Spotlight On: Marianne Sullivan, President and Lead Auctioneer, Sullivan & Sullivan Auctioneers, LLC

May 8th, 2014 by melissa

Spotlight on . . .Marianne

We recently spoke with Marianne Sullivan, President and Lead Auctioneer of Sullivan & Sullivan Auctioneers, LLC. Covering all facets of real estate with a specialty in foreclosure and municipal auctions, Marianne has more than 20 years of experience in the field. We explored several topics including the current economy and rise of real estate sales, mobile and social media marketing, and women in the auctioneering industry.

PA: How did you get your start in real estate auctions?
MS: I took a part-time position for a local auction company in Boston. It wasn’t long before I realized I had a passion for the industry and began a full-time career. Eighteen years passed quickly! In 2007 I felt I had the experience to make the leap starting Sullivan & Sullivan conservatively by renting a few desks in a real estate office. I grew to need a larger office in one year and again after three years. We recently completed an expansion to our new operations center and have settled in nicely.

PA: Tell us about your organization – what type of properties do you specialize in?
MS: We are a full service commercial auctioneering firm specializing in the foreclosure and municipal auction arena. We sell residential, commercial, and industrial real estate properties, land, and intellectual property.

PA: How do you think Sullivan & Sullivan Auctioneers sets itself apart from other real estate auction companies?
MS: Our unique approach to our client is based on the needs of each and every client. Our clients have unique needs and we tailor our services to meet the needs of each client. Our staff is dedicated to providing our clients with top notch service.

PA: How do you think the recent surge in real estate sales is affecting property auctions – positively or negatively?
MS: The recent real estate surge has been positive for us, investors, and end users overall due to more confidence in today’s economy. Confidence helps stimulate the auctions bringing bids closer, if not to, market value.

PA: With the real estate market and current economy appearing to move in a positive direction, what are your predictions for the property auction industry for this year?
MS: Diversification for our company in 2013 has resulted in a new municipal tax lien auctions department. We have already exceeded our goal in 2014 and will continue to market and develop in this marketplace.

PA: What is your opinion on opportunities for women in the industry today? Do you think there are more options for women in real estate auctioneering now than there were 10 years ago?
MS: Opportunities for women in the auction business are paramount and have been moving in the right direction for women to break through the glass ceiling.

PA: What criteria do you look for in a property to make it a good candidate for auction?
MS: Since we specialize in foreclosure and municipal tax lien auctions, our focus is on our client’s ultimate goal for the asset they wish to auction. Our services are implemented regardless of the property type or condition. We work to generate the interest needed to sell the properties for the highest bid possible.

PA: Does social media play an active role in your marketing plan?
MS: Social media is a growing part of our overall marketing strategy providing the perfect platform for us to further develop current relationships as well as new business prospects. Social media allows us to expose and promote our business by sharing our success stories and keeping our customers informed about upcoming auctions and industry news.

PA: Is mobile marketing a part of your advertising strategy? If not, do you foresee a mobile campaign for your company in the near future?
MS: Our new mobile app is a tool that was requested by our investors to easily reach the auction schedule on the go. We are one of the only auction companies in the region that offers a mobile app. Our mobile app has proven to be an extremely valuable resource for our on-the-go end users to view up-to-the minute changes to our auction schedule.

PA: Lastly, what would your three top tips be for buyers and your three top tips for sellers?
MS: For Buyers:
1) Know the property you are bidding on. Come prepared by finding out as much as you can about the property. Research and do you your own due diligence.
2) Be the winning bidder. Don’t lose a property of interest to you by an amount you’ll regret. Set your value and bid to win!
3) Close the deal. Maintain your credibility by performing on your purchase.
For Sellers:
1) Hire an expert in the field.
2) Work together with your auctioneer by informing them of all known facts about the property so the auctioneer is equipped to disclose the facts and leave little doubt in the minds of buyers.
3) Provide your auctioneer with feedback so they can improve their system and increase results. Referrals are the best way to say, “thank you for a job well done”.

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