About Us

About Us

South Auction Group Team

from left to right – Joe Lanier, Emily Conner, Derry Bennett, Alex Govenstein, Bryan Neal, Brent Stephens, Lisa Peebles, Seth Durden, Tanya Lane, Rusty Lane

We are a full service auction and real estate firm based in Swainsboro, GA. We serve clients all across the Southeast. One day we may be working on a multi-million dollar real estate sale and the next cataloging the contents of a loved one’s estate, preparing for an auction. Our staff of professionals are trained to help with any situation. We evaluate our client’s needs and determine what tools we have to best accomplish their objectives. If you are looking to liquidate real or personal property we ask that you please contact us today!

Rusty Lane CAI, President South Auction & Realty

Rusty Lane CAI, President South Auction
478.455.1861 rusty@southauctiongroup.com

Hello and thanks for reading my bio. I am a 1990 graduate of Swainsboro High School and 1993 graduate of Swainsboro Technical College. I started in the auction business in 2000. In 2007 I shifted my focus from selling farm equipment at auction, to selling real estate at auction. Our business model continues to evolve as we continue to sell real estate but we have expanded to add personal estates, business liquidations and more to our auction tool bag. I am proud to have served for 8 years on the Emanuel County Board of Commissioners. With one of those years serving as Chairman Of The Board. I have also served in several roles with The Swainsboro Exchange Club and the Georgia Auctioneers Association. I currently serve on the board for The Sunshine House which is a nonprofit that advocates for children who have been abused. I am married to Tanya and we have three children. Morgan who is 20 years old and lives in Orlando working full time at Disney World. We also have boy/girl twins Eli and Dicey who are 9 years old. In our spare time like to travel, travel, travel!

Brent Stephens CAI, Sales Agent & Auction Manager

Brent Stephens CAI, Sales Agent & Auction Manager 912.259.4789 brent@southauctiongroup.com

I first met Brent in November of 2010. We had a big auction in Statesboro, GA selling a large portfolio of town-homes. As part of the promotions, I needed a college aged person to walk around at the Georgia Southern football game and hand out brochures to the tailgaters. A mutual friend sent Brent to meet me and assured me he would do it right. I was impressed with Brent’s poise and maturity the moment I met him. He spent the day handing out brochures and did a great job. I then asked him to help with a few other chores later in the week regarding the auction, including being at the auction to help where needed. When we wrapped up the auction I knew that I needed to find a way to hire Brent. He had just graduated from Georgia Southern with a marketing degree. I offered him a full-time job helping me with promotions and auction management. And almost 8 years later he is still with us.

By title Brent is now the Vice President, but by actions he is EVERYTHING! Brent manages the marketing plans for our auctions, manages our website content, is in charge of auction operations, assist all of our agents with sales leads, works with buyers and sellers on traditional sales, and all the while he has time to listen to my latest “great idea”. Whatever it is he is doing, he does it right! If I’ve learned one thing about Brent in eight years, it is that if I need it done right, I put Brent in charge of it.

Brent was born and raised near Columbus in Harris County, GA. He graduated high school there and shortly thereafter headed to Georgia Southern with his guitar to play music and meet women. He just happened to get a great education in the process. Brent is an excellent musician. He plays the guitar and writes some awesome songs. While in college He met his now wife Lori. They both decided that they wanted to stay in Statesboro and start a life their. Lori is an insurance agent with Glenn/Davis & Associates in Statesboro. They have 1 daughter Macy. Macy of course is the highlight of their life. She is now 2 years old and just beautiful. Brent, Lori and Macy reside in Statesboro. In his spare time Brent likes to play his guitar, fish, hunt, and enjoy time with family.

2004 Graduate of Harris County High School
2009 Graduate of Georgia Southern University
2013 Received GA auctioneer license
2013 Received GA real estate license
2016 Graduated from the Certified Auctioneers Institute

Written by Rusty Lane, President South Auction & Realty

View Brent’s blog

Tanya Lane, Real Estate Sales Agent

Tanya Lane, Real Estate Sales Agent 912.536.1454 tanya@southauctiongroup.com

Tanya is from Bulloch County, GA. She graduated from Statesboro High School and Georgia Southern University with her undergraduate degree in Communication Arts with an Emphasis in Public Relations and a Minor in Marketing. Over the past 21 years she has worked in the hospitality and wireless industry in positions ranging from sales to market manger. This experience has afforded her the opening to learn and provide great customer service to her clients with the ability to be detailed oriented.

