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STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD Community events. Market update. The new office. FEBRUARY 2018



A letter from the Directors.

-ith a fresh year underway, the team at MB are continuing our focus on providing exceptional service and expertise to our clients.

Looking back on 2017, we started to see the market tighten. However, whilst stock levels retracted, they actually began to normalise back to what they were before the recent property boom. Sydney's property market has enjoyed exponential growth over the last few years and it was only a matter of time before we headed for a slow down. We started to see the effects of the banks tightening credit, whilst money from overseas and lending to offshore buyers also became more difficult. Interest rates remained at historically low levels and affordability continued to get increasingly harder. Whilst these changes to the market pose challenges, at MB we see it as a positive change that the real estate industry needed. Markets like these put our skills to better use and more than ever, the quality of your real estate agent becomes paramount. At McConnell Bourn, we understand the need to adapt and change with these markets. We see it as an opportunity to fine-tune and perfect our skills in negotiating, selling and marketing. This adaptability combined with our team of talented and like-minded individuals, who work collaboratively together, is what sees us continually help our clients achieve their goals. 2018 will see MB continue to introduce new ideas and strategies to ensure our clients not only have a wonderful real estate experience but their property is kept at the forefront of buyers with innovative marketing approaches. This year is also particularly exciting as we open our fourth office in St Ives, and eagerly look forward to further servicing the residents of St Ives.

Matthew & Samantha Bourn

Opposite Page: A selection of homes recently sold by McConnell Bourn - 17 Riddles Lane Pymble, 970 Peats Ridge Road Central Mangrove, 45 McIntyre Street Gordon, 10 Howson Avenue Turramurra, 50 Rosebery Road Killara & 10 Northcote Avenue Killara.


“This year is particularly exciting as we open our fourth office in St Ives.”


STAND OUT & BE NOTICED McConnell Bourn explains their unique marketing approach. W R I T T E N BY A N N A B E L S C H W E I K E R T P R O P E RT Y P H OTO G R A P H Y BY D E S H A R R I S


ith an increasingly competitive real estate market, more than ever it’s important that you give your property the best chance at standing out and being noticed by potential buyers. As one of the leading real estate agencies in the North Shore property market, McConnell Bourn understands the role a fresh approach to property marketing plays in doing just this. “More and more, a focus on lifestyle is becoming paramount when selling your property. We have learnt that an emotive approach to marketing is what draws buyers in,” says Samantha Bourn, Head of Marketing at McConnell Bourn. “Our focus is on creating and delivering strategic marketing campaigns to bring your property to life in the most appealing way. We strive towards a fully integrated marketing solution for every home that we market, with each marketing campaign crafted individually to deliver exceptional results for our clients.” In an industry which is heavily focused on the selling agent, founders Matthew Bourn and Samantha Bourn believe marketing is just as important.


“More and more, a focus on lifestyle is becoming paramount when selling your property.�

With a dedicated marketing team, McConnell Bourn is recognised as a leader in property marketing, championing a fresh outlook on property that sells not only a home, but a lifestyle.

approach to real estate photography. Des explains traditional property photography is focused on presenting as much information through as few photos as possible - but Des’ delicate formula when shooting property is calculated, and begins before he picks up the camera.

“We believe that emotive marketing that focuses on the lifestyle aspects of a property taps into the inner emotions of buyers and drives them to act. It cuts through the noise and inspires engagement. The reality is it’s a cluttered market out there and you want your property marketing to resonate with buyers and activate a response,” explains Lauren Warner, Corporate Marketing Manager.

“When I’m shooting property for McConnell Bourn – before I have even picked up my camera, I dedicate time to walk around and really understand the property, get a feel for the essence of it… as a space, and begin to appreciate what the vendors have created. I often talk to the vendor about this, and try and get a personality for the home.” “We concentrate on three elements: engagement, emotion and entertainment. Engagement is the most important – as many people scroll through property websites, they see fronts of houses, front lawns, more fronts of houses… They need to be stopped in their tracks as they’re scrolling. That’s why we focus on aesthetic over reference. We include people in our shots, real people… enjoying the property, and living in the space, as well as how they interact with the space. All of this is engaging, and it triggers emotions in people.”

