Runway lights from DIA. Zambonis from Denver Parks and Recreation. Estate jewelry and furniture. Heavy equipment and coins. Rock ’n’ roll memorabilia and Marilyn Monroe collectibles. Real estate.
Those are just some of the items Rich and Shannon Schur have appraised and/or auctioned.
“If it can be sold, we can sell it,” said Shannon Schur, president of Schur Success Group in Monument.
The Schurs run live and online auctions, do appraisals, sell real estate and help nonprofits run successful benefit and fundraising events.
The company was founded by Shannon’s father, Ray Fenter, in Arvada. Fenter started out doing auctions of impounded and surplus vehicles in the Denver area.
In 2000, Fenter retired and handed over the business to Shannon, a Realtor, asset appraiser and master auctioneer who is one of only two women to be inducted into the Colorado Auctioneers Association’s Hall of Fame.
Shannon and Rich met online in 2004. Rich, a former police officer, was dean of criminal justice at Remington College and had a human resources consulting firm on the side.
Shannon wasn’t looking for a business partner, but while they were dating, Rich enjoyed hanging out with Shannon at the auctions she produced.
During a live auction in Denver one day, Shannon suddenly heard a different voice on the mic. Rich had stepped in to call the bids while the auctioneer took a break.
“He was a natural,” Shannon said.
Through Shannon, “I fell in love with the business,” said Rich. who’s now the company’s COO. “It’s fun, challenging and perfect for those of us that are ADHD. There’s something going on all the time.”
Rich went to auction school in September 2005. The next year, the couple got married and moved to Monument, where Rich lived. They worked out of their home until they opened their current office in 2012.
After merging their talents, the Schurs started doing self-storage auctions — long before Storage Wars became a thing on TV.
“We grew to over 200 locations in multiple states,” Shannon said. “We segregated that company out with its own name, called Storage Auction Kings.” That division was sold in 2016.
Rich found he also enjoyed the asset appraisal side of the business. Besides becoming a master auctioneer and employing broker, he became a master appraiser and certified instructor for a graduate-level personal property appraiser course that he teaches to auctioneers.
Appraisal calls for a lot of knowledge, but “we don’t have to be the expert,” Rich said. “We need to know where to look and how to research. … But we’ve been doing this a long time, so we have a great deal of expertise.”
“We have connections across the country,” Shannon added. “If we’re not the ones, we know who to call.”
One of the most unusual items Rich has appraised was a town square monument he was asked to evaluate for insurance purposes.
“I can’t remember the number, but it was kind of a fun process,” he said. “If somebody were to back a truck into this thing, what’s it going to cost to replace it? I did a lot of research and talked to the artists who designed the sculpture.”
The Schurs do fewer live auctions now.
“Pretty much everything is sold online,” Rich said. “Technology has made it so easy for people to participate without being there, that the internet’s a better way for us to sell most of the things we sell.”
But sometimes a live auction is the best way to go.
“We love doing fundraising and benefit parties, because that’s when we can still use our talents as auctioneers,” Shannon said. The Schurs not only call 15-20 fundraising auctions a year for nonprofits, but help them set up auction events from start to finish.
The business has grown primarily through word of mouth and online marketing.
“Our customers become friends,” Rich said. “On the real estate side, we have one family we sold a home to, and then we sold a home to their parents, and to one of their daughters. When we see people walking in the door, it’s like we’re going to see them again. We love that part of it.”
The business is commission-based, and real estate is the most profitable part, said Shannon.
“All our services are tied together,” she said. “Although we don’t often deliver them combined, we’re capable of it.
“We’re a service to others. If we put service first, then everybody’s happy and the money will flow.”