GAIN THE PASSION
GAIN THE PASSION
Oct. 22, 2021

Eric Simon - How a Broke Real Estate Agent Used Instagram Reels and Facebook to Build a Social Media Empire!

Eric Simon - How a Broke Real Estate Agent Used Instagram Reels and Facebook to Build a Social Media Empire!

Eric Simon shares his journey about how he leveraged the comedic aspects of everyday real estate fails to build his very successful business The Broke Agent with 327,000 Instagram followers. This episode really is just what the title says:  A step by step approach to creating brand awareness in ANY industry.

Eric discusses how to overcome the biggest challenge of creating content that cuts through the noise. He also talks about how to find out what people really want to see in your videos, the power of humor and being transparent with both your wins and failures in your business.

Follow The Broke Agent on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/thebrokeagent/
Follow Over Ask Podcast on Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/overaskpodcast/
Visit The Broke Agent Website
https://thebrokeagent.com/
Episode Transcript
https://www.successcoachingpodcast.com/eric-simon-from-broke-agent-to-the-broke-agent-a-step-by-step-approach-to-creating-brand-awareness-in-any-industry/#transcript

Find out more about GAIN THE PASSION Coaching
https://www.gainthepassion.com
Access past episodes and more of the GAIN THE PASSION Podcast
https://www.gainthepassionpodcast.com

Transcript
Voiceover:

This is the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast with hosts, Todd Foster, Alyssa Stanley and Kelley Skar.

Alyssa Stanley:

Hello everyone, and welcome to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast. My name is Alyssa Stanley and I am here with co hosts, Todd Foster an Kelley Skar. Today we ar talking with Eric Simon, aka th Broke Agent who brings humor t the real estate agents, rea estate industry. But let's b honest, he uses social medi strategically, by creatin content that brings to ligh what agents are really thinking But what they don't want to say So this should be a super fu podcast, because if you go t his Instagram page, the brok agent, it's pretty apparent tha he has a great sense of humor Eric, thank you for hanging wit us today

Eric Simon:

Thanks for having me on that actually used to be my tagline what everyone is thinking, but nobody is saying I used to be on my Instagram profile. So perfect intro.

Alyssa Stanley:

So I for one am not a real estate agent. But what I know that it was by choice. But I know like from the outside looking in, it seems like this industry paints this picture of extreme glamour and success fancy suits driving even more expensive cars. But none of them have failures, like ever. None of them have ever failed. So I'm curious because as I scroll through your Instagram page, number one, it's hilarious. And number two, you call a lot of personalities out and really get into the heads of what like I said what agents want to say, but they don't, what the heck made you sit down one day and say I'm gonna flip this script, like, do things totally different.

Eric Simon:

So I started as a buyer's agent, well assistant than a buyer's agent, where I was sitting all these dead open houses every Saturday, every Sunday and every Tuesday, and this is back in 2014 2015. Before Instagram kind of evolved, and it was just a photo sharing app. Basically, I remember scrolling through and following all these real estate accounts and all these realtors in my brokerage and they were all just crushing it somehow every single person on Instagram was absolutely crushing it, everybody was a top producer, everybody was a luxury agent, everybody was posting the same motivational quotes. And I was sitting there in a dead open house making no money spending more money on like, gas every single day. Like I was literally bringing in nothing. And I was like they're just, it's impossible that everybody is crushing it because 87% of agents fail in the first five years at least this is what everyone this is a statistic that is like, you know, being hammered into our heads. So that basically caused the broke agent. And I started tweeting out kind of the inner monologue of what I was thinking and all the insecurities I had sitting these out open houses and not knowing what to do because as you know, a recently licensed agent, you have no idea what you're doing. So I think it was that contrast that made it really successful off the bat because at the time no one was being that vulnerable on Instagram, at least in the real estate industry. I'm not saying like I revolutionize this, but I I didn't see too much on Instagram of agents, posting their failures, or saying like, Hey, this is something that happened in a deal or this part of real estate sucks. Like it was all just success success. And it was really it just turned me off. I don't like looking at it. Like who wants to see other people crushing it? You know, I like to see. I mean I like to refer my friends but like I get jealous of other people.

Alyssa Stanley:

So the broken agent wasn't like a tagline that was legit?

Eric Simon:

Well yeah, I mean, the point is Yeah, I mean I you know, did some other stuff on the side too. I guess social media consulting and other businesses not other businesses. I just made that up. But I the rogue agent was supposed to appeal more to the masses because 90% of agents are doing like what three to five deals a year. So I think that was just like if I'm going to call myself the rich agent that's not funny. And then the broke agent was like a powerful enough name where if I were to comment on other people's Instagrams people would come to that profile.

