Douglas Dennison is the national sales coordinator for Georgia-based auction company Rowell Auctions, which he joined in February after serving as the COO of AmeriBid in North Miami. Dennison also announced that the firm has just opened a Florida office. Dennison has worked in the real estate auction business for more than 20 years, assisting in the sale of more than 12,000 properties, primarily in Florida.. Dennison, who has also worked as an auction project manager for the FDIC, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Small Business Administration, recently started the first national real estate auction radio show, broadcast weekly on Fridays from WFOY in St. Augustine, Fla. Dennison talked to The Real Deal about how the show, “The National Real Estate Auction Radio Show,” came about and the increasing number of Florida real estate auctions.
How did the idea for a real estate auction radio show come about?
Actually, I had the radio show idea in 2003. I was working as a district sales manager for Mike Pappas, CEO of the Keyes Real Estate Company in Miami. He encouraged me and I had fun doing a real estate radio show for four years in South Florida. When I joined Rowell Auctions, the CEO of the firm thought it would be a good way to educate the public about real estate auctions. Since I have been in the real estate auction business for 20-plus years, I get to interview friends, past clients and VIPs on “The National Real Estate Auction Radio Show.” The show is broadcast from 1240 WFOY AM radio station and is streamed worldwide on the Internet.
What kind of subjects do you discuss on the show?
Real estate government auctions, bankruptcy auctions, auctions for state, county and city entities, bank and foreclosure auctions and others. Our radio show guests are leaders in the real estate and auction industries.
What has been the response so far?
Excellent, and it’s getting better every week. Many people contacted me when I had Stanley Tate on the radio show. Mr. Tate was the former Resolution Trust Corporation head. He’s from North Miami, Fla. and is an icon in South Florida real estate.
A recent report said that there were more real estate auctions in the Southeastern United States than anywhere else. Is that a trend you’ve seen?
Yes. Florida has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country over the past few years. With more distressed properties, you will see more auctions; this is a good thing. There is a need to sell many properties, and auctions have always been the fairest, most transparent way to sell for government and banks alike.
How have real estate auctions changed since the beginning of the downturn?
There are more and more Internet auctions. People want the flexibility of bidding on their own time and at their preferred location.
Is there any trend in auctions that makes you optimistic for real estate generally?
I did a bankruptcy auction in November 2010 for a Miami, Fla. shopping center [the University Shoppes in Miami], which sold for $21 million. As I was the auction project manager, I got to sit back in the courtroom and watch the auctioneer do his magic. There were 161 bids — which might be a world record for bids in U.S. bankruptcy court.