Tackling the beast that is The Block is no mean feat, nor is it for the faint-hearted.
It’s one of the biggest mental and physical challenges Ronnie and I have ever faced and now that our season is complete, we are officially part of The Block Alumni. As we now sit comfortably on our perfectly styled lounge chairs (you learn a thing or two about styling when you’re on The Block) cheering at the screen while watching season 14, we feel the need to share some words of wisdom with this year’s contestants based on our experience.
‘If you don’t play, you can’t win’ – Judith McNaught
Our single biggest piece of advice is to quite simply, play the game. Yes, folks, The Block is a competition and, for us, that meant we had a game to play.
The reality is, at the end of an extremely exhausting and challenging three months, there’s one guarantee, one team will be victorious and claim the $100,000 prize money.
Property is a risk. As contestants, you have zero control over your reserve or the property market, so never assume you’re going to win a bucketload of cash. What you can control, however, is how you play the game and the product you produce.
It’s simple maths, your house needs to be better than your other four competitors. It needs to have the best layout, the best aspect, the best finishes, quite simply it needs to be the best.
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How do you create a winning apartment? You play the game. You win challenges, you win room reveals, you’re brave and bold and actually speak your mind without fear of backlash. You stand by your morals and play a fair and honest game (no matter how your competitors want to spin it) and you work harder than you have ever worked before.
This is your one shot, put your very best foot forward and give it your absolute all.
Communication is key
Like in everyday life, effective communication is key. We quickly discovered The Block is a breeding ground for gossip.
Nip this in the bud and go direct to the source. Don’t shy away from open and sincere conversations with your fellow contestants, even if there is potential for conflict.
Keith and Dan are gods
Keith and Dan are always right (even when they’re not). We quickly learnt that it pays to get those boys on your good side.
If they say “jump”, you say “how high?”
Be bold but not polarising
The decision to paint our exterior a dark colour was divisive. While we were obsessed with the finished product, we limited our buying pool. Strategically, we were targeting that one buyer who loved the uniqueness of our property versus four other houses that had similar facades.
In retrospect, we should have appealed to as broad a market as possible. I mean, the more buyers the better.
Be bold with your design choices, but try not to be polarising.
Keep it real and have fun
With cameras in your face 24/seven, it’s easy to fall into the trap of worrying about how you’ll be perceived in the “outside world”, but in my eyes, this is just one big distraction you definitely don’t need.
Keep it real and be you, warts and all, and most importantly, have fun with it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that tens of thousands would kill for.