Kelley Skar:

Well I think I think mostly because there's there's no authenticity in real estate. I mean there's just you know, you you being vulnerable you did kind of change the game because you know, nobody wants to post about their failures. Nobody wants to post about them no listings that they have nobody wants to talk about the no buyers that they're taking out in their cars, right? Nobody wants to talk about any of that shit. So you know, I think there was a certain level of authenticity that you lent to the industry and people were were like, holy shit, this is refreshing even, you know, people like me watching that, that that does sell houses for a living, right? I'm looking at that going down. This guy is like he's totally bringing this level of authenticity that just does not exist in this industry. Which is was was quite refreshing, actually.

Eric Simon:

Yeah, well, thank you. There was a lot of negative pushback at first from it too, because people thought that it was kind of exposing all the failures of real estate agents and like exposing our inner thoughts, and a lot of people on Facebook especially were just like, stop posting this shit. Like you are making us look terrible like you're exposing the incompetence of all of us like don't share this I remember a real estate coach named Lee brown who's pretty prominent she commented on a like article that I wrote on the broke agent calm back in the day that was just like five things to do like a board and an open house and one of them is like do laundry slam your head against the wall like drink water like it was the dumbest five things ever I was trying to be like BuzzFeed style things and she comment I was just like if you're sharing this like you're doing a disservice to the real in real estate industry and like to your own brand

Kelley Skar:

Hey so before we get into you know all the spaghetti that you threw at the wall that you know didn't stick I'm curious about the monetization of the broke agent and like what was the tipping point I you know, I'm I'm a disciple of Gary Vee you know I've been following the guys since probably 2010 2011 You know, I've seen him speak a number of different times I've read all of his books all that kind of stuff and he talks about you know, Jab Jab Jab right hook it's all about the gift to give the give and then eventually go for the ask. What was you tipping point where you finall realized holy shit I've go something here that can actuall make me money and you know I ca make a living off off of thi

Eric Simon:

Well the point always was to make money off of it. It didn't just started as like a fun side project. Like I said, I was never really that passionate about real estate and itself so this is always kind of like my, you know, that side project. But as always, like my goal is to grow this thing into a large like media company basically. But the monetization at first was really difficult because Instagram was completely different back then, right? You didn't have stories you don't have like a snapchat was there, we didn't have like all these different opportunities to promote like different products or brands or affiliates. So stories now you could do swipe ups and everything like that, but I don't want to like flood my feed with a bunch of like, you know, sponsorships, basically. So, initially, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna sell merchandise, and it's gonna be funny real estate merge, but how many people are going to buy like 10 funny real estate shows, right? And if I captured 10% of the 1.7 million realtors, if I capture that audience, meaning I get 170,000 followers, and then 10% of them buy merch like that, the numbers don't work out to make a ton of money on this. But the tipping point was, when a bunch of my friends, were asking me for social media advice, and other realtors were asking me for social media advice, I realize, this is what I'm really good at. Like, I know Instagram, extremely well, like I study that shit, I know what to do with the algorithm. I know when it evolves, and like how to do reels. I know what hashtags to use, what captions, how to post, what time to post. And then I realized I could really help agents with their social media, whether it's just from a consulting role, or actually producing content that helps them. So I started becoming a partner with this template platform called coffee and contracts, that does content for real estate agents. Because a huge pain is content, or content, like if you're a successful agent, you're not gonna be doing what I'm doing, you're not gonna be putting 15 Instagram Stories a day, or at least focusing on growing your Instagram like that. The Tipping Point is basically realizing like, how can I help agents get more business also. So instead of just feeding, like funny content, I'm doing way more educational content, at least social media based. So that's where the real decision came in. And then also, as the following grew, a lot of brands realize, like, Hey, this is the best platform possible to reach real estate agents in a way that doesn't seem too salesy.

Todd Foster:

I have a question in regards to the monetization part of it. So the coffee and contracts portion, it's a subscription based service. Are you starting to see more of revenue? And that in terms of other areas of your business, or where do you see the most money coming in from right now?

