Lisa Novak shares her social media trick to achieve 98% of property sales
Real estate agents around Australia would all be familiar with social media and how it can increase your brand awareness and property sales. But Lisa Novak was able to identify a gap in the market which now results in her selling 98% of her properties of social media.
It’s fair to say that selling a property is already hard enough, and every agent is always trying to find a way to increase their selling time. (time from listing to being sold, need to be rephrased)
In this video, I sit down with Lisa Novak and I ask her how she is able to sell the majority of her properties through social media and how she became a real estate agent.
Click below to watch the video.
Following is the video transcript.
So today I’m with Lisa Novak from Novak properties, she was recently awarded most innovative female agent of the year. And she’s very active, in fact, John McGrath, in his interview talked about her social media prowess, so I invited her into the studio, to have a chat about social media from a real estate agent’s point of view.
Give us a bit of a rundown on how you became a real estate agent, because that’s relatively new for you.
It is. So our real estate business has been running for almost 19 years. And I was always involved in the background of the business first, and a marketing capacity, and then moving more into a general manager role. But I always wanted to be in real estate sales.
It’s just the time wasn’t right raising children, and, you know, the business needed me in different areas. So about two years ago, I decided literally to take the plunge overnight, I picked up my desk, and I moved it into the sales department and hit the ground running quite quickly.
What was it like becoming a real estate agent after having been behind the scenes for so many years?
Yeah, amazing. So one of the things that I noticed from the outside looking in, was there were so many things that I thought I needed to change in the industry, but I thought, what do I know, you know! It wasn’t until I’d actually moved into sales that I realised my observations had been correct – that the industry was somewhat stuck in a bit of a time warp.
Plus you brought all those amazing marketing skills into your role as an active selling agent. So what have you brought into the fray to help promote and sell properties?
In terms of social media, a lot of agents weren’t really doing it quite right. So I felt that there was a big niche in the market for an agent to start selling property off the back of social media. It’s just I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to work.
So now that you’ve put selling property via social media into practice, and you’ve sold quite a few properties with the help of online marketing, what have you worked out? What’s the formula?
Content is the key but traction takes time
Content, content, content. So very early on, I didn’t have a lot of listings, but we cross sell within our office, so I started taking a lot of stock that was sitting on our website that hadn’t sold, and thought maybe I could start putting that out onto my social media, and so that’s kind of how I got started with the social selling.
But before that, if I can just jump back a little bit (to a time when I didn’t have a whole lot of listings) I decided that if I got content out, maybe I could build my viewership. So, I would go out and film absolutely anything that was real estate related or community related, as long as I was just getting this content out. And I’ve got to admit, for the first year and a half I actually wondered if anyone was even watching. And it was only about six months ago that I really started to get some traction.
That’s really interesting. Because from my perspective, content is so important. I love the fact that you’re sharing these insights with our viewers i.e. that you had to be in it for the long haul is great, because so many people think that there’s a magic pill. People also believe you only need to do one thing, on one channel, in one way and will get overnight success – but that is not the case.
So talk me through the experience, when did you start to feel the change? And how did that change bring you business?
One short video, to deal by the end of the day
About six months ago, there was an old listing that had been sitting on our website for some time (that was being sold off market). I made a quick little video out the front of the property, because the vendor didn’t want me going inside (because at some stage he was considering going on to the property portals, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au). So I decided that I’ll just run up and down the street and show people around the neighbourhood. Giving them an idea about where the property is located and what’s in the vicinity.
So that’s what I did, and by the time I’d gotten back to my car, my phone had rang, and it was a lady who I knew (but I had no idea that she was following me on social media), and she said, “I’m interested in the property that you’ve just done a little video on”.
Anyway, long story short, we ended up having a deal done by the end of that day. So the property was sold. Yay!
Wow. I love the fact that you did a live Facebook video and then you were wondering whether anybody was watching you or following you, and then you got immediate validation that they were and they picked up the phone straightaway.
