COLUMBUS, Neb. — Tyler Runge has his family to thank for his calling, in more ways than one.
The fast-talking 27-year-old auctioneer from Columbus won his second state title in the profession by earning the Iowa State Auctioneering Association Bid Calling contest last month at the Iowa State Fair. The win comes a year after he walked away as the champion at the Nebraska Auctioneers Association Auctioneer and Ringman Championship.
The Iowa competition featured five finalists who were interviewed and then asked to sell three items. Whether he is bidding for a title or working a local auction, Runge uses his 10 years of experience and a little borrowing from his grandfather and fellow auctioneer, August Runge Jr., to work the crowd.
“I use some of the same lines my grandpa used. He would say something witty to get the crowd into it,” Runge said.
The elder Runge is still active in the field through Buss Auction and Realty Co. Tyler Runge recalls when he was a child watching his grandfather on the job. That is what sold auctioneering to him as a career.
Runge would like to think he would have found auctioneering and been successful at it even if it weren't for his family. Now that he has two state wins under his belt, he has a well-established career of his own.
After snagging the Nebraska title, Runge said he became a lot more in-demand as a contracted auctioneer. Last week he spoke of his latest win while traveling to work an auction in Missouri, his third job in that state in the past month.
He does local auctions, as well as ones in states such as Indiana, Kansas and Wyoming.
“Every auction and contest, I learn something new and something different. I get to work with top auctioneers in the country,” he said.
Winning the state titles means Runge can't compete in those competitions again. He does have his sights set on taking part in international auctioneer championships.
For now, he is focused on working and interacting with bidders, which is his favorite part of the job.
“It's dealing with people, getting them wound up and getting people to have fun. If you get the crowd into it, the sale will go well,” he said.
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