She received her Georgia Real Estate License June 2012. Tanya is very knowledgeable about the Swainsboro and surrounding area real estate market. She enjoys working with buyers and sellers in both residential and commercial sales. Tanya is a people person and will certainly represent her clients with the utmost professionalism throughout the buying and selling process. It’s simple, she can sell your property!

Alex Grovenstein CAI, Sales Agent & Auction Manager

Alex Grovenstein CAI, Sales Agent & Auction Manager 912.657.1831 alex@southauctiongroup.com

A 2002 graduate of Georgia Southern University (which he loves dearly) Alex enjoyed a 12 year career in communications and non-profit development. In 2014 Alex earned his auctioneer’s license and launched a new career. While hosting his own auctions and assisting other auctioneers, Alex quickly learned the business, and how the auction method can benefit clients. Seriously. He loves to talk about it. Just ask him. In 2015, Alex added another tool to serve clients, earning his Georgia Real Estate license.

A native of southern Bulloch County, Alex is excited to help expand the SA footprint into Statesboro, Savannah and other southeast Georgia markets. He has a wide knowledge of asset classes, many of which even surprise us! Alex is also trained to perform USPAP compliant appraisals for business assets and other personal property. He is professional, but he doesn’t mind getting dirty either. Rest assured that he will ensure that a personal property auction is done right.

Alex is a past-president and current member of the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro, a past board member of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce and current Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 337 in Brooklet. He and his family attend Brooklet United Methodist Church. Alex resides in southern Bulloch County with his wife Angela, and their two sons Davis and Murphy..

2002 graduate of Georgia Southern University

Auction License 2014, Real Estate License 2015

Past President. Kiwanis Club of Statesboro

Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 337 Brooklet, GA

View Alex’s Blog

Joe Lanier, Sales Agent & Auction Manager

Joe Lanier, Sales Agent & Auction Manager 912.531.7007 joe@southauctiongroup.com

Joe entered the auction business in 2017 after graduating from Worldwide College of Auctioneering. Before becoming a real estate agent and auctioneer, Joe spent time working in banking and private business. He grew up in the real estate appraisal and consulting forestry business that his family owned and developed an early appreciation for the real estate business. Personally Joe grew up in Brooklet GA, graduated from Southeast Bulloch High School and then from Georgia Southern University in 2002 with a degree in Finance with an emphasis on Real Estate. While in college he was active in his fraternity, serving as president of Sigma Chi and president of the Interfraternity Council. Joe is an active member of the Statesboro Rotary Club, Statesboro Area Sigma Chi Alumni Chapter, National Auctioneers Association and Georgia Bankers Association. He is a past participant in Leadership Georgia (2018), Leadership Bulloch and Leadership Emanuel. Joe sits on the boards of the Georgia Auctioneers Association, Bulloch Academy School and the newly formed “Statesboro Worship”. Joe and his wife Laura live in Statesboro with their two kids Joe Jr and Ed. When he isn’t working, Joe enjoys hunting and fishing with Ed and playing tennis with Joe Jr. Dual sport motorcycles, calling live charity auctions and Georgia Southern football also.

Lisa Peebles, Office Manager

Lisa Peebles, Office Manager 478.455.4126 lisa@southauctiongroup.com

Lisa provides administration and office support for South Auction & Realty. She is a native Georgian and has lived in Emanuel County most of her life. Lisa had a 30 year career with the Emanuel County Department of Family and Children Services and has since retired to a much slower pace. Lisa handles most of our financials, real estate closings, storage rentals, and must more! She is a life saver to all of our employees. Lisa has one son, Wesley. She loves spending her free time with her family, her dog “panda”, and attending NASCAR races across the Southeast.

Derry Bennett, Sales Agent & Auction Manager

Derry Bennett, Sales Agent & Auction Manager 229.561.0480 derrybennett@gmail.com

Growing up my dad and I would go to Saturday morning farm land and equipment auctions in our area . I was only 12 years old ,it was so exciting to see a auctioneer chant. So it was something I wanted to do but didn’t try it until I was 32 years old. I attended an auctioneer school where I got my license and started bid calling and doing some equipment sales. Then in 2002 I got my real estate license and started to auction real estate. With 16 years of experience selling at auction, I have been very active in auctioning land, equipment, homes, and commercial property. In my opinion, auctions are the answer. An auction allows anyone to bid. i enjoy also being involved in my community serving as president of Cook County Farm Bureau for 5 years, serving on our local department of family and children board for 12 years, and board member of the Board of Equalization for 8 years. I also serve on the South Georgia Regional Council along with being elected to serve on the Alapaha Soil and Water district. I’m a member of Antioch United Methodist and currently serve as a Trustee. I have a back ground in farming and grow different crops along with pecans and cattle. My family is very important to me. I have a daughter, son, and two grandsons. They been big part of my life each day.

