Metzger, an auctioneer at Metzger Property Services and director at Indiana Auctioneers Association, shared insight on the industry with AgriNews.
Tell me about yourself.
“I’m a graduate of the University of Indianapolis. I’ve been a full-time auctioneer since 2000.
“We’re a second-generation company. My father started the business in the early 1970s. Four of my siblings and I are still involved.”
What do you enjoy about being an auctioneer?
“One of the nice things is that it’s something different every day. One day, we’re selling farmland; the next day, it might be household goods or antiques.”
What are some trends you’ve seen in rural land sales in Indiana?
“Indiana’s markets have held up very well. There’s been a lot of uncertainty in the agricultural marketplace, given late planting and an atypical year. But we’ve seen farmland values hold up very well in the face of that. We continue to see stable values in the rural real estate marketplace.”
What’s your outlook for land values in 2020 and beyond?
“I think, whenever we look at land values, the big picture looks rosy. Historically, owning land has never been a bad investment.
“I think we’ll continue to see land appreciate over the long term. I think the trade issues that have been at bay have given some uncertainty to the marketplace. But I think we’ll continue to see stable land values in 2020.
“This year’s harvest ended up better than many expected in most areas of Indiana, so I think that will contribute to some continued stability in the marketplace going into next year.”
What qualities should land owners should look for when finding an auctioneer?
“They definitely want to look for experience. As with any business, you want to make sure you’re choosing a person who is well qualified to perform the task. Today, too, any auction company you’re looking at needs to embrace modern technology and modern marketing.”
How has marketing farmland changed?
“Marketing a farm today is significantly different than it was even five years ago, with the prevalence of digital media avenues to reach out to prospective bidders, as well as where outside investment dollars and support are coming from.
“In the old days, the buyer for any given farm probably came from within five or 10 miles of the farm. That’s not the world we live in today. Your buyers could be across the state or across the country. It’s important to look at an auction company with innovative techniques.”
What do you look forward to about the IAA convention?
“I’m up for election as vice president this year. I look forward to continuing my affiliation with the association and having an opportunity to give back.
“So many auctioneers have opened doors for me along the way. They were willing to give advice and lend their experience to me. I look forward to being able to do the same as future auctioneers come online.”