Eric Simon:

That is huge. So that is the main source of income right now for the broke agents, I think there must be over 1000 agents that have signed up through me specifically, because agents want funny content. And a lot of agents aren't funding, they can't produce it. And the entire platform isn't just my funding content. This is literally like 10% of this massive template platform with, you know, email templates, buyer guides, seller guides, literally everything you could ever ask for. And all they have to do is replace their branding and customize the text if they want to. And this is content that is not agent to agents. So it's not like oh, my seller sucks they're spying on me or this buyer is in pre approved. It's content directed to clients. Because a lot of agents have always said to me, they're like, I want to share your content, but there's a huge ad that broke agent watermark on it. And I don't want to look like a fool in front of my clients and I don't want to like expose how much I like despise my clients right now. So this content is more specific to clients. So that's it's been great and you know, it's really fun creating that type of content. This is different than the normal content that I create.

Todd Foster:

Do you see the future of your company branching out more towards a subscription based product.

Eric Simon:

Possibly, I think I see the future kind of more real estate education. Right now we're creating a course a video course that's hilarious. Matlin, Eddie's involves, and we have a bunch of other like heavy hitting like real estate influencers and top producers that are creating content for this video course. And the goal is like how to not look like a moron, your first five years in real estate, and it's all the experiences that we've had, that we, you know, screwed up on, basically, and all the insecurities that we had, and it's basically like, you know, here's what's going to happen, here's what they're gonna ask you at an open house, how many square feet? What year is it built? How many offers Do you have, like, this is stuff that you're not taught until you actually experienced it? I know, some brokerages have good training programs. But I think you know, I want to like close that gap. Like there's 87% of agents fail in the first five years. like it'd be cool to get that number down. The reason is, because agents think they just get their license, they start selling houses. And that's it, but no one is teaching them, like the shit that they're actually going to have to deal with. like you'd learn nothing in real estate school. Absolutely. I see the future is more like people getting value from the broke agent brand, and our network and our content and our media, kind of like a barstool of real estate, basically, where you have other creators, other podcasts, blogs, news, that type of thing, where it's like, Okay, I'm getting laughs I'm getting value. I'm learning about the market. I'm having social media tips. And I'm actually selling more real estate because of this brand. That's the goal.

Todd Foster:

At what point in the business, did you start getting approached by your affiliates, your sponsors to say, hey, you're the big player. Now how can we get into this

Eric Simon:

Pretty early on, when I say 2016 17, and I started this in 2015, is when I started doing the occasional ad on my feed post. But now like I said, with stories, I have an email list, I have a massive Facebook following and tick tock following a Twitter following. There's so many different avenues to promote these products where it's not like in your face, that it's really picked up the last couple of years. But I've been very specific about what brands I work with. And every brand that I work with, has to actually help real estate agents like that's one thing I'm really proud of what I've done is I didn't just take in a bunch of like, shitty, like startup apps, and start throwing ads at people because then my recommendations for something, mean nothing. Right? So it was very, like, even though like I took a huge monetary hit for not doing this, it's always like, Okay, I'm gonna do this, but I have to do it in my voice still has to be funny. And whatever I'm delivering has to be something that agents can actually use.

Alyssa Stanley:

So if you talk to someone right now, and I know this is stuff you probably teach, but since our listeners are awesome, if you will indulge me for a minute, Instagram now 2021, compared to when you started is probably much more saturated. Correct? So how, how do you stick out? Because I feel like the world of social media is really overwhelming. And it I mean, it is really hard to go viral and and all the things so how, how do you even be seen?

Eric Simon:

You just have to provide more value than the next person. And I think in real estate, we're in a really unique opportunity for people to educate their audience. So instead of just posting just solds just listed and escrows, another one closed, here's my new team member, all that boring stuff that people scroll right across and don't care about, like it's good to show your success occasionally. And of course, you have to be providing NonStop Value like how do you get someone to stop on your Instagram real? Are you teaching them about the pre approval process? Are you showing them something cool in a house? are you adding music to it? Is it visually appealing? Are you doing like a funny dance or making funny skits? So if you're not doing education, you got to be doing humor, we got to be doing something that's like visually appealing.

Alyssa Stanley:

So quality of content is way more important than just five posts today?

Eric Simon:

Yeah, I mean, consistency is important too. Yeah, it's like an instrument that you have to keep using like you have to be posting on Instagram stories. Like I wake up in the morning and try to post two or three stories before I even post my feed post. Because if they start interacting with my stories, that my feed post is more likely to get good engagement. So you have so you like have to keep feeding the machine it's like it's addictive and it sucks because like I'll know a signal analysis, significant decrease in engagement and following if I don't post for a couple days, which I never do, but like on a Sunday, I'll be like alright, whatever I'm just starting up feed posts, no stories, no nothing. I'll pick up 2030 followers that day, when on average, they'll pick up like 200 to 400 if I'm like really going ham on.

