'It's not easy bidding on television'
Frank Valentic is The Block Sky High's newest star, but the veteran buyer's agent admits he could have done better at the weekend's mega-auction.PT3M13S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qulj 620 349 July 29, 2013
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And the winner of The Block Sky High is... Frank!
At least, that was the verdict of thousands of viewers who tuned into the reality renovation television show on Sunday night as five luxury apartments went under the hammer in the grand finale episode.
Determined: Buyer's agent Frank Valentic was out-bid on four of the five apartments. Photo: Channel Nine screengrab
The managing director of Melbourne buyer's advocacy firm Advantage Property Consulting, Frank Valentic, became an instant online hit as he bid unsuccessfully for four out of the five apartments before finally securing Perth couple Matt and Kim's level two apartment for his buyer.
Mr Valentic played up to the cameras, and the auctioneers, as his successive bids were outmatched time after time on every level of the mid-rise complex in South Melbourne's Park Street. At one point he left the room in apparent frustration at being outplayed in increments as small as $1000.
But the frustration gave way to joy for Mr Valentic and his buyer, a single woman from Glen Iris looking to downsize, when their final bid of $1,455,000 was followed by the fall of the auctioneer's hammer.
Fifth time's a charm: Contestants Matt and Kim react to the bidding on their apartment, eventually sold under the hammer to buyer's agent Frank on behalf of a client. Photo: Nine screengrab
"It was a very exciting day for [the buyer] and she has already met a couple of the people who bought other properties," he said.
"She was hiding in the back room as she didn't want to be on TV but she was thrilled with the purchase."
Mr Valentic first came to the attention of television viewers in the 2011 incarnation of The Block, filmed in Richmond.
Frank, standing behind the man in the striped tie, gave it a red-hot go at Alisa and Lysandra's level one auction. Photo: Mal Fairclough
The seasoned buyer's advocate managed to purchase the only one of the five cottages to sell on the auction day for a client.
This time round, he was inundated with buyers, all owner-occupiers looking for the chance to own a slice of television and real estate history.
"We had a go at all five of the apartments, we had quite a few buyers interested in several of the properties," he said.
Winners: Lysandra and Alisa Fraser took home $395,000. Photo: Mal Fairclough
"One particular client only wanted the penthouse, we had two clients for another floor, a buyer who had a go at a few others and then we had the buyer we were successful with."
For one of Mr Valentic's clients, it was a case of second time unlucky.
"She bid for one of the Richmond block cottages, and missed out and unfortunately missed out again yesterday," Mr Valentic said.
'Good value': The apartment building in Park Street, South Melbourne, was a run-down motel before Channel Nine took over. Photo: Mal Fairclough
Mr Valentic nominated the ground-floor apartment renovated by South Australian twins Alisa and Lysandra Fraser as having the best interior design, with superior fittings and finishes.
The pair took out the grand prize of $100,000 when their apartment sold for $1.435 million, some $295,000 over the reserve.
They walked away with a total of $395,000 in cash, including the bonus $100,000 for winning the series.
West Australian couple Matt and Kim made $250,000 thanks to Mr Valentic's bidding.
But the Melbourne real estate guru's favourite apartment was the penthouse, renovated by Queensland duo Trixie and Johnno.
"It is the views that make it, these 360-degree views of Melbourne, you are high up and it really makes it the most desirable," Mr Valentic said.
He said since the 2011 series in Richmond, the standard of The Block renovations had got "progressively better".
"All the apartments were of reasonable quality and were good value. The value is really to be found in that you get to keep all of the furnishings and fittings and that can be up to $150,000 thrown in for free."
Mr Valentic said he received "lots of calls, texts and tweets saying I was the star of The Block", after the program went to air.
"What you see is what you get," he said.
"I love to have a bit of fun, have a joke, that's my personalty. My mother died 13 years ago at the age of 48 from cancer and every day since I've tried to have fun, and live each day to the fullest.
"But in the end, I was there to do a job for my clients and it is a serious thing.
"I used to play soccer professionally for 20 years and I go out there to win.
"With each buyer we have a set game plan, a set budget and it is very important we stick to it and don't get carried away by the emotion and excitement of the day.
"I'm just happy we managed to buy a great apartment for our client."