I started The Broke Agent in January 2015 when I was 25 years old. It began as simple, screenshotted Tweets distributed to Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to an audience of zero. Our logo was a dilapidated house from Google Images, and the content was my inner monologue as a struggling, bitter realtor in Los Angeles.
The second I got my license, I felt like a fish out of water. My network was nowhere near purchasing homes, and every social instinct told me to NOT cold call, NOT door knock, and NOT relentlessly follow up with people who could clearly tell I had no idea what I was doing. I spent the first few years of my real estate career “tricking myself” into believing I was being productive. I would basically just go into the office and click around the MLS like a buyer was magically going to jump through my screen when I checked the status of a house.
Thankfully, I had the Broke Agent as my “side project” to unleash my anxieties and to keep me from being one of the famed 87% of agents who leave the industry in their first five years.
Whenever I had a bad day in real estate, which was every day, I got to post jokes about it and test them on a real estate community to see if anyone else felt the way I did. A fast-growing audience told me I had found something, but my goal was always to turn this brand into something more than just laughs for likes—into something that got me OUT of the real estate rat race.
As I write this, I can officially say that dream has finally come to fruition. This year, The Broke Agent evolved into BAM, a media company with actual writers, editors, podcasts, shows, webinars, educational videos, a content platform, a referral network, parties, and too many other things to list.
Of course, I did none of this alone. I never get sentimental, but I thought today (Thanksgiving) is a great day to actually “Give Thanks” to the people who helped and supported The Broke Agent brand throughout the years to help turn it into what it is today: BAM.
When I joined a team in 2015 as a buyer’s agent, they had me drive down to a Tom Ferry conference in Anaheim. At the time, the concept of paying hundreds of dollars to see a real estate coach and not a playoff game baffled me. But, I made the drive, sat in the back corner, took notes in the workbook, and played the role of an attendee who might actually implement some of these strategies. At one point, I even high-fived some lunatic next to me, and I felt like I was doing something productive for the first time in my real estate career.
After about two hours, I went to get lunch by the hotel pool and never returned to the venue. It was then that I started to post about real estate coaches, grind culture, and how crazy everyone is for attending these things. I attacked real estate coaches and made constant jokes about how many faux coaches were popping up on Instagram and YouTube daily. It was some of my most successful content, and I was so excited to have found a new angle to poke fun at.
To my surprise, Tom Ferry immediately followed me and started commenting on the posts about real estate coaches. But it wasn’t what I expected. He wasn’t pushing back… he was laughing. He started sharing some of my posts, followed me, and messaged me, saying how funny he thought the account was. He turned me into an immediate fan and gave me validation that I was going in the right direction.
Tom’s support didn’t end with a few DM’s on Instagram. He invited me to his office, conferences, masterminds, and has welcomed me into his ecosystem despite the fact that I’m not even in coaching. He constantly checks in on me, sends me ideas, and introduces me to everyone in the industry. I am truly thankful for his friendship, mentorship, and continued support and guidance as we discover the next phases of BAM.
This makes me sick writing this because all we do is bust each other’s balls, but I am very thankful for the existence of Danny Deals. He’s become my best friend in the industry and has been a WARRIOR for BAM without asking for a thing in return. This guy shares our content, co-hosts our podcasts, and attends every event. He’s also a brilliant content creator, and watching his brand constantly evolve has been awesome. All he had to do was put on a pair of glasses, and suddenly he was mature.
We are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other and checking each other when something is not funny, dumb, or goes over the line. It’s great to have a friend in this industry to travel to conferences, “mastermind” with, and golf with. He’s always seen the vision of BAM and will be a big part of everything moving forward.
However, I do want everyone to know that I am a far more talented golfer than he is.
Tom Toole runs one of the top teams in Philadelphia, hosts multiple shows, travels around the country speaking, fathers three kids, and still manages to text me teenage-level jokes on a daily basis. He’s also one of BAM’s top contributors, coming on The Walk Thru on a consistent basis to spit actual knowledge and prevent Danny Deals and me from looking like complete fools. Super thankful for Tom, except when his “shitbag” neighbor gives us the worst football picks of all time.
