The Upshot Podcast – Episode 7: Fraser Lack
The Upshot Podcast with guest Fraser Lack
Host: Ben, Head of Investor Relations at Homely
Guest: Fraser Lack – Sales Executive at BigginScott
The Upshot by Homely invites you into honest conversations with the entrepreneurs, challengers and longstanding legends shaping the real estate industry today.
Homely is proud to welcome Fraser Lack to the Upshot Podcast. A big supporter of Homely, Fraser’s career has been extensive and impressive. Fraser, a natural talent in real estate, combines his marketing degree with years of experience at BigginScott Port Melbourne. Respected by colleagues and clients, he thrives on exceeding expectations and earning referrals. With extensive market knowledge, he personally manages every stage of a sale, delivering premium outcomes. Passionate and detail-oriented, Fraser sets high standards, stays ahead of trends, and embraces Melbourne’s culinary and cultural scene. Contact him today for expert advice.
Fraser’s take on current property news
Ben: Welcome to the seventh edition of the Upshot podcast by Homely. Today, we have the pleasure of chatting with Fraser Lack from BigginScott in Port Melbourne. Fraser is a young professional making waves in the industry and has a strong social media presence. We’re also going to dive into his love for Survivor. Welcome to the show, Fraser.
Fraser: Thank you for having me. I feel blessed to be here, and I’ve been a big supporter of Homely, so it’s a no-brainer.
Ben: Fantastic. So you recently returned from Europe. How was your trip?
Fraser: It was amazing. I really needed it, especially after the non-stop hustle of the past few years. It was perfect timing. The highlight was definitely Paris. It was unexpected because I wasn’t planning to go there initially. But a friend offered me a place to stay, and I jumped on the opportunity. I had to pick up my friend too, but it worked out great. I also attended a friend’s wedding in Tuscany, which was a wonderful experience.
Ben: Sounds like a tough life, but someone’s got to do it. Now, let’s talk about your career. You’re relatively new to real estate but making impressive strides. You’re currently working at BigginScott. Can you tell us about your approach and what sets you apart?
Fraser: Absolutely. I’ve been in real estate for almost four and a half years now, starting in January 2019. Despite the relatively short time, it feels like I’ve experienced ten years’ worth of cycles in the market. The pace of the industry has dramatically increased, and it has been a challenging journey. We’ve dealt with various challenges like the speculation around government changes and capital gains tax in 2019. I remember having properties on the market for months. Then, after the election, things picked up until February 2020 when COVID hit.
Ben: It’s been quite a rollercoaster in the market over the past few years. I recall the impact of the banking royal commission, which was the first significant downturn I witnessed since joining the real estate industry. Although it doesn’t compare to the current situation, it was definitely a shock. But we bounced back from that as well.
Fraser: Exactly. I’ve experienced both good and challenging times. But the truth is, you don’t learn much from easy days. The more difficult and challenging it gets, the more opportunities there are for growth and learning.
Ben: It’s true, the more skilled the sailor. We’re probably going to see many people leaving the industry at the moment.
Fraser: Absolutely. I’ve witnessed it. It’s crazy how things have changed in just three years. Some long-time real estate professionals have decided to call it quits. They realized they wanted something more stable, like becoming an account manager or starting a family. That’s cool, but everyone has their own path. Interestingly, I believe those who have been in the industry or worked as agents in the past have the most respect for real estate agents. They truly understand the challenges.
Ben: Do you enjoy the grind?
Fraser: I do. But like any job, there are good days and bad days. You experience moments of happiness and joy, as well as depths of almost depression, especially when things aren’t going well, like falling short on listings. It’s an emotional roller coaster that fluctuates by the hour or even half-hour. Sometimes you feel incredibly proud of yourself, thinking, “Wow, I pulled that off,” even when you didn’t expect to. But then you can also have a client who suddenly decides not to sell after you’ve invested eight weeks of effort. Managing these ups and downs requires having a strong foundation outside of real estate that keeps you grounded. Without that, you easily get caught up in the peaks and troughs and start believing the negative thoughts. It’s something I’ve had to learn and continue to learn, how to detach as much as possible. You don’t want to suppress your emotions completely because they make you human, but you also can’t let it consume you because it can be destructive.
How do you unwind after a challenging day like that? Do you have any strategies in place? It must take up a lot of your mental space.
Ben: How do you unwind after a challenging day like that? Do you have any strategies in place? It must take up a lot of your mental space.
