BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Radio Podcast 003: Getting Started in Real Estate and Raising Money with Brian Burke

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In today’s show we talk with Brian Burke, a house flipper and real estate investor from Northern California with a fantastic story and fascinating business model.

Two days ago, Brian wrote a wildly popular article on the BiggerPockets Blog titled, “Anatomy of the Grand Slam: How I Made $800,000 on One Flip” where he talked about flipping a large apartment complex using a combination of hard money and private capital he raised. In today’s Podcast, we’re going to look more in-depth at how Brian got started, the strategies he uses to flip over 100 houses per year, and how you can use the same techniques that he does to raise money for your next real estate deal.

Last week, the BiggerPockets Podcast reached #6 on the Top Business Podcasts in all of iTunes. This is an enormous honor and we want to just take a minute to thank everyone who has taken time to listen on iTunes or leave a review. As of today, we are up to 49 Five Star Reviews. If you haven’t yet left us a review and want to help us out, please click here to leave a review in your iTunes player.

Read the transcript for Episode 3 with Brian Burke here.

Listen to the Podcast Here:

In This Week’s Podcast We’ll Explore:

  • How Brian started with no money, no experience, and without rich friends
  • How losing money on early deals helped grow Brian’s business
  • Investing in real estate when you look 15 years old.
  • Why dealing with sellers is Brian’s least favorite strategy for real estate investing
  • Brian, Brandon, and Josh’s differing opinions on using credit cards to finance real estate
  • Why raising private capital is one of the most important jobs for an investor
  • Three tips for raising private capital
  • Why Richard Branson gets in a hot air balloon and sails around the world.
  • How Brian funds dozens of real estate flips per month
  • Using property managers to get you inside information
  • The one piece of advice new investors can’t survive without.
  • Using partners to invest in real estate

Links from the Show

Tweetable Topics

“If you don’t screw up – you don’t learn.”
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“They won’t say yes if you don’t ask.”
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“Sometimes failure is your biggest boost.”
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“Whether it’s Harvard, Yale, or on the streets of real estate school – every lesson costs you money.”
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“Sell yourself… the more track records your build, the easier you can raise capital.”
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“If you want to change your situation, change your vocabulary.”
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“A lot of this business is sounding like you’re smart – but you’ve gotta back it up.”
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“If you don’t love your work – you’ll never make it to the next level.”
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Books Mentioned in the Podcast

About Brian

Brian Burke is co-founder and Managing Director of Praxis Capital, LLC, a real estate private equity investment firm created to provide high rates of return to his investors while tactically managing risk. He has been a real estate entrepreneur since 1989, and has purchased over 500 properties valued at over $150 million, primarily from foreclosure.

Brian’s BiggerPockets Profile
Brian’s Company Website: Praxcap.com

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investors and other real estate professionals, who chat about failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.

