The Agency's Jesse Raeburn portrayed as cocky contestant on skint The Block Goldrush series

The Agency's Jesse Raeburn portrayed as cocky contestant on skint The Block Goldrush series
The Agency's Jesse Raeburn portrayed as cocky contestant on skint The Block Goldrush series

Estate agent Jesse Raeburn had only just joined The Agency, Albert Park when he won a spot as a competitor on this year's The Block, the biggest Block ever.

He was a selling agent and auctioneer on The Block in 2018, where he successfully sold Courtney and Han’s apartment to the former custodians of The Gatwick. 

He aspired to join after appearing last year and bought his apartment just down the street from the 1850s terrace house row.

Raeburn described his experience filming the show with his girlfriend Mel as "the best thing I have ever done in my life."

He says he's been obsessed by The Block since the initial series at Bondi Beach in 2003.

His initial bedroom renovation will feature a fabric wall plus large cornicing as the feature in the slightly contemporary renovation they propose.

"Being a real estate I have been into many of the homes in the area and that's what the buyers want," he said.

The opening episode showed him admonished several time times for not clearing dangerous debris during their initial demolition.

He was described as cocky, by foreman Keith Schleiger.

"He's being very cocky so far... he's an auctioneer...give me another few days he'll be like a fish out of water, he has no idea what he's doing" Schleiger said.

"If anyone has ever been set up to be the subject of mockery, it’s real estate agent Jesse," reported Domain, who are expected to spruik the show even more than ever since they are officially part of the Nine Network.

Raeburn did an apprenticeship in floor and wall tiling for a large commercial tiling contractor and once he finished he went out on my as a sole trader for a few years in Queensland. 

He worked for a project builder in Mackay where he would tile on average one house a week.

"That was where I really learnt the meaning of hard work. 

"When you work for yourself you have to be extremely self-motivated and also take pride in what you do a lot like real estate so I found the transition quite easy."

His Agency boss Peter Kakos says clients gravitate towards Jesse because his enthusiasm "and they know Jesse will achieve great results for them.”

“His infectious personality and engaging energy has attracted a loyal client base,” Kakos said.

Raeburn said he joined The Agency as he wanted to be a part of a national brand not restricted by post codes.

He started off in real estate in 2015.

He says there indicators of a more positive Melbourne property outlook for the coming period, "with two interest rate cuts, APRA announcing loosening of lending criteria, and a return to power for the incumbent government."

"Buyer sentiment is returning and auction clearance rates around the 70% mark are a good sign that the Melbourne market is again finding its feet.

"If you believe what makes media headlines the market is always in one of two states: crashing down, or racing up out of control and housing is unaffordable. 

"The reality is always somewhere in the middle, but the last twelve months have certainly shown a slower growth than the 5-7 years prior."

He says clients nowadays have a great bulldust detector and can see through flashy presentations and false claims. 

"Every client of mine is a client for life, because they know they can trust me." 

Estate agents were traditionally brought in to find a buyer for the Block properties once the teams had completed their renovations.

But in recent year's they emerged even earlier to assist the contestants on selecting styles that suited the locality.

Buyers agents have have even bigger roles, and in 2015 were facing conflict of interest suggestions given their dual role.

The show’s 15th season premiered last night on Nine.

Doubts have been raised on the terrace's end appeal given severe cost cutting by the producers.

The contestants have only been given $250,000 to renovate their 460 sqm space, with terrace house with rear studio above garage.

It is just $30,000 more than the $220,000 budget allocated to each of the 230 sqm spaces in the Block's Gatwick. It has averaged 160 sqm throughout the entire series.

The Oslo will see $540 allocated per square metre. It was $950 per square metre.

"The $250,000 sounds like an enormous amount of money... however when you start to renovate an old building lots or labour lots or work - that money can go really quickly," contestant Mark said.

"We spend that much money on a two bedroom 90 sqm apartment," Mitch added. Their latest project remains for sale at North Bondi. 

The couples have been asked to create a 30 square metre bedroom with an ensuite, touted as the “toughest first-week challenge ever.” 

The opening renovations were given an absurdly short period of time for completion as the producers amp up the stress to win ratings.  

"Hell on earth at the Oslo," is how it was described by a contestant trying to meet the cruel deadline in between Lite n' Easy meals.

It seems youfoodz, sponsors of The Block for two years, aren't going to be supplied in the onsite fridge.

Last night The Block failed to crack 1 million metro viewers with its first episode, instead drawing in 991,000, well down on its 2018 premiere of 1.163 million and 1.117 million metro viewers in 2017.





Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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