Gutierrez went to a real estate auction put on by McCurdy to help a Spanish-speaking friend understand what was going on. Next thing he knew, he was talking to its CEO, Lon McCurdy, and accepting a job offer with the company.
“That was two or three weeks before graduation” from college, Gutierrez said. “I never thought I’d be in this type of environment. It’s a little different, but I definitely am glad I’m here.”
Gutierrez, 24, was born in California and grew up in Garden City. He started college at Garden City Community College, then finished his degree in entrepreneurship with an emphasis on real estate at Wichita State University.
Since starting work at McCurdy last year, Gutierrez has graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, which he called “one of the better bid-calling and auctioneering schools in the nation.”
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Asked if he has the fast-talking aspect of the job down, Gutierrez said, “I have the basis. Now it’s just the practice.”
McCurdy thinks Gutierrez’s bilingual abilities will help the company reach new clients. Gutierrez said he probably won’t ever conduct a full auction in Spanish, but he will be able to answer questions in that language if they come.
Gutierrez said going through an auction can be a lot faster and “cleaner” for homeowners than the traditional real estate route.
“With us, we set the date, and 90 percent of the time we know that on that date it’s going to sell to the highest bidder. You’re not dealing as much with inspections or appraisals.”
Gutierrez grew up riding horses and today competes in local rodeos, as a team roper and performing rope tricks.
“I practice that quite a bit,” he said of rope tricks. “It’s one of my favorite hobbies.”