Holidaying owner-occupier scrolling social media drops $6.56m on South Melbourne office

Holidaying owner-occupier scrolling social media drops $6.56m on South Melbourne office

Clarke House – a multi-storey 1,025 square metre commercial building at 101 Clarke Street, South Melbourne – owned by former Piping Hot managing director Mark Johannsen sold 24 hours before its scheduled auction.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the sale is that it was made to a local owner-occupier and prominent CBD building owner who spotted the property on social media while holidaying in Europe, then toured it virtually and subsequently purchased it for $6.56 million before it went under the hammer – without them physically setting foot in the building.

Selling as a vacant possession listing, Clarke House sits atop flexible commercial zoning (C2Z) making it suitable for a host of different business operations, while featuring modern open plan office floorspace, a premium kitchenette and end-of-trip facilities, 16 off-street carparks, as well as 47m of street frontage.

The property also enjoys vast connectivity to key arterials including the Monash Freeway, Melbourne’s CBD and public transport network. 

The transaction was brokered by Jones Real Estate's Paul Jones and Luke Peric, who took carriage of the listing from two other agencies after two unsuccessful Expressions of Interest campaigns over a combined 300 days.
Prior to the pre-auction sale, the highest unconditional offer received by the vendor from the previous two campaigns was $6 million.

To achieve the sales result, Jones Real Estate implemented a digital media-driven campaign and building repositioning strategy that included rebranding the asset to Clarke House (previously listed as 101-105 Clarke Street), and a refreshed marketing approach leveraging premium video content rolled out via paid social media to attract international participation, which drove roughly 40,000 views on Facebook and Instagram. 

"The importance of making a property stand out across digital in the current market is crucial to a campaign’s success, and Clarke House is a prime example of this,” Mr Peric said.


Leveraging the power of social media has become a key enabler for amplifying visually enticing marketing assets and is now a core focus in our strategy development. We are thrilled with the outcome this approach has helped us achieve.


Jones Real Estate anticipates the property could achieve a potential rental income of $555,700 per annum excluding GST and outgoings.

“After two unsuccessful sales attempts in the past 12 months by another agency, our office was able to re-position the asset targeting owner-occupiers and ultimately secure exchange for $6,560,000 to a purchaser in Europe 24 hours prior to the scheduled auction,” Mr Jones said.

“The property was on the market for 38 days and we received 49 qualified enquiries during the campaign period, with much of these coming from social and digital media channels.” 

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