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Behind The Block’s 2021 winning strategy

By Juliet Helmke
09 November 2021 | 1 minute read
The Block’s 2021

McGrath has claimed its fourth victory on Australia’s favourite home DIY show, securing the winning bid during The Block’s Sunday night grand finale.

Scott Kennedy-Green, McGrath’s chief auctioneer, achieved a high bid of $4,044,444.44 for contestants Mitch and Mark for their renovation of a four-bedroom, three-bathroom property at 4 Bronte Court, Hampton in Melbourne’s south-east. Delivering a result of $644,444.44 over the reserve of $3.4 million, it netted the duo $744,444.44 in prize money – and the winning sale.

Giving credit to the masterminds behind the gold-medal design for the sought-after property that saw two bidders outlasting all the rest, Mr Kennedy-Green said the home was “extremely well-thought-out and configured, and as such had wide appeal to a variety of buyers”. 


It was his eighth appearance on the show, and having witnessed a wide variety of competitors’ renovation approaches over the years, he has said he felt confident in Mitch and Mark’s tactic. 

“Having been involved with The Block over many years, the best results cater to a wide variety of buyers. This had a smart design strategy to capture the willingness of bidders at auction to compete.”

The chief auctioneer has presided over all of McGrath’s wins on The Block, three of which have been at the hands of agents Michael Townsend and Josh Stirling of McGrath St Kilda after also selling their first prize properties in 2018 and 2020.

Mr Stirling attributed their success to tuning out the TV cameras and crafting a considered marketing strategy.

“We’ve never relied on the juggernaut that is the TV show ... we focus on running a campaign and selling the property for the most money. We nurture our buyers and don’t take for granted the show will deliver the result,” Mr Stirling said.

“We ran a tight campaign and strategy, which we believe helped deliver us the winning result.”

Mr Townsend agreed, noting that the underbidder came to the property through McGrath digital marketing campaign not long before the auction was due to take place. “This highlights the importance of not relying on the show to deliver the all-important buyer competition,” he noted.

This season offered an additional challenge for the agents vying to deliver the show’s winning price, with COVID restrictions allowing them only to conduct one-on-one inspections for most of the marketing period. Still, Mr Stirling said they saw the positives in this model.

“With a fairly small buyer pool, this worked in our favour as it gave us the opportunity to show all the bells and whistles to their full advantage,” Mr Stirling said. “One-on-ones, in many ways, are the best way to show a property.”

McGrath founder and executive director John McGrath said he was thrilled Mitch and Mark had entrusted his team with their property and highlighted his pride in the St Kilda agents for their result. 

“A great result for them to win yet again, and also deliver McGrath their fourth [The] Block win since the series began,” he said of the sale.

Behind The Block’s 2021 winning strategy
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Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.


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