How to Quit Your Job in Less Than Six Months Using Real Estate Investing

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Do you love your job?

My guess is – if you are reading this – you probably don’t.

In fact, according to Forbes – nearly 2/3 of Americans are not happy at work. I know I’ve been there – I once worked for a large national bank and … hated it. I loved the bank, loved my co-workers, but hated the job itself. The pressure to sell, the pressure to please, and the pressure to perform.

Ugh. I don’t like pressure.

So, I quit my job and went full time into real estate investing. It wasn’t always easy, but it was much better than working at the bank.

So today I wanted to share some thoughts on how YOU can quit your miserable (or not so miserable) job, this year, and embark on a career in real estate investing.

It won’t be easy. This isn’t a get-rich-quick path. This will take commitment, persistence, and maybe even a little bit of luck.

However, before you put in your two-weeks notice, let’s get a few things straight.

How to Invest in Real Estate While Working a Full-Time Job

Many investors think that they need to quit their job to get started in real estate. Not true! Many investors successfully build large portfolios over the years while enjoying the stability of their full-time job. If that’s something you are interested in, then this investor’s story of how he built a real estate business while keeping his 9-5 might be helpful.

Click Here For Your Free eBook!

Should You Really Quit Your Job and Become Self Employed… Or Are There Better Options?

This might seem to be a strange question to include in a post about quitting your job, but I believe it is fundamentally important to think this one through all the way. You see – there are a lot of other options if you don’t love your job. Going into full time real estate investing should not be the only solution to a bad job.


Because real estate investing, for income, IS a job. - I'm sorry I was 30 minutes late to the job in which I already work ungodly amounts of unpaid overtime.

That jerk you don’t like at work and you wanna get away from? Yep – he’s going to be in your real estate investing job too, in some form. That pressure you felt at your job to perform? Yep – it’s going to be there as well. The grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.

There is one essential truth that I harp on all the time (if you listen to the Podcasts, you’ve heard me say it):

Find what you love to do in life more than anything else – and do that for a career. If that means teaching high school math – teach high school math. If that means traveling the world, then find a job that travels the world. And if that means investing in real estate for a career – then invest in real estate for a career.

So what do you like to do more than anything else?

Now let me clarify something important here: I’m not suggesting that you should only invest in real estate if you love investing in real estate. I’m saying – only invest in real estate as a career if you love investing in real estate.

Do you see the subtle difference?

For example – if the idea of talking with troubled homeowners, sending out massive amounts of direct mail, and networking often with established real estate investors sounds like something you’d hate to do: then don’t suddenly become a wholesaler because it will get you out of your current job. That’s just jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. It makes no sense.

I believe everyone can, and should, include real estate investing as part of their strategy for retirement and wealth building. However, that doesn’t always include doing it full time and making an income from it.

I’m a perfect example of this. I’ve quit my job twice before (Before the crash I quit to flip house – then during the collapse of the market, I took the “bank job” that I hated.) Now, I invest in real estate AND work a full time job (here at BiggerPockets, helping to maintain and grow the community – and co-hosting an awesome Podcast.) It’s not that I don’t like full time real estate, and I could live entirely off the cash flow on my investments. However – I love internet technology, writing, and BiggerPockets even more than dealing with tenants, motivated sellers, and construction projects. So I flip houses still (usually just one at a time) and have dozens of rentals, but I slowed down my day-to-day pursuit of getting more and more projects and instead focus on buying fewer, but more profitable, properties.

And I love it.

Investing for income and investing for the future are two very different animals. (Click to Tweet This!)

When you invest for income by doing activities such as wholesaling, flipping, or living off cash flow – you are largely unable to “reinvest” your profits back into your deals. Thus, in a way, you aren’t really even investing – you are running a self-employed business. There is nothing wrong with running a self-employed business (and that, in itself, can be an investment) but understand that when you stop working, the income stops as well.

When you invest for the future (largely with buy-and-hold investing) you are re-investing your profits back into your business and thinking for the long term. When investing for the future, you cannot simply rely on the money you make from your investments to help sustain you and pay your bills. You must have another source of income.

So here’s what I’m saying: don’t think that a career in real estate investing is the only choice you have. Do what you love for a career, and invest in real estate for your future.

If the two are one and the same, and you love the idea of using real estate investing as job, then you are ready for the rest of this article.

Let’s move on.

Different Paths to Making Full Time Income

So how can people make a full time income from real estate?

There are a number of different paths, and far more than we can fully cover here (so If you have any additional suggestion, be sure to leave them below in the comments.) I’ve done a few of them, and friends of mine (and colleagues here on BiggerPockets) have done others. Below are just a few of the ways you can earn a living with real estate investing. For a much more thorough list, check out The Top 100 Ways To Make Money In Real Estate.

1.) Real Estate Related Careers

One of the first suggestions I give people when they want to quit their job and make real estate their income source is actually not to invest – but to find a real estate related career. The reason is fairly obvious: you get to learn the business while making an income doing it. Additionally, you are able to meet investors along the way who will become terrific sources for help in the future. A few of the more common real estate related jobs include being a:

  • Real estate agent
  • Property manager
  • Escrow officer
  • Title company employee
  • Home Remodeling Contractor
  • Office Admin for a real estate investing company
  • Marketing professional for investors
  • Mortgage Broker (commercial or residential)
  • Banker (commercial or residential)
  • Investment company project manager
  • Intern for a Real estate investor
  • Live-in resident manager of an apartment complex
  • and a lot more

Any of these positions could be used to make monthly income while digging in and learning the business. However, I’ll make two special notes about this:

  1. If you plan on choosing one of these jobs – make sure it’s something you’d enjoy. This goes back to my philosophies I outlined earlier. Don’t jump out of a job you hate into another job you’ll hate.
  2. Don’t simply work these jobs. If all you do is work – and don’t continue to learn, grow, and network with those in the real estate investing industry, you won’t be any closer to your goals. Continue to read the BiggerPockets Blog and engage on the forums every day (the new BiggerPockets App makes this much easier! Be sure to download it for your iOS device today for free!)

2.) Real Estate Wholesaling

Wholesaling is the process of finding an incredible deal on a property, putting that property under legal contract, and then selling your contract to another buyer – usually an investor. This method of making money with real estate is by-far the most popular for new investors because of the illusion of easy, quick money. The gurus haven’t helped with this either, and not a day goes by that I don’t see some cheesy ad on the internet for “Discover the Secret For Making Millions In Your Sleep Through Real Estate Wholesaling.”

Seriously, gurus – stop.

Wholesaling works. However, while wholesaling might be fairly “simple” – it’s not easy or quick. It takes hard work, skill, motivation, and certain personality traits (like the ability to negotiate.) Consistently finding deals that are worth pursuing can be a time-consuming job.

However – for those who can apply the right tools, the right mindset, the right money (yep, it takes money!) and the right marketing- wholesaling can be a terrific way to make great monthly income.

To learn more about wholesaling, check out How to Start Wholesaling: Getting Past The Education and Into the Field. - Every Monday and Thursday morning I check my lotto numbers, if I don't win I go to work.

3.) House Flipping

One of the most popular methods used to quit your job (and the method I used,) flipping properties (or “fix and flipping”) involves buying houses for super cheap, fixing them up, and selling them to a retail buyer.

Yes- I’m sure you’ve seen it on the television shows. Flipping houses is a lot of fun, and fantastic profits can be made. However, there are some important considerations to make before jumping in head first:

  • How will you fund your flipping business if you don’t have a job?
  • How will you make your monthly payments if you don’t have a job?
  • Is your location conducive to flipping?

FLippingBookAd300x250If you want to learn how to flip houses for income, there are hundreds (probably thousands) of amazing blog articles and forum discussions around BiggerPockets on how to do it so definitely jump in and start reading. If you are interested in reading the best book ever written (in my opinion) on flipping- definitely check out The Book on Flipping Houses by J Scott and published by BiggerPockets Publishing. I believe this book has everything you need to get a solid grasp on the business of flipping houses.