Fraser: Absolutely, it does. And as I mentioned, I’m still figuring it out myself. There aren’t many people, even mentors or industry figures I look up to, who have it all figured out either. You might have moments of getting it right, but then you fall out of balance. It’s a constant process of realignment and finding your own safe space. For me, having a solid group of friends has been crucial. It’s about surrounding yourself with positive people who uplift you and cutting out anyone negative or draining your energy and happiness. Spend your time, which is your most valuable asset, with those who celebrate and support you. I keep my circle small, with just a handful of friends I can count on one hand. I communicate with them almost daily, and it has made a massive difference.
Ben: I love that. I’m a bit older than you, but I’ve learned to surround myself with people who lift me up instead of tearing me down. It’s so much better that way, having people who want to celebrate your success instead of criticising or undermining you. It’s the way to go.
Fraser: It’s something that you have to go through to truly understand. People will realise it at different stages of their lives, whether it’s at 18 or 32, when they realise that the way they’re living and the people they’re surrounded by don’t support their growth and becoming the best version of themselves. That’s what everyone should strive for. I was fortunate to have a clear vision on that and I’ve made some amazing friends while losing others over the past few years. But I’m in a good place with my relationships now.
Ben: Cool. Now, walk me through a day in the life of Fraser Lack. I know you’re heavily into fitness, particularly running. I imagine it helps you get into a rhythm.
Fraser: Absolutely. I’m always seeking inspiration and motivation. I don’t want a normal day, I want an extraordinary life. So depending on the day, my mornings consist of either running or going to the gym. Running is a major focus for me, and I absolutely love it. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a runner to give it a try because it can have a significant impact on your mental well-being. It has become a fundamental part of my life. I try my best to be at the gym by 5:32 AM or go for a run around 6 AM. I exercise six days a week without fail, usually with four runs and three gym sessions. There might be a double session in there, but I always make sure to have one rest day. Exercise and the physical aspect of movement are vital to me, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It has even influenced the people I choose to do business with and be friends with. My friends share a similar mindset, and I often train with my best friends, seeing them almost every morning.
Ben: Yeah, it’s a great way to maintain discipline. Right?
Fraser: Absolutely. Discipline is everything when it comes to bettering yourself and striving to be the best version of yourself.
Ben: Do you ever have days when you lack motivation?
Fraser: Definitely. I’m not superhuman. There are times when I feel young and invincible, but running, especially when training for a race or dealing with injuries, humbles me and reminds me that I’m not invincible. So yes, there are definitely days when motivation is lacking.
Ben: Love that. Love that. Alright, let’s move on to Survivor. I don’t want to spend too much time on it, but I’m a big fan. I’ve watched every season. I was shocked when you came on as a villain because you’re a hero in my eyes. How did it all happen?
Fraser: It was crazy. Long story short, I received a message on Instagram from a casting executive for Endemol Shine, the producers of Survivor. The message came from a low-key account with around 300 followers, and she asked if I would be interested in discussing Survivor. I was thrilled and scheduled a call for the next morning. From there, I had multiple interviews over the course of about two weeks. The whole process, from the first contact to going on the show, took about a month. It was a quick turnaround, and I had to undergo physical tests, psychological evaluations, and health checks. I received the official green light about a week before I left.
Ben: So they just whisked you away on a plane immediately?
Fraser: Yes, they kept things pretty secretive. When the Survivor gods pick you, you just make it work. I had to detach myself from my business and trust that my clients would be taken care of by my colleague David. It was a challenge, especially being in a new relationship and having to tell my girlfriend that I might be away for three months with no contact. Walking away from potential listings and clients I had been working with was difficult, but my clients were supportive. They understood that I had something important to do for myself, and they respected that. It was a valuable lesson in realising that my business is not my entire life and that I can prioritise my own journey.
Ben: I didn’t think I could do it. Breaking that psychological barrier is crucial.
Fraser: Absolutely. And over time, you learn how to handle it better. You figure out what conversations you need to have and how to navigate stepping away from your business. It becomes a part of your life, knowing that you’ll be taking breaks for certain periods and for your own well-being. Stepping away allows you to come back and represent your clients in the best way possible. If you can’t do that, you’re not doing them or yourself any service.
Ben: It’s so important to disengage from real estate. I’ve seen so many people who can’t switch off, even when they’re on holidays. But it’s crucial to switch off, reset, and then come back with full focus.
Fraser: Absolutely. When I was away, I checked my emails every five days, and that was it. It was a big step for me, but it’s a realisation I had after working intensely for the past four years. Longevity in this industry requires being able to switch off and avoid constant burnout. It’s a challenge in our industry, but finding a way to delegate or empower others is necessary for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Ben: Let’s circle back to Survivor really quickly. You were part of the greatest blindside in history, in my opinion. What was that like?
