When you see my name in advertising or on our website you see Jason J. Smith, CAI. Very few people understand what that means, other than it looks kind of important I really doubt many pay attention to it until I explain it. For me I’m proud to carry those 3 letters behind my name. In our industry among our peers they fully understand those 3 letters mean I dedicated myself to a goal and made the sacrifices of time, money and effort to earn the credentials.
There is one thing that I have always insisted personally and that is to be on the leading edge of the auction and land sales industries. A big part of that for me is constant education. We live in a world that is moving at breakneck speed. There are many education opportunities available to us from some breeze through online classes to some 1 and 2 days classes that can give you a good understanding of a particular issue or technology but none of them compare to the level of quality of the Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI). I began my journey through the program when I signed up in 2013 and attended the first year session in 2014. It would not be until March of 2016 that I would complete this program that is recognized as the pinnacle of auction industry education.
Let me explain CAI and give you an idea of what it entails. It is a three-year designation program that provides auction professionals the opportunity to earn the auction industry’s most respected professional designation. CAI is an intensive, executive development program offering professional auctioneers instruction and coursework in business management, ethics, communication, finance, strategic planning and marketing. The course is held in 3 segments CAI1, CAI2, and CAI3 at Indiana University each Spring by the National Auctioneers Association (NAA). The CAI candidates join auctioneers from across the world to learn from some of the nation’s most distinguished and respected leaders in the auction industry and the program instills in them the leadership and knowledge needed to not only best serve their clients but to lead the industry forward.
Along with my insistence that I have the best available in education we believe in the same for those that work with us at DreamDirt. Our entire auction team became PRI certified in 2015 making us the only company we know of in the Midwest that has a fully PRI certified auction team. Last year we set our sights even higher to see that by 2019 our entire auction team is also CAI certified.
This year DreamDirt Auctioneer Jason Dvorak attended his 2nd year of CAI while Auctioneers Tom Bradley and Chad Bals completed their first year of classroom training for CAI. It of course doesn’t end there, when they go home there is homework and projects to be completed over the course of the next year until you resume classes again.
When you consider that the world has less than 1000 auctioneers with the CAI designation you can see what an accomplishment it is for a company to hold more than 1 CAI Auctioneer. Less than 1% of auctioneers hold the CAI designation. The math is easy, 99% do not. Prior to CAI I was a successful auctioneer with a long list of accomplishments for my clients but still, for me the program was a life changing experience that changed my depth of knowledge and even my understanding of the industry. It also exposed me to people that are the top of the industry as well as their networks and many times since completing the program I’ve been able to leverage those relationships for advice, guidance and sometimes just second opinions when you want to be absolutely sure you are making the right decisions for a client. You may complete the program but you never unplug from it and thats a part of the CAI magic, having that outlying network of industry leading professionals at your side all the time.
If you are considering an auction or just looking for some clarity in the fog I can say with absolute confidence our team has the knowledge, experience, resources and network to help you no matter your situation and I invite you to contact anybody from our auction team even if its just to ask questions. We understand not every phone call turns into an auction and we genuinely enjoy sharing what we know to help people when they need it.
I offer my congratulations to Jason Dvorak, Chad Bals and Tom Bradley on their progress in the program and look forward to their eventual completion which will take their professional careers and as a result DreamDirt to a new high and most importantly, provide exceptional service and results that DreamDirt is known for.