Furthermore – I believe successful flipping depends on successful math. To help with this, we recently created the “Fix and Flip Analysis & Reporting Tool” – a step by step calculator that will help you analyze ALL the facts and figures that go into a real estate flip. You can even print out or save PDF reports to hand to investors, partners, lenders, and more. Before flipping any house – definitely be sure to jump in and run your numbers through this tool to be confident in the potential success of your flip.

4.) Buy and Hold Cash Flow Investing

Essentially, buy and hold cash flow investing involved collecting enough cash flow positive income properties so that you can live off the income.

Before linking up with BiggerPockets, this is the method I primarily used (infused with small amounts of wholesaling and flipping) to survive. It is definitely the most passive (depending on how you set it up and how much cash flow you obtain) but it is also the most difficult to build quickly. Unless you have a large war chest of cash at your disposal, or are ready to be extremely creative, this is probably not the best method to use to quit your job in the next six months. However – can you use this to quit your job in the next six years?


To simplify this method, I break it down by unit. Personally, I want to see a minimum of $100 per month, per unit in cash flow (after following the 50% Rule). So the question becomes – how many units do I need, that fit this requirement, in order to quit my job? If I need $2000 per month to survive – I need 20 units. Be careful though – there are always ups and downs in real estate, with unforeseen expenses that could occur at any time, so I would make sure if you are following this strategy that you have significant cash reserves.

The biggest downside to living off your cash flow is losing your ability to re-invest that cash flow into future deals. Yes, you can survive, but unless you have a LOT more cash flow than expenses – you can’t use the power of exponential growth to build wealth.

This was the motivating factor behind me stepping away from this method of investing – because I wanted to build my business even stronger by recycling the cash flow. Today, I put nearly all my cash flow back into by business (either paying off debt or saving for future purchases.) So far, it’s working out pretty well for me.

5.) Lease Options, Subject To, Mobile Homes, and More

There are a lot more strategies you can use to invest, but I don’t have the time to go into each and every one. So let me just sum them up with a few links that you can use to check out more information about them:

Lease OptionsRent To Own Homes: How to Profit from a Lease Purchase
Subject ToReal Estate Investing Subject To
Mobile Homes5 Ways to Make Money Investing in Mobile Homes - There's got to be an easier way to make a living than barely doing anything at my job all day.

Ten Steps to Being Able to Quit Your Job in 2013

Alright, let’s get to the juicy stuff!

This section is going to outline ten steps you can take to quit your job in 2013. Not every step is going to perfectly align with your position in life, but by and large, these steps are the most important for quitting your job and jumping into a career in real estate investing. Be sure to leave your feedback below in the comments and let me know what you think – or if you can add anything to my list!

1.) Start with an Honest Evaluation

The first step in leaving your day job for the world of real estate investing is to take a deep and honest evaluation of your current position in life. We talked a bit about this above, when I asked you to really consider if full time real estate investing was the best choice. Additionally, you’ll also want to look at:

  • Where are you at? (physically, mentally, financially, emotionally)
  • What do you bring to the table?
  • What are you lacking?
  • What do you love, and what do you hate? Ask family and friends as well. Are you just looking for a get-rich-quick way to sit on a beach? Are you really ready to commit to this? If you are – and if you truly ready – then proceed.

2.) Education is the Key

You will never know the answers to the questions you don’t know to ask. -Jeff Brown

Think about that. Go ahead – read it again.

So how do you learn what the right questions to ask are? Simple – you need education.

No, not the pie-in-the-sky gurus who are selling a dream. You need stories, you need advice, you need information – but you don’t need a mountain of debt to get it. If you are considering paying tens of thousands for training through some guru – I’m not going to lie: it might be good info. But starting any business by racking up tens of thousands in credit card debt (as many advocate doing) is just plain stupid. It’s not an investment in your education … it’s a risky bet with the odds not in your favor.

You already know what I’m going to say, so I probably don’t need to say it. But – I can’t resist:

Dig into the BiggerPockets community. Everything you could ever hope to learn about real estate investing is right here, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

I know some people say “yeah – but I want it all nicely packaged in a system so I can simply “set it and forget it” and not have to work

If that’s the kind of thinking you have … I hate to break it to you but you’ll never make it in the business world anyways. So cut your losses and go get a job.

However, if you are willing to invest the time into reading and interacting with others who are actively growing their own real estate investing business- you are on the right track. Here are a few easy ways you can do that starting today:

  • Sign Up For BiggerPockets. If you are just reading this blog post – but haven’t signed up for a free account – stop what you are doing right now and sign up. Trust me.
  • Read the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing here. This is a quick, free online training manual that we put together to help you build a solid foundation for your future in real estate. If you’ve already read it – go read it again. Internalize it – make it make sense. And if you don’t understand something – go ask about it on the forums.
  • Fully fill out your BiggerPockets profile. Include a nice picture of your face. Detail your history, your goals, and your wants/desires on your profile. People look at these things! Make it count.
  • Introduce Yourself to the Community in the New Member Introduction Forum.
  • Ask Questions and Offer Ideas – I don’t care if you’ve been on the site for five years … if you aren’t an active member of the forums you are simply missing out on one of the most powerful tools for becoming a real estate investor on the planet. Ask questions, get answers. Answer questions, get smarter. Build your online brand. People will start to follow you and help you out. They will give you honest feedback on your ideas, your plans, your goals, your timelines, and more. There are so many intelligent, seasoned investors on BiggerPockets just looking for someone who is willing to commit and will help them every step of the way. Be that person. Start today.
  • Comment on Blog Posts – I might be a little biased on this one, but when you read an epic blog post or something that teaches you something new – leave a comment below it (hint hint!) and let the author know you appreciated it. Ask a question – you are almost guaranteed an answer! How cool is that? - I'd rather enter the Hunger Games than enter the office on Mondays
Furthermore – start to read. Even if you don’t like to read, or don’t like to read non-fiction, get over it! Check out the list of the BiggerPockets The Best Real Estate Books Ever and pick one that looks the most interesting and read it.

Alright, I’ve harped on this one long enough- but it really is super important. So educate yourself as well as possible, as quickly as possible. Learn the right questions to ask so you can learn the answers to those questions.

Moving on.

3.) Find and Define Your New Income Source

Unless you plan on living purely on government assistance after you quit your job – you are going to need some method to make you money. Because you’ve been immersed in education from the previous step, you now have a better understanding of what kind of investing you want to get into. I’ve already outlined most of the popular methods earlier, so hopefully one of them stood out to you as the path you want to take.

Now it’s important to go back and get even more educated – in more detail on the specific subject you want to pursue. This is the only time, if ever, you should be talking about finding a mentor or taking a seminar. But still, stay away from the expensive stuff.

If you want to start flipping houses – it’s important to read everything you can on house flipping. Meet with several house flippers and see how they do it. Perhaps offer to work part time for them (for pay or without.)

Dig in deep.

4.) Define Your Objective

The next step in quitting your job is to define what your objective is. How can you get from point A to point B without knowing exactly where point B is?

In other words: what is your ultimate goal here?

Yes, I know you want to quit your job. But what does that mean? How much money do you need to be making each month in order to quit your job. Does your spouse bring in enough income to pay the necessary bills or will you need to fully support the whole family? - Sorry your post-vacation workload has completely negated all the benefits of your vacation

Get out a piece of paper and let’s get specific.

How much income, each month, will you need to bring in each month in order to survive? How much in order to thrive? Write this down also.

5.) Make a Detailed Plan

Next, you need to expand on that objective. How are you going to get there?

Writing out a plan doesn’t need to be super long and boring. I’m not a huge fan of detailed, lengthy, business plans unless I need one to show a banker. Instead, I’m talking about creating an outline for yourself to follow.

Detail exactly what it will take to get from where you are now, to where you want to be.

Let’s look at an example.

(Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything I’m about to say. This is an example for a wholesaler. Unless you are a wholesaler … then you better keep educating yourself until you understand everything I’m about to say!)

Wholesaling Case Study:
Let’s say you want to quit your job by December 2013. That’s 5 months away. You know that you will need to be making $2000 per month in income to do so. You also know you need to save up some reserves in case something happens – let’s say $12,000 in reserves.

So your objective is: $12,000 in reserves and $2000 per month in income by December 31st 2013.

