Spotlight On: David E. Gilmore, CCIM, CAI, AARE – Sperry Van Ness/Gilmore Auction & Realty Company

Spotlight on . . .David E. Gilmore

This month we’re putting our Spotlight on David E. Gilmore, national auctioneer, managing director and Chief Operations Officer for Sperry Van Ness Accelerated Marketing Company/Gilmore Auction & Realty Company. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, David’s background covers all facets of real estate. We recently spoke to David on several topics including the current market, bank-owned properties, and online auctions.

PA: Describe your company and your affiliation with Sperry Van Ness (specialties, longevity, experience, etc.).

DG: I started Gilmore Auction & Realty just after graduating from college in 1983 here in New Orleans just when the 80′s downturn had started. My first auction was a single condo and no one showed up, which was devastating but I managed to recover. Later, our firm put together large multi-property, multi-seller auctions of REO properties for several years, then sold for the RTC and FDIC. While we have sold almost everything except livestock in the beginning years, for the last 15-20 years it has only been real estate: homes, lots, acreage, office, apartments, industrial, retail, etc.

In 2003, I stopped at the Sperry Van Ness booth at the National Auctioneers Association Convention to see why they were there. It took about 8 months, but I was finally convinced that an SVN franchise as an auction firm would help me expand beyond a regional auction company.


PA: Have you seen a pattern in auction cycles over the years, and in light of the tumultuous market now, how do you think the past few years have been different in the auction business?

DG: Yes, the pattern in the past has been that when REO inventories were high in downturns, the auction industry was usually instrumental in moving these properties back into the market. This allowed the market to absorb the excess inventory and return to stability.

In anticipation of this current market crash, many investors, funds, real estate firms and auction companies ramped up for the huge inventories. Everyone was determined to take advantage of the next RTC or FDIC situation. Unfortunately, the anticipated wholesale liquidations have not materialized. The administration’s policies concerning loss share agreements and the sale of REO have prevented the large scale auctions that happened in the 80′s and 90′s. Consequently, many auctions have not produced the pricing necessary to satisfy the seller’s demands resulting in few sales and unhappy bidders. The average auction bidder today is much more prepared and educated than in the past. In the 80′s, a government auction would draw hundreds, sometimes thousands of bidders. In today’s market, if properties are not sold absolute, many bidders will not attend. If there is no opportunity for a bargain, bidders will not waste their time.


PA: You have vast experience in properties owned by financial institutions and continue to handle a lot of work within that sector. How would you say the current economy and real estate market have affected your business in this area?

DG: Both in the past and currently, we work on a large scale with community, regional and national financial institutions to assist them in the valuation and disposition of their REO assets. Many of our banking clients have taken a proactive approach in their special assets departments by referring borrowers to us and cooperating with “auction short sales” or negotiated transactions.

With offices in Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and Kentucky plus SVN franchises in 130 other U.S. markets, we have been affected in several ways by the economy and real estate market. Some markets have high REO inventories and a continuously falling market while others have less REO and a fair market.


PA: How is real estate in the Mid- and Southwest region in comparison to the rest of the country? What properties seem to be hot right now in that area and why do you think they are selling?

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