The MB marketing team works collaboratively to test the market, analysing data from online and social media in order to custom create a marketing campaign which will result in a lasting impression of your home and all that it has to offer. The methods they use in order to execute this are always adapting to the changing market. Working closely with Des Harris, an award-winning photographer with over 35 years’ experience in photojournalism and architectural photography, McConnell Bourn value the importance of a non-traditional


THE NORTH SHORE B&W CHARITY BALL Fundraising to help the community flourish and thrive. W R I T T E N BY A N N A B E L S C H W E I K E R T P H OTO G R A P H Y BY N I C H O L A S F I E N N E S , F I N E P H OTO G R A P H Y - PY M B L E

As we begin the new year, many exciting events lay on the horizon. March marks the return of the North Shore Black & White Charity Ball. In its second year, with McConnell Bourn as a proud sponsor, this lively black tie gala event is a night of socialising to celebrate the networks of families and local businesses in our area. “We started with a group of North Shore mums, who formed a committee. We wanted to raise money for charity and support our local community.” Kylie Macdonald, founder of the event said.

Held at Killara Golf Club, the night will boast a night of canapes, indulgent desserts and live music, while fundraising to help the community flourish and thrive.

for resources they desperately need.” Kylie said.

This year, the event will be raising funds for local St Lucy’s School and St Edmund’s College, both of which are focused on the education and advocacy of students with special needs.

“All prizes we have on our online bidding are from local businesses, and attendees can bid online prior to the event” Kylie said.

“There are many local families that are assisted by St Lucy’s and St Edmund’s. We wanted to shed a light on their work by raising funds -8-

Attendees on the night will be able to donate towards the purchase of these resources, and win prizes from local businesses.

Last year’s event was a success, fundraising for KYDS Youth Development Services and the Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Women’s Shelter – raising $30,000 in donations for these charities.


MB LOVES Something Savoury: Za'atar spiced grilled haloumi Snapper pie w. roasted garlic Something Sweet: Patina "mess"

CAFÉ PATINA Reinventing an old classic to bring honest, whole food to the area. W R I T T E N BY A N N A B E L S C H W E I K E R T P H OTO G R A P H Y BY D E S H A R R I S


ormerly known as The Coonanbarra Café, Head Chef Stewart Wallace, has returned to his grass roots to rebirth the well known cafe. Engaged as the Head Chef in 1992, Stewart left after three years to open the acclaimed Grand National Dining Room at the then newly renovated Grand National Hotel in Paddington before spending a decade travelling the globe and opening restaurants in London and Cape Town. On his return to Sydney in 2001 he was appointed Executive Chef at Café Sydney, before spending 12 years as Executive Chef of Garfish Restaurant Group. Now back in his childhood suburb of Wahroonga, Stewart has come back to the old Coonanbarra Café and renamed it ‘Café Patina’. With his wife, Hilary, who has extensive hotel management skills, they have perfectly encapsulated what it means to delight in honest, whole food. The Modern Australian café that also pays homage to the soil in which it stands, striving to support local and regional producers, and utilising fresh organic produce where possible is a welcomed addition to the area. “We want to have a casual, relaxed, warm and inviting atmosphere. I want our customers to feel love when they walk in. We’re not pretentious, we’re not being something we are not. It’s genuine, it's honest… it’s a home away from home.” Hilary said.

And the café is more than just it’s inviting first looks. From roasted cauliflower and fennel salad with pistachio dukkah and cauliflower hummus, to snapper pie with roasted garlic, broccolini and soubise sauce – to even the Patina "mess": soft centre meringue, vanilla ice cream, creme fraiche and passionfruit sauce, the menu is comfort and indulgence with its best foot forward. “There’s also an underlying theme in our menu – 99% of it is gluten-free. If you’re looking for it, you’ll see it. We also have a vegan salad – we wanted to make sure everyone was accommodated.” Hilary said. With Hilary’s flair for an enticing culinary experience, and Stewart’s mastery, this ‘feel-at-home’, classic Heritage style building fitted with generous awnings and contemporary design is the perfect abode to house delicious, warm and wholesome meals. Boasting all day dining, elegant alfresco seating overlooking Wahroonga Park, a relaxed atmosphere and quality modern Australian cuisine at the hands of one of the top tier professionals – trying Café Patina just once is guaranteed to have you craving more.