Your Plan: At $3000 per wholesale deal average (net, after paying marketing costs) you need to close at least one wholesale deal per month between now and December, giving you $12,000 in capital (after paying a few thousand in taxes.) Then, you will need to close at least one deal per month to continue this lifestyle, plus an additional one per month to continue funding your marketing/business expenses for a total of two wholesale deals per month.

After doing research, you believe that you can get a direct mail response rate of 3% on the letters that you send out, and you believe that for every 60 people you speak with, you will close one deal.

This means, if you send out 2000 letters to a targeted list, you should get 60 phone calls which should result in one deal closed. Since you need two deals per month, starting January 1st 2014, you are going to need to send out $4,000 mailers each month.

Now you have a plan.

Clearly – 4,000 letters per month isn’t cheap (see- I told you wholesaling wasn’t cheap!) so you will need to come up with a plan on how you will get started if you don’t have the initial investment to get the ball rolling. Perhaps you’ll have to start with one deal not acquired by direct mail and instead use driving for dollars to get there. Whatever your plan is … write it down and do it!

6.) Cut Your Expenses

Quitting your job is a big deal – with big financial consequences. As they say – desperate times call for desperate measures. Entering the world of self-employment is a risky venture and most start up companies fail – largely because they run out of money.

If you are looking to quit your job you are going to need to make some sacrifices – starting with your living expenses.

  • Do you really need cable TV?
  • How about that car payment?
  • Gym membership?
  • Starbucks? (Leave me alone!)

If you are serious about making real estate investing a full time gig – it’s time to cut your expenses. Decide right now what is essential, and what is luxury. You can always add the luxury stuff back in later.

One additional point to make here: a great sacrifice to make is your home itself. Buying a small multifamily property, living in one unit, and renting the other unit out is a great way to live cheap (or free) and learn the real estate investing business. For more information on this strategy, check out New Investor Strategy: How to Buy Your First Multi-Family Investment Property & Live Rent Free

7.) Save Up a Cushion Before - Let's spend countless hours preparing for a meeting that will be delayed, canceled, or misrepresented
In addition to cutting your expenses, you’ll also need cash.

As I mentioned earlier – most businesses fail from lack of capital, so having a large financial cushion is imperative. The amount you’ll need is largely dependent on your personal situation, but I would recommend at least six months of savings before quitting your job.

This goes back to your plan – how will you save this money? Is it going to take a second job? Selling some crap? Wholesaling a deal?

Whatever it is – make it happen.

8.) Hustle Your Tail Off

If you plan to quit your job, don’t think life gets easier. One of my favorite quotes says “an entrepreneur is someone who works 80 hours a week to avoid working 40.”

As a business owner – you’ll need to hustle. You’ll need to get outside your comfort zone and stretch your skills and abilities. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to, learn to sell even if you hate it, and start stretching yourself!

Get used to late nights, early mornings, and limited family time while you are building this business. This doesn’t (and shouldn’t) last forever. However, in the early stages, it might be required.

9.) Networking is Your Life Blood

As a self employed business owner – you will become largely dependent on meeting other people to help you in your business. You cannot do it alone.

Start getting outside your comfort zone and begin networking.

This is more than just handing out business cards. This is about meeting those who are influential in your market. It’s about attracting private money to your business. It’s about late night drinks with colleagues, birthday cards to your vendors, and thank you phone calls to those who help you out.

Your local real estate investment club is probably the number one best way to start networking. Seek out local investment clubs that aren’t purely about up-selling new investors to buy the latest and greatest new product from a guru. Look for a club that has lots of seasoned investors and get to know the members there. (Tip: leave your cell phone in the car so you won’t be tempted to play with your phone when you have no one to talk to!)

Finally, find ways to help others. When you and your company develop a reputation for being helpful – people will want to be helpful back. And remember, as Warren Buffet says,

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

10.) Two Weeks Notice!

At this point – you have a fully funded financial cushion, your business has been rocking along for several months with success, you’ve hustled and learned everything you can, and you have a detailed plan for going forward.

Finally, it’s time to hand in your two-weeks notice (or whatever is proper for your current industry) and head out on the road to full self-employment.

It’s important that, although you are leaving your work (hopefully for the last time) that you do not burn any bridges. Continue to work hard for your employer until the day you leave, because you never know when those people will be a private lender, buyer, or referral for your new business (remember what Buffett said about reputation!)

You’ve finally done it – you’ve transitioned from working a job you didn’t like to making a great income in the world of real estate investing. However, your journey is not over here. Now it’s time to really focus in and run your business like a business, continue to stay educated, and follow your plan! It’s easy to want to chase the next shiny thing – but stick to your plan and only venture into new areas when you feel comfortable with your current model (and income.)

This post is clearly long enough, so I’ll wrap it up now and turn it over to you.

If you would – can you please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

  • What have you learned?
  • What can you add to help others?
  • What are your plans going forward?

Finally – if this post was helpful – please click the cute little “share” buttons below and share this on your Facebook or Twitter feed. There are a lot of people out there who hate their jobs … and this post might just help some of them find a way out.

Photos: Duane Hess,

About Author

Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on,,, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with his wife Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.


  1. Very Epic (yes, capitalized) post Brandon! I know you’re aware of my plans and I really enjoyed reading this article. It’s a great reality check and eye-opener for many people that have the REI bug 🙂

      • That’s funny because I enjoy how both of you write and the topics you cover! And a great article Brandon! I did this but had put stuff In to place before hand. Now I have an associate that has the REI bug and she sees the possibilities of not having to work the JOB to enjoy life more and free up time to spend with her family. I like how you mention it doesn’t get easier. Your building a business platform. It takes time, persistence, money, and that overwhelming desire to make it happen even when some pretty big roadblocks pop up. Thank you!

        • Brandon Turner

          So true, Roy. I think you hit the nail on the head there – you are building a business platform and like any business it takes time, persistence, money and desire. Yes!

  2. WOW!!! Brandon this article has been the best thus far that I’ve read since joining Bigger Pockets. It has been a reality check for me and has displayed to me what it really takes to get to the point of leaving my 9 to 5. I don’t hate my job but I hate that I’m not appreciated for the work I do–I work for the Federal Gov’t. I love helping people and I think my skills in Human Resources can be a pretty smooth transition into REI. This article has laid the road map I need to reach my goals. I don’t plan on leaving my job in the next 5 months but these steps will allow me to do it in whatever time frame I feel most comfortable.

  3. Another great post Brandon. I think I have just been doing too much reading at this point like I have stated before. I signed up for BiggerPockets but never really got involved in the community. I need to do the new member introduction. I did complete my profile so now the real work begins. Most of the points you make work for quitting your job no matter whether its real estate you are getting into something else. I quit my job and I made sure the wifey and I had 1 full year of bills saved so I could start my business and get into real estate. No the part is I need to get moving. There are so many ways to get into real estate I am actually have more trouble deciding just one niche.

    I want to flip a few houses to build up cash of about 50-100k. That way i have money to go with the hard money and still have room to fix them up. After about netting 150-200k I want to go into rental properties. The wholesaling seems nice but seems like the more I read the less likely I am to do it at this point. The driving for dollars is an option but I still need to have a hard money lender on hand that I can go to to get the deal. This well come with time and experience.

    Thanks for the great information!

    • Brandon Turner

      Hey Thomas, thanks for the comment! Definitely do that new member introduction – it’s a great way to let people know about ya! I think your plan is solid, for sure. I’d definitely read through those books on Flipping that J Scott put out, and check out the new calc and let me know what you think.

      I’ll seeya around the site and elsewhere!

  4. BOOM! My mind is blown! Very succinct Brandon, I have to echo Mehran’s assessment EPIC! Thanks for putting things into perspective for us new entrepreneurs. It’s crazy, something as simple as a plan, clear concise and don’t falter. I’ve heard the advice before but I honestly haven’t taken this all too important step yet. I personally will never quit my job, I have an affinity for health insurance and I support a family of five, but given the fact that I am an extremely rare breed “the genuine honest ethical salesman” which is one of my strong suits I have put a lot of consideration into leaving the world of Medical Software and venturing toward a nice part time, commission/salary structure with a benefit package while I build my business. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have the clarity, the level of education, or the team of professionals here at Bigger Pockets to move from concept to intelligent action. Priceless…truly.