Emily Conner, Real Estate Sales Agent

Emily Conner, Real Estate Sales Agent 478.595.4710 emilyconner2018@gmail.com

At only 22 years old I am so blessed to have found what I truly love doing…..helping connect buyers and sellers. After graduating from high school I took college classes in the nursing field but never really felt like that was my calling. I spent countless hours trying to think of what I could do full time that would allow me to help people...but not as a nurse. That led me to a visit with Rusty and Brent asking questions about selling real estate. After that meeting, I was hooked! I went to work with them the next week.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my boyfriend of 5 years, Abb Johnson. On most weekends you can find me working at our family-owned restaurant, McKinney’s Pond in Midville. On other weekends I travel all over Georgia doing hair and makeup for weddings and events. I truly enjoy working with people and helping others. If you are looking at buying or selling real estate I would love to help you.

2018- Graduated from Toombs County High School
2020- Graduated from Ogeechee Technical College
2022- Received GA Real Estate License

Seth Durden, Real Estate Sales Agent

Seth Durden, Real Estate Sales Agent 912.682.4169 jsdurden4@gmail.com

Growing up on a farm in Candler County, Georgia help shape the career path that I would later choose to follow. Appreciation for land, natural resources, and hard work were a few of the many things that were instilled in me from an early age. Family, friends, and the outdoors play a big part in my life.

After graduating high school, I decided to pursue a degree in Forest Resources at the University of Georgia. Following graduation in 2018, I moved back to Metter, Georgia and started my career as a consulting forester with Mercer Timberland Management Services. Managing and marketing timber for private landowners across Southeast Georgia has allowed me to meet many great people, and gain valuable knowledge pertaining to land and timber. Adding real estate to my resume was an easy decision to make. Helping both buyers and sellers achieve their goals is a rewarding experience. I look forward to being a contributing member of the South Auction team.

2013 Graduate of David Emanuel Academy
2018 Graduate of The University of Georgia
2021 Received GA Registered Forester License
2022 Received GA Real Estate License

Bryan Neal

Bryan Neal 678.907.0644 bneal@gmail.com

Sergeant First Class Neal is currently assigned (retired August 2022) as the Georgia Southern University ROTC Detachment NCOIC. Previously, SFC Neal was the Station leader of the GA Recruiting and Retention Battalion’s 2-1 Statesboro station from June of 2015 until November of 2018

Previous assignments include the NCOIC of The Georgia Army National Guard’s Pre-Mobilization Training Assistance Element (PTAE) in September of 2009 until June 2015 were he trained more than 4000 Soldiers to deploy in support of the Global War on Terrorism. He was selected as the Agriculture Development Team II (ADT II) Personal Security Detachment Platoon Sergeant stationed in Logar Province Afghanistan from May 2012 – May 2013. Prior to that, he worked tirelessly to develop and further the GA PTAE program as well developing the GA National Guard’s Physical Readiness Annual Training Program at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

SFC Neal began his military career by Enlisting into the United States Army in 1995. SFC Neal’s first active duty station was Baumholder, Germany with 40th Engineer Battalion. While in Germany, then PFC Neal was deployed for 14 months to Yugoslovia in support of Operation Joint Endevour, Task Force Eagle. After serving 2 years in Germany, he was reassigned to Fort Stewart, GA to C co 11th Engineer Battalion where he attended a rotation the National Training Center as well as numerous Combat Engineer courses to include the Armored Vehicle Launch Bridge operator’s course and the squad designated marksman course.

SFC Neal transitioned to the GA ARNG in A Co 648th ENG BN in 1999 and began attending Georgia Southern University as an ROTC Cadet. SFC Neal withdrew from the Georgia Southern University and the ROTC to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF II – III) in July 2004. Post deployment, he returned to Georgia Southern University in pursuit of his Construction Management Degree. While working as a salesman for the Phoenix Metals Company in Atlanta, GA, he was deployed as a member of A Co 48th BSTB in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) (2007-2009) where is was assigned as the TF 1-121 Engineer Embedded Training Team NCOIC. Post Deployment, he was selected as a developing team member and Training NCOIC of the GA PTAE (2009-2012 – 2013-2015). After his tenure at the PTAE he joined the State Recruiting & Retention Battalion.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Army Commendation Medal with Valor (2), Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal (2), Army Good Conduct Medal (2), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (4), National Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (2), Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (2), Overseas Service Ribbon (3), NATO medal, Combat Action Badge and the Driver / Mechanic Badge. SFC Neal and his wife, Stephanie, have two children.