    Glenn Espinosa
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Truly another EPIC podcast from you guys! Much Kudos to Brian for providing all that info and for sharing his story. I’m with Brian on the whole credit cards thing – sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. A big chunk of my first rehab was financed on credit cards but it got me into the game. A few flips later and by having a track record, I am able to attract cheaper financing from lenders and other investors. SO, everything this podcast said regarding money and finding financing is 100% true! Best, Glenn
    Brandon Turner
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Thanks Glenn! Yeah, credit cards are an interesting topic. It’s tough for me to say “don’t use them” when I have – but the fact remains I wish I had not. Might be a good topic for a future blog post, Glenn! 😉
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    I wish I didn’t have to use them, but at the time, I had no other options. I wouldn’t do it now, but I don’t have to now! If I hadn’t done what I did, I wouldn’t be who I am.
    Shaun
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    The key to using credit cards to fund flips is having good credit. I have about $58K in credit cards where every month I get offers for 0% interest for 13 months for a 4% transaction fee. So basically a 0% loan with 4pts. No Balloon, no lien, no questions asked. Why WOULDN’T I use this before going to other lenders? In addition I almost always buy my appliances from HomeDepot, or Lowes, or SEARS or whereever I have a store card where they will let me buy them $0 down and deferred interest for 6-18 months. Dont pay for them until after you sell the house usually. I have a set of appliances I bought over a year ago for a house I sold last April that I don’t have to pay for until this coming June. You have to be smart and responsible to do it, but if you have the right system credit cards can actually be very CHEAP financing.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Thanks for listening and for the feedback, Glenn. I’m glad you loved the show!
    Trevor Probandt
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Just added a new RE goal to my five year list. Be on a BP Podcast. Great info and helped fill in some blanks I was curious about.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Make it happen Trevor! The first set of guests and those we’ve got planned for the foreseeable future come from active users of BiggerPockets. Get your business going and stay active and perhaps we can have you on the show as well. The real reason to stay active, however, is that you’ve got an amazing network of peers to learn from and to do business with. Otherwise, I’m glad you enjoy the podcast; do be sure to leave us a review over on iTunes if you haven’t already. Thanks! Reply Report comment
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Make it happen Trevor! The first set of guests and those we’ve got planned for the foreseeable future come from active users of BiggerPockets. Get your business going and stay active and perhaps we can have you on the show as well. The real reason to stay active, however, is that you’ve got an amazing network of peers to learn from and to do business with. Otherwise, I’m glad you enjoy the podcast; do be sure to leave us a review over on iTunes if you haven’t already. Thanks! Reply Report comment
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Make it happen Trevor! The first set of guests and those we’ve got planned for the foreseeable future come from active users of BiggerPockets. Get your business going and stay active and perhaps we can have you on the show as well. The real reason to stay active, however, is that you’ve got an amazing network of peers to learn from and to do business with. Otherwise, I’m glad you enjoy the podcast; do be sure to leave us a review over on iTunes if you haven’t already. Thanks!
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    That’s a great goal, Trevor! I co-hosted a radio show for Fox News Radio for about a year, and it was a total blast. I really enjoyed doing it. However, that didn’t have the awesome interaction with the listeners that this podcast has had. What a great idea that Josh & Brandon had to put this together!
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Thanks for that, Brian!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Haha thanks Trevor! Podcasting is one of the most fun activities I’ve ever done!
    Justin Pierce
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Very Good!
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Awesome Justin! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Have you had the chance to leave us a review on iTunes?
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Awesome Justin! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Have you had the chance to leave us a review on iTunes?
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Awesome Justin! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Have you had the chance to leave us a review on iTunes?
    Brian Stone
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Great podcast and is a great help for someone that is just starting out or lost trying to figure out how some of the other professionals have gotten started! Thank you!!
    Chuck Redman
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Another great podcast!!!! BP is the BEST!! As a person who is new to REI and BP I am amazed that there are REAL experienced investors here with the intent of HELPING others without the “BUT wait that’s not all” sales pitch trying to get you to buy their stuff!!!! THANK YOU TO ALL!!!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Thanks Chuck! You are too kind 🙂 You nailed it – there’s no upsell! I hope that’s what will always keep us distinguished from everyone else, along with having killer content! If you haven’t left us a review in iTunes yet – please do! Every review helps us get more exposure in the iTunes marketplace, which helps us reach more people. Thank you Chuck for listening and commenting!
    Ryan Lundquist
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Really good stuff guys. I’m loving the podcasts. It’s nice to listen while I work.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Thanks Ryan! I’m glad we’ve got you as a fan…
    Karin DiMauro
