The Block is gearing up for a remarkable 2023 season with some major shake-ups in the judging department. For the first time in over a decade, a fresh face will join seasoned judges Shaynna Blaze, Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer.
The newest addition to the judging panel in Season 19 of the hit show is none other than real estate expert and CEO of WHITEFOX Real Estate, Marty Fox.
The announcement was made earlier this year in a heartfelt Instagram post from Neale, who shared some personal news along with his decision to step back from his judging role on The Block's upcoming season.
After proudly serving as a judge for 17 seasons, he revealed, "For the 2023 season I've put family first and cut back on my judging weeks. My partner of 20 years, David, experienced some serious health issues earlier this year, and my priority has been to spend more time at home."
Despite reducing his appearances, Neale expressed his excitement at welcoming Marty Fox to the show. "I'm happy to announce that real estate guru Marty Fox has been able to bring his expertise to The Block and join Shaynna and Darren on the weeks when I couldn't be there."
Marty Fox might look familiar, as he's is no stranger to The Block; he has already left his mark by selling two houses on the show.
Back in 2020, he successfully sold Harry and Tash's house in Brighton, helping the father-daughter team finish third in their season and walk away with $650,000. In 2022, Marty worked his magic on Rachel and Ryan's property in Gisborne.
With his extensive experience in the real estate industry, Marty is set to bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to the judging table.
Real estate maestro
Marty Fox's journey in real estate began at the young age of 21, as he worked his way up with the guidance of mentor and real estate expert Graeme Wilson (who is now Marty's father-in-law and chairman of WHITEFOX).
In 2017, Marty founded his own agency, WHITEFOX, which quickly gained attention as a disruptor in the industry with its direct language, black-and-white photography, and innovative curved signboards.
In just three years, the agency represented over $1,000,000,000 in luxury properties. A major key to Marty's immense success has been his impressive talent for marketing properties on social and digital platforms.
Not one to be confined to one country, Marty had bigger dreams. In a bold move, he expanded his business to New Zealand in 2023, establishing another thriving branch of WHITEFOX.
Diving into the numbers, Marty has some serious real estate cred. His website boasts a personal sales record of $600 million, with an average sale price of $3.6 million and an astonishing highest sale of $49.6 million.
'Firm but fair'
Given his wealth of experience and knowledge, it's no surprise Marty eagerly accepted the invitation to join The Block's esteemed judging panel this year.
Reflecting on his decision, he shared, "Even in my time as an agent on the show, it felt comfortable; it felt like a really great environment. There's a family feeling and a nice energy that's fostered by Julian [Cress, the show's creator]."
When asked about his approach as a judge on the show, Marty emphasised his commitment to raw honesty. "I always want to be speaking the truth, and I won't sugarcoat much. From a judging perspective, that's what these people need; they need honesty," he explained.
Describing his style on the show as "firm but fair", Marty further elaborated, "If I don't like it, I'll explain why. Some of my comments may come across as a little bit harsh, but it's short-term pain for long-term gain."
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