Dakil Auctioneers, Inc. is a full service auction business with the capability of conducting any type of auction at your location. To insure an orderly transfer of property and the maximum dollar return, their experienced staff assists in preparing equipment, furnishings and property to be offered.
This personalized touch is what sets Dakil Auctioneers above the crowd. Their services are attuned to providing comprehensive administration of the complex business liquidation; i.e. industrial and business equipment, oil and gas properties, estate (commercial, residential, or acreage’s). Dakil Auctioneers offers complete liquidation or cash purchase.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the early days and how you managed to slowly but steadily gain a strong foothold in the local Oklahoma auction market?
Louis: Dakil Auctioneers started in 1983. My wife and I, Susan Dakil, started the business. She was working for an oil company during the downgrade in the oil business and was laid off. I was working for Safeway Corporation in the main division in their produce warehouse and was working on a master’s degree in business. With the economic slowdown, everyone was being laid off, so Susan and I were looking at one another one morning and didn’t really have anything to do. We saw a gentleman on CBS morning news that used to drive a road grader but started a real estate company and went into the auction business and became prominent and prosperous and enjoyed what he did. And I looked in the mirror that morning and said “enjoy what you do”; that’s what I want to do.
I looked in the phone book and found an auction school that my wife and I attended. We finished our schooling, out of auction school and real estate school and formed Dakil Auctioneers in 1983. It took us six months to get our first auction, and it took us seven years to get out of the red. We used to have a ledger that we kept, handwritten, but through many prayers and the grace of God we finally worked our way through. We just went into to help others, we never thought of money, and I think people saw that; there was something special there. We took their auctions personally and we said to them, “we’re going to get through this situation.” But then, it grew and grew and we went from doing maybe six to 12 auctions a year to 20 to 30 auctions a year and then our real estate business expanded to where we were selling instead of five to 10 pieces of real estate a year to 20 to 30 and then on to 200 to 400 pieces of real estate a year, and we were doing up to 200 to 300 auctions a year nationwide.
We have live Internet bidding worldwide and we have a facility now of 28,000 square feet on 20+ acres. We’ve expanded to the point to where we’re one of the top 100 auction firms in the nation of selling real estate, commercial and industrial equipment, oil and gas equipment, oil and gas properties, appraisals.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some ways that the business has evolved since first launching back in 1983?
Louis: We started with auctions on location all the time, and there was no Internet bidding because the technology just wasn’t there. It was too slow. You couldn’t bid quick enough and you couldn’t get the information quick enough, so it just wouldn’t work, but now through the evolutionary of technology, now we do auctions from anywhere in the world from our auction gallery. We have live Internet bidding, where anyone in any remote part of the world, in India, Russia, Banger Mane, Los Angeles, California, Hong Kong, it doesn’t matter where you are at, you can bid live at our auction and there’s no excuse for not being there. You can pre-bid and the computer will bid for you, or you can bid live with your computer, or you can come to our facility and bid live. The process of actually exposing our assets to the world has increased the prices to our clients in every manner that we sell and that’s the major evolutionary situation that I see happening in our business. And it’s expanded in real estate, oil and gas, commercial and industrial business, and personal property.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to someone attending their first auction?
Louis: The advice I would give someone attending their first auction is to have fun. Basically, people, the general public is very intelligent. One thing about the auction is that when you say “sold,” these are people who are business-savvy people who are decision makers in their business, and when it comes to money, people are pretty intelligent and pretty close.
So, basically when you attend your first auction, know what you want, know where you want to go with it, and it’s very simplistic. In fact, it’s almost so simple it’s confusing in a way. You know, they always say people get caught up in this and that…I don’t find that true to be honest with you. Again, I’m going to revert, I hate to be repetitive, but people are very intelligent. People know what they are doing; they know what to do with their money. And basically, the reason why prices rise, it’s like any other thing, you have scarcity and demand, and you have desirability, things go for a higher price.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked well for you?
Louis: I would probably say number one, since the beginning is the newspaper, The Oklahoman, because they’ve been very kind to my business as well as other businesses. We’ve been advertising in The Oklahoman under contracts since 1983. We’re on our 34th year. And every year it gets bigger and better. With the use of the Internet intermingled with it and direct mail, it’s just been, and that’s the main thing in the auction business is marketing. And what we do is put buyers and sellers together. So, that’s where the strategy has come from. It’s worked well. And there’s just a lot of people that I have to thank. People are like an elevator. You want them to be around you, those that will take you up, not down. And that part of marketing, like for example the daily Oklahoman has taken us on an upward bound.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you think that your strong sense of faith influences how you run your business?
Louis: Yes, 110 percent. Or, should I say 200 percent? We run it that way. We run it under Biblical principles. And we do try to follow the Ten Commandments. And mainly, do unto others as you have them do unto you. My favorite, people have asked me who are starting businesses is when they ask “what do you give your success to?” Basically to my faith and my savior, Jesus Christ number one and my family and the employees around me. And they say, “well, what book do you read? I mean is there something out there, an outline that we can go buy?” What I tell them is to read Proverbs. To me, if you can understand the teachings in Proverbs and follow them and the teachings in the Bible, you know, the road is narrow but it is smooth. And if you get off that, it becomes very rocky and hard. And, money is not everything. Success is judged by the success that you give others and how they react to what you do for them. And if it’s always in a positive manner, and you enrich the lives of others, then you don’t have to worry about money. Then you don’t have to worry about food and clothing and all this stuff that goes along with all these worldly ideas. Friendship, accomplishment and helping others is the number one goal. If you achieve that in life, you are a success. Don’t just judge it by monetary gain because money can go away very quickly, and our life on this earth is very short. It’s a vapor, and that’s what I judge it on because my time on earth, I don’t know how many years. Time is our most precious commodity because you don’t know how much you get. Nobody does. So, I try to use every day that I can. I want to be happy. I want people around me to be happy. And I’m not perfect, but I try do everything I can to help others.
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