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Great job, guys! One of my top goals for this year is to learn how to raise capital that will enable us to do more than one flip at a time, and this Podcast has given me an outstanding – and realistic! – outline for how to proceed. You also helped reinforce the gut feeling I had that we had to just get out there and DO something, establish a track record, in order to really move ahead – rather than being overly caught up in whether our first flip was the perfect one, would fit a formula exactly, and kicking ourselves for using hard money rather than private, etc etc etc. (The numbers are good and it will do fine, but most of all, we’re building our portfolio! And the private money will follow – thank you for the positive reinforcement on that notion.) Thanks again – and yes, Brandon and Josh, I will head over to iTunes…
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Karin, I’m so glad you got something out of the podcast. I know what it is like to be stuck in the paralysis of analysis. I worked real hard to understand this business for three years before I did my first flip. I finally realized I had to get out there and DO SOMETHING or I would forever do nothing. Cheers to your success!
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hey Karin and thanks for the message. I’m happy that the show was helpful and I do encourage you to dig deeper on the topic here on the blog and back on the BiggerPockets Forums. Otherwise, we appreciate you heading over to iTunes.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Lol thanks Karin! I’m actually in the same boat as you! I definitely feel better about pursuing some syndication after speaking with Brian. And I won’t mention iTunes… 😉
    Brandon Nelson
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Excellent interview and nicely produced podcast you guys! Brian, I particularly keyed in on your statement about “being relevant” to a prospective investor or client. The way you articulated that one simple concept instantly gave me a sort of “mental license” to be pitching to way more prospects. I know what I do and have to offer is extremely relevant, and I know I can present it well. It’s appointment setting time! Thanks for that, and for the other golden nuggets you shared. Very, very impressive what you’ve done, and what you’ve shared.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Thanks for the feedback Brandon. I appreciate the interest. Please be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes and to leave a rating/review when you have a chance. Every new subscriber and review helps. See you around . . .
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Brandon, I’m glad to hear that you got relevant information that helps you propel your business. Good luck getting your investors!
    Jesse M. Holmes
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    You are definitely on the right path with this podcast. There is so much valuable insight, and I really love the way you’ve added the books that were mentioned in each episode. I wish every community were so up front and simple. In this episode, Brian mentions being an aviator of some twenty years. If I may be so indulged, I want to know what kind of fleet he has at home, and whether he finds himself flying more often for recreation, vacation, or business. I promise I’m not coming from left field—one of my great attractions to real estate is to earn enough passive income to afford flying with my family.
    Jesse M. Holmes
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    You are definitely on the right path with this podcast. There is so much valuable insight, and I really love the way you’ve added the books that were mentioned in each episode. I wish every community were so up front and simple. In this episode, Brian mentions being an aviator of some twenty years. If I may be so indulged, I want to know what kind of fleet he has at home, and whether he finds himself flying more often for recreation, vacation, or business. I promise I’m not coming from left field—one of my great attractions to real estate is to earn enough passive income to afford flying with my family.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hey Jesse – Thank you very much for the feedback. I’m glad you like the format and how we put together the show notes to help out. Keep listening! As for your questions to Brian — I’m sure he’ll pop back in with some feedback.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hey Jesse – Thank you very much for the feedback. I’m glad you like the format and how we put together the show notes to help out. Keep listening! As for your questions to Brian — I’m sure he’ll pop back in with some feedback.
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hi Jesse, I certainly don’t have a fleet (I wish!), but I fly a Cirrus and a Robinson R22. I used to fly 90% business 10% pleasure, but as my business has grown it’s left less time for flying. Now it’s probably 50/50, not because I fly more for pleasure, but because I fly less for business. Just getting out of the office to see the light of day would be nice… Private aviation is not a cheap enterprise, it would be nice if it were, but real estate makes it possible for me. I hope it does for you too at some point. I can’t think of anything more satisfying.
    Will Barnard
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Great show guys. Brian, question for you. You stated that one of the major players in the investment management arena told you the answer to your problem of raising enough capital and it was that you don’t over promise. Then you went on to state how important you feel it is to stay real. So I am wondering, why did you not take his advice and in doing so, have you continued with the same problem of capital raising to fill deal flow?
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Thanks for listening, Will! Don’t miss today’s show with Frank Gallinelli…
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Brandon Turner warned me this would happen. When we were talking about writing articles for the BP blog, I wasn’t sure what I would write about. Brandon said that the best topics come from questions placed in response to my articles or podcast. Ha! He was right! Will, as I thought about the answer to your question, it became apparent that I need to write an article to answer it. It’s too thought provoking of a question to just give a couple of sentences in response. Stay tuned for the article! And, thanks for the idea!
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hey Will, I posted the answer to the first part of your question in this BP Blog article: https://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/02/22/how-to-raise-capital-for-your-business/ As to the second part of your question, I’m not convinced that I’ll ever raise enough capital to keep up with deal flow. It seems to me that most investors either have too much capital and can’t find enough deals, or they have too many deals and not enough capital. I think that a key reason for this is that raising capital is the weakest skill set for most real estate operators. Interestingly, the people that are best at raising capital aren’t always the best real estate operators. I’m the first to admit that although I’ve raised many millions for my business, I’m a better real estate investor than fundraiser.