    • Brandon Turner

      Ha thanks Jason! I strive to blow minds. I love Real Estate because you don’t have to do it full time to get the eventual full time benefits from it. Thanks for the kind words and I hope we can continue to help you take your investing further and further!

  5. What I meant to say is I wouldn’t have moved from analysis to action without the assistance of the professionals and newbies alike at Bigger Pockets. I have been researching this his field for quite some time now and I’ve never seen anything like this community. Simply put, any entrepreneur who wanted a mastermind of successful peers in their given field to guide them through their business would cost thousands, and rarely exists in the first place. The fact that the site is free to join and participate in is just a bonus. Thanks to all the contributors and thanks for this post Brandon!

    The Patriot

  6. Great outline, Brandon.

    I encourage anyone following your path to wait to quit until after they have enough income from a spouse or their real estate to cover their monthly bills. Let the new income take you out of your w2 job rather than quitting and hoping this real estate investing business works out. There’s so much to learn and it certainly could be an 80 hour per week job in the beginning.

    I love that Thomas said he had enough saved to cover one year of expenses before he quit his job. Income is typically lower than expected and expenses greater for investors jumping into this business. Flip-it shows and gurus have made it sound too easy to get rich quick.

    Your article is perfect to hand out in unemployment offices to give hope and alternative choices to the many trying to figure out what to do next.

    One of the best things about this article is pointing out that people must have a plan. Figure out what you want to do and how you plan to do it. Know how much income you truly need to bring in each month and break that down into bite sized chunks – what it takes to make that happen.

    You are a real teacher, Brandon. Another great post.

    • Brandon Turner

      Hey Karen, yeah I definitely agree. We don’t wanna cause anyone to go bankrupt from jumping the gun! Too bad we can’t get the unemployment offices to teach this stuff – or to get the unemployed to listen! Thanks for the comment!

  7. This is a fantastic article. Well thought out and edited, with deep content and referrals to solid outside resources. I’ve been in the business full-time for five years and there was still plenty for me to take away. It’s a keeper! Thanks Brandon !

  8. Steve Johnson on

    Great article. The title caught me right away because, yes, I’m one of those wanting to quit my day job. It just doesn’t offer enjoyment to me anymore. I have started looking for positions related to the field so I can still have an income while I can really start building my business. I definitely feel I’m on the right path although I’ve been very nervous about it lately.

    My favorite part about this post is the list of books recommended to read. I’ll be sure to go through those!

  9. Matt DeVincenzo on

    Great post Brandon. Being a buy and hold type investor myself, and long distance at that, I’m on more of the 6 year quit my job timeline. But this information is great for the long timelines as well, you just have more time to put it to action.

    BP is definitely one of the only(if not the only) HONEST real estate investment resource out there today. Great post.

  10. I love reading your articles Brandon. I know if you wrote it, it’s going to have something I need to know as a new investor, and I’ll be entertained while I’m learning it. It is my hope to someday be able to work at this full time, but I’m not rushing into that, planning just like you said. Great article.

  11. Great article Brandon. I have procrastanating for about two years to become a full time investor, but this article has motivated me to get off my butt and get moving. Thanks so much.

  12. Brandon, this article was simultaneously a motivator and a reality check. I worry about people who quit jobs they hate, but have no cushion or are emotionally unprepared for when lean times happen. If it was all unicorns and lollipops, then I bet everyone on Bigger Pockets would be gone from a w2 job by now. Thanks for laying it out honestly.

    • Brandon Turner

      Hey John, thanks so much for the comment. I also worry about people quitting too quickly. It’s a scary thing – not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from. Having that cushion definitely helps. Thanks for reading John!

  13. Talk about a timely article, Brandon. I just had my last day at a corporate IT sales job on Friday (7/19). I’m taking a 60%+ pay cut to go work for a medium-sized real estate investment company here in the Bay Area. I’ll be an Acquisitions Analyst for them – mainly driving around, networking, finding distressed properties and using their fund to acquire those houses.

    A little background on how I got the gig. Back in November 2012 I decided that RE was my passion and what I wanted to do for my life/career. I enrolled in a community college to take all the classes necessary for the licensing exam. Also, beginning in January of 2013, I started sending direct mail to absentee owners trying to find properties to wholesale. While I haven’t closed on any yet, I’ve learned a ton, made a lot of offers, seen many houses and generally just got out there. It was a combination of the above factors that lead to me securing a position with this firm. Oh, and you might have heard of this company – Praxis Capital. I could not be more excited to start Day 1 tomorrow morning!!

    This is a great write-up and it’s worth sharing to anyone, not just those wanting to get involved in RE. Finally, allow me to plug a very useful tool/framework/course that was purchased for me by my lovely girlfriend for my birthday. It’s by Scott Dinsmore and it’s called Life Off Your Passion. It is a great tool for discovering what drives you and helping you figure out how to monetize it. I highly recommend it. (I’m not affiliated in any way, just a very happy customer)

    • Brandon Turner

      Brandon- congrats on the new gig! Brian Burke (He’s the guy in charge there, right?) is awesome. Definitely one of my heroes in this game! You’ll grow so quickly! I’ve heard of Scott Dinsmore’s program so that’s cool to hear a good review of it! I’ll definitely have to check it out. Thanks for reading Brandon!

  14. This is an article Brandon that will help a lot of people.

    Not everyone is cut out to be a full time real estate investor. A lot of folks love their jobs or chosen careers, and don’t want to go down that path. But just like you said, real estate can be part of everyone’s wealth plan. You can still love real estate investing without doing it full time. Great article.


  15. This article is useful. I quit my job and went full time into real estate 9 months ago as a business owner (I was working as a w-2 in the real estate industry for 2 years prior so I wasnt a newbie to RE). My company has grown there are now 6 of us but I will tell you the biggest hurdle to get over is fear. Fear and lack of confidence can kill your business. Dont give up and keep pushing. Going from w2 to 1099 becomes a real reality check when you work 60+ hours a week for sometimes months without seeing income. If anyone on here needs an ear to talk to please reach out to me. I wish all of us the best 🙂

  16. 2 key points that shouldn’t be overlooked

    -You need cash reserves because you never going to buy a perfect deal. Make sure you have money because good deals can go a little sideways

    -I believe maintain some type of income generator is key. It allows you to pay the bills, have patience, and reduce the emotion that can wreck your investing career.

    • Brandon Turner

      Definitely Jerred! It’s true – no deal is ever perfect. I think that’s kinda why I like this game so much – it forces creativity. And yeah – having some income definitely reduces the stress 100 fold! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  17. Trevor Probandt on

    Well said, nothing magic about any of it. Plan your work, and then work your plan. Sent this to several folks, good to have others understand what I have been talking about.

    W-2 to K-1 has as much of a pucker effect out there.

  18. Brandon,
    This is why I like reading your blogs.
    You tell it like it is, the business is not easy, but it’s worth it.
    This is a must read for everyone looking at Real Estate Investing.

  19. Thanks for this article Brandon. This is the kind of stuff newbies like myself need rather than what the gurus push at us! I have learned to have patience in this business – not everything happens yesterday. What I would recommend to others is not to let analysis paralysis stop you (that was my biggest issue in the beginning and knowing what I know now, I so wish I had started years earlier) but also do your research and have a sustainable plan in place before you leave that J.O.B. And my plans for the future? To be able to leave my J.O.B. in the not-too-distant future!

  20. Brandon,

    This is incredibly useful information and very well organized and presented.

    While I didn’t quit my job to start wholesaling, it became a second 40 hour a week job, at least. Trying to work both jobs and spend time with my family was tough. Everything suffered and in the end I had to choose. Since my J.O.B. was producing income easier than wholesaling was at the time and I wasn’t going to walk away from my family, wholesaling had to get backburnered. If I’d read and understood what this article covers then, I know my approach would have been different then and I know it will this time around.

    Thank you for encapsulating in such a concise format what so many of us had to learn the hard way. Keep them coming!


