The Real Deal New York

Elliman’ s top digital ace now @Compass

Mike Fabbri spent just a year at larger firm

April 15, 2015 05:30PM
By E.B. Solomont


From left: Robert Reffkin and Mike Fabbri

UPDATED: 10:18 a.m., April 16: Mike Fabbri, Douglas Elliman’s director of digital and social media, is now Tweeting for another company: Compass.

Fabbri, who was tapped a year ago to jump-start Elliman’s social media presence, is now senior manager of agent marketing and brand strategy at the startup brokerage.

“I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart,” he told The Real Deal. Despite his background of working in the social media space, the role at Compass is broader in scope, he said. “Digital and social don’t work in a vacuum; marketing now is more about all these tactics, how each piece works together,” said Fabbri, who joined Compass two weeks ago. “It all comes back to an overall strategy.”

Still, Fabbri’s departure is surely a loss for Douglas Elliman’s social media effort, as the firm has had a tough time keeping his former job filled.

In April 2013, the firm tapped former Citi Habitats marketing executive Joshua Ferris to be its first director of social media, but Ferris left four months later.

Fabbri joined Elliman last March, when the brokerage hired him to “create a new brand personality and voice that will be effective across all business sectors, with a focus on digital and social media,” according to Fabbri’s LinkedIn profile.

In his profile, he also described himself as a connector and storyteller, and he claims: “What Kevin Bacon did in 6 degrees, I can do in 5.” Prior to his stint at Douglas Elliman, Fabbri launched two social media startups, prollie and MJF Digital Marketing, based in Fairfield, Conn.

He described his experience at Elliman as “wonderful,” and said he boosted the firm’s following across all social media channels.

Still, while several top agents have strong social followings – Fredrick Eklund has 287,000 followers on Instagram, for example – Elliman historically lagged behind other firms in its social engagement.

The firm has nearly 38,000 likes on Facebook, but less than 10,000 followers on Twitter and a little more than 8,700 followers on Instagram.

In a statement, Nicole Oge, Elliman’s global chief marketing officer, said: “Innovation is at the core of our operational philosophy and we plan to continue raising the bar for digital marketing in our industry with the support of the best internal and agency talent in the game today.”​


  • Oouch

    Tweeting is a fraud, but our industry is a sucker for fraud. So there you are.

    • BH


  • Tyrannosaurus Rex

    Tweeting is a waste of time!

    • Tweeting

      Fitting that your username is a fossil, as well as your philosophy.

      • Tyrannosaurus Rex

        Go ahead, waste your time. It’s your life, or lack thereof!

  • ryan

    tweeting is fine, but none of these guys actually know what they are doing in the digital space. it’s fun to watch them hop around and milk money out of firms, though.

  • BH

    blah, blah, blah, compass, compass, blah blah blah

  • Compasstic

    I heard that Compass is hiring Paris Hilton to DJ open houses and Kanye West to be their agent’s personal stylist???

  • RobNYC

    As everyone flocks to the Compass, they just become what they claim not to be. Give it a year and it will be like working at any of the big 3.

    • PLK

      A year? They’re already there.

  • Social Pro

    Likes and followers are bought through ad buys. They are not an actual indication of how well loved a business is.

    Everyone in social media marketing knows that, for a businesses (not for personal accounts), Facebook likes and Twitter/Insta followers are determined by their respective ad budgets.

    An engaged customer base and creativity do not generate likes/follows like they used to. Facebook and Twitter realized they needed to make money from businesses, so their platforms now require ad budgets in order to grow social followings. Business pages are effectively stopped from organically reaching users now.

    So no matter how much social wizardry someone has, like a Matthew Shadbolt, you need a big budget to play with in order to really drive those counts. Compass has money to burn, so I’m sure that budget was tantalizing.

    For the non-savvy out there, you can follow these charts to see when a company starts spending money on Facebook ads. The like growth will spike despite very little change in actual content posted to their feeds.

    For example, on 4/11 and 4/12 Urban Compass’s Facebook Page had less than 5 new likes per day. Then on 4/13 they pumped up their ad budget and generated over a hundred per day. That type of unnatural spike shows that Compass is buying followers, probably to prime this PR story that The Real Deal covered.