What do real estate, comedy and blogging have in common? To most of us, the answer is a resounding “absolutely nothing.” But for
, B.S. business administration ’09, these three seemingly unrelated subjects come together in perfect harmony through
The Broke Agent
, a real estate media company he co-founded in February with business partner Eric Simon. The Broke Agent delivers shareable comedic content that provides an authentic, lighthearted perspective of life in the real estate industry.
After a few years working in real estate sales, Wes saw an opportunity to, in his words, “provide comedic relief in an industry that is both stressful and unpredictable.” With more than 30,000 followers on Instagram and Twitter, The Broke Agent has proven its ability to resonate with real-estate industry professionals.
“The world of real estate is strenuous, and our content allows the industry to get away from the grind for a brief moment. We hear all the time from agents that they sit down and read our blog with a glass of wine to relax at night,” Eric said
in a recent feature in Locale Magazine
Wes and Eric Simon also attribute the success of The Broke Agent to their understanding of the importance of social media to millennials, who are entering the industry in droves. The duo spoke at the Inman Connect Conference (a real estate technology conference that draws thousands of industry professionals each year) in San Francisco in August, shedding light on the type of real estate content that hits home for millennials and explaining why humor is such an effective tool.
In this Alumni Spotlight, Wes reflects on his time at Chapman and offers insight to fellow alumni and students about launching businesses of their own.
What is The Broke Agent?
It’s a real estate media company, providing a comedic look into the industry and addressing the inner monologue of agents. We focus on the challenges facing real estate agents whether it’s a quiet open house or a lack of business. We have firsthand experience working in real estate in various capacities, which has helped us create content that is highly relatable.
What inspired you to bring together real estate and comedy? How did you get started?
My business partner Eric Simon has a background in comedy and we would always talk about the crazy experiences we had throughout the week over a couple beers. We noticed that no one was effectively addressing this side of the industry so we decided to give it a shot and post content that we would enjoy reading. The support throughout the industry really took off and everyone embraced it so we kept producing more material.
What’s in the future for The Broke Agent?
Videos. The way media is going, it’s less about pure text and more about quick videos. We have a real estate rap video that’s coming out soon that we wrote and produced, which is focusing on the beginning of an agent’s career and experiences they have. Being up here in Los Angeles, we have access to some amazing talent both in front and behind the camera, which we are very fortunate. Our main focus going forward is building up our
What insight would you give to current students and alumni who have ideas for unique business ventures?
Go for it and don’t listen to what anyone says, unless they are a trusted source and they believe in you and your product/service. One of the biggest things is to keep expenses as low as possible in the beginning because cash flow usually takes much longer than anticipated. You won’t achieve any success on your own; it will take a team. Work your circle of influence. People can’t help you unless they are aware of what you are doing, so be socially aware and network as much as possible. Once people see the energy and passion you have in your endeavor, opportunities will present themselves. All that is pretty cliché so don’t overthink it and just get out and execute your game plan.
What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their time at Chapman?
Looking back, I would have joined a lot more groups that I had the slightest interest in. I was pretty closed off and most of my time and effort was put into classes and football. I definitely missed out on some amazing opportunities and connections. The classroom is such a small aspect of a college experience, I would love to go back again and take better advantage of all the speakers, events and clubs that Chapman has to offer.
Chapman is just so well run from the top down with President Doti; the way the school has evolved has been nothing short of incredible. In the classroom one of my favorite teachers was David Berkovitz. His style and approach to teaching has stayed with me to this day. The biggest impact came from the football program, the way Terry Boesel and Coach Owens changed the program around and created a dream scenario for me with regards to the environment and experience. The two guys that had by far the biggest impact on me were Defensive Coordinator David Bishop and Linebacker Coach David Harrison. Their style of coaching young men doesn’t just focus on what takes place on the field, but more importantly off. I don’t have enough room here to speak about the influence they had on me, but thank you.
How has your Chapman degree helped you in your professional and personal life?
Whenever I mention Chapman University, whether it’s with new friends I’m networking with or in a business setting, it’s always met with a positive response. The best thing is that a degree from Chapman is only gaining more recognition and clout throughout the business world, which is one of the main reasons I chose to go here. The degree has opened up a lot of doors to various opportunities that I’m truly thankful for.
How were you involved on campus during your time as a Chapman student?
I didn’t take advantage of all the clubs and organizations that Chapman has to offer like I should have. Most of my time and commitment was to the football program. Being part of the football family enabled me to create long lasting friendships that have helped me immensely post graduation.
What is your favorite Chapman memory?
Definitely winning the defensive lineman of the year award for the team and having the honor to be team captain for so many games my senior season. My family drove up from San Diego every game so my support group was incredibly strong. Being able to share those experiences with them was very special to me.
What was your favorite spot on campus as a student?
Probably the library. I would book the private study rooms regularly. That was my spot when I was studying for an upcoming exam or for the next football opponent.
Have you been involved with Chapman since graduating?
I try to visit the football team as much as possible during training camp and season. That’s the only capacity at this point; I’m looking into the other programs we offer for the alumni.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Chapman Family?
Follow my account “TheBrokeAgent” on Instagram and be sure to go to our blog,
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