, from left, Bret Walters, John Schultz, owner Judd Grafe and Paul McCartan.
Shown with their first place award in the digital promotion category at the 2013 Minnesota State Auctioneers Association’s State Auction Marketing Contest, are Grafe Auction representatives, from left, Bret Walters, John Schultz, owner Judd Grafe and Paul McCartan.
First place footage?

"Sold" to Grafe Auction.

"Grafe is very humbled that the judges and our peers recognized the video as a winner," said John Schultz, of the Spring Valley auction company that earned first place in the digital promotion category at the 2013 Minnesota State Auctioneers Association's State Auction Marketing Contest.

The Minnesota State Auctioneers' Association, meant to "promote and advance the auction profession" is comprised of over 300 licensed auctioneers from across the Upper Midwest.

"The Minnesota State Auctioneers Association provides Grafe numerous opportunities to network with fellow auction professionals, and access to continuing education offerings through conferences, and educational articles in the monthly trade publication.

"Annually, in January, the association holds a state champion auctioneer contest and the State Auction Marketing Contest. The contests provide a platform by which Grafe can compete against other businesses from the region. The competition serves to enrich and better our team, and push them to be the best in the industry."

Schultz explained how the video, which features Grafe Auction employees and owner Judd Grafe selling goods at various events, evolved from concept to actual contest entry.

"The marketing video that won first place in the marketing contest started as over 24 hours of raw auction footage shot over numerous days. A professional video company then edited the raw footage over the course of several months. Once the first draft production was complete, key members of our teams worked closely with the production team to refine the video and create the finished product. From raw footage to finished product, the process entailed over six months of work."

Schultz said that when producing the video, it was important to the auction company that the video be "crisp, upbeat, and informative."

"As you might imagine, balancing these three considerations proved to be complicated. However, we think the finished product accomplishes our original goals of a crisp, upbeat and impactful video."

Schultz said the company's peers recognized Grafe Auction at an awards banquet in January during the annual Minnesota State Auctioneers Association Conference and Show.

He added, "When creating marketing material and submitting it to the marketing contest, we always hope it might snatch the attention of the judges and win first place. With this video, until announced as the winner at the awards banquet, we were not confident we had a winner."

Being declared the first place winner has advantages for the company. "Winning first place has allowed Grafe to promote the video beyond its normal reach of clients. Since winning, the video has received thousands of views on social media sites including YouTube and Facebook, and garnered national attention from our peers and leaders within the National Auctioneers Association."

Schultz said because of this recognition, the company has decided to enter the video in the National Auction Marketing Contest held in July.

According to Schultz, Grafe Auction "is a nationally recognized asset marketing company that offers services including brokerage services, asset disposition, consulting, appraisal and marketing and conducts auctions on a nationwide basis, and to date has conducted auctions in every state in the continental United States ... although we have come close to booking an auction in Hawaii, we are still looking for that first Hawaiian and Alaska auction."

He said Grafe Auction typically conducts over 120 auctions per year and specializes in commercial, industrial and real estate auctions.

"We have a particularly strong presence in the food service equipment market. Strength, attitude, compassion and service are several trademarks of companies striving to lead their industries. At Grafe, we work hard, chose a positive can-do attitude, and pride ourselves on providing the highest quality service for our customers and clients.

"Additionally, since our founding in 1959, we have intentionally grown our team to include team members with strength, attitude, compassion and service as hallmarks of their lives.

"These traits make our team unique within the industry and allow us to provide innovative solutions to our customers and clients," concluded Schultz.

The marketing video is available on Grafe Auction's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/grafeauction.