Tuesday, June 11, 2019

It’s our 25th anniversary

There’s no denying how much of an impact décor and architecture have in helping define an era. . In ‘94, cream-coloured kitchens with wood trim dominated, laminex and cane furniture were on-trend, curtains had to have pelmets, and vertical blinds adorned doors and windows.


And when it came to holiday accommodation, it was typically nothing flash. Especially if you were vacationing as a family. In Australia, it was completely normal to arrive at your lodging with little supplied for you. Back in those days it was expected that guests bring everything with them, from linen to hand soap. And although holiday homes were common, renting a stranger’s property – a luxury one at that – was almost unheard of.


Then trailblazing duo Rosie Harris and Felicity Ruse came along and forever changed holidaying in the Western Australia’s South-West. This was the year Private Properties, the region’s first luxury holiday home company, was born (albeit with slightly less cringeworthy 90s décor).


“In those days, if you did rent someone’s home, it was a bit of a mess,” explains Private Properties co-founder Rosie. “There was mismatched crockery and personal items of the owners were lying around. Paintings and décor were an afterthought and the things owners didn’t necessarily want in their own homes in Perth.”


“It didn’t make for the most comfortable of holiday settings.”


She and Felicity Ruse were already business partners in property management in Perth, focusing on short-term upmarket properties. Some of their clients had holiday homes in the beachside South-West towns of Yallingup and Eagle Bay and began approaching the pair to manage those homes for them.


“We didn’t see how it could be done – it just wasn’t being done back then. But then we looked at the product. They were beautiful homes, but they were under-utilised. So we saw the opportunity,” she said.

Allandale overlooking the Harvey Estuary near Mandurah, part of Private Properties portfolio since 1999.



And they were on their way; knocking on doors, trying to convince other holiday home owners that this was a great opportunity to get involved in. “It probably took us six months, but we ended up with about 13 houses. Everyone was quite sceptical though.”


Remember when your holiday guest experience started with a hard copy brochure? In the days pre-internet, marketing was slow and cumbersome: advertising via the newspaper, hand-mailed material, and printed brochures that soon became out-of-date.


But the demand was there. Word got around and business steadily grew. However was the arrival of British expats from Asia that really took the brand to a new level, with the overseas market demanding more than what was being delivered by holiday accommodation providers in Australia.


“That was a real turning point,” Rosie says. “We went from being a small local operation to having a significant international market. We really feel that we developed the expat market in this area. There wasn’t anywhere in the region for them to stay before that. And as for locals, they adored the lift in the standards.”


Current Private Properties owners David and Jody Moyes joined the company as caretakers in 2005, and took over the business in 2013. Coming from a customer service background, the pair set about refining the guest experience and raising the bar of quality that wasn’t being matched elsewhere in the region.


And thanks to the internet, everything about planning your holiday is faster, current and gives you that warm unmistakable feeling of wanderlust. We’ve worked hard to give our guests that experience. Your journey now begins with a beautiful user-friendly website that’s mobile-first so you can browse through our extensive portfolio anytime, anywhere. Each property features a gallery of gorgeous images and video so you can picture yourself there with you feet up. Plus our website has destination guides for each region, and our weekly Blog to inspire you and give you all the information you need to make your holiday escape perfect.


These days there are more than 110 homes in Private Properties’ portfolio – some of the most lavish and extraordinary architectural gems across Western Australia’s South-West.
Injidup Bay House and Ithaca in Yallingup, Flinders Bay House in Augusta, Jahangir and Bilyarra in Eagle Bay, Florida Beach House in Mandurah, just to name a few of the most inspirational in their collection.


Jahangir high on the hill overlooking Eagle Bay, has been a very popular Private Properties holiday home.


There are homes that were guest favourites in the very early years that are still as popular as ever, including Mibremilla in Eagle Bay, High Ridge in Yallingup, Allandale in Mandurah, and Woodstock in Denmark.


Woodstock, Denmark. A long time holiday home favourite within Private Properties’ portfolio.


David says the secret to Private Properties’ longevity has been about ensuring that our guests expectations are exceeded, creating a memorable holiday experience.


“We’re fussy about our homes. If a property is just ‘rented’, rather than really looked after, people do notice,” David says. “Our focus is on looking after our properties which ultimately benefits our guests and property owners.”


“Day after day, that’s what gets us out of bed.”


Private Properties has come a long way in 25 years. As the leader in luxury holiday homes across the South-West of Western Australia, it’s exciting to see where we’ll be in another 25 years.


Discover the unspoilt beauty of Western Australia’s premier tourism destinations of the South-West. View our portfolio to discover an inspirational luxury holiday home for your next South-West getaway.


You might also like:

The 20 best things to do in Australia’s South-West

Top 13 things to do in the Mandurah region

Top 12 things to do in Albany and The Great Southern

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