Forget the high flying, Audi emblem promoting, carefully positioned profiling shots for Instagram, here we meet two Sydney real estate agents who went against the grain & turned social media posts into commission.
From unknowns when they stepped into the industry to industry leaders today, Nic Fren & Lisa Novak share why they first saw value in social media marketing and what it’s done for their career and their clients today.
In 2015, then eastern suburbs agent Nic Fren of Laing & Simmons Woollahra became the first reported agent to list AND sell a home with it all done through Facebook.
In a time when social media marketing hadn’t quite hit the real estate industry, Nic explains his success came from posting on his personal page and speaking to his followers opposed to AT them which is what he sees all too often today.
"No one was doing it back then"
Nic explained and I didn’t have the financial capabilities to fund big marketing campaigns so I used the only free tool available (at the time) which was Facebook. I actually hated social media; I didn’t even get Instagram until a year after this sale.
I posted an RP Data photo of the home with the features and BOOM, 3 days later it was sold to another follower with $0 spent on a marketing campaign.
Agents started taking notice as Nic’s popularity grew on social media and the results came in. Crediting 23 sales and properties leased “directly” through social media in an 18-month period, unheard of at that time.
The one thing Nic apologizes for is the market wraps in front of a white wall. I started that back in 2016. I’m sorry, no one actually cares.
Mrs Smith doesn’t know what contract requests means he says.
Then, “the most innovative person in real estate” and “super-agent” Lisa Novak raised the bar and set the benchmark for selling on social media today.
Lisa, just shy of turning 50 and working within the business for 18 years from marketing through to a GM role simply picked up her desk and moved it into the sales room around 2 years ago. Having watched the industry on the sideline and realizing we were stuck in a time warp, amongst other key areas of the business wondered how she could put a spin on social media marketing to be more relevant in today’s world. Also noticing that there’s no alternative to the major portals when it comes to promoting a property online and do vendors really need to pay thousands in marketing on those portals.
Having spent close to two decades in the business and watching what everyone was doing, Lisa quickly made a name for herself as the queen of social media selling property pre market on the northern beaches using a proven strategy with vendors to showcase their properties on her socials before going to the open market.
Close to 60 properties sold through her social media has saved her owners marketing fees, open homes and the stresses of going to market.
Both agents became aware of their following and engagement and very quickly realized they had something other agents didn’t or hadn’t yet discovered.
They had worked out the formula to selling on socials.
What is it? It’s being social.
While these days Mr Fren owns one of the largest social media marketing agencies for the real estate industry,
Ms Novak along with husband Mark owns one of the largest real estate offices in Sydney’s northern beaches, but don’t expect any highly produced videos or content pieces.
Ms Novak is seen walking around holding her iPhone when showing a property pre market while Mr Fren explains he’s usually walking down Macleay Street in Potts Point, headphones in while wearing singlets.
Both agents interestingly enough start their videos with a “Hi Guys” and a big smile. People go onto social media to escape the real world for a moment not to have your latest listing or your BMW splashed across their screens Mr Fren said. I wanted to show me as a person and what I’m seeing with my own eyes when I walk into a property Ms Novak explains to Lee Woodward.
I think people are comfortable with Lisa & I Mr Fren said. They see US online; they feel they know us and don’t feel intimidated to approach us. We are not trying to be anything other than authentic and people like that.
What you see is what you get. Two agents with a genuine passion for what they do while achieving results. Lisa has been doing the circuits speaking at events and on podcasts telling her journey while Nic works with agents/agencies and networks training and mentoring them on how to pull results from socials.
Bespoke Media Management