  21. Jerrad Carranza on

    Great article, Brandon. I have begun in wheaing and have closed a couple deals. Eventually I’d like to move to a fix and flip model as well as buy and hold. Currently I have a disadvantage that makes any kind of start in real estate difficult, let alone quitting my job and going it full time. I’m trying to overcome this disadvantage as best I can, but it gets discouraging sometimes.

  22. Great post Brandon!

    I’ve spent more than the last year evaluating my career options because I no longer LOVED what I did, which is IT for the corporate world. Sure, it’s pays great and there’s always jobs to be had, but it has proven less fulfilling to me every year.

    Your step of starting with an honest evaluation is something I found to be VERY important. Although I did an honest evaluation before finding BP, it was very important to my recent decisions. It was not an easy thing to do – being honest about what I really want deep down inside. I didn’t find this out by simply thinking about it or doing a survey or studying my personality. I had to dig deep into what I truly valued and what made me truly happy. This required digging into many parts of my life all the way back to my childhood.

    Anyways, it was a challenging process. I had a great book help me along the way. It wasn’t really a book, but a guide and it wasn’t something I read front to back. I completed sections of the book at a time. About 1/2 way through and a month into the book light bulbs started going off! To this day I still pick it up and read it for reference. I also reflect the notebook of notes I made from things I learned about myself. I would suggest it to anyone struggling with where they want to go with the career and life.

    The book is called “The Pathfinder,” by Nicholas Lore. I have no affiliation to this book or author, but it has changed my my life.

    Needless to say, it helped me find I want to build a business in the RE field. Best of luck to all in this stage!

  23. Shawn Ironmonger on

    Thank you for this article. I really like the first part about figuring out your passion and having that passion and real estate investing together in your life.

  24. Killer post Brandon! I love the straightforward breakdown of different strategies. This article has given me some meaningful next steps that I need to take to really plan for when I quit my day job – if anyone from my company reads this let me know 😉

    Although I already know that I want to go full time investor, I’ve been putting off the honest evaluation as well as quantifying what it will take to really quit.

    You’re direction to….

    ? Sign Up For BiggerPockets. If you are just reading this blog post – but haven’t signed up for a free account – stop what you are doing right now and sign up. Trust me.

    …is SPOT ON!

    It hasn’t been very long since I signed up but I’ve been reading BP for at least a year. I’ve gotten significantly more serious about what I’m doing with RE ever since I stopped sitting on the sidelines and started conversing and asking questions.

    As always, thanks for the motivation and direction!

  25. What keeps me working is that it provides decent medical insurance. I wonder how many people who quit their jobs to make it in real estate forego having medical coverage. If I had to pay medical and dental for my family on my own, it would cost more than my combined house and car payments. You should add that to the list of expenses to consider when deciding how much you need to make.

    • Hmm…is there no way to obtain medical/dental while being self-employed as a real estate investor? How does everyone do it, just pay out of pocket, really??

      • Sure you can obtain it. You just won’t get the good group rate that a large company can and if you are over 50 like me, expect to pay accordingly. There are cheaper plans for just a few hundred a month that only kick in after a $5000 deductible or more and then only pay 70% after the deductible. But to get good coverage that pays for annual physicals and 100% after the deductible, like most good employers provide, is really expensive to buy on your own. My point isn’t to complain about health coverage costs, but to just say you need to consider the cost in assessing whether you can afford to quit your job.

        • Brandon Turner

          Very true! A lot of people forget this step (like me, in my article 😉 ) but it’s so important. Nothing spells “bankruptcy” like “m-e-d-i-c-a-l b-i-l-l-s”!

        • If you are in relatively good health or past the 10-year waiting limit for major problems, you can get private insurance. After I got over the 10-year waiting limit for cancer I got Blue Cross/Blue Shield and a good rate for me and my husband–both of us over 50. We have a $5000 deductible but we each get 2 office visits per year and preventative medicine included (nearly free). We have learned not to go to the doctor unless we really, really need to and we have the deductible money ready to spend in case of an emergency. I think it’s worth the gamble.

  26. Awesome post Brandon. I love your words of wisdom and have been following your story since I really appreciate the break down you give to those of us who want to quit the 9-5. Someone once told me, “its what you do between 6pm and 8am that will make you successful.” And I am proud to say that I have done so and have followed your advice and on my way to being a successful REI. and let me tell you, its tough! BUT, its amazing what we are capable of when that steady pay check doesn’t get deposited every week (or other). I feel like Rick Ross out here, “everyday im hustlin” lol. I saved up 9 months of living expenses, quit my job, became a real estate broker with a small firm that focuses primarily in the investment arena, and now, I rent a lot of units in the area I want to buy and hold in. This has helped me understand the pulse of my market and better present offers and deals while building my clientele base of investors to help purchase investment property, raise funds, and help out the general public. Once again, great breakdown, im proof positive that what you have suggested works! Look forward to the next post.

  27. I am about two deals away from being able to live on cashflow. I’m SOOO ready but I’m also afraid I will make a stupid mistake because I’m over zealous to get those deals done.

  28. Valerie Gambino on

    Brandon, this is really terrific and insightful. I wish I knew about BiggerPockets before investing thousands of dollars with a “guru” program, but what’s done is done. We’ve met some great people and learned a lot. It’s just so tough to go from “education” to “reality” when you have kids and full time jobs and so little time to get things done. We’re also in New York, which is a very tough and expensive market, so finding cash flowing properties is nearly impossible, it seems. However, I’ll continue reading and learning and taking baby steps towards financial freedom. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Brandon Turner

      Hey Valerie, funny – I hear that a lot! That’s why my biggest mission at BiggerPockets is to get the word out about us before people spend thousands. I’ve also heard investing is tough in NYC, but there are pockets within a few hours drive that you can probably find, which works much better for buy and hold. Good luck and thanks for reading and commenting!

  29. Johnny Giangregorio on

    Great article Brandon! I’m a newbie real estate investor and quit my job about three months to pursue real estate investments. I teamed up with a couple of Los Angeles investors and just purchased my first property (as both a residence and investment!). Looking forward to learning from you and your community for years to come!

  30. Winston Risser on

    Good Article . Man I have been studying for a couple years , working a job and buying a few properties . I like reading different peoples perspectives and coming up with a plan that best fits myself.

    I like how this article lays out the facts and exactly what it takes to do each of the different strategies and how much work they actually take , But you say just make a plan and do it.

    I don’t plan on quieting my job because I run a painting business and I meet people and build a reputation everyday . Plus consistent $$$ is nice.
    But I am working on making some part time money on the wknd and slower months using these methods.

    Thanks for your time and commitment to I can tell you love what you do !! #biggerpockets

  31. Rita Phillips on

    Brandon – one of your best (and funniest) yet!
    Is it possible (or allowed) to share the blogs from Bigger Pockets on my Facebook page? Or add to my website? I don’t see a link to share on FB, so figured there might be a reason.
    Forgive me; I may be a decent investor, but I stink when it comes to my social media. Trying to improve! 🙂 Thx!

    • Brandon Turner

      Thanks so much, Rita! And yes- please share on Facebook! There is a “like button” at the very top of the post, right above the photo. Or you can just copy the URL and share it on Facebook 🙂 I definitely appreciate any sharing! 🙂

  32. Brandon, your wisdom is greatly appreciated. Sometimes we get so focused on getting out of the rat race that we fail to execute a well-defined plan of action in which to do so – be it REI or otherwise. Everyone’s REI “calling” will be different but just having an education from the seasoned professionals of BP can make a great deal of difference in being successful in any RE endeavor. Thanks again.

  33. My colleagues and I see, day in and day out, the benefit to our clients of investing in commercial properties. Multifamily (apartment) properties specifically. In this difficult economic climate, there are ways in which apartment loans make more sense than other types of loans. We’d love to help you figure out if this type of commercial investment is for you. We’ve been doing this since 1997 and have many, many satisfied clients.

  34. Great article Brandon!

    This is a great primer on the steps you have to think about before diving into this gig fulltime.
    Nobody should jump into anything like full time RE Investing without the proper research and reserves (or other plan for paying the bills) since that is a recipe for disaster.

