A new real estate book titled Commission: Impossible, Rogue Agent is topping the sales charts, but it’s not the instructional or motivational content you’d expect to find. Instead, its pages are filled with cartoon illustrations actually poking fun at the industry.
Eric Simon and Eric Lee have teamed up to self-publish the hardcover edition that was released on March 5, and it has its readers in stitches, earning the No. 1 sales spot on Amazon in several different categories including “Real Estate Books,” “Business and Professional Humor” and “Sales and Selling.”
Simon is the co-founder of social media account and persona “The Broke Agent,” @thebrokeagent on all channels, while Lee runs his own real estate comedy account @realestate_squarepants.
I talked to Simon to find out about the behind-the-scenes inspiration and motivation for the book, and below is our conversation.
How did the idea for the book come about?
Simon: Eric (Lee) sent me a direct message on Instagram that he would like to collaborate on something together. His page is about the satirical character of Herbert.
We started doing something on a monthly basis and then decided we should write a book together.
In a nutshell, what is the book about?
Simon: Well, it shows the inner monologue of a socially conscious, struggling Los Angeles Realtor who is constantly questioning his role in the industry.
Along the way, we introduce cliche characters that real estate professionals can relate with; the nosy neighbor at open houses, the overbearing seller, the immoral and commission-breathed Realtor and his clone assistant, the nagging title rep and so on.
It also shows the struggles of a new agent trying to be successful and his adventures.
How has the book been received?
Simon: Very well. Eric (Lee) and I both had built-in audiences from our social media channels, and that has been very helpful. Hitting No. 1 in several categories was validating that our content was relevant and appreciated.
You’re poking fun at the industry, have you gotten any blowback?
Simon: None at all. The idea was to have something that was real. The book’s dedication is to the readers and says, “I know you cannot say what is on your mind because it might ruin your image and career. So, I will say it.”
This is a book to make agents laugh. It’s to be able to read at a dead open house. It’s to remind them of what real estate is really like in the trenches and not the glossy L.A. luxury million-dollar stuff we all see on real estate TV shows.
In full disclosure, I have not read it all. I read the first few chapters the day I received the book, but then I decided to slow down and savor it. Instead of reading it straight through, I’ve put it on my nightstand, and every morning after I wake up one of the first things I do is I read a chapter. And I smile. And I laugh.
I’ve decided waking up and laughing is not a bad way to start my day.
The book is available in several formats. Check out The Broke Agent website here.
Dan Smith is an author, speaker, strategist and team leader in Mission Viejo, California. Follow him on Facebook.