Re­al­ity bites for TV-in­spired ren­o­va­tors

Central Queensland News - - WEEKEND - — Robyn Wil­lis, News Corp Aus­tralia Net­work

AUS­TRALIA’S ob­ses­sion with tele­vi­sion prop­erty shows is driv­ing a surge in de­mand for in­creas­ingly com­plex ren­o­va­tion jobs, in­dus­try sources re­veal.

While pro­fes­sion­als wel­come the boost in busi­ness, they are also hav­ing to deal with some un­re­al­is­tic de­mands from cus­tomers hyped up by seem­ingly in­stant on-screen trans­for­ma­tions.

“These shows drive de­mand and in­quiries. And more am­bi­tious ideas,” Sydney de­signer Amy Mor­ri­son, who works on Fox­tel’s lat­est foray into the ren­o­va­tion genre, Love It or List It Aus­tralia, said.

“Part of the job is about manag­ing peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions.” Builders re­port up to a 20% in­crease in in­quiries when ren­o­va­tion shows are run­ning. Data from trade sourc­ing web­site hipages shows a lift of up to 10% around shows like Chan­nel 9’s The Block and Chan­nel 7’s House Rules, which reg­u­larly draw more than one mil­lion view­ers per episode.

Neale Whi­taker is co-host of Love It or List It, where he bat­tles with fel­low host An­drew Win­ter to ei­ther con­vince home own­ers to stay and ren­o­vate or cut their losses and put it on the mar­ket.

After more than a decade work­ing on The Block, Whi­taker said it was clear in his mind how ren­o­va­tion shows were driv­ing our con­tin­ued in­ter­est in ren­o­va­tion.

“There’s no doubt that a big per­cent­age of peo­ple have been gal­vanised into do­ing their own ren­o­va­tions (after watch­ing),” he said.

For tradies and builders, this in­crease in de­mand has it pros and cons.

“We have all heard about the back­lash from the ren­o­va­tion shows from the trades that they set un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions of how long it takes to get the job done,” Whi­taker said.

“And that’s a gen­uine con­cern but, at the same time, those trades are busier now than they’ve ever been.”


◗ Neale Whi­taker and An­drew Win­ter host the new TV se­ries Love It or List It Aus­tralia.

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