An All-Star 70th Anniversary Year for Local Real Estate Company

As our city enjoys the Major League Baseball All-Star Game hoopla, 70 years ago New York City was in a similar state of mind. The 1942 All-Star Game took place July 6th at the famous Polo Grounds stadium where the American League won the contest 3 to 1. Baseball fans will remember that 1942 was a very good year for Missouri with the St. Louis Cardinals beating the New York Yankees 4 to 1 in the MLB World Series and the Kansas City Monarchs beating the Homestead Grays 4 to 1 in the Negro League World Series.

Also in 1942, in Kearney, Mo., Dean Cates entered the auction business! Now 70 years later, Dean’s grandson, Jeffrey Dean Cates heads the business as president and chief auctioneer. “I’m incredibly proud to be following in my grandfather and father’s footsteps as our company celebrates our 70th anniversary,” Cates said. “I know they would be amazed to see what we’re doing in 2012!”

Cates should be proud. According to Bloomberg Business Week, “about 40 percent of  U.S. family-owned businesses turn into second-generation businesses, but far fewer – approximately 13 percent – are passed down successfully to a third generation.” Unfortunately for many multi-generational businesses a resistance to change brings their eventual demise. Not so at Cates where recent years have seen the addition of professional staff, the launch of new technologies, and a strong “continuous improvement” mentality.

The type of properties and sellers has dramatically expanded along with the company’s strategy. For example, on July 26th, Cates will be selling a former medical diagnostic imaging center located north of  Interstate 70 off 39th Street in Independence, a few blocks from Centerpoint Medical Center. A partnership of doctors owns the attractive 4,367 square foot brick building. No longer needing the building, they chose auction to expedite the sale and reach the largest possible buyer pool. Public inspections of the building are coming up July 12 and 19 from 10:00am to Noon. As with most Cates properties, the building may be purchased at the live on-site auction, via live synchronous online bidding, or by making an offer in advance.

Also on the auction schedule is a three-story, 18,000 square foot office building located in Kansas City’s “Central Business District” at 601 Walnut. It will be sold July 11th.  A 54-acre farm scheduled for auction on July 12th just sold to a buyer who made a “pre-auction” offer which was accepted by the seller. Later in the month a handful of residential investment properties will be sold via an online-only auction event. Details of all upcoming auctions can be found at www.CatesAuction.com.   

“Our company has grown and prospered because we constantly challenge ourselves to find better ways to serve our auction sellers and buyers,” says Cates. The formula is obviously working. Notable sales already completed this year are an executive home on 9 acres, a former aquatics center, a 15,000 square foot office/industrial building, a 38-acre farm, a 120-acre commercial tract, plus a host of other residential, land, and commercial properties in 20 cities around Kansas and Missouri. “It’s been a very busy six months!” says Cates.

The company predicts an equally busy second half of 2012. Properties being evaluated for auction in the next few months include 3 luxury homes, a unique retail/commercial building, a parking garage, and numerous single family homes including several estates. Interested buyers should “like” the company’s Facebook page and/or subscribe to their weekly email alerts for new auction announcements. Interested sellers are encouraged to call the company at 816-781-1134 or submit a web request for a free auction analysis of their properties.

“There are a lot of things my dad and grandfather would be surprised about in our business today,” says Cates. In 1942, the average new home cost in the United States was $3,770. Seventy years later, the average price for a property at Cates Auction exceeds $150,000. “In addition to the obvious changes in sale prices, volume and technology, I’m sure they would never have foreseen the days of a fully staffed office and a professional sales team.” (In fact, openings currently exist for experienced sales people. Job details can be found at www.CatesAuction.com/Sales.)

“I’m grateful for the legacy of the past 70 years and I’m proud to have a very strong team of people in place who are dedicated to our future,” says Cates. The company’s tagline, inaugurated at the beginning of 2012 says it all. “70 Years. 3 Generations. 1 Vision.”




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