Buyer’s advocate Greville Pabst from PropertyDuo helped facilitate the purchase of four out of five apartments from last night’s Block auctions. Here he shares his thoughts on the auction results and the 2018 series overall.
What a transformation we have seen at the Gatwick Hotel this past few months. The famous hotel used to be dilapidated with its beautiful internal art deco features hidden away but thanks to The Block contestants, the Gatwick Hotel is now the crown jewel of St Kilda. The expensive revitalisation is kick starting the revival of the area’s former cool, edgy but elegant self.
It really is a fairy tale ending, and I felt quite emotional and proud to facilitate handing the keys over to three independent buyers who bought four of the five apartments – one buyer purchasing the two magnificent penthouses for what him and I agree was a bargain.
I was able to obtain four of the five Block apartments (something that has never been done in the show’s history), because of my deep understanding that selling and buying property is all about making the perfect match between the vendor and buyer. On behalf of buyers, I source and buy property that ticks all boxes for them – their functional needs and blue-sky dreams. For vendors, I advise on how to get a property ready for auction day by prepping and marketing the property to the right demographic, as I do for The Block contestants each season.
For example, the St Kilda buyer is a smart investor who knows St Kilda has a high rental yield, but is a cool yet elegant person so the furnishings and finishes needed to meet expectations. This year we also saw original owners wanting to retain a piece of their past. My job is to know who will fall in love with a property and help them secure their dream.
The two sisters for whom I bought apartment number two (Courtney and Hans’) took ownership from their mother in 1999, who had owned the hotel for 46 years. They worked at the hotel from the age of 14. They’re such strong women and what they’ve done for the community is outstanding. I am honoured to have represented them. We agreed that they had to have an apartment that faced Fitzroy Street, where all the action is in St Kilda and the original street address of the Gatwick Hotel. This was the one that was the real Gatwick for them which is why they didn’t want the penthouses, because they’re new.
Apartment one has the dream kitchen, a space that means there is no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. My client is in love with the large dining and living room and celebrated the purchase that will return exceptional capital growth.
And who doesn’t want to own not one but two penthouses. Congratulations to my buyer, those rare expansive terraces are going to host many fun and memorable moments and will always be extremely desirable and grow in value as the views are ‘unblockable’.
Defying the current market, contestant’s expectations were certainly exceeded. It’s great when we see everyone win. My buyers absolutely felt like winners too.
Greville is CEO and executive chairman of WBP Group and one of the buyer’s advocates on The Block. He is a regular commentator on Sky News and the daily papers such as Herald Sun, the AFR and The Australian, helping everyday Australians make better property decisions.