Shelley Craft on interior design and upcoming auctions on The Block

18 October, 2021

Shelley Craft is known for a hugely successful and long-running TV career. But she has impeccable taste and a major passion for property. She has been co-host of Channel Nine’s reality renovation juggernaut The Block for more than 10 years. Along with Scott Cam, Shelley Craft has been central to the ongoing success of the multi-award winning TV show. 

And The Block has delivered again this year. Former contestants Mitch and Mark and Ronnie and Georgia have returned with three new couples to renovate five homes from five eras in Melbourne sought-after south eastern suburbs. 

So in this episode of At Home with Lauren Keenan, your authority on home, lifestyle and interior design, we talk to long-time host, property lover and newly qualified real estate agent Shelley Craft.

She takes us behind the scenes of the show, with insights into the very detailed judging process along with the real estate market in Victoria and what the contestants might expect at the upcoming auctions.

You can listen to our chat with Shelley Craft here or stream ‘At Home with Lauren Keenan’ wherever you get your podcasts.

Building The Block with no plans

This year on The Block, the contestants were given a footprint to work within at each house. But there were no building plans. And Shelley told us that helped the returning contestants.

“Some have had previous experience. Some are very experienced. And this year we have some very experienced contestants and builders with our favs coming back,” she said. 

“I think they’ve embraced the no plans challenge really well. I know both of them fought with their plans the first time around.” 

“But as for the newbies. How on earth do you go about building with no plans when you’ve never been on a building site before?   

“And that pre-planning we would all do which we would spend months on… even during the process we still have plenty of time to take stock and readjust. The timeframes for this make it virtually impossible and that’s what makes it such good TV.” 

Shelley Craft the real estate agent

We know she has a successful career in TV, but she has a big passion for property and design. Shelley Craft recently completed her own major renovation in northern NSW and has also become a qualified real estate agent. 

“Real estate has always been my hobby. And you know what they say, turn your hobby into something you can make a career out of,” Shelley told our interior design podcast.    

“The Block was one of those gift jobs that came along when I was having my babies and couldn’t work 90 hours a week. It was a lovely thing that just tied in with something that I was personally passionate about and getting to see renos. 

“My husband owns a real estate agency here in Byron Bay. It made sense that I could upskill in some way that was able to help him in his business and also connected to what I do in my TV life. 

“It is lovely to be able to communicate with the buyers’ advocates a bit more clearly. To use that real estate language a bit more in the show. And in my walk arounds I try to keep the contestants on task about who their buyer is; to be more conscious of the end game.

“I do believe The Block has evolved from being a renovation and design show to really incorporating real estate as well.”

Send the strongest house in first

Auction strategy will be vital for the contestants at the end of the show. Any profit made above the reserves set by the show’s producers is kept by the contestants. And the couple to win the most money also takes home a further cash prize of $100,000.

“We would always say and suggest to the contestants to send the strongest house in first. That will set the price. That will set a standard for the cul-de-sac,” Shelley Craft said.

“If you put the home that you don’t think is going to sell as well or have as many people contesting for it, then that becomes the benchmark for the rest of the hood. 

“We’ve seen in previous years that a lot of investors love The Block. The depreciation schedule is extraordinary. The quality of workmanship on the show is exceptional. They’re producing beautiful homes in amazing areas. So I’m sure we will see investors coming through.

“But what we’re creating this series is five beautiful family homes in a beautiful family suburb. So I hope we have at least ten buyers for each house on auction day. 

“It looks like there is a need for homes out there. And there is a strong market out there for buyers and sellers. Let’s just cross everything that everything comes good by November and we can have live auctions in person.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram @shelleycraftofficial

More about our podcast ‘At Home with Lauren Keenan

Our award-winning interior design podcast, hosted by Australian interior stylist Lauren Keenan, is now in its sixth year, helping you with useful advice to help you create a home you love.  

Get in touch if you have a topic you want us to talk about on the show. Rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. And subscribe in your favourite podcast app like Spotify or iHeartRadio so you never miss an episode. 

And if you want Lauren to get started on a project in your home, email lauren@laurenkeenan.com.au. It could be building, renovating or just updating your favourite room. Find out more about the services we offer at Lauren Keenan Home and check out Lauren’s portfolio of work for some inspiration. And thanks for listening!


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