It’s also about authenticity. I think this is where a lot of people seem to get social media marketing a little bit wrong. People would take that authenticity over perfection these days. So being authentic is absolutely key.
And what does authenticity mean to you? Is it being yourself? And if so, how do you portray Lisa, through social media and other digital channels on a daily basis? Talk me through a typical day in the life of Lisa Novak.
Okay, so there’s not a lot of planning that goes into it. I think that’s the important thing. The biggest issue that I see that happens, particularly in our industry, is that agents overthink stuff.
So when we’re doing professional videos, much like what we’re doing now, you said to me, “I sent you through the list of questions. Did you have a look?” and I said, “No, I’d rather just do it all ad lib – that authenticity is gold”.
What comes out when someone has not prepared is magic, you know. And so just being yourself, you actually get over the fact that you’ve got a camera in front of you. We’re agents at the end of the day, we know what we’re selling, okay? Switch the camera on, and just be yourself, It’s not about you, it’s about what you’re selling. And so when you have that mind, everything starts to fall into place.
Yes, exactly, I say this to my clients a lot of the time as well, you’re not doing anything different to what you do on a daily basis. You’re talking to people, you’re answering questions that you answer time and time again. And yet, it’s funny that a lot of people clam up or become like a rabbit in a headlight, as soon as the camera is there, when it’s normally totally natural for a real estate agent to talk, as you’re natural negotiators.
Make sure to go live and don’t be afraid to make a mistake
That’s it. Now there’s another little golden rule that you’ve got to GO LIVE, okay, you’ve got to put yourself under the pump – you’ve got to go live, and if you make a mistake, who cares? We’re human. It doesn’t matter. People don’t mind, they’re very forgiving. So being LIVE on Facebook is the key.
Turn the camera on, and just go for it. Because if we start to do the pre-records, and run through properties, what’s going to happen is, much like a selfie, we’re going to do them 20 times, we’re not going to love any of them. We’re gonna think we sound silly, we’re too fat – whatever it is, that’s where the gold is.
Turn the video on, be authentic, be yourself, and go for it.
I know exactly what you mean. Because the same works for me, I learnt that I need the pressure too. Put me on a stage in an auditorium of 500 people and I’ll perform. I’m in my element and I love it.
But two years ago, when you put me in front of a camera, and I had to talk off the cuff (and I knew that the camera could be restarted) it was start, stop, start, stop.
But when I’m running out of time, that’s when I just push it out. It’s like you need that pressure. And going LIVE gives you that pressure. There’s no editing, there’s no changing what you said, you have to stay in the moment and get your message out.
People want to see the authentic property. They want to see the authentic you. It’s critical these days, as I said, people will take that authenticity over that perfection any day.
Unfortunately, in the real estate industry today, we have a tendency to drop in virtual photos and so when a buyer walks into a property and realises that it’s nothing like what they thought, home buyer becomes an annoying process for them.
People prefer the fact that I don’t have a property prepped and ready, they’re actually buying it before it’s going on to the market. They’re buying it before it’s even been professionally marketed and sent to the property portal. The buyer gets the benefit of coming through that property as it is in its raw state. And they’re fine with that.
I like that idea, because when you are a home buyer, and you’ve been looking at properties for a long time, you learn that as soon as a high quality property is sent out to absolutely everybody it’ll get snapped up. So, I guess as a buyer you feel like you’re getting a bit of exclusivity, and you’re ahead of the curve.
And they are because the intention is always that these properties will eventually be going onto the property portals. They are always going to be launched across realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. It’s just in some cases they never get there.
So about 98% of my properties are now sold across social media, before they got to the stage of being promoted on the property portals. Plus they don’t sell cheaply. They all sold well above the vendor’s expectations.
Well, that’s an amazing stat. Now you mentioned to me that you don’t call it an off market campaign. What do you call it?
Pre-portal. So it’s a pre portal listing, okay. We always have the intention of sending the property out to the public. It’s just that in many cases the listing never got there, as it sold in the first few days.
