How We Sold It: Cove House

When one of Sydney’s most recognisable luxury homes, Cove House, sold last year, it did so on the back of a high-end marketing campaign that garnered national and international interest. Highland partner Mitchell Wynn explains what the campaign involved and why it worked.

Perched high above the waters of the Port Hacking estuary at Cronulla sits one of the world’s best examples of luxury waterfront living. 

Aptly named Cove House, the residence at 4-6 Cowra Place, Cronulla, sold for $14 million in late 2021.

But properties such as the Reuben Lane designed mansion don’t come along often, and, when they do, they draw mass attention, but not always a massive buyer pool.

Homes such as the three-level, four-bedroom property are marketed to high-end buyers with carefully considered, targeted campaigns designed to elicit inquiry from active and spontaneous purchasers.

Cove House. Picture: Highland Property.

Highland partner Mitchell Wynn said it took just four weeks to sell Cove House.

Mitchell used News Corp Australia to run a print campaign in The Wentworth Courier, The Mosman Daily, North Shore Times, and The List, Mansion Edition, targeting aspirational and high-net-worth audiences.

He also had a digital campaign using News Xtend Property Marketing Platinum, the ultimate advertising campaign designed for extreme luxury, ‘dream’ properties.

“This is one of the best marketing campaigns I’ve run in terms of the exposure and where the inquiry was coming from,” Mitchell says.

“We had it coming from all different pockets of Sydney, we had it coming from interstate, and we had it coming from overseas.

“It was phenomenal.”

  1. List the property

Mitchell says it was his strong, ongoing relationship with the vendors that saw him list Cove House.

“I have bought and sold for these clients in the past, so they asked me to list and sell the property off the back of their past experiences with me,” he says.

Recently restored, Cove House features uninterrupted views across Salmon Haul Bay to Bundeena and the Royal National Park.

Other features included atrium-style living areas, a state-of-the-art kitchen, ocean-view bedrooms and a custom, glass-front swimming pool.

“It was a really special property,” Mitchell says.

“Very unique.”

  1. Marketing the property 

Mitchell says for a property of Cove House’s class, he needed an advertising campaign to match. One that would inspire and tug at the heartstrings of high-net-worth buyers wherever they happened to be.

The campaign had to feature digital and print elements and reach social media platforms and overseas buyers.

“Our owners trusted us and were guided by us,” Mitchell says.

“For a unique home such as this, I felt the buyer could have been a local buyer, an out of area buyer or an international buyer.

“So that’s why I recommended they go in heavy with the marketing campaign, and it worked.

“We had inquiries from the United Arab Emirates, India, the US and the UK.”

Mitchell says the campaign worked so well he’d now be able to use it as social proof with future owners of high-end properties he lists.

“I can say to people that it works, that I’ve got the stats, and the home sold quickly for a fantastic price,” he explains.

“It worked really well as a high price point and generated crazy amounts of inquiry.”

  1. The print campaign

The print campaign involved double-page and full-page advertisements in The Wentworth Courier, The Mosman Daily and North Shore Times. 

It also featured in The Australian’s The List, Mansion Edition, which covered the top 50 house prices for 2021, the top agents for the year and some of the most extraordinary homes across the country.

“I had so many people call and say they’d come across the property in the paper, so I know the print campaign worked,” Mitchell says.

The house was also featured in multiple editorials in The Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph thanks to its stunning architecture, waterfront location, price point, supreme images and marketing material Highland provided and vendors who were willing to be interviewed.

Daily Telegraph Real Estate Editor Aidan Devine says Cove House “ticked all the boxes” when it came to finding a property that’s perfect for editorial coverage.

“It had that wow factor, it was different, and it was an amazing property to look at,” he says. 

“When we’re doing an editorial on a property, we’re not writing a listing… it needs to come across as an article, and you need elements like quotes from the vendors.

“It gives the story more life, and it gives it more points of interest for people reading it.”

Aidan says another key to being considered for editorial space is quality images as it’s not enough to say a property is stunning; he has to show readers that is the case.

“Highland did a fantastic job as they included a lot of details in the listing, the photos were amazing, they were forthcoming with a price guide and willing to provide quotes,” he says.

“A price guide is important as it’s a way of measuring how nice a property is and, for buyers, often one of their top considerations is how much a property costs.”

Aidan says weekly reports from realestate.com.au show that the most viewed listings are often the properties News Corp Australia featured in stories that week, which would be a bonus for agents and vendors.

He says there are usually multiple opportunities to be considered for editorial space:

  • As a new listing – describing the home, its features, comments from the vendor and agent.
  • A follow-up story that often includes other properties. Cove House featured in an article on the 30 best beach houses in NSW.
  • When the property sells, as readers often follow a home and want to know the sale price.
  1. The digital campaign 

The digital campaign for Cove House featured targeted display ads on the News Corp Australia Network, Google Display Network, Google Search ads, Facebook and Instagram ads, as well as search engine optimisation and customised geo-targeting to eight locations.

“The reporting on the digital component is really impressive, and I could pass that over to the owner to show them where we were attracting people from,” Mitchell says.

“One family, they were actively looking (for a property), but not a property like this, but their granddaughter came across it on social media, and they came to have a look at it.”

Mitchell says the print and digital campaigns, combined with editorial coverage, had helped build the Highland brand as well as his personal standing.

“If someone is looking in the real estate section or on the portals, they are probably looking for a home, but the social media ads and the editorial pushes your name and your brand out to the more passive buyers,” he says.

Aidan says the 30 best beach house story also ran online with great interest, and such editorial recognition could provide agents with social proof of their selling skills.

“Often when people Google an agent’s name, the editorials we do come up,” he explains.

“If the first thing that comes up is a story about a massive price achieved on one of their properties, the rewards of getting involved, from the agent’s point of view, are considerable.”

Mitchell says the buyers of Cove House came from the South Coast of NSW.

  1. Tips to boost your editorial chances

Adian says there’s a few simple things agents can do to improve their chances of being considered for print and digital editorials.

“We often find that the best editorial stories we have done are where the agent has got in touch with us before the property is listed, and they give us a heads up that they’ve got a fantastic property they think a lot of people will be interested in,” he says.

“That way, when the property is first listed, we’ve got an editorial locked and loaded, ready to go.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.

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