Fraser: It was shocking and unexpected. When you’re on Survivor, you try to predict what will happen, but the show constantly throws twists and turns at you. It reminds you that it’s their show, not yours. Being blindsided was traumatic, but in a way, it was a memorable experience. To be part of Survivor’s history forever is pretty awesome, and I always have a positive spin on it.
Ben: Okay, so a positive spin. What are your feelings towards George?
Fraser: Honestly, I wish him the best in his endeavours, but personally, I don’t celebrate his presence in my life.
Ben: Simon called him the cockroach for Bankstown. Seems fitting.
Fraser: Look, honestly, I have absolute respect for George. He plays the game well, knows it inside out, and it served him well. He got me before I got him, so hats off to him.
Ben: Who was your favourite player? I think I know the answer, but I want to hear it.
Fraser: Without a doubt, it’s Geordie from my season. Love that guy. He’s a legend, humble, down-to-earth, and we formed a great relationship on the show that extended beyond the game. He’s someone I really connected with, and it’s one of the best things I took away from Survivor.
Ben: That’s awesome. Has being on Survivor helped your career in real estate?
Fraser: Yes and no. It hasn’t significantly increased my following or brought in new clients directly. However, it has helped with brand recognition and awareness. People in my local area recognise me and appreciate my journey on the show, which aligns with my goal of being front of mind as a real estate agent in Port Melbourne. It’s a valuable aspect that can’t be achieved through just phone calls.
Ben: Exactly. Think about how many phone calls it would take to leave a lasting impression on someone, whereas people immediately recognise you and feel a connection. It’s powerful.
Fraser: Yeah, exactly. It’s about the visual impact and building that connection. Instead of just annoying phone calls, people can see you and understand what you’re offering. It all plays a part in the process.
What strategies have you implemented to get listings in the current market? What are you doing differently?
Ben: Absolutely. Back to real estate. What strategies have you implemented to get listings in the current market? What are you doing differently?
Fraser: I think people are overcomplicating it. For me, it’s all about making calls, lots of calls. I’m not physically knocking on doors, but I’m making those phone calls. The more calls I make, the more appointments I can book. And that’s where the magic happens. In-person appointments allow me to build rapport and influence the clients effectively. It’s hard to achieve the same level of connection over the phone. If I can’t book an appointment and get invited into their home, it’s unlikely that I’ll win the listing. And if I don’t win the listing, I can’t sell the property, and I won’t get paid. It’s as simple as that. So calls are key.
I’ve had my ups and downs with consistency in making calls. Sometimes complacency sets in when things are going well. But it’s crucial to keep it consistent, make it a non-negotiable part of my business routine, and focus on pipeline management. Even when taking breaks or going on trips, it’s important to have listings lined up for when I return. I’ve had listings go online while I was in Spain, and I flew back to attend appointments the moment I arrived. It’s all about keeping the momentum going.
Ben: Was it a goal of yours to have listings lined up for when you returned from your trip?
Fraser: Absolutely. Otherwise, you’re not just losing three weeks, you’re potentially losing six weeks. So having listings set up for when I come back is crucial. Calls are massive, and I always feel like I can do more. I had a friend over at my place recently, and he witnessed me making calls. He realised how tough it can be. Even if nothing comes out of a particular call session, you just have to stick with it and trust that something will eventually come.
Ben: Exactly. You have to make that promise to yourself that someday something will come out of it.
Fraser: Absolutely. I believe in that promise.
Ben: When it comes to your database, do you focus on having a large database or do you prefer to work with a smaller number of clients? There are different approaches to consider.
Fraser: For me, it’s all about buyer work. I focus on building strong relationships with buyers. When someone I’ve met in the past buys a property and decides to lease it out, they often reach out to me instead of going to the agent they bought through. That’s a massive win. While I’m not heavily involved in leasing, I understand that the rental side of the business is a valuable asset. So I bring these clients into my world, nurture their properties, and they become lifelong clients. Eventually, it may lead to a transaction down the line. Building a small list of people who have hinted or mentioned their intention to sell is another strategy I’ve recently adopted. I send them a weekly email with market updates, including listings, sales, and the true auction clearance rate. I even include links to other agents’ listings. It’s all about providing value and staying in touch. Even if it takes two years, when they decide to sell, I’ll be there for them.
Ben: That’s great because it’s not about being needy or desperate for a listing. It’s about providing value and staying in touch with your clients.
Fraser: Exactly. I don’t want to be the person who pesters people, constantly asking if they want to sell their home. I only call with value. If there’s useful information to share, then I’ll reach out. It’s about having intent and being purposeful in my interactions. I’ve created a small list in my CRM for those who have mentioned the possibility of selling in the future. They receive a weekly market update email every Monday, including information on all listings, not just mine. I want them to have a comprehensive understanding of the market. This consistent communication builds trust and ensures that when they’re ready to sell, they’ll think of me.