    That being said I hope people keep the title of this in mind when going through the steps. Unfortunately I can see a lot of people looking at these things and using it as an excuse to not take action. Things will NEVER be perfect so if you wait for that enjoy getting that Gold Watch when you retire from that J.O.B. (if they don’t get rid of you before that).

    No matter when you decide to make the move there will be tough times, a steep learning curve, tons of work, lots of stress and probably plenty of times you will wonder why you thought it was a good idea. If you power though and truly love what you are doing (Whole heartedly agree with you about needing that passion!) then it WILL be worth it.

    Don’t do anything foolish but also don’t wait for some magical right time that will never come.
    When you think you are ready is probably the best you can do so when you think that is the case DO IT!

  35. This blog was awesome! Great job, Brandon.
    As a ‘newbie’ im sucking in all the information i can and starting to get very active. I wanted to say that this had some great pointers and really is the motivation to become ACTIVE!
    Thanks for all your great work. Us ‘newbs’ appreciate the hell out of it!

  36. Hello Brandon,

    Thanks for the fantastic article and information. I am curious about how much would the list and mailing typically cost for 4,000 mailers each month? Obviously with marketing the more exposure and contacts the more likely you are to make a deal. Am I correct in thinking that you would ideally have a list of 12,000 to 15,000 that you rotate around throughout the year making sure to hit everyone around 5-7 times a year or would you mail out to 4,000 new addresses each month? Which brings me to my last two questions how large of a neighbor and how many neighborhoods would you recommend a newbie starting with?

    Thanks in advance for your help I am looking at all the links and documents you suggested trying to learn, but these questions came to mind so I thought I would ask.


  37. Robert Minnella on


    Great article!
    I appreciate how well it was sequentially put together. I am fairly new to investing as it dawned on me that being a full time mobile home permitter in North Central Fl., (a job i love) puts me on the front-line for deals with used replaced homes and land for sale by owner.

    Thanks for all the information,

  38. Steuart Wright on

    Hey Brandon,

    Thanks for another great article. I have a question. I’m currently going through the pre-approval process for a mortgage to buy my first flip. I was told that I have a very good chance of being approved for a pretty decent size mortgage “because of my income”. My question is, how were you financing your properties when you FIRST left your job to do this full time. Were you using your wife’s income? Did you first save up enough to buy your properties with cash? This is my biggest question as my goal is to eventually invest full-time as well.

    Thanks in advance,

  39. So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.

  40. Thank you Brandon.
    I am actually on a self imposed 6 month time line right now, and have been doing all of these steps. It’s good to know others have accomplished this, and it is motivating. My problem is that I am not able to network efficiently since i am out of the country and do my investing through my agent. It will be good to get back to the US and be able to get more hands on.

  41. Another awesome post Brandon! Love your honesty in this post- At times its easy to dismiss what will really happen on a day to day basis after I make the leap. For me a life of doing RE deals sounds amazing and fun and challenging all at once, but I am constantly forcing myself to ask a lot of the questions you mention above. I just have to keep hustling and making real steps everyday toward my goal! Everyone has to start somewhere and making those first steps are sometimes the hardest. Thx again:). Keep up the great work.

  42. Islam Abdallah on

    Excellent article Brandon! I’m actually going through the exact same process as we speak, so this was well timed. I’m glad this was posted as this definitely validates my thought process. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  43. What a great post! Finally I found content worth reading. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I didn’t realize how many types of jobs available for real estate investing. I was on food stamps and now I work at the largest fortune 500 company. I created to share my story and job board. You can search for more real estate investment jobs. Thanks again Brandon!!

  44. David Dachtera

    Hello, Brandon,

    Great post!

    I do have a couple points where I disagree, however.

    First is on the topic of education.

    Yes, it “would be nice” if you could get started without taking a financial step backward by purchasing education. However, if not spending that $10,000 or $20,000 to get educated ends up costing you $50,000 to $100,000 or more in mistakes, what is your net savings? A very large negative number, isn’t it?

    Did you know that there are mistakes newbies – and seasoned investors! – can make which can incur penalties as serious or more so than some felonies? (In IL, at least.)

    I’ve noticed a very strong bias against paid education on BP, and I think this does your members a great disservice. True, good REI education is an extreme rarity. I’ve only ever found one that’s even worthy of a second look, and its NOT one of those you’ve ever seen on an infomercial. However, their students are doing amazing things, even partnering with the VA to house homeless veterans while they’re being treated for PTSD and physical injuries. You can bet none of the “gurus” are doing THAT!

    In my world, most folks pay for their education on the close of their first deal. The contacts they make and experience they gain in the course of those first deals is invaluable – I’d even say, priceless.

    Yes, the BP forums and blogs can be useful sources of information, but how many of those are organized into segments comprising classes, classes comprising curricula, or curricula comprising courses of study?

    Obviously, I also disagree on the point about investing in your education. It’s actually the best investment you can make. Not even RE can yield the same ROI as EDU.

    Second, where you mention cutting expenses…

    Everyone talks about “cutting the cord” and dropping cable TV. If you do that, however, how do you get broadband internet access? Satellite, (A)DSL and cellular services are quite limited by comparison to cable broadband. Another option has only very limited service areas: east coast states, Florida, Texas and California have services such as Verizon FiOS (fibre to the home). This cut might not be the best choice.

    How ’bout that car payment? Depends on the car. If you’re shopping for rental properties, it’s probably best not to pull up to them in a flashy set of wheels, especially in a “war zone”. Best to look more like you belong there. So, I agree with you, with some reservations. Until one makes the transition to full-time REI, it may be best to pick up a beater for business and keep your “yuppie mobile” for work for now.

    Gym membership? No – use that money to pay for education, instead.

    Starbucks is just over-priced java, after all. Make Folgers or whatever at home and use twice as much ground roast as the label recommends. You’ll get the same jolt – and better taste – for less cost.

    Again, great post! Looking forward to more!

  45. Kurt Alderson

    Excellent article Brandon! I’m half way through the Book on Flipping by J Scott and have already learned a ton. We’ve already begun reducing our monthly expenses and I am currently working on my individual plan.

    As I make the transition from my 8-5 to full time investing for income and retirement, I will keep that book and this article close by. Thanks for the info!

  46. Kellum Lewis

    Thanks for a very interesting and thoughtful post, Brandon. I recently went through a couple of those expensive education courses. While I understand your cautioning people about the pitfalls of starting off their new business in too much debt, I feel much more confident now that I’ve gotten some training. Also, the money I paid for my education means I have some skin in the game. I’m motivated to get my money back! That’s part of what led me to Bigger Pockets: I’m ready for my life to change and I want to keep educating myself and connecting with others for deals, advice and support. Thanks for your work on Bigger Pockets. I’m benefiting from it a lot so far.

  47. Tyler Grant

    Thanks for this great post Brandon! Seeing this post has helped me evaluate what I need to do and have already done in regards to building my own REI company. This is a really great post chock full of great leads to different RE paths. I made sure to share this post on my personal FB because If there’s anyone contemplating their position in life, I wanted to be able to show them that there are options, just as you did by writing this post. Part of my mission in building my company and gaining financial freedom is to help others achieve the same goals. Thanks again for the post!

  48. Rick Fain

    Brandon – In a world and profession where we are surrounded by sharks, gurus, snakes, I am truly thankful for your information and honest approach. I feel more at ease diving into this arena thanks to your outlook and vast array of helpful resources.

  49. Maxim Bovykin

    Great post Brandon – eye opening for those who believed that REI is an easy job which requires nothing else to do but collect the cash.

    For me for example, it’s now a game of chicken and an egg – where to get initial cash to put down for a first deal. 🙂 I need to be creative like you were teaching in your posts and books. thank you!

  50. Roberto Ruvalcaba

    This made it clear what we need to focus on now!
    Currently my husband (American) and I (Japanese) live in Japan. We visit US once in a few years.
    Three things I’m going to focus now, is to read and learn as much as we can now, fill out profile in BP ( my husbands account ), and start finding good real estate. Even if we don’t buy right now, I believe we can build up ability to choose good ones by calculating numbers.
    Thank you Brandon for the great information!

