Updated: Sep 18, 2022
Sydney eastern suburbs real estate agent Nic Fren changed the course of property marketing in 2015 when he became the first agent in Australia to list & sell a property solely through Facebook.
"I started this journey in 2012, it just wasn't done back then" he says.
Having never imagined social media would be of any value, the Sydney eastern suburbs agent began posting updates and properties to his personal Facebook page in 2012, as a way to connect with his audience.
"I was new to Sydney's east and didn't have much of a database. " he says.
"The decision to use Facebook came after friends started commenting on my posts asking questions. I thought if one person was interested, maybe more would be, so this was a great way to start a conversation."
The first two Facebook listings came in 2014, with two people he'd never met, but had been watching his social media channels.
"I'd been fairly active on Facebook for around 18 months by the time these listings came through" he says.
"I knew people were starting to take notice, but I didn't know exactly what that looked like in terms of turning my social media profile into a business & marketing tool."
"Around this time I really began to understand the importance of marketing."
"I was onto something, and while I didn't know exactly what it was, I knew no one else was doing it and it would separate me from my competitors."
Things really took a turn the following year." he says.
Having seen his presence on Facebook, Mr Fren was contacted by a former colleague, who was planning to sell the property, but had yet to splash out on marketing.
"The property was over an hour away, so I made a few calls to put a co agency in place and organised the photographer to come out the following week" he says.
However, an urgent sale was needed, so to get things moving an RP Data photo was posted to Mr Fren's Facebook page which had around 4,500 followers at the time.
The post included no description of the home, photos or address and was intended to merely gauge the amount of interest the sale would attract.
I’m the first to say I didn’t expect much to happen from the post; however a few days later we had an offer & the property was sold." he says.
Reflecting on the sale "what completely blew me away was that the buyer didn’t even inspect the home at 19A Westcott Place and agreed to purchase it for $450,000 — more than $30,000 above the seller’s expectations.
Thinking this was a one time fluke, Mr Fren did it again a few weeks later having been contacted by another seller in Sydney's west.
A different experience, the vendor had actually reached out to the agent to ask if they should paint and carpet as they were preparing to put the property on the market after Christmas.
"I don't necessarily think I was in the running for the listing" he says, "more so as a sounding board to get the property ready for market."
Mr Fren asked the vendor to send photos through Facebook and after seeing them he asked the vendor if it would be ok to replicate his $0 marketing strategy and upload the images to his Facebook page. Sure enough, around 4/5 hours later the property had an offer and acceptance at the asking price.
The success of the past two years had clearly defined the future of the platforms.
Not one to stick to tradition or being told 'that's not how we do it', Mr Fren doubled down on his marketing, forging his own path in the industry which made other agents take note and ruffle feathers.
"It didn't come without the headaches," he says. "Like everything new, not everyone saw the value in it and made their thoughts heard, quite loudly at times.
"I had corporate telling me I was stupid for putting social media icons on my signboards and what hashtags I could and couldn't use. I had colleagues laughing at me thinking it was all a joke and I'd be out of the industry in 6 months. However I was producing results through these channels and that's all that mattered."
As a result of the continued success of his social media presence, Mr Fren introduced the $0 marketing strategy in 2015.
I'd all but given up the traditional prospecting methods because I found I achieved more success through social media than any other avenue, plus I enjoyed it.
Using my pre market strategy, I could put a property in front of 10,000 people instantly without making phone calls or having my owner spend a fortune on marketing.
As a result, Nic has gone on to promote well over 500 properties on social media.
The agent turned marketing guru still gets called into listings, despite not being highly active these days. "I had a call just the other day from a Facebook follower of mine who wants to talk with me about selling their property," he says. "It's insane, but I'll still list it" he says with a grin.
Asked what is the biggest tip he'd give agents when it comes to their social media strategy, Mr Fren says there's two things.
1) Get your advice and guidance from someone who knows what they are doing. There's way too many people out there claiming to be experts who only know the basics, but are parading around as experts. You can spend quite a lot of time listening to the wrong person & waste a lot of money taking the advice of someone who either doesn't know this space inside out, or has no actual industry experience.
2) Keep in mind your audience are people. They are not subscribers to your marketing platform, they are followers of your social platform. Talk to them about what they want to know about, not what you think they do and you will be halfway there to success.
In 2019, in addition to being a sales agent, Mr Fren opened his boutique marketing agency Bespoke Media Group.
The group provides social media content, strategy, education and training when it comes to social media marketing in the real estate industry.
Just recently, the bespoke agent portal was crowned the #1 social media app or tool for the real estate industry, claiming the top spot across Australia and New Zealand.
Bespoke Media Group is an international social media marketing, training & education agency. We provide agents all the tools needed to be a success on social media, using the tools we ourselves have used in the real estate industry for over 10 years in this space. With over 800 members across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, United States & the UK, we can certainly help you if you are looking to step up your strategy.
If you would like to discuss becoming a bespoke member and work with the best in industry when it comes to social media in the real estate industry, please reach out to Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org