Ben: Wow. So they received a hundred emails from you and had three to four calls over the course of two years. Do you track the engagement on those emails?
Fraser: Yes, I do. I track the click-through rates and the response rates. It’s interesting to see the data and analyse the engagement. It’s definitely an important aspect to consider. It’s different from the response I get on my buyer match alerts, where I send out notifications to buyers in my database about new listings. But overall, tracking engagement helps me understand what works and what doesn’t.
Regarding my personal brand, one thing I’ve found effective is direct mail, especially in my marketplace where the target demographic, aged between 40 to 60, still pays attention to physical mail. I make sure to consistently send out direct mail pieces to create touch points with potential clients. My goal is to build brand recognition and familiarity, so when they think of real estate, they think of me. Even if they throw away the mail most of the time, seeing my name or brand repeatedly creates that connection. Additionally, I plan to provide a half-yearly marketplace report next month, focusing on specific apartment buildings and sub-pockets of Port Melbourne. This further establishes my expertise and keeps me on their radar.
Ben: That sounds like a great strategy. Port Melbourne has some fantastic properties, including waterfront apartments in places like Beacon Cove. Do you specifically target those areas?
Fraser: I love Port Melbourne, and while I don’t specialise in just one type of property or price bracket, I sell a wide range of properties. From around $450,000 up to multi-million dollar sales. Port Melbourne and its surrounding areas are my main focus, and I try to create as many touch points as possible with potential clients, both now and in the future.
Ben: That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about your personal brand. You have a significant following on Instagram, and I’m sure it came from various channels. How did you start and what steps did you take to build your brand to where it is today?
Fraser: It’s a good question. To be honest, I don’t see my following as significant compared to broader accounts in the content creation industry. However, within the real estate industry, it may appear substantial. It started small, mainly with people I knew from high school and mutual friends. From the beginning, I’ve always been ambitious and inspired, and I wanted to share motivational content with others. It began with sharing quotes and then evolved into creating short motivational videos that I would watch to get myself through the day.
Ben: I’d love to see one of those videos later.
Fraser: Absolutely. Over time, I received positive feedback from friends and supporters, which motivated me to improve and provide even more value. I wanted to give more, be faster, and do it more frequently. I practiced and worked on my content, constantly learning and expanding my catalog of motivational material. However, there was a point where an Instagram account emerged that mocked the real estate industry, including me. I was the first post on that page, and it felt very personal and like an attack. They used photos and videos I had posted in the past, which felt orchestrated and planned. Initially, I laughed it off, but then it started to affect me on a deeper level.
Ben: Someone really doesn’t like me. They’re willing to do some pretty savage stuff on this page.
Fraser: I’ve struggled with that, but it has made me emotionally intelligent and controlled. It helped me understand myself better and be better prepared for criticism. In the early days, they would post things with funny captions or tag-lines to mock me, and it hurt. Reading the comments where people called me a joke or a clown was tough. I’ve heard every negative comment about me. But now, going through that scrutiny and ridicule, I feel untouchable and it has made me who I am today.
Ben: It’s interesting to hear that. There were rumours that you created Lord of Property to build your brand, but that’s not the case.
Fraser: Those rumours will circulate, but even if I knew who ran that page, I wouldn’t confront them because it has actually made my life better. It completely changed the script and helped increase my following, which led to opportunities like being noticed by casting executives for Survivor and potentially future shows.
Ben: Initially, there might have been more hate, but now people seem to love it. I even saw a petition to have you on the $5 bill.
Fraser: Yeah, the page started with ridicule, but it slowly turned toxic and negative. People realised it wasn’t supportive or encouraging. While it mocked me, it also celebrated me as their King. But many others reached out to support my journey and be part of it. I appreciate the love and support, even if I can’t always respond.
Ben: That’s funny. My wife and I watched Survivor, and we discovered dummy accounts of yours. She got added by one of them, thinking it was you. She found it hilarious.
Fraser: I love what I’m doing and see myself involved in real estate. The aspect or position may evolve and change, but I have much bigger goals. I see everything I’ve done so far as minor compared to what I want to achieve. I consider today as day one of my journey. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in a highly competitive marketplace, differentiating myself from established competitors.
Ben: The market you work in has some of the biggest brands and best agents in Victoria, making it very difficult to enter.
Fraser: Absolutely, I completely agree. It’s one of the most competitive markets in Victoria and even in Australia. So, to earn respect and attention with a short history in the industry has been special. But there’s still a lot to do and prove. As the economic climate shrinks the pie, I’m determined to get a bigger slice. It’s my Kobe era.
