The Block 2021: The Secrets To Selling Luxury Property in a Pandemic
It’s not just the familiar faces of former contestants making a return to our screens on The Block’s Fans v Faves. Series stalwarts Michael Townsend and Josh Stirling, Principals of McGrath Estate Agents St Kilda, are returning for their fourth season, this time representing Sydney’s Mitch and Mark from the 2019 series who have returned with a renewed hunger for victory in 2021.
Following their record-breaking auction result on last year’s series, Michael and Josh have high aspirations to again secure top dollar when the properties go under the hammer on the popular reality television show.
“We’re definitely in it to win it - there’s no doubt about it,” says Michael.
“We’ve got that competitive streak and we will be proudly wearing the McGrath banner on auction day.”
And while COVID-19 has again impacted the regular format of the show, the agents say it is likely to have a positive effect on the eventual sale price.
“Of course the pandemic does add its challenges and like last year we’ll have to limit inspections to one on one appointments where possible, which does pose its challenges for both fans of the show and willing buyers,” says Josh.
Melbourne has seen some of the toughest restrictions in the country, but Josh says it is the ongoing lockdowns that has increased the appeal of the local luxury home market. The sentiment is reflective of the national market overall, with the McGrath brand handling in excess of $16 Billion dollars in property sales over FY21.
“The luxury market and the market in general has been in great shape and despite what the market commentators originally said at the beginning of the pandemic that the market was going to fall apart, its gone in the opposite direction; it’s actually accelerated,” he says.
“Even throughout the pandemic there have been a lot of people who are in a situation where they have cash in the bank, they can’t travel, interest rates are low – so they’re looking at property.
“And with every lockdown, people are getting more frustrated with their houses.”
Michael says the current climate, coupled with the exceptionally high-quality fixtures and features of the properties that have been produced on the current series of The Block would likely result in record breaking results on auction day.
“I’ve never seen a stronger luxury home market,” he says.
“People now have a thirst for the family resort or compound and that’s what they’re looking for when buying so that when they find themselves in a situation when they’re locked down yet again, they’re living in a luxury property that affords them more space, a home office for their high school children to learn in, and a garden or pool area they can escape to.”
Mitch and Mark’s property on The Block ticks all of the boxes with the property showcasing their signature glam styling and high-quality, vibrant fixtures.
“The Block houses are brand new, their fixtures and fittings are incredible. For people who are wanting their own private oasis or escape that’s exactly what’s on offer,” says Josh.
No strangers to celebrity listings, Michael and Josh have sold a number of properties for high-profile Melbourne couples including Bec and Chris Judd. But whether it be a celebrity home, a reality television series reno or a Bayside waterfront, they see the approach to selling a luxury home the same.
“We don’t move away from the normal things that work and we apply the same formula that we would when selling any other luxury home,” Michael says.
“While the editorial and press coverage you might get from selling a home with a vendor or television program of high stature is great, you can’t get misdirected or caught up in it all. At the end of the day It’s important to focus on the home first and foremost.”
“There are two sides to managing a listing on The Block and through experience we have found that firstly we’ve got our job to do in selling a luxury property and secondly there’s the role that we play in one of Australia’s highest rating television shows. And while the latter certainly comes with its benefits, it’s the first side that we remain focussed on.”
And while this year’s series of The Block will be devoid of the familiar scenes of fans lining down the street to catch a glimpse of the reality renovations, Michael says the show must go on.
“The fans are certainly what makes the show and it’s sad that they won’t be able to see up close the incredible transformations of the properties that they have followed on their TV screens,” he says.
“But they’ll still be able to follow the journey and for us as agents it allows us to easily vet genuine buyers and showcase our skills as sales people one on one rather than letting the juggernaut that is The Block sell the property for us.”
And whether you’re a fan of The Block or looking for hints and tips for some home DIY to add value to your place, stay tuned to McGrath’s social channels for an exclusive series of behind-the-scenes content from Mitch & Mark here: Facebook and Instagram.