Café Patina 64 Coonanbarra Road Wahroonga | 02 9489 0980

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KURINGGAI CHASE FUN RUN Inclusion, compassion and accessibility are the name of the game. W R I T T E N BY A N N A B E L S C H W E I K E R T P H OTO G R A P H Y BY T H E K N OX T EC H C R E W


ommunity and group sport has long been a catalyst in bringing people together for a common love of the game. But it’s also these games that too often shine a light on the same few individuals. Sydney’s Upper North Shore Special Olympics, one of 169 divisions worldwide – caters to over 250 athletes through training and competitions in order to celebrate the talents of those with an intellectual disability. In its sixth year, their annual fundraiser, the Kuringgai Chase Fun Run & Barry Easy Walk, is returning to Wahroonga. For Greg Simmons, the love of sport is all about inclusion and accessibility. As cofounder of the event, and chairman of the board – he says the fundraiser, taking place on Sunday 18th March, has a core purpose of bridging the gap between community groups. “We wanted to create a community based event which celebrated our Special Olympics athletes, and their love of sport. We wanted to bring sports to people with intellectual disability, and this is all about inclusion. Bringing the community together helps us to do this, as it’s the community and numerous volunteers that make the event what it is –

and without it, these kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to do sport in the first place.” Greg said. The event, which McConnell Bourn is sponsoring once again, has options for a 10km run, or a 5km walk. The day raises money for the Special Olympics and facilitates the work that they do in helping our local special athletes thrive in the sports they are passionate about. “We’ve always had fantastic volunteers and businesses help us along the way. Knox Grammar for example, always provides us with fantastic volunteers – who work as buddies for our athletes… we have three or four Knox boys per athlete, and this really helps our athletes feel included and makes it such a feel-good event.” Greg said. As a finisher to the event, activities such as the ‘Come ‘N Try Community Carnival’, a BBQ, Community Market & Picnic all take place.

Registrations for the event are open now. For information on how to register, sponsor or donate, visit

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E V EN T DE TA IL S Sunday 18th March 2018 The 10km Kuringgai Chase Fun Run kicks off at 9:00am The 5km Barry Easy Walk kicks off at 9:10am

MARKET UPDATE Exploring the demographics and socio-economics that make our neighbourhoods unique. S U P P L I E D BY P R O P E RT Y A N A LY T I C S

At the beginning of 2017, we reported that Sydney Property Prices were up 15.5% compared to the previous 12 months. This annual rate of price growth was broadly similar to trends in 2013-2016, and we all got used to it. Well, the boom looks to have finally run out of steam, with CoreLogic reporting just 3% growth in 2017, and forecasting flat prices moving into 2018. The residential real estate market in our area (Ku-ring-gai plus Artarmon, Chatswood, and Willoughby) has changed dramatically over the last 5 years, with house prices nearly doubling, and in some respects, the changes have been driven by unique demographic trends. Across NSW, 4% of households have annual incomes above $260,000; in our area, it’s 3x higher, at 14%. The proportion of people in NSW with a Bachelor Degree or above is 19%; in our area, it’s 2x higher, at 38%. And, about 40% of households in our area consist of 3-4 persons, compared to 33% NSWwide. Clearly, we live in a very affluent part of Sydney, with well-educated and highly paid neighbours who are willing and able to compete for large, quality, family homes.

people were born overseas – in the Ku-ringgai area, that’s 45%. Our neighbourhoods have always been recognised across Sydney as some of the best places to live, but in recent years, they’ve become well-known internationally as well. About 16% of us arrived in Australia in the last 12 years, compared to 10% NSW-wide. The appeal has been particularly strong for those of us with Asian Ancestry; in 2006, 16% of residents identified their primary Ancestry as NorthEast Asian, and in 2016, this proportion increased by two thirds to 26% (NSW average is 8%). Ku-ring-gai has undoubtedly benefited from the city-wide price boom of the last 4-5 years, but a large portion of growth above and beyond the Sydney average can be attributed to competition between specific buyer types: wealthy, highly educated couples with 1-2 children, often arriving new to Australia from North-East Asia. Many of us would say that we live in the best area of a world class city, in the luckiest country around. That’s hard to argue against.