  51. Kino Luke

    Wow!! This is a great read. It really made me think to determine if I’m really ready to jump into real estate investing full time. I’m a brand new real estate agent and also have that 9 to 5 that I desperately want to get out of. After reading this article, I think work on being a real estate agent for income and invest partime for my family’s future. Thanks.

  52. steve g.

    hey ,, loved the suggestions. I like Warren Buffet. One of the wisest guy in the investment world. Follow what he is saying and doing, it may lead to helpful ideas in your real estate investing.

    I had a friend i grew up with, who began investing in real estate. We lost contact with each other for many years,next thing I know, this guy owns have of downtown business buildings in the city we grew up in. Imagine where I could be today If I hadn’t lost contact with this guy. All the knowledge he could have shared with me over those years.

    Who knows, today I might be the Warren Buffet of the real estate world.

  53. Gail Bray

    Thank you for the article. It really opened my eyes to making a plan with cash reserves to use to live and invest for my future. I have escrow experience, mortgage experience and custom bldg./flipping experience. I live in lake tahoe. I will now do a real estate analysis on how the market is doing. I am going to school now to get my real estate license. I now need to get the job and make a plan. Thank you.

  54. Travis Hauser

    Awesome article! This certainly leaves me to do some thinking and start running some numbers. I have worked a business plan up for Buy and Hold but you may have talked me out of it. If you moved away from buy and hold so you could increase your growth rate, can you tell us what you moved into?

    Travis Hauser

  55. Erick Barrios

    Very Nice Article, thank you so much. I am from Guatemala and some investing tips doesn’t apply very much here. I am 38 years old, I paid my US$230,000 home in 2009 and since then i have putting my money in rental property. I own my house and 6 rental properties. I gave down payments for all and the rentals here in Guatemala, are not as good as in the US, but i am giving US2000.00 per month from my pocket to pay the 15 years mortgage for all 6 properties. I am taking this as savings plan. I have a US$495,000 mortgage for all and receiving US$2600.00 monthly from rental.

    Right now i am a full time pilot and i am making good money from it, so my plan is to pay the 6 properties in 10 years and hall all full rental income. I am planing to retire as a pilot in 15 years so i can save money after the 10 years after paying the properties. My questions is what do you thing about this and if i can change or improve it… I would like tot have a passive income of US$5000 in 15 years. Can I improve it? i have an extra US$20,000 a year to invest, i am planing to invest in rental properties in the US also.. what do you think?

  56. Gabe Monroy

    Very inspiring! I’m a new wholesaler 8 months in and I am about to buy my first rental property with the money made from wholesaling. I’m excited to make it to full time investing sometime soon. Thanks Brandon for keeping me motivated!

  57. Chris Luksha

    Thank you Brandon. I have been enjoying a ton of your posts for a couple hours now and finally got my intro post done and wrote my first page of notes based on many of the articles on the BiggerPockets site. This was a good for me to read since I am not really trying to go quit my job in six months but in all reality go part time with my full time and really put some good effort in making REI a full time – part time business.

    I look forward to your and other’s posts. I currently feel like I am drinking from a fire hydrant. But hey, the more I do, the larger my mouth gets and the faster I can take it in 🙂

    God Bless,

  58. Philip Lewis

    Hi Brandon,

    Very nice article that presents a great summary. I am returning to real estate investing after a hiatus (been in real estate in one form or another for almost 35 years), and have been dabbling around all the education platforms and gurus, and haven’t really found anything that clicked until I found Bigger Pockets two days ago.

    The genuine feel of BP is great, as all the gurus, regardless of price point, have left me feeling that they are about selling their product and not really trying to help. I have taken to Googling my questions and found BP and more direct answers than anyone else has provided. As someone that has started a number of businesses, your advice and counsel resonates as “right on”.

    Having experienced a number of rather severe real estate cycles, I would encourage everyone to remember that if it is “hot” right now, it is much more likely to go “cold” rather than get hotter. Strive for a balance of cash flow, and asset growth, rather than one or the other.

    Once had a tenant in a fabulous property that killed his wife and himself with a weapon. Criminal and civil actions kept the property off the market for almost a year. All of a sudden, business interruption insurance didn’t seem that expensive! At one point in time I had a residential property management company with 4,300 SFR. If you want nightmare stories about being a Landlord, just send me a note!!

    I look forward to learning the current trends, and I hope that I can be of service to the community. Thanks.

  59. Jorge Borjas

    Another fantastic article by Brandon! This article really lays the steps to become a RE entrepreneur very clearly. It’s always enjoyable to read Brandon’s posts as well, with a very down to earth feel to them. I am very new to this, but I’ve been learning tons of valuable information to get me started soon. Thank you for all the help you provide, Brandon! Rock on!

  60. Chris Orcutt

    Thank you for the article Brandon. Investing in yourself is always a smart choice and I couldn’t agree more that educating yourself, no matter the endeavor, is imperative to success.

    For those that find books boring or hard to read (I did), I highly recommend audio books and podcasts. I have found that I can stay focused and consume information via these mediums much faster than physical books.

    My only complaint about the article is the amount of background information provided at the beginning — I would have appreciated a link to the background information and for the article to start with the “Ten Steps to Being Able to Quit Your Job in 2013”.

  61. Dwayne McGee

    Excellent article, great advice that I will definitely use. I’m educating myself as fast as possible. I try to read at least one article on my train ride in to work and another article on my train ride home.


  62. Paul Krause

    Brandon I like how you said to write down a date, December 5th. That stuck with me so powerfully. I still use a paper based calendar system and have found if I write my daily assignments they will stick with me till completion. The assignments I don’t get to are not as much of a priority and after thinking it through, were not going to contribute to the greater goal. Great article!

  63. Thanks for this article I learn a lot about the job I thought my husband should quit and focus in real estate investing. We are planning to get ready for investing and not depend on it as of this time.

  64. Thanks Brandon for all of the guidance, great blog! I am in a great position to become a real estate investor. I have about 70k in cash and very little overhead. I would like to do some wholesaling initially, followed by a system of buy and holds, as well as profitable flips. I need to know the first step though. I would love to have a “real life” local mentor who I could work alongsidewith to learn the ins and outs. I totally agree and believe in self education, but until I see it I’m still somewhat paralysed. Who would you recommend I contact first in order to begin my journey into investing? An agent, a RE Lawyer, investment group? I have money, time, drive and DESIRE!

  65. Lendell Williams

    Thanks for the article. I’m not at a point where I’ll be quitting my job any time soon, but this did give me things to consider. I have no investing experience but I’m looking for direction on where I should start and this article and website feels like the best place to obtain that direction. Educating myself is key so I will be reading some of the articles and books you mentioned. Thanks again!

  66. Eric Telese

    Great article, learned a lot of things on real estate investing. I am 23 years old and just starting out gaining more and more information and knowledge before dipping my feet in. I have all the reccomended reads on my reading list now and am anxious to start learning. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff and digging through biggerpockets!

  67. Drew Mahlmeister

    Thank you for all your great insight. I love how you present it with no fluff, you either do it or you don’t. I learned about how there are different directions when it comes to real estate investing and that I can still keep on job(that I like) and invest as a side gig. Thanks again for all that you do.

  68. Travis Colsen

    Thanks Brandon, lot of great information in here. I also had the opportunity to watch the replay of the of the 12/7 webinar on 5 things you must know before purchasing rental property. I hope to gain additional information from you in the future. Keep doing what you do!

  69. Great article! I have been wanting to flip for years but didn’t think I could with my full time retail job and being a single mom. I now have a fiancé who wants to flip and a part time job. I keep hesitating thinking that everyone wants to flip homes and how am I going to be able to succeed with so much competition, as well as I feel like their isn’t many foreclosures, or good deals on places, especially for a newbie. But this post is a great starting off point. Can’t wait to educate, educate, and step out of my comfort zone and network (I get anxiety just thinking about it)

  70. This is a great post, with amazing suggestion. I wanted to invest in real estate for a long time and didn’t know where to start or who to talk to. I wanted to say thank you!