Todd Foster:

I have a question about other platforms other than Instagram. So how do you stop the scroll? Let's say on on LinkedIn or Facebook, or wherever you don't really have the highlight reels or the you know the places where people have the video content. How do you stop the scroll that way?

Eric Simon:

I don't really consume content on LinkedIn or Facebook, Facebook, I use sure I need to do LinkedIn, I know the organic reach on LinkedIn is huge. That's a glaring mistake on my part right now about not having LinkedIn content. And I'd like to hire someone that can help with that, because I'm just spreading myself too thin on all these other platforms. For Facebook, I've been using it as mace, basically just a publisher, you know, I'll post a meme, or I'll post a video or a promotion, or, you know, link to our podcast or something. And I use it as a testing ground for Instagram too, because I think like my Instagram feed is kind of like the holy grail of content. Because that's where everyone sees the likes, as everyone sees the comments. It's more intimate. We're on Facebook, if you comment, your grandmother could see that you commented on this photo, right? So I'd like everybody sees it to all use Facebook, to test like a meme and see if it does well. Okay, I'll throw that on Instagram. And then I also use Facebook, just to like, look up my memories. So I'll get like a notification, I'll say, Eric stinks. I haven't posted a status in 2011. And it's usually horrific. And I have to delete it and make sure I don't get cancelled. So I basically does have a two reasons I use Facebook to monitor old action and to publish it.

Alyssa Stanley:

I just have a mindset question because you post pretty polarizing content. And then, like we talked about earlier, you probably get people who aren't happy with your content, and then people who are ecstatic with your content and love it. So when you very first started, um, did you have tough enough skin where that didn't bother you? Or did you really have to get used to those negative comments if you had them? Because, you know, there is a dark side to social media, it can be hard on your mental health. So how do you? How do you battle that?

Eric Simon:

Thankfully, like 99% of the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. I'm not doing anything political. I've made a few mistakes for sure about like, where the line is. And you know, it's way different time now than it was back in 2015 16 when I first started posting, but I think even a negative comment that maybe makes me feel like shit, like briefly. It does help like, gauge where my content can evolve from so it's not like I'll take a content be like okay, fine. I'm never post anything like this again, but it does. It does help me like construct, like, an opinion about that type of post, like, oh, that I word it wrong. was insulting to this specific group of people. Okay, why did they take it like this? And then maybe I could evolve and make better content in the future. I'm not saying like, I'm, you know, I'll be squished at any comment. And I will, you know, be like, fearful of everything I post but I think negative comments are people that do like an eye roll emoji, that's brutal. Like, just saying they they basically think the contents boring, or the worst one is, the worst comment ever is I've been following you for five years. And you know, this isn't funny. And I'm unfollowing you or I've been following you for five years. And this is extremely insulting. And I used to share your content, like I've had Facebook messages with people like Facebook is way more brutal than anything, I would agree. Like, if I post anything like alcohol related, or something, people will go insane about that and be like, stop promoting alcoholism, or if I promote something that you know, a meme of a political figure that has nothing to do with that political figure, but it's just about their expression. That's a complete Danger Zone. So I try to avoid that a little bit too.

Alyssa Stanley:

I think a key component of that, from what I understand is you you use negative comments or emojis almost as data to how to better your content and your brand. I mean, I think that nobody's talking about that. As far as the mental health side of social media use that as data if this is a business that's data. That's That's huge. I've never heard anyone explain it like that.

Eric Simon:

Yeah, I mean, I think it's different for like a social media influencer, that's posting a picture of their body and they're getting negative images. It's not like or negative comments. It's not like they can be like, okay, cool, then I'll, you know, grow my hair out again, I guess you need that. But you know what I'm saying? I think it does help decide what content to post and even a lack of engagement. If anything, that's always the number one sign for me. If I post something that does terrible, that I know, like, okay, they don't like that sort of content, or this one was too wordy. Like I posted a reel yesterday that I thought was hilarious. with Ryan Gosling. I was like this long text conversation. And, you know, hitting me like, robs a bank. It was like this entire like story, but there's too much going on in the video. And it got probably the worst engagement of the video I've had in three years and I thought it was going to be one of the best videos I've ever posted. So that was good to know. Like, okay, there's too much going on here. The text is too small. The text conversation is to elaborate like people can't read that much like they they want on Instagram now to see something within the first three seconds, understand what it is, and then decide if they're going to watch.