How do you overcome the challenges of being young in your marketplace?
Fraser: You have to embrace it. Fighting against it won’t work. The beard helps, actually. I’ve noticed an increase in beards in my area, not that I’m saying people copied me. But seriously, you have to embrace your youth. Trying to prove you’re not young comes off as inauthentic. Instead, I highlight my unique selling propositions: I’m young, less experienced, but I have zero dependents and all the time in the world to prove why people should choose me to sell their property. I emphasize my energy and focus, which I believe some more seasoned agents may have lost. I respect my competitors, but I challenge them to match my energy, and they can’t. I have so much to prove, and each client gets my absolute attention and focus. That speaks volumes.
Ben: If you look at my testimonials and reviews online, combined with your composure and level-headedness, it’s a powerful combination. I keep coming back to your age, you know, being only 25. You’re remarkably composed and level-headed. So with that energy and presence, I’m sure it makes a strong impression in the living room.
Fraser: Yeah, it’s funny because I almost hesitate to use the word “energy” because it’s become a cliché these days. Everyone throws it around. But I see it when I attend other agents’ open for inspections. They’re not driving conversations with buyers, not asking the right questions, not following up promptly or frequently enough. It’s those 1% actions that add up to a 10% difference. There’s a degree of complacency and getting too comfortable once you have a decent track record. But I didn’t settle for that, and I still want to improve. I don’t have incoming calls just rolling in, so I need to keep pushing. I can’t sit on a throne waiting for calls to come in. I’m the one making the calls. I’ll keep pushing until the day comes when I can sit on that throne and receive those calls. Yeah.
Ben: On a more personal note, I’ve noticed you have a great fashion sense in your videos. I really enjoy those fashion-related videos. So, let’s talk about your winter wardrobe. What are you wearing?
Fraser: Lots of knitwear. Knitwear is your friend. You can dress it up or down. Today, for example, I threw a crew neck underneath my suit. Fashion doesn’t have to be expensive, especially for younger agents who may try to show off on Instagram. You don’t need to spend a fortune on your wardrobe. Seriously, Uniqlo is your friend. Invest in quality basics and keep it simple. You’ll have a versatile wardrobe that you can mix and match. Avoid loud fabrics because they tend to stand out and people notice when you wear the same thing. Stick to classic colours like navy. My wardrobe is mostly navy with a few special pieces. Fashion has always been a passion of mine since high school, and it’s something I’ll continue to pursue. Dressing well and feeling good is important to me. It’s just a part of who I am. Love that.
Ben: I see you as the Victorian Gavin Rubinstein, and that’s a huge compliment because I think it’s true. Do you have any mentors or people you look up to?
Fraser: At the moment, I do have a business coach, Josh Fagan, whom I see regularly. We have group training through BigginScott, and it’s been incredibly helpful. Josh has a wealth of knowledge, advice, and insights. What’s unique about him is that he’s not currently working as a real estate agent. He used to be, but now he works on the industry rather than in it. This perspective gives him a valuable and worldly view. For anyone seeking direction, advice, or mentorship, I believe he is the number one real estate coach to seek out. I also tune into a lot of content and information from Tom Panos. He has interesting points of view and perspectives. But ultimately, I watch my competitors not to criticise, but to observe how they operate and what they do differently. One standout in the Victorian marketplace is White Fox. They have built a remarkable business, and Marty deserves credit for his unique approach to the market. There are interesting things to learn from them in terms of branding and marketing. At the end of the day, we all do a similar job, but it’s how you present yourself and the perceived value that determines your success.
Ben: I have a lot of respect for what Gavin Rubinstein has done. He has nailed the video and content side of things. His catchphrase, “Here’s the deal,” is great.
Fraser: I can’t use that catchphrase. It’s trademarked. But I don’t believe in imitation. I look at what others do and appreciate their strengths. For example, I create my own video content for every property we sell. It’s not fancy or flashy. I film it on my iPhone with a gimbal. You can check out our YouTube page for BigginScott to see the video walkthrough tours I’ve done. This approach was vital during COVID to sell properties when people couldn’t physically visit them. We sold some amazing properties through video, and every client who brings me into their living room references those videos. It astounded me because I thought they were average, but people love them. You don’t need to spend a fortune on professional videography. I’ve worked with a videographer before, and it can cost around $8,800 for a professional video. Plus, the lead time can be long, but I often need a quick turnaround. So I started doing it myself with my iPhone, and it has had fantastic results. Especially when selling premium properties, it builds trust and rapport with potential buyers before they even visit the property.