    Paula
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hi Brian: Great podcast. I’m a real estate salesperson and want to start real estate investing. I’m based in New York city. Any advise is appreciated. Reply Report comment
    Paula
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hi Brian: Great podcast. I’m a real estate salesperson and want to start real estate investing. I’m based in New York city. Any advise is appreciated.
    Paula
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hi Brian: Great podcast. I’m a real estate salesperson and want to start real estate investing. I’m based in New York city. Any advise is appreciated.
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hi Paula, thanks for the compliments. Being that you are already in the biz, you have a big leg up. I agree with Joshua, the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide is a great place to start, and there is a ton of knowledge free-flowing on the forums. Best of luck and good fortune!! Reply Report comment
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hey Paula – You should start by going through our BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing . . . designed for folks just like you. AND – it is free and there’s no catches — just follow the link and check it out.
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 7 years ago
    Hi Paula, thanks for the compliments. Being that you are already in the biz, you have a big leg up. I agree with Joshua, the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide is a great place to start, and there is a ton of knowledge free-flowing on the forums. Best of luck and good fortune!!
    Skip Johnston
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Is this podcast no longer available?
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied over 6 years ago
    You can listen on the page above or on iTunes. All our shows are available for listening still, Skip. Reply Report comment
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied over 6 years ago
    You can listen on the page above or on iTunes. All our shows are available for listening still, Skip.
    Terry H
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Great Podcast Brian. I can relate to the part when you said you looked like you were 15 when you started investing at age 20. I have in the same situation, I’m 24 and I look about 15! I wonder if people will take me seriously when I actually do start investing. Great show! Terry
    Terry H
    Replied over 6 years ago
    *I AM in the same situation. *Typo Terry
    Brian Burke
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Hi Terry, it will work out. If you are feeling self-conscious, you might try building a rapport with sellers and agents over the phone prior to a personal meeting. Once you have shown them that you know what you are talking about, appearances are less important. Good luck!
    Terry H
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Thanks for the response and the advice Brian. Terry
    Danny Day
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Awesome podcast. Great info.
    Joshua Dorkin
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Thanks Danny!
    Jason Eyerly
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    I’m waiting for all of my marketing materials to arrive, so I can start wholesaling/flipping and my biggest fear is that I’m twenty years old, six feet tall, and about one hundred thirty pounds and I look about fifteen or maybe sixteen. I feel like people are not going to take me seriously, or when I show up to see their property, or even introduce myself as a real estate agent to buyers sellers and their agent, they are going to laugh at me and tell me to get out. I’m going to present myself to be as professional and clean cut as possible, and I’m just hoping for the best.
    Brian Burke
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Jason, that is such a familiar story! I went through the same thing. You can get past it!
    Correen Wood from Denver, CO
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thank you, as a regulatory attorney I understand Reg D exceptions, one addition here is in 2012 the caps were raised for small business in conjunction with the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act look it up and discuss with your attorney’s to ensure you are in the correct exemption and follow all of the filling rules to keep you there.
    Brian Burke Rental Property Investor from Santa Rosa, CA
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great advice, Correen! Thanks for listening and commenting!
    Nick Brown from Orlando, Florida
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Great podcast!!! I am at the same early stage you were and this was very motivating. Thank you for telling your story 🙂
    Brian Burke Rental Property Investor from Santa Rosa, CA
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    You’re welcome, Nick! Thanks for the feedback.
    Ricardo Cortes from Dallas, Texas
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Organic learning, today’s kids want everything served in a silver platter. We don’t want to put in the effort for success. We then get frustrated if it does not happen in 2 weeks. The only way to experience organic learning is by getting your own feet wet. I started my Real Estate Education in a sprint, and quickly realized this is a marathon. So i had to slow it down. This podcast hits home, thanks Brandon and Josh.
    Leury Pichardo Real Estate Agent from Saddle Brook, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks for the podcast! It was really informative and motivational.
    Julie Marquez Investor from Seattle, WA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I thought this was a very good and relevant podcast. Thanks for sharing all your successes and failures, and all the real conversations about this business. And as always, thanks for being a great resource for Bigger Pockets!
    Alexis Murrell from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thank You once again for another great podcast. I appreciate your transparency about Real Estate and your story!
    Nathan G. Real Estate Broker from Cody, WY
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great podcast with a lot of solid, practical advice. The bestimated advice is that investors should stop swinging for the fences. Try to get on base! That’s where the real wealth is built. If you are fortunate enough to hit a home eru nowand then, it’s icing on the cake. Thanks, Brian!
    Mark Wandersee II
    Replied over 2 years ago
    This was a great listen Thank You Brian