Kelley Skar:

I think this is a good segue into you know, talking about strategy. You said something earlier that that kind of was interesting, you know, it's waking up and post into your stories before you post into your feed. Like, are you sitting down the night before and going, Okay, this is what I'm going to post to my stories before, you know, post into my feed or do you just wake up and go Okay, I'm Eric Simon. Broke agent in blah blah blah and like, you know, is their strategy is their strategic thinking behind doing that? And then and then on top of that let's let's get into talking about some of the massive failures that the brokerage has seen over the years because I think that that's a very interesting conversation especially for our audience.

Eric Simon:

Yeah, I mean, I don't want to call them massive failures, but they're definitely just brute your brutal horrible shortcomings. I think that the strategy I don't have like a posting schedule, I post based off of trends for sure. So you know, like around the weekends I try to do more open house content on it depending on like it's October right, so I'm doing more spooky content, like my stories have scary music attached to them, or squid game is a really popular show on Netflix right now. So I'm doing squid gaming so I do strive to try to stay culturally relevant and be relevant to like whatever's going on in sports, or pop culture basically. But now, I have so many submissions and I have so many agents sending me content and there's so many agents producing good funny content now that I really have unlimited stuff to post on my stories, whether it's bad real estate pics, other people's reels, questionnaires, that type of thing. So I don't really map out my content but I have so much stuff saved and saved on my phone. Or that I'm tagged on Instagram that any like right now I could look at my phone there could be 15 Instagram Stories from just stuff that people are sending me or stuff that I could actually repost which is really cool because back in the day there was nothing like this is me finding content going on real estate Facebook groups googling bad real estate pics, you know looking at real estate agents Instagram and trying to figure out what they're talking about to create a meat matters but now there's so much content being fed to me that problem is becoming not as big of an issue

Voiceover:

If you're enjoying this episode, please rate review and follow the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts

Kelley Skar:

yeah that's that's that's very eye opening actually because I mean you follow so you know Gary Vee talks a lot about overnight success right so it's you know when we talk a lot about you know what you see above the surface you know, in terms of an iceberg versus what you see below the surface or whatever you know the duck on the surface of the water you don't see the legs you know, battling below and kicking wildly and and so you know, it if I were somebody that just come on came on to Instagram and I found you I would look at your you know, 300 and some odd 1000 followers and go god this guy's like an overnight success. Like he's an influencer? Like, how, right so what talk a little bit about, you know, some of the stuff that that you kind of threw at the wall prior to, you know, some of these breakthroughs that that you found, you know, how much content were you were you creating that you that you never posted,

Eric Simon:

Just to touch upon that first point about not being an overnight success. This has been since 2015, posting, you know, sometimes three, five times a day, and now with stories, posting 10 or 15 times a day, so I'm producing like 1520 pieces of content every single day for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, it's just taken forever. And then back in the early Instagram days, you could do way more community engagement. So I would go on hashtag realtor hashtag real estate hashtag luxury agent, and like a million photos, and then get those followers and then comment on a million follow photos. And then I would go into real estate, Facebook groups and post my means and how people would like my Facebook page. So this was like, that was like almost 80% of it back then. Because like I said, with Instagram, there wasn't stories, there wasn't all of these, there was an HGTV there wasn't real, it was basically like, okay, I'll post a meme or a post a text thing. And then for the next two or three hours, I'm gonna like a bunch of photos and follow a bunch of accounts and unfollow a bunch of cats because this before Instagram, you know, really cracked down on that type of stuff. So now you can't really do that. I mean, you could still like use the comment strategy, comment on five or 10 photos a day within your industry and then get followers but it's not like that anymore. Then the second part as far as failures, there's been so much content that you know, I've created that hasn't done well. Like my YouTube channel, I tried to do like, skits where I was just filming myself or I had like a rap video that's super cringy I have a book called commission impossible, which I wrote in 2018 and 19. It's right here, it's holding on my computer, so I'm not gonna take it out, but it's basically it's a comic book about this guy named Ben Ackerman, the BA and it's like his first year in real estate. It's a funny book. But the point of that was like I was trying to make money, you know, and I was like, how do I it's just another brand now so it's like okay, here's the book I could send the book to people maybe it'll help me get verified on Instagram. It's just another thing but I wouldn't really call that a failure. It was just like, not you know, like a couple 1000 people bought it. It was not a New York Times bestseller by any means. I had an animation series. And by series, I mean one episode, where I raised a 70 $500 for a Kickstarter, and it's like a one minute, you know, I thought like, Okay, this could be a show that broke agent, it's a animation show like the South Park, or real estate or the Caribbean enthusiasm in real estate, except the animated animation is insanely expensive. And I posted that, and it, you know, did, okay, but no one was like, hey, like, this is incredible, I have to see another one of these basically. So that that was feedback right there and knowing that this is not something I wanted to pursue. And then we had the broke News Network, which was a new show that I was doing, sorry, a year ago, and I did it for nine months. And it was a 15 minute new show. Market updates, social media help a funny real estate story. And it was unbelievably time consuming. We had to write a script, we had to edit it into four separate days, post them to igtv flip them into reels. And I want to call it a failure. But it was just something where the time consumption of that was not equal to you know, the feedback or the results that we were getting, like we're spending so much money, we're renting a studio, we're doing all this shit for, for what the you know, like people weren't appreciating as much, or maybe it just wasn't that good.