The other dominant demographic feature in our area is the high proportion of residents who were born overseas. In NSW, 30% of

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LOCAL SPOTLIGHT Shining a light on the Upper North Shore property market.




S JAN - DEC 2017

1 in 4 apartments sold for over $1.35m



1 in 4 houses sold for over $3.1m

properties were sold,


down from the previous 12 months


About of all properties sold were houses

The median house price was up approx.

9.4% from the last financial year


median house price

The median apartment price was up approx.

7.8% from the last financial year


median apartment price

The above statistical information has been supplied by Property Analytics & includes Jan to Dec 2017 data from Ku-ring-gai, Artarmon, Chatswood & Willoughby. Analysis is based on data from RP Data - Core Logic, Australian Property Monitors, Real Estate Institute, Valuer General & Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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Q&A Luke Nolan-Harris chats to a recent client on their MB experience. P R O P E R T Y P H OTO G R A P H Y BY D E S H A R R I S

MAL & PRUE 10 NORTHCOTE AVENUE KILLARA What attracted you to McConnell Bourn to assist in selling your home? It was really quite an easy decision for us. We have known Matt and Sam for around five years now and we know they have quite a footprint around the Killara area and more broadly across the North Shore. We’ve seen that they have been very successful in selling

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and our requirements. The MB team kept us informed throughout the entire process and all worked extremely hard to deliver us an exceptional result. Everything was well explained and transparent. There is always going to be a level of stress when selling your home, but with an open line of communication and clearly understanding what was in front of us, this stress was minimised. What have you enjoyed most about living in the area?

many properties that were comparable to ours and we thought that it was a logical choice.

We love the history of Killara. Our home was 100+ years old and that's just one of many historic homes in the area. Many of these homes have been beautifully restored and so there is this real sense of pride in the area. It’s also a wonderful area in that's it's very family friendly, close to private schools, shopping amenities and the rail line.

What are your thoughts on McConnell Bourn’s branding and marketing style? We think McConnell Bourn's marketing is a key point of differentiation in the marketplace. From start to finish the whole process was very professional. The marketing program was very well planned and clearly tailored to our property. It was also very well executed. It was a complete package where everything worked as a whole from the professional copywriting to the photography and video work. Everything was strategically pieced together in the way it was presented online and the way it was presented in the printed brochures. It really did showcase the best parts of our home. The process was also easy and seamless and made us feel very comfortable that we would achieve our desired result. How was your experience overall? Were you happy with the result? From the beginning, Matt showed a very clear understanding of both the market

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Looking for the right property manager? Imagine a real estate company where a highly experienced team of property managers work together collectively to manage your property. Where they do more than just collect rent. Where they are proactive rather than reactive, ensuring returns are maximised, vacancies minimised and properties well maintained. Where the experience of leasing your home is one that is seamless and stress-free.

That’s McConnell Bourn.

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MAKING IT WORTHWHILE FOR ST IVES We’re excited to announce our St Ives specialists now have a new home in St Ives. Contact us today if you would like to know more about the St Ives market or are considering a move. Or visit us at our new office located at 2/190 Mona Vale Road St Ives.

Disclaimer: All information contained herein is gathered from sources we believe reliable. We have no reason to doubt its accuracy, however we cannot guarantee it. You must rely upon your own enquiries as to its accuracy or otherwise.

MB Magazine | February 2018  

Standing out from the crowd - Community events, market update and the new office

MB Magazine | February 2018  

Standing out from the crowd - Community events, market update and the new office