If McCurdy Auction was going to auction itself off, the auctioneer would have quite a mouthful of material to work with. McCurdy sells commercial property, residential property, farmland, personal property and more to bidders in Kansas and three surrounding states.
“Every week we have new assignments,” CEO Braden McCurdy said. “You never know what’s coming next. It’s a fun business.”
McCurdy Auction is one of three finalists in the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award for Tier 3 companies — those with 21 to 100 employees — along with Axiom Health Services and Choose Networks.
McCurdy was started by Braden’s parents, Lonnie and Annette. They remain involved today along with their daughter, Megan Niedens, the company’s COO and an award-winning auctioneer. Braden, Lonnie and three other employees can also “cry auction,” as the process of driving up bids is called. The company has 25 full-time employees and six part-timers.
McCurdy Auction initially concentrated on personal property such as furniture and farm equipment, but today it’s focused on real estate, which is generally more valuable.
Braden said the business conducted almost 700 auctions last year, ranging from the sale of Friends University’s 122-acre Rockcleft Camp in Colorado to former Neighborhood Walmart stores in Clearwater and Burlington to a hotel on Kellogg near the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.
“We’ve got another big land week coming up at the end of May,” McCurdy said. “We continue to see our geographic reach spread.”
Many potential buyers participate in McCurdy’s auctions online in real time. Another big change has been the move away from the perception that auctions are usually associated with “distressed” properties.
“In the real world, most of the properties we sell are the opposite. There’s really zero financial distress. People are choosing auction as the first choice.”
That’s because, he said, “They appreciate the timeliness, the cleanliness. They’re sellers that are just ready to be done with property ownership responsibilities.”
Braden said Megan “gets a lot of the credit” for making sure the company stays involved in the community.
“We’re doing anywhere from 30 to 50 charity auction events a year. That’s a lot of Friday and Saturday nights. There are so many worthy causes. To be able to help them with their fundraising events, it’s a big piece of how we give back to the community.”
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