We had the good fortune of connecting with Louis Murad and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Louis, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
When we started our business in 2000, paid Charity Auctioneers were unheard of. The only auctioneers nonprofits could utilize for their events in DFW had other full time jobs and typically were volunteers. We began providing full time charity auctioneers for our events. We decided to take the risk and charge for our service, which includes consulting to increase the profits for the live auction and giving moment. People loved the partnership they had with us, and how much more money they raised because of our live auction engineering. Our professional auctioneers on stage conducting the live auction, kept the audience entertained and bidding and raised even more money! Technology has changed substantially In our field of nonprofit fundraising. Bid sheets were the way guests bid on auction items. Murad Auctions was the first company in DFW to use electronic bidding for our auctions. We took the risk and purchased 180 tablet computers for the silent auction tables and allowed guests to bid on these devices! Again, our clients’ events profited from this new bidding platform! The technology has advanced to mobile phone bidding and online auctions now, which is the only way people are bidding and supporting our nonprofit clients during this time of virtual events! Since March of 2020, when Covid19 hit and all of our clients had to pivot their fundraisers to virtual events, we had to take the risk again to invest in even more technology to help our clients. We now provide full Audio Visual Services and Virtual Live Auction bidding to support our clients! The good news is that this risk has paid off! Our client’s events are raising more money than ever! Virtual events with online auctions allow our nonprofits to reach out beyond the Dallas Fort Worth area to receive donations and support. One recent event had people watching from Europe, South America and across the US and Canada! Taking risks is a necessary practice in our line of work, and being the first to step up with solutions for our clients has helped so many nonprofits raise more funds in our area!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We provide event fundraising support for nonprofits, schools and religious groups. We help engineer successful live auctions with our professional charity auctioneers and we provide the technology to host in person and virtual events. We provide event management software that streamlines the check in and checkout of in person events, provides online auctions and mobile bidding as well as an event stream for virtual events. I think the thing that sets Murad Auctions apart from other auction companies is our experience and commitment to our clients. We answer the phone, we respond quickly to our client’s needs, and we provide great customer service. We have an amazing team of professionals who work hard to make our nonprofit fundraising events successful. The comment I hear the most from our clients is “We could not do this without your team” We love how efficient emailing and texting can be, but we also know that just picking up the phone to talk to a stressed out fundraiser helps calm nerves and solve problems quickly. We are all about relationships and holding our client’s hand while they are planning and executing their fundraisers. These nonprofits are doing so much good in our community, and it is a privilege to be a part of their fundraising efforts. This is what keeps us going! We have learned that hard work and going the extra mile pays off. Doing more than we promised our clients and having a servant’s heart has made the most impact on our business. We try our hardest to take care of our clients. Most of our business comes from referrals, so happy customers have built our business! The recent health crisis has hit our nonprofits and our event partners harder than many industries. It has been a wild ride since March 2020! I remember a call I received from one client who said, ” Help me! Our entire food budget for our boys we serve comes from our fundraiser! We cannot cancel!” We helped her come up with a plan for a virtual live auction, and it was a huge success! She raised more money than expected, and her boys will eat well this year! This is the challenge we face in our business: Adjusting to new technology trends in fundraising. I am blessed to understand technology. I am a “gadget guy” and it has really paid off in our business!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our family loves the Arboretum. We enjoy bike rides and one of the best trails is in Richardson near Plano Road and Renner. We like the Wildflower Festival in Richardson as well as downtown areas like McKinney and Rockwall. The Dallas Farmers Market is fun as well as many of the museums in town. The Perot Museum is one of our favorites and we had the privilege of conducting many live auctions to raise the funds to build this amazing place! We also enjoy the Bishop Arts area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My grandfather, Eddie Vassallo was a small business owner and entrepreneur. He started Sunshine Laundry on Maple Avenue in Dallas in the 1940’s. He worked hard and his business became a success. He learned new ways to clean clothes and the business is still evolving. My cousins run the business now and it is a Dallas icon. My grandfather encouraged me to own my own business. Find something that you love and make a business out of it, was his advice. I also took a class on Entrepreneurship when I was a student at SMU. It was the best class I have ever taken, and I was able to apply the principles I learned to my business at Murad Auctions. My father started his own business when he was in his 50’s. He became very successful and this also inspired me to start Murad Auctions. It required long hours and risk, but seeing the successes in my family gave me the confidence to move forward and work hard to create a successful business.