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Lyndsey Douglas, Keepers Cottage Attracts Great PR for Ray White

When you combine a unique property and some clever marketing, there is no telling the results that can be achieved.

Ray White Paddington/Woollahra partner and director James Hundt found this out when marketing the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage in Sydney’s exclusive Vaucluse when the listing became national and international news.

Already knowing the value of public relations in a property marketing campaign, Mr Hundt enlisted the help of Ray White’s PR team, headed by Lyndsey Douglas, at the beginning of the campaign. “I brought in the PR team with a view to establishing a marketing plan to achieve maximum coverage for a minimum cost to the vendors. Lyndsey is unreal and showed the owners exactly what we could do for them,” Mr Hundt explained.

The Victorian sandstone building was constructed in 1881 and extensively renovated by owners Steven and Carmen Davidson, including restoration by architect Clive Lucas. After the Davidsons committed to a $75,000 marketing budget, Mr Hundt took care of the essentials, such as photography, internet listing and brochures, and then put on a fundraising event for Pink Ribbon Day at the property, inviting the media and local agents who had buyers looking for such properties.

“We wanted something in the Sydney Morning Herald and Wentworth Courier, but it was also in The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, overseas magazines and on Channel 9. The coverage was beyond our wildest expectations.” “I knew the value of PR as a tool and know it works well, but not many agents know how valuable it is,” Mr Hundt added, saying he expected the property would have sold simply from the PR attention. The coverage generated about the Keeper's Cottage also caught Ray White Joint Chairman Brian White’s attention.

“The vendors are ecstatic,” he said, explaining imagination and thinking differently made all the difference in marketing property. “So much is possible when we try to do things with more creativity than the standard approach. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage is the perfect testimonial for how effective media coverage can be," Mr White said.

With two weeks to go before auction, 121 groups had been through the property, which is expected to fetch more than $6 million. The Davidsons bought the four-bedroom Keeper's Cottage for $2.52 million in 2002 and there are 103 years remaining on the lease.

The cottage is currently used for residential purposes and has three bathrooms, a three-car garage and additional off-street parking. Other features include stables, ocean-side barbecue and dining deck, gym, spa, home office, large chef’s kitchen and butler’s kitchen, security systems, huge grassed back yard, multiple gas fireplaces and excess storage, all set on 2600sqm.

At the time of writing, coverage had been received in the following publications:

  • The Australian Financial Review (property section)
  • The Australian Financial Review (vendor feature)
  • The Australian (weekend property)
  • The Sydney Morning Herald page 2 and subsequently, on
  • websites around the country: The Age, Brisbane Times et al
  • The Sydney Morning Herald Domain front page
  • The Sunday Telegraph
  • The Wentworth Courier (property feature)
  • The Wentworth Courier (vendor feature)
  • Channel Nine News
  • MillionPlus website
  • Rich Pickings e-newsletter.

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