  71. erik larson

    I’m attempting to kick off my flipping career (see what I did there?) shortly as I’ve been out of the workforce for about 6 months and am pretty well done with IT work as a whole. I’m guessing that most of this article was written under the tense of the person being single. I guess I’m lucky enough to have a wife that is still currently in cubicle hell and might be able to stay there for a bit longer so we have a solid steady income while I get this all figured out and rolling. So far my 1 day on BP has been a solid push for me to get this all really rolling, glad I found the place and picked up J’s book as well.

    I realize now that “Just flip” might not be enough and that there is an abundance of other options listed here, thanks for that.

  72. Larry Finlon

    Thank you sir for the information.Just gaining knowledge to start a new career after thirty five years in construction.Am going to give rehabbing a solid full time effort.Your direction to achieve successful information is greatly appreciated,thank you.

  73. Chris Wagner

    Thank you Brandon for this very insightful post. I have been preparing to take Real Estate investing as my full time job, but have been held back by fear. I have worked as a property manager for about 15 years now but always for someone els, I am now feeling ready to take the plunge and be the investor. I have recently come across this site and started listening to the podcast. BiggerPockets has been a huge help in my choice, thank you and I look forward to more information.

  74. norman wright

    As the founder of a new about-to-incorporate commercial real estate company focused on flipping and/or buying to hold commercial properties, I’m always interested in learning more methods. (I just joined Bigger Pockets!)

  75. Sidney Jernigan

    I believe this was a blessing disguise for to read. This was such a wonderful read and I truly appreciate you for taking your time out to write it and share it with us. Everything is pretty much new to me because I always take on the mindset when I approach a particular topic and aspect in life that I know nothing so I can set myself up to absorbed all and as much valuable info as possible. Thank you again and God bless!

    P.S. Gotta strive grind and execute now.

  76. Chris Rey


    Thanks so much for sharing this. While it was a few years ago, each point in this article still seems to ring true, if not affirmed but the dozens of comments praising it!

    I was introduced to BiggerPockets by a friend a few weeks ago and I can’t get enough of the podcasts and articles (just ordered a few books as well). While I’m still very much in the research and planning phase of things, it’s inspiring to see how all the comments and community on the site.

    My two biggest takeaways from this:

    1) This move isn’t easy, so plan, plan, plan then EXECUTE
    2) Know yourself – your limitations, your current financial status, your habits – they all culminate when you want to make a move to be financially independent.

    So, thanks again for the words, can’t wait until I take the next steps.

  77. Ann Rice

    I feel I have to leave a comment on your article.
    I joined BP only this week and this is the 1st email article I’ve read…… just WOW!
    Thank you!

    I’m determined to progress in to property full time.
    After reading lots of information and watching hours of YouTube videos I’m convinced that BP is the most helpful, informative and friendly website I’ve come across.

    I’m excited feeling hopeful yet nervous all at the same time, but ready now to spend the next two weekends forward planning and sorting out a strategyand cash flow.

    Thank you again for your sage advice above.
    Articles and the information/links contained in it are invaluable.


  78. Willie Cunningham on

    I have been wanting to quit my lousy job for years. I am learning more and more the rei is the best way for me! I’m 30 and don’t want to rely on the government for my retirement! I’ve read more articles and have listed to podcasts. I’ve even meet with a local rei myself and have learned more. I’m far from even being able to invest due to my poor credit and financial situation, but I do have a lot of passion to learn more and make a plan!!! I’d like to have at least one property by this time next year

  79. Emi Aoki

    Hi Brandon! Great article, really informative and lit a fire under me. I also joined the webinar yesterday and just trying to learn and absorb as much as I can. I heard you say you will be in Hawaii for a month – would love to connect while you are here! Thanks, Emi

  80. Joseph Moore Jr

    I enjoy my job as a truck driver but come April 2018 I just want to do it part time. My love of real estate has been with me my whole adult life. My favorite part of renovating is the landscaping and giving the home curb appeal. Being hands on I like to tackle most of the work myself. Now at 47 I am ready to step up my game and do this full time. I have 6 liability properties I need to turn into assets. Working at a slow pace one at a time. so I do not run out of money.

  81. Gina Z.

    I appreciate the blog. There is a lot of information to dig into that is for sure! It is great to have a community of people interested in supporting each other and willing to help navigate as we build our individual REI businesses.

  82. Donavan Alberga

    I was just introduced to BP days ago (January 2018) and so far I really like what I see… great podcasts, book recommendations and an ever so important shot between the eyes… like your article above! I love your blunt approach… there is no get rich quick formula… it takes hard work. I couldn’t agree more with your love for tangible assets, your spartan approach and I really appreciate your knowledge of the full spectrum of RE work/investment avenues. With a degree in Economics I was sold the ‘miracle of compound growth’… aka start investing young philosophy. Most of my (now 20 year old) college books assume a 12% return from the (stock) market… yeah right! That just simply hasn’t held true in our lifetime. As the owner of a small business and a small handful of ‘buy & hold’ properties I can attest that RE returns are where it’s at! Keep it up Brandon… I love what you are doing here (while advocating for diversification) and I can relate to your experience & advice in many ways. Your article has enlightened me to all the types of RE investing available and has helped me clarify which vehicles suit my skill set best.

  83. Juan Jose Pineda

    Brandon thank you so much for your article. This is my first week in this new world and I don’t have much to say. I just got tousands of questions. I found this website very helpful, I was close to pay one of this gurus programs in real state investing until I found you. With all respect how somebody like me could start in this business?
    I have my own business but I am looking for something that help me built up my retirement. I am open to any advice, information or contacts. I would like to contact season investors and learn from them, I hope my lack of knowledge in this business might not be a barrier.
    Looking to hear from you.

    Best regards,

    Juan J. Pineda

  84. John O'Connell on

    Thank you Brandon! I am just starting out and just joined BiggerPockets. Your article is the first one I read. I found it very insightful. The article provided some things to consider as I discover the investment path I want to take.

  85. Kathryn Baker

    Thank you for this article! I am just getting into this real estate world and trying to make small meaningful moves smartly (try saying that 5 times fast). This is a great blue print for making a thoughtful plan for how to accomplish your goals in real estate. I have already followed some steps laid out here, and emailed this article to 4 of my friends! Something I am still uncomfortable with is networking. It feels like awkward, forced speed dating. I know its important to any business. Any networking strategies that you find useful? Thanks!

  86. Dulce Mattalug

    H I Brandon,
    I find this article very helpful. It’s realistic, practical and best of all-it’s free.
    Just like what you mentioned, there’s plenty of info out there, but it costs a lot of money.
    I believe in sharing your wealth is by planting goodwill-some people are too greedy.
    I got laid off last year-2017. And I’m looking into ways where I can generate income and let money work for me and not work hard to earn money.

    I’ve also read Rich Dad Poor Dad, and it’s been an eye opener.
    I look forward into reading more helpful tips that BiggerPockets has to share.


  87. Christian Laines

    Great article to read Brandon! I still have much to learn but have been learning as much as I can before I buy my first duplex to live in one side and rent out the other. Currently I am a real estate agent and am looking to save some money before I pull the plug on buying my first property and house hacking. This article definitely made me realize many things and will be sharing on my Facebook. Thanks!

  88. na Boyce

    I appreciate you sharing this information, Brandon. I recently discovered Bigger Pockets in the results of a YouTube search for house-flipping videos. I, like Kathryn Baker above, am trying to get into networking. Your posts are giving me more confidence to ask the questions that I need answered to take smart actions and minimize beginner errors in real-estate investing. Thank you!

  89. Rich Ruelas

    Thanks Brandon for the straight talk. I am a new subscriber to Bigger Pockets this is one of the first articles that I read here. I do want to move on from my current job but I am not quite ready yet (thanks Brandon). I am leaning toward Wholesaling to generate some extra cash to get started with the goal of buying and Holding. Bigger Pockets Is a awesome community and resource.
    Much appreciate the advice. Keep it up

  90. Louis Coniglio

    Thank you for sharing this article Brandon! It was super informative and perfect for someone trying to enter the space. Whats the best way that I can get in contact with you? I tried messaging you via social media, but I’m sure your swamped there. Thank you for your time!

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