Australian Survivor contestant and BigginScott Port Melbourne agent Fraser Lack may be playing a villain this season, but he’s hoping to change perceptions of the industry with his appearance.
We sat down with Fraser before he made his small screen debut to get the full lowdown about his time on the show.
He can’t give too much away about the season, or who he formed friendships with, but said it was tougher than it looks on screen.
“To date that this is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had, and much, much more challenging than I originally anticipated,” he says.
What made you sign up?
Fraser, who has been working as an agent for four years and boasts a big social media following, is a longtime Survivor fan and jumped at the opportunity to join the cast when he was approached for the role.
“I love to push myself to the limit, I love to try new things, I want to have that flutter of butterflies in the stomach that you get when you feel uncomfortable,” he says.
“That’s when you need to grow yourself and challenge yourself, and, you know, those are the moments I really thrive in.
“When the opportunity arose, it was an absolute no brainer.”
What did you do to get ready?
The time between giving the green light and landing in Samoa was somewhat of a mad scramble, Fraser says.
“It was not a long lead time, I’ll say that,” he admits.
“The time for me to actually get, let’s say, ready and prepared was very slim.”
Physical preparation wasn’t a concern (a look at his Instagram account shows he’s a regular around Melbourne’s Tan track).
“I was really fortunate, because exercise is a massive part of my life,” Fraser says.
“There is no shock to the system in that respect – it’s something that I do day-to-day, in my everyday life.
“So from a physical standpoint, it was always ready to go, like, throw me in, let’s do it.”
Mental preparation primarily consisted of re-watching old seasons, trying to pick up on tactics and develop a game plan.
You’re a busy guy, was it a challenge stepping away from that?
One of the most difficult aspects of preparing for his time on Survivor was telling clients he wouldn’t be available for an extended period of time, but not being able to tell them why.
“I’m someone who lives listings and sales,” Fraser says.
That includes staying in touch with future and past clients, even emailing people on their property anniversaries.
“I feel a real level of responsibility to my clients because I know the level of service I provide… I felt this level of personal responsibility that I wanted to be there,” he says.
So the thought of going incommunicado during the show’s filming was a daunting one.
But to his pleasant surprise, his clients were incredibly supportive of him taking time out to focus on personal pursuits.
“When I told clients they were like, ‘You go and do you’.”
He puts that down to the years he’s spent cultivating relationships and building a reputation of trust with clients.
“I feel the work that I’ve done speaks for itself,” he says.
Were there any strategies you put in place that made it easier to step away from work?
Having a team he could rely on to pick up any slack was a huge part of what made it possible to do the show, Fraser says.
“I work in a really small team here; we’re a family business,” he explains.
“Myself, David and Brooke – we’re essentially both two listing and selling agents and a marketing assistant.
“And we work together on every property, which means that when one of us takes time out of the business the others can really take cover.”
Market conditions also aligned, with the downswing meaning there was less activity to miss out on.
“In the time that I was gone not a whole lot changed,” Fraser says.
And when it came to actually playing the game, there were plenty of transferable skills from his day job that helped.
“I think how emotionally intense the job is, and real estate is more broadly… I think that was a really good preparation,” he said.
You’re playing a villain, were you concerned that the socials might have a field day with that?
This season of Australian Survivor introduces a new Heroes vs Villains format.
Players are divided into tribes based on how they see themselves playing the game, or how they played the game in the past (in the case of returning players).
Fraser is playing a villain, but says his aim is to prove that the villainous reputation of the real estate industry is undeserved.
“Absolutely, being a villain was based on, let’s say a relatively poor perception of the industry as a whole,” he says.
“I hope that I’m able to change that perception after my time on the show.”
And even if he can’t achieve that goal, he’s ready to roll with the punches.
“I’ve dealt with my fair share of public criticism online, through Instagram profiles, etc.
“And I feel like I’m pretty equipped to take however the way I’m portrayed is the way I’m portrayed, it is what it is, right?
“So if people want to either love me or hate me for that, I’m going to be the same person, and it’s not going to change who I am.”