BiggerPockets Podcast 045: Finding Your Unfair Advantage, Rural Investing, and Getting Started with Tom Sylvester

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On today’s episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, we cover a huge variety of really interesting topics with real estate investor Tom Sylvester (yes, that rhymes!)

Tom has been investing in the Rochester, NY area for several years and has a great perspective on getting started, building systems to manage your business, investing in rural areas (or as Brandon says, “rrrrrurrral”,) and a whole lot more.

Don’t miss a second of this excellent interview!

Read the transcript for episode 45 with Tom Sylvester here.

Listen to the Podcast Here

In This Show, We Cover

BiggerPockets Podcast _ Real Estate Investing and Wealth Building 9.42.11 AM

  • Tom’s early lessons
  • The advantages and disadvantages to rural investing
  • Finding mentors and networking
  • Talking with your spouse about getting started with real estate
  • Getting started with real estate at a young age
  • When is the right time to quit your day job?
  • Red flags for problem tenants
  • The $10 Toilet part that could have saved Tom hundreds of dollars
  • And much more.

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in the Show

Tweetable Topics

Find your unfair advantage in business and exploit it. (Tweet This!)

What do you want your life to be? How are you going to get there? (Tweet This!)

If you aren’t finding success – be persistent but change your tactic. (Tweet This!)

Know the difference between a cheap property and deal. (Tweet This!)

Connect with Tom

Tom’s BiggerPockets Profile
Tom’s Website:

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. After listening to this podcast, I went to Home Depot and purchased the Fluidmaster Leak Sentry (i needed them for my new property), and can I just say how AWESOME these are?!?! you can drain the entire tank of water and the fill valve will not utter a drop of water until the handle “activates” the fill valve. this is such a no brainer that I will now replace every fill valve in my toilets with these. thank you!

  2. Thank you for another great podcast, just ordered the book by Frank Gallinelli, sounds like a good one, when I am done with that I think I will move on to the BP books on flipping and Rehab costs.

    Again thanks again for another great Podcast.

    • Thanks Chris. Those books are fantastic. The reason I love both of them is they take these big obscure topics and break them down to the basic. With Frank’s book, he takes all these calculations and actually walks you through a simple example for each formula. I took this a step further and put many of the formulas in a spreadsheet that I use ot evaluate deals (read more here –

      J’s books do a similar thing. He goes into a ton of detail with each step of the process and makes it very easy to understand both the sequence and what is involved in each step. Lots of reading between the 2 books, but probably two of the best value books out there for real estate.

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