I actually envisioned saying all of this at some point. 

Although, I never thought it would be in a blog today, but during an on-stage interview 20 years from now at some conference in front of tens of thousands of agents. The title of my segment would be, From Broke Agent to BAM: How Real Estate Memes Evolved into the Biggest Media Company in the World.

At this point in my life, I would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and the interviewer (probably Tom Ferry) would ask me in front of an eager audience, “So what kept you going? What drove you?” 

My answer (said sarcastically, but also seriously) would have been, “A man by the name of Actually Agents.”

Who is Actually Agents?

Actually Agents IG

In case you don’t know, Actually Agents is the SECOND largest real estate humor account/brand in our industry run by Luca Alboretti, a real estate agent in Orange County, New York.

Of course, I say “SECOND” facetiously. As you’ll read in this blog, Luca and I have been in a Cold Meme War for years, and it has finally come to an end today. But, before I get into what this means, let me tell you a brief history (from my perspective) of The Broke Agent vs. Actually Agents rivalry.

Where it all began

In 2019 I got a DM from an account called Actually Agents with a meme. At the time I had been running The Broke Agent for four years and had received thousands of DMs submitting content. However, I rarely posted any of it to my Feed because most of it just wasn’t that funny. This one was really funny. It was worded well, formatted perfectly, and it was timely. This was the post:

See? A perfect trendjack playing off the 2019 hit Netflix documentary, FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. 

So I followed him, posted it, and watched it get great engagement. My initial thoughts were “Hell yeah, I hope this guy keeps sending me shit because I’ve burned through every real estate joke in the book 50 times over and I would love some fresh content.” 

And for a brief period, that’s what happened. He occasionally sent me stuff, I occasionally posted it, and we developed a friendly little IG relationship. I didn’t think twice about it until one day when he posted a link to an ebook on real estate hashtags. I thought this was a brilliant idea, so I reached out to him to collab on an Instagram growth ebook for real estate agents. He was down. We went back and forth on a Google Doc for a couple of weeks (which is where ideas go to die, btw), and then he said he was out on the ebook. If I remember correctly, his reason was that IG kept changing and he didn’t want to put something out that could lose relevance so quickly. At this moment he became my sworn enemy, and I blocked him on all platforms. Totally kidding, it was completely fine. I released the ebook on my own and Luca and I just went about our own business, occasionally reposting each other and exchanging a DM here and there.

The Clone Wars (AKA the Content Wars)

As the months went by I started to notice something: Actually Agents kept growing. For years I had seen other real estate meme accounts pop up, only to go away after a few months once they ran out of material, got bored, or realized selling real estate is far more lucrative. But, not Luca. This guy was posting just as much, if not more than I was. Every time I went on Instagram he had a new meme up. We eventually started getting tagged in the same posts, grouped together in messages, and occasionally confused as the same account. This started to piss me off.

Naturally, my human instincts took over, and I began to question what this meant. Is this good for The Broke Agent? Is it bad? Is he a threat? Is there room for both of us? Should I destroy him? Should I embrace him? For years The Broke Agent was the only game in town. I was the real estate funny guy. I was the class clown. And now there’s this new kid doing the same shit that I do!? Some other faceless logo posting real estate memes, calling himself AA when I’m the BA!? That’s just one letter off! What the hell is going on here? Am I taking crazy pills!?!?

crazy pills

At this point, I privately started to get very protective of my brand as I didn’t want people to see the two as one. I even muted Actually Agents on Instagram because I wanted to maintain my own voice and originality, but also because I was annoyed. I limited my interactions with him and stopped responding to his comments on my post because I thought to myself, “Fuck this guy commenting on my account to farm my followers.” I didn’t want to signal boost the brand that seemed like it was becoming my competition. 

(I want to say I recognize how petty this is. I’m just being as honest as possible, and it’s fun to recall all of this).

As the months went on it became pretty obvious that both of us felt the tension as we continued to find ways to gain an edge, come up with new posting styles, and bring value to our respective, yet overlapping audiences. Once the pandemic hit, we entered a full-blown content war, but we were the only ones who knew about it and we never even talked about it. He posted a Tiger King Meme… I posted a Tiger King meme. I partnered with a content platform… he partnered with a content platform. He gave out social media tips… I gave out social media tips.  I started a podcast… he started a Discord… and it went on and on. We were like Ali/Frazier, except instead of trading punches we were posting open house memes from our toilets, and nobody on Earth cared. 

Actually Agents joins BAM

Fuel for the Fire

Luca motivated me. In fact, I literally started waking up earlier to post since I knew he was already up on the East Coast, getting up content. God forbid he posts a Father’s Day meme before me!! 

The competition fueled me and also came at the perfect time during Covid. Before the spring of 2020, I was in a weird place as a half real estate agent and half content creator. I wasn’t all-in on either, and that was the worst place to be. As Byron Lazine so eloquently put it, I was a part-time agent, full-time asshole. But once LA shut down and my two real estate leads vanished into thin air, I became OBSESSED with growing my brand and made it my number one priority.

I committed to 10-15 IG Stories a day, 2-3 feed posts (unless Luca posted more, in which case I would match it), and I made a promise to myself that I was never going to skip a day no matter what. I also started pumping out blogs, ebooks to grow my list, a show called The Broke News Network, the Over Ask Podcast with Matt Lionetti, and eventually this media company, BAM, with Byron Lazine.

Now, of course, this was not all because of Actually Agents. I can’t give him that much credit… but I would be lying if I said he was not a crucial factor in my initial motivation to take this more seriously. His existence definitely made me better.

Over the last couple of years, my respect for Luca has only continued to grow. He has built an amazing community and has provided non-stop laughter and value to his audience for years. He has a free Discord with over 8,500 members, bi-weekly masterminds, referrals, and a multitude of chats and channels to help and connect agents with each other and vendors. Do you realize how impressive that is? Most agents don’t even know how to send a DocuSign let alone join and actively participate in a Discord! 

He also built Nurturely, where agents give their old leads that you already bought from Zillow, Opcity, PPC or wherever, and they turn them into deals, for FREE. If you want to learn how we can do that, apply for Beta access here.

I’ve learned a ton about community-building, social media strategy, and branding from watching him grow all of this. He’s also done a phenomenal job at maintaining his own voice and originality in a space where that is not easy. The meme game is a rip-off, post, and repeat business and we rarely step on each other’s toes.

Another thing I love about Luca is…OK ENOUGH. My god, I can’t believe I just wrote all of that. What have I become!?!?!

ACTUALLY AGENTS JOINS BAM

So what is the point of all of this? The point is simple: we are no longer enemies. After months of occasional Instagram likes and cryptic DM’s, we finally decided to put down our swords and just talk. After a few Zooms, it turns out we don’t hate each other at all. In fact, we actually like each other and have similar values and goals with our brands. We both stopped and thought, “Why the hell are we ignoring each other when we could work together and blow this thing up?”

And that’s exactly what we decided to do.

FINALLY, it is with great honor that we are officially announcing Luca Alboretti, Actually Agents as a BAM Creator. 

Now, what does this mean? It means we are now allies in the battle to take over real estate media. It also means we are friends. Starting today, we are going to help each other grow and be an absolute force to be reckoned with in the real estate industry. BAM will be driving traffic to Actually Agents, Actually Agents will be driving people to BAM…We will be collaborating on posts, masterminds, newsletters, events and who knows what in the future.

Honesty, I’m fired up writing this. This feels like a watershed moment for both our brands and I can’t wait to see where this takes us. BAM to the fucking moon.