And as you mentioned, the home buyer gets the benefit of coming and having a look at the property, and potentially purchasing it, before it actually goes out to market. And buyers will pay, they’ll pay a premium for that. They’ll pay a premium to stop that property going to auction, because as you mentioned, a lot of them have actually missed out on good quality properties in the past.
So it is that fear of missing out, and they will miss out, because it will sell at auction undoubtedly, and they’ve got that option of purchasing it prior.
I love this concept. Because interestingly, on the flip side, my agency has been getting a lot of property developers that have had their new homes sitting on the property portals for a long time. So the campaigns that my teamrun for developers has better results than the portals. When the listing has lost traction and gone stale we give it a new lease of life through social media. So I love the idea that social media advertising can work either pre or post the real estate portals.
I’ll do both, this philosophy works for anything, it works pre-portal, it works whether we’re going out to the portal, or if it’s already been sitting on those portals for too long.
Social media is a whole different world. Also, a lot of the buyers that have purchased from me weren’t even looking for property. So if those properties were sitting on realestate.com.au or domain.com.au they never would have bought them. They were not out looking for a new home, they were the emotional buyers.
But you’re quite right, it does also work very well, when a property has been on the market for too long and a lot of agents are like, what do we do now?
And we’re so lucky, because we now have a lot more property marketing options, right? Because everybody’s been complaining for a long time that we’re at the mercy of the real estate portals. And saying that, I worked for one of the portals for a few years and have nothing against any of them. I think they do a fantastic job. But in terms of providing home sellers with lots of marketing options, and having the ability to reach more people, quickly, you can’t beat social media.
How do you view social media such as Facebook or Google? How do you position digital media in your mind in comparison to advertising on the property portals?
Eyeballs, lots of them. You know, when you’re looking at people at a bus stop, or watching people in cafes, and everyone’s looking down at their devices, I’m sorry to say, they’re not on the property portals, they’re all on social media.
So that was always my philosophy, where are all the eyeballs of the world, and the answer is that they’re all on social media. So why not put property in front of home buyers on there?
Really, I can get a much bigger reach with Facebook. As I mentioned earlier, the people that aren’t looking to buy property – I’ll capture them – as well as the people that are looking for property. And look, these days, you can home right in on two different demographics, within a five kilometre radius. I can push myself up onto your feed with boosted Facebook posts. But it’s more about the content that I’m getting out, it’s that consistency of pushing that content out daily.
Very good. And just thinking aloud about the fact that you use Facebook LIVE to get extra visibility, you can actually post videos that have been, pre produced through the live environment.
I was just sitting here trying to work out how you can reach people on Facebook without doing a paid ad or boost (because you definitely need to be doing paid advertising). So, Facebook LIVE, that’s the trick really, isn’t it? Not only are you putting pressure on yourself, but you’ve also leveraged the fact that Facebook LIVE gets that extra visibility and ensures an alert is sent to people that do follow you.
It does, it really does. And also what a lot of people don’t realise is that when you’ve gone live, you can actually save the live video. There’s a little button on the top left hand side of Facebook, it will allow you to save the LIVE video, then that will sit in your camera roll, then you can grab that LIVE video and you can push it up onto some of the other social media platforms such as Instagram, IGTV, LinkedIn, and so forth. So I can push that up later. Then it looks like I’m in 60 different places in one day.
Excellent, these are great tips. And what about in terms of how much you do, verses asking other people in your team, like an assistant to help with?
I do like to control my own social media. That’s part of my authenticity. I think if I’m controlling my social media, then it authentically, Lisa Novak.
Personally, I feel that if I give that task away to someone else to do, I’m going to lose that personal touch. So it’s important and critical that I am controlling my socials. But I do have an amazing team. I’ve got a personal assistant who deals with a lot of my day to day stuff and makes sure that everything gets done. And then I’ve also got Michael, another guy in my team who helps answer home buyer questions. So together, we are able to stay on top of things all the time and have that efficiency. You need a team, there’s no doubt about it.
Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing all of these great insights. I look forward to talking to you again.
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