Kelley Skar:

I don't know I enjoyed it. I thought it was a kind of a fun show to kind of tune into and there's some good nuggets in there. I just tuned in mostly for the humor, because I thought you guys played off each other really, really well. It's always I was curious about what happened to that. So thank you for the insight there. I didn't realize there is like, the amount of resources being put into that was just crazy. But then again, I mean, that comes back to this whole idea of kind of pulling back the curtain and not understanding what you're seeing, like you're seeing a very highly polished piece of content, but not realizing like you guys are actually putting resources into this, right? You guys aren't just sitting in a studio with your phone going, Okay, go. Right?

Eric Simon:

This was this was the most time consuming thing maybe I've ever done with the broke agent that wasn't like just posting this was at least 10 hours a week of coming up with a script, finding the stories, driving along beach, filming for maybe three, four hours, cutting that down to 15 minutes, and then cutting those into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, eventually, because we realize that people don't watch 15 minute videos on HGTV. It's not like YouTube. And igtv just sucked. Like once reels came out, people were like, We have to click something to continue watching. If I click out of the app, I'm not watching it anymore. It's not like YouTube. So if you click out, you're done. And we had so many nuggets, you know, 10 minutes, 15 minutes into the episode that nobody was even getting to. So then we switched to shorter form content than we did reels. And that's enough, you know, but I mean, I'm still friends with with them. It was a really fun show to produce.

Todd Foster:

At what point did you discover that you're funny? I saw that you were a marketing intern and assistant at the Laugh Factory before you got into real estate.

Eric Simon:

Did you look at my resume? Yeah, page seven. It's amazing what you find on page seven of Google? Did you learn things from there? Or did you have an intention to become an improv actor? Or were you really a marketing assistant? Or was that a title you'd given yourself where the marketing background come from? That was an internship I had I went to USC and then I got an internship at the Laugh Factory. I always liked comedy. And I was really good at social media. In college, and in high school, I realized I was funny, at least on social media, I was always funny, like, you know, communicating with people, just like in conversation. But you know, I never wanted to do stand up or acting or anything like that. I don't have the balls to do that. And I'm just like, I get kind of like freaked out on camera, sometimes. But I think on Facebook, I really enjoyed posting comments on people's walls that got good engagement, because back in the day, Facebook was like that, where you can post a funny video, or post a clap back or post a funny picture or something like that, and get like a lot of engagement going. It was never like for the purpose of building a brand just strictly like to talk shit to people basically. And I was really good at that. And then I got this internship at the Laugh Factory. And I was their social media intern basically, where I was posting on their Facebook or Twitter scheduling out things, figuring out you know what content did well so it was all good preparation for the broke agent was around a lot of comedy went to a lot of comedy shows. And then I became I got hired as like the marketing assistant there where I had to come up with ideas to get more people to come to shows like six shows where they didn't have enough people there for like their Tuesday or Wednesday night. So I come up with little promotions, contests, that type of thing.

Alyssa Stanley:

Where can we find you to do like the coffee and contracts or learn about Instagram ever because you have all of the things to offer people and there's so many Instagram gurus and Instagram coaches but you are legit so where can people go to find everything?

Eric Simon:

You could go to just the broke agent on Instagram and then my link in bio There's a link tree there that has access to all these things and then the brokeagent.com has you know, all the ways you can reach me whether it's for consulting template platform, the podcast, and then I'm writing articles for the closed comm and basically every month I'm coming out with a new article about like social media I did one on reveals how to get engagement on reels, what ages to fall for reels, and then I'm posting one I think either today or tomorrow, that's 12 ways to get more engagement on your Instagram stories.

Todd Foster:

Have you ever had any issues with copyright and or trademark issues?

