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Brent Voepel's Story of Joining Auben Realty

In this week’s blog, I am turning it over to Auben Kansas City’s Director of Business Development, Brent Voepel. He discusses his experience with Auben Realty prior to, and following, our acquisition of Voepel Property Management and Canopy Road Real Estate.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a businessperson and entrepreneur. Growing up in Palmyra, MO, I knew I’d have to look further than my small hometown for opportunity, and I always envisioned myself running a business in “the city.” But to do that, I needed to develop skills. So I set out to obtain my degree, then started in the business world, developed my marketing skills, acquired my sales skills, and eventually built a premiere property management and brokerage firm in Kansas City.

Voepel Property Management and Canopy Road Real Estate have been a remarkable success for me and my family, and I appreciate those years and the people who worked together to make it happen. Starting out, my ambitions had no limits as I tried to build something that had never been built. I got it wrong much of the time, but Voepel was also ahead of its time in many ways. It seemed then that the entire industry was stuck in the past with how it operated. So, I tried to push it forward. Voepel made a lot of headway with technology and software. We found better ways. It was super fun and exciting! 

The hardest part for me in my pursuit of what I was building was limited resources and limited experience in scaled housing situations. There is nothing that can replace experience in a certain craft, so I always sought that out. I read all the books. I was pro-active in trying to find solutions. But at the end of the day, nothing can replace experience. So, I kept networking and talking with people in the industry. 

One of the great relationships I have formed over the years was that with Tyson Schuetze and Alex Becker of Auben Realty. I found myself calling those guys over the years if I was stuck on a certain aspect of the business. This led us to visit each other’s businesses over the years and meet up at conferences to learn and improve our skills. I felt like they were always advanced when it came to investing and operations, and they always had a more experienced leadership team. I was correct on those assumptions. 

In March of 2023, I reached out to Tyson to gauge his interest in working together professionally. I felt like my employees, agents, clients, residents, and family would somehow be better off if I could implement Auben’s operations in Kansas City. I believed that I didn’t have it right – and I was certain that the leadership team was not right. I had constructed a system, but there was no accountability, and it was exacerbated by internal conflicts and conflict between departments. I put so much work into moving into teams and “pods,” but I didn’t get the accountability right and any flaw that was exposed was brought to my desk.

So, a year after we first started talking about it, we made it happen and the merger is now complete. The Voepel Team is now the Auben Realty Team in Kansas City, and I am truly thrilled with the transition and transformation. It feels so good to have the expanded leadership team coming in with proven processes, procedures, workflow solutions, technology, and reporting. Just like it was a blessing to start and build Voepel and Canopy, it is also a blessing to get to work with the folks at Auben. 

I am no longer needed in certain aspects of the business, which feels good. Also, the weight of the entire company is not on my shoulders. I have backup, and the right people backing me up. I have so many resources behind me, and we have all been welcomed into the entire Auben ecosystem so thoughtfully. I am also looking forward to this next chapter of my real estate career and looking forward to utilizing my skills for what they were intended for. 

The combined company makes us one of the biggest 3rd party residential property management brokerages in the United States, but that is not what this is about. This is about being the best at our craft and getting it right for the clients and residents every time. Although we are happy to be one of the biggest, we are absolutely the best. “Bigger is not better…better is better.” Barnett Helzberg Jr. taught me that, and I believe it! 

The most important aspect of my life is my family. They come first in anything I do. The decision for me to join Auben improves our lives in so many ways. The most important part is that I can focus on what is important to me and what is important to us. Sometimes you have to lose something to gain something, and I will never second guess the tradeoff. 

Again, I am thrilled to be on the Auben Team, and will continue to pursue our shared vision. I will continue to work to get it right for our clients and for our residents, but also for our families. 

Thank you for your thoughts and perspective. Auben is lucky to have you on the team, Brent!