(btw the length of these paragraphs is not directly correlated to how thankful I am for a particular individual, although I am probably least thankful for Tom Toole.)
I couldn’t write this without giving thanks to my friend and co-host of the Over Ask Podcast, THE Matt Lionetti. In 2019, Matt was one of the few active real estate agents creating funny real estate content consistently for his real estate business. He wasn’t trying to get OUT of real estate like me; he was actually getting leads and promoting his listings through viral sketches and music videos. His popularity and success in actual sales helped justify everything I was preaching about “funny marketing” being the best form of marketing. Now, there are seemingly thousands of agents trying to replicate this.
We took it very seriously when we decided to start the Over Ask Podcast. We came out the gates swinging with huge guests like Ryan Serhant, Jordan Cohen, Mauricio Umansky, and Maya Vander from Selling Sunset. We’ve since done over 100 episodes, won an Inman Innovator Award, and continue to do our best to host an entertaining show that provides value for real estate agents. It’s been awesome to have a partner who cares about this shit as much as I do, and shares similar interests and a sense of humor to navigate this new lane of real estate content creation.
Ben Fisher is responsible for pushing me to do more front-facing video content. He messaged me during the pandemic and said, “Hey, let’s do a funny, news-related show.” That show was called The Broke News Network AKA BNN. It was like Weekend Update from SNL, but about real estate news, marketing tips, and crazy things happening in our industry.
It was some of the best content we ever put out, but as the pandemic slowed down and traffic picked up it became impossible to drive down there on a weekly basis to continue it. BNN came before the podcasts, the shows, and before BAM was even in existence. If BNN didn’t happen I would not have the confidence to be on camera as much, would not have started the podcast, and probably wouldn’t have started BAM. Super thankful for Ben and the fact that he put in so much effort to create a show with me just for fun.
I met Cassity at an Inman conference in 2016 and we’ve been friends ever since. One day, Cassity called me and asked if I would ever be interested in creating a Referral Network, but that also included a mastermind component, private speaker sessions, parties, and maybe even an NFT. Thank god we didn’t touch the NFT portion, but that phone call led to REFER, the coolest referral network in the game that just surpassed 125 members.
Cassity has always encouraged me to focus on community and REFER has brought BAM so much closer to its members. Cassity, I am very thankful for your ideas, your drive to innovate, and your participation in all BAM content. But, mostly I’m thankful for your prop bets that seem to hit at a 70% rate.
Six months after I started The Broke Agent, Byron invited me on his podcast. I had never done an interview before, but remember thinking to myself, “damn, this guy asks good questions.” This was back in 2015, before everyone on Earth had a podcast and before real estate agents even thought about creating content at a scale for their business. I then met Byron in person at Inman New York, and he knew everybody. He took me to all the parties and introduced me to the biggest names in the business. He was truly the first serious person in the industry to take me seriously.
As we became better friends, we started talking more and more about merging our brands to create something special. Byron is a real estate nerd and knows everything about real estate news, tech, the inner workings and gossip of each brokerage and company. He already had a media company, multiple shows, and the number one team in Connecticut. I had a large following, marketing chops, and a brand looking to evolve into something more. After months of talk, we finally decided to partner and form BAM.
I am very thankful for Byron and the fact that he took this plunge into a never ending, content oblivion with me. It’s incredible to have someone share the same vision and fight for it with equal passion and drive. Byron has introduced so many systems, business practices, and people/staff into my life that have opened up the potential to turn BAM into the biggest and best media brand in real estate. I could write a million more things about Byron but I know he probably stopped reading after the first sentence of this blog, so I’ll move on.
I am incredibly thankful for the real estate agent community. Your immediate embrace and constant support of this brand is what keeps it going. I truly appreciate every like, comment, share, and message that I get from you. You have made this industry more tolerable and more fun for us all.
Seriously, to anyone who has read a blog, listened to a podcast, watched a show, commented on a post, participated in a Live, talked to me in person, or silently observed, thank you. We look forward to continuing this journey together and we hope you continue to witness us build a media brand that makes you laugh, improves your business, and connects you with a community that enriches your life.