Eric Simon:

Yeah, Yes, I have. I was in like a lawsuit for posting a photo of a water bottle on one of my first blogs back in 2015. Apparently, there's a spider software on Google that if you use, like a trademark image or a stock photo, I don't know if there's like a Getty image or what it was. And this is in the same post that I was talking about earlier about five things to do while you're bored in an open house. One of them literally was just drink water, posted a photo of a water bottle, and they thought that like because I had a decent falling back then that they were like I was gonna pay them a lot of money for using this photo. So there's that I've used a meme before that was a like a photographs of the art. Take it down. And then of course, just like in hosting names in general, you never know where the origination of the meme comes from. I'm always trying to credit people. And that's like one of my, like, I have to credit people like if I if someone sends me a meme, I ask them, like, is this from you? Or where'd you get this thing? Because people get really pissed off about that, especially like, if you're a realtor, you created that meme, goes to a Facebook poach page, another realtor, you know, puts their watermark on it sends it to me, I post it and then like, the broke agent just stole my meme credited somebody else like that shit sucks. Like, I feel horrible. And that happens. So that happens. Not that regularly, because I'm so diligent with how I post, but that's just the thing in the meme game, you know?

Alyssa Stanley:

So what are your tips were like when you're posting to avoid copywriting issues?

Eric Simon:

Try to find the original source, I guess. I think most agents won't really have this problem, because you're not sharing too many means I would think right? So I don't know, I just I always like if someone sends me something, or if I screenshot something from another meme account, I attribute credited in the caption, so there's a popular meme account called tank Sinatra. And if I throw at an open house to whatever his joke was, I always say like, originated from Tank Sinatra, or I'll tag that person as well, because then that person likes that I use their posts, and they're gonna get followers from it. So anytime you can just tag people as much as possible. Like, who cares if it's not yours, people don't even read the caption half the time. So like I'm, I'm over worrying about whether it's my original post or someone else's just as long as I'm attributing.

Todd Foster:

Are you personally posting these things every day? Or do you have a team or do you use an automated software? Or what exactly are you doing or if you are doing it by yourself how much time you're spending per day?

Eric Simon:

All day. It is just me I have you know, Matt Lionetti is now like a partner with me and the last podcast, he sent me a ton of content. Dan O'Neill, who I produce a lot of content with who was just at the Tom Ferry conference with he'd sends me a lot of content. I have a couple people that are making live action means for me right now. So it's becoming more people are sending me content. And like I said, agents are submitting stuff to me all day. I probably have 200 300 DMS a day from this agency, they're sending me their real sending me their funny listing videos sending me a meme. And it's really difficult to come through all these and like find the best ones now because it's getting overwhelming. But I'm posting everything. I don't want to give that up yet. Because it's my brand and password to someone or someone posting something that isn't in my voice or responding to a DM in a way that I wouldn't want to be detrimental to the future of it. So right now, it's all me, I need a posting schedule. I need more of a streamlined process. But...

Kelley Skar:

Yeah, I guess I you know, because you are on the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast, I guess I am curious about the scalability of the broke agent at this point. I mean, you'd mentioned you know, Todd asked you the question like are you still posting and whatnot I totally get and understand that, you know, the broke agent is your voice and giving up some of that control. I mean, there's got to be certain layers of of your company that you know, that's scalable, that you can relinquish some of that control, you know, to other people and, you know, help them grow the brand, I guess, essentially, you know, freeing you up from doing the the minutia work, like, you know, combing through 300 videos a day or 300 DMS a day, I mean, shit, man, that's not you're gonna burn yourself out. That's not scalable. So what's what what does the growth of the company look like for you, you know, envisioning it, you know, two to five years from now.

Eric Simon:

Yeah, I kind of how I mentioned before, you know, I hate to keep using barstool as an example. But I think they grew their media company in the perfect way. As far as having like a larger account, like their barstool sports. And then they have all these other forms of media, they have different podcasts, they have checks in the office, the sad color, Daddy, that the hockey podcast, baseball podcasts, all this type of type of content. And that's exactly what I want to do. I want to have different podcasts, I want to have a blog, I want to have news, I want to have the bad real estate pics account. So these are all tasks that I could delegate where someone runs bad real estate picks in my trust, where someone is coming through the DMS who is responding through Facebook messages. And these are all there's, this answer is going to sound just all over the place. But I want more creators, they're like I want to grow my following. I want to be under the broke agent brand that broke agents going to post my stuff. And I'm going to create content that the broke agent can use. And I also see this going in the direction of real estate conferences, more speaking gigs happier, to where it's just a cold batch of really knowledgeable kind of social media creators that people want to hear from and that have fun and there's a you know, humoristic or not, it's not word humorous side to anything that's going out with the content.

