Newly elected Vice-President of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, Donegal Town auctioneer Keith Anderson has a sparking personality and a positive outlook on life that makes him a pleasure to talk to. The business which has been run by Keith’s family for five generations is one that is centrally located in the beautiful surroundings of Donegal Town.
“I feel that at the moment the market will pick up. There is more happening this year than there was last year. There are more people looking at property because there is good value to be found. I have to say, that at the moment it is tough but you just have to focus on the positives. I come from a farming background and I am delighted to say that there is a lot of good farming land being sold. It is a pleasure doing business with farmers, they are very reliable and are good to do business with,” he said.
Keith is well known throughout south Donegal, originally from Ballintra he married his wife Kathleen from Mountcharles and they live with their two young children John (6) and Lucy (2) two miles outside of Donegal Town.
“You need to have a positive outlook at this moment in time. The weather dictates so much, the holiday homes have not started yet, but if the weather remains good, I am sure it will. When it isn’t raining and the sun is shining you can be sure that people will come looking at holiday homes,” he said.
The charismatic auctioneer is happy that he was recently elected as Vice President of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers and is certain that his role will now present him with the ability to promote and ensure a better network between all of his colleagues throughout the country.
“You will find that many organisations are very Dublin orientated. I want to promote a stronger network throughout the country. I want people to be able to call eac hother and keep in contact with each other. There are 850 auctioneers in this country in the association and this is the only auctioneer’s organisation in this country,” he said.
The Donegal Town man has been an auctioneer for 28 years, he worked alongside his father, well known and much respected business man, Bobby Anderson for many years. His father passed away in 2000 and since then Keith has been to the forefront in the business which has been established since 1857. The office mostly deals with land, holiday and evaluations.
“If you are honest and have integrity, people will respect you. One of the most important things about being in this line of business is that you must always be open and honest with your customers. It is good to be a fifth generation auctioneer but you still have to stand on your own two feet and prove yourself,” he states.
He urged people who were considering making an offer for a property to do it. “I know people who have been looking at houses for four years. People are frightened at the moment. They think that the property market hasn’t bottomed out yet and they keep waiting for it to drop another 10 or 20 per cent before they make an offer. What I would say to people like that, is just make an offer and go down 10 or 20 per cent, people do listen and everyone is open to offers,” he said.
During the day, Keith likes to concentrate on business but after hours he likes to play soccer. Keith spent many years with the Donegal Town Rugby Club and he also shared a great penchant for cars with many of his friends. When Keith isn’t working or at sporting events, you will find him at the heart of many charity events in south Donegal. In May he held an auction at the Donegal Town dinner dance where over 350 people attended.
“I do help where and when I can. I held an auction for Paul Gallagher with Andrew Nesbitt and we raised €65 thousand in the Limelight a couple of years ago,” he said.
Paul Gallagher, was severely injured in an accident on the Galway International Rally at the beginning of 2009
The beginning of June will find Keith exceptionally busy with charity auctions, he will be working his magic at the Salmon Inn at Mullinasole on June 3 where a pig race will be held in order to raise funds for Cregg House in Sligo.
At the end of April, over 2,000 people took to the streets of Sligo on Monday in support of Cregg House, the operators of which are facing an uncertain future after they were left €1.3 million short in their budget for 2012 raising concerns for over 200 people with an intellectual disability who use the services there.
On June 1, he will be carrying out an auction for the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin and on the following evening he will be raising funds for “Make a wish foundation.”
“You need to work hard and play hard and help where you can. You also have to keep your feet firmly on the ground. We did a lot of land auctions during the time of the Celtic Tiger. I remember selling land for seven million euro. In 2006 and 2007 we sold a lot of development land for big money and a lot of that is back on the market again,” he said.