Sunday night marked a historic day for The Block, with Steph and Gian Ottavio, of House 4, selling their home for an eye-watering $1.65 million over reserve and setting the record for the highest profit ever recorded on the Channel 9 show.
Ray White Sunbury directors, Aaron Hill and Marin Durkovic, and agents Chelsea Kleeven and Sharn Bayes, sold the house, in conjunction with auctioneer Tom Panos.
Mr Hill said they were thrilled to achieve such a great result.
“We didn’t think we’d be able to achieve what we were able to last year – with Omar and Oz breaking the initial record and winning $1.586 million over reserve – but once again our expectations have been exceeded,” Mr Hill said.
“Steph and Gian’s ‘Japandi’ house was the clear stand out this year, and the couple’s hard work and design prowess were fully on display.”
Winning couple Steph and Gian Ottavio, who took home an extra $100,000 in prize money on top of their auction profit, said the whole process was a “crazy rollercoaster of a journey”.
“From late night calls to endless photoshoots of the house to get the right angles, rolling into the auctions with full confidence that the team will get us over the line,” the couple said.
“We have no words, we are so, so grateful,” Steph, an architect, said after the auction.
“The Block has changed our lives,” Gian said.
The winning bid on House 4 of $5 million was made by Adrian “Lambo Guy” Portelli, who was the winning bidder in three of the five auctions.
Mr Hill said given the unique nature of the campaign, they focused on bringing in qualified buyers in a similar fashion to what worked last year.
“This year we went for people who had a network of people around them, such as CEOs of the NBL and some of these bigger companies in Australia to try and get interest from these sorts of brands,” he said.
“We got Adrian Portelli last year, not that he bought the home, but he was the underbidder.
“So we went down that same route and in the end we had a couple of buyers fighting for it at the end and got that great price.”
Mr Hill said given the unique nature of The Block you need to think differently to find the right buyers.
“We were looking for buyers a little outside the box and for some slightly different buyer types, because it is a television program,” he said.
He said they were also fortunate to be able to leverage Ray Whites’s network through the corporate team to expand their buyer pool.
“The one thing is Ray White corporate is a massive firm and they help us get into the different pockets of people in different areas of Australia,” he said.
“We had people come down from the Gold Coast and Sydney and actually had someone come from WA this year.”
He said that the buyers are screened by Channel 9 and having the fan days was a great way to let people see the homes without interrupting the marketing campaign.
Mr Hill said the other main difference is the length of time the campaign runs for.
“The Block goes for 12 weeks, whereas a normal Mum and Dad home sells with an auction scenario in four weeks,” he said.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a big program on TV.”
Sisters from Victoria, Liberty and Eliza, took out second place with a $1.05 million profit.
Kristy and Brett and Kyle and Leslie sold their houses at a $60,000 and $130,000 profit respectively, while Leah and Ash passed their house in with hopes of negotiation down the track.