Alyssa Stanley:

You watch like selling sunset and what is it like million dollar listing LA, do those shows drive you crazy, because I've watched a few of them. And they don't show a whole lot of like the downsides to real estate. They show like the glamorous downsides, right?

Eric Simon:

I think initially they did. But I think they're a net positive for sure. On the industry because I know some of them now. They're all really cool rants, their hand is epic. And he's been like, you know, supporter of the brand. He came on our podcast, and they're making a cooler to be in real estate. I think it's cooler now. I think it's more respected. I think selling sunset, you know, of course it's glamorous. And you know, probably some of that is bullshit and scripted. But I think that it is bringing like a new age of real estate agents that are younger, and that are like, Hey, this is actually pretty sweet. Like this looks awesome. Like you just sell $10 million houses and like hot people today like I'm in. Yeah, but you know, initially it drove me a little nuts just because, you know, it'd be like Ryan's commission is going to be $300,000. And here I am, like sitting the same open houses like posting needs. That was a little difficult. But I think the shows are good and constant conversation around real estate. It's good for the brand, because I could contrast those shows make content around those shows. And then I can also have all those people on the overcast podcast and network with them.

Todd Foster:

In terms of social media, do you see a certain demographic because we've been told in the past ages, my son's always said, Facebook's you know for old people. When you're posting things and run these campaigns, are you seeing a trend of who's who on these social media platforms?

Eric Simon:

Yeah, I mean, Facebook's definitely older audience, all these apps age of five though. So Facebook in high school and college was for high school and at least you know, 10 years ago for me it was for high school and college kids. And now Instagram is age of funding and now tik tok is the new app and used to be vine so even though you'll think like why would I post on tik tok to bunch of like 16 year olds you already see that massive influx of real estate agents like you know Gary Vee is constantly talking about Tick Tock people listen to Gary Vee people listen to Tom Ferry, they know where the puck is going. So even though there's younger demographics on different platforms, you know, it's probably Tick Tock youngest. Instagram, Facebook, you know, Twitter's kind of a collection of everybody. It's important to be where all those platforms are, especially if your real estate agent to stay top of mind and to remain relevant. And if you don't learn Tick tock, you're not going to learn reels, right. I mean, I think you can learn reels now. But people that were already doing Tick Tock. The process of going over to reels was so much smoother, because they already understood the editing. They understood the music aspect to it, they understood how to post so you got to be everywhere.

Todd Foster:

Do you see a new and upcoming thing? You see new social media platform being launched in the future to replace one of these?

Eric Simon:

Sure, there will be vine was huge six seconds, and that was done in like 2015 I think just vertical video right now is the thing everywhere. I think Facebook is adopting it. YouTube has YouTube shorts, obviously Instagram reels and tick tock so I think as long as you're making vertical, high quality 15 second 32nd video, you're at least gonna be like trending in the right direction. But I'm sure there's gonna be another app and you know, it's possible Instagram shuts down and you know, my entire career is done. So you got to join the mailing list. And how would they do that? Link in bio, or the brokeagent.com.

Voiceover:

It's time for the lightning round.

Kelley Skar:

All right. Question number one. Nickname your parents used to call you?

Eric Simon:

EJ. Eric Joel. Joel's my middle name. Jewish.

Kelley Skar:

What was the last song that you downloaded?

Eric Simon:

Downloaded? Yeah, there's this what is this 2005 Lollipop remix in 2008 are Just Dance by Lady Gaga. I don't remember last time. I don't download music.

Kelley Skar:

All right. Superpowers and visibility or super strength?

Eric Simon:

Invisibility for sure. Why would I need strength for what? I'm not going to be the World's Strongest Man? My sports careers already done. I'm 31 I'd rather just you know, be able to sneak around places. Sounds like I can make more money. I can make more money being invisible than strong. Right? I mean, what would I do if I was strong? Unless like a supervillains coming.

Kelley Skar:

Texting or talking?

Eric Simon:

I would probably text back but I get you know, it sucks when text messages build up, and then you haven't responded to someone. So sometimes it is nice to call. But I would say texting.

Kelley Skar:

Fill in the blank Taylor Swift is...

Eric Simon:

I love Taylor Swift.

Todd Foster:

Which song did Taylor Swift write about you Eric?

Eric Simon:

I don't know. I don't know. I don't know her songs that well. I mean, I've heard them a million times, but I don't know the actual titles. Any of them.

Alyssa Stanley:

She's not listening.

Eric Simon:

Yeah, okay. You never know.

Kelley Skar:

You never know.

Voiceover:

Thanks for listening. Make sure to follow or subscribe to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast and like us on Facebook at Success Magazine Coaching.