While Rosie and Felicity ran this business from Perth, local caretakers David and Jody Moyes, were quietly running things on the ground. And as Rosie became ready for retirement in 2012, she began to consider selling the business, but wasn’t prepared to see all her hard work go to waste.
“We didn’t want it to go to someone who really wasn’t going to maintain that. We couldn’t sell the business to someone who wasn’t as good as we were. It was just fabulous that David was there to take over. He has taken it up another step,” she says. “Because David had been working with me for as many years as he had, he knew the business. I was ready to help if he needed it. But he didn’t need me. He had his own ideas, and I’ve been happy to watch the business get better and better.”
David and Jody built on Private Properties existing strengths and continued expanding into the overseas market. They also utilised their local connections to cement Private Properties stronghold at the top of the market, and moved the entire operation from Cottesloe down to his hometown of Dunsborough.
“It was an easy step for us. From go to whoa, we were already doing the whole package as caretakers, which had enabled us to really know the properties, and know the owners,” says David. “We’ve also added a whole range of things: some high-end properties, some new destinations – and we’ve sort of pioneered a new brand of in-house service. Things like chefing, our concierge service, creating an itinerary; it’s not just a bed for the night, but the whole package.”
Since David and Jody have taken over, Private Properties has grown from around 60 properties to well over 100. Over the years, they have serviced over 13,000 guests from 21 different countries, and their team has grown to well over thirty staff, almost all of whom are local.
While Private Properties celebrate their twenty-fifth birthday this year and the brand continues to grow, their objective remains the same, says David.
“The natural attractions remain one of the biggest drawcards to the region, for sure. The service we provide is like the glue that bonds people to the region and facilitates them in getting back to nature. It also about connecting them with all the wonderful infrastructure that make Margaret River a world-class tourist destination: the wineries, the restaurants,” he says.
“It’s fantastic, I love it. I see it in a lot of our guests who come. I see them when they first come, and then I might bump into them a couple of days later and they’re changed people. They’ve got thongs on, boardies, a bit of sand around the ankles. That’s awesome. That’s what it is all about.”