Personal Development

Are Brandon Turner and Ben Leybovich Still Relevant?

Expertise: Mortgages & Creative Financing, Personal Development, Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Finance, Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Commercial Real Estate
171 Articles Written

I made a post in the Forums the other day, which seemingly took on life of its own. The title of the post is “Are Brandon Turner and Ben Leybovich Still Investors? To tell you the truth, I’ve moved on, but not this thread — this thing is at 4 pages and isn’t looking like it wants to quit just yet.

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

It was suggested by one of the folks that the subject matter is important enough that an article is appropriate. And since, as you all know, I aim to please… here we go!

Background

You’ve heard the name Brandon Turner, I presume. Well, Brandon and I are like…well…how should I put this…well – “BFFs.”

Oh boy…

Anyhow — if we don’t talk daily, I get withdrawals.

Relax. Take a breath. One time on Skype, Brandon and I were talking and he — because he has a unique sense of the obvious (with all things aside for property analysis, for which he calls me) — says to me:

Do you think we are still relevant, you and me? I only bought one property in 2014. You haven’t bought anything since the Symphony 10-unit in 2013. Are we still relevant with our advice? At what point should people stop paying attention cause we’ve been out of the acquisition game for too long?

Related: Let’s Get One Thing Straight About “Waldo…” (A Follow Up to my Debate with Ben)

My Answers to Brandon (in No Particular Order)

  1. You are right. This is something I have to worry about. But it’s not a problem for you, Brandon — people on BP have been ignoring you for months (hah!).twoBen Leybovich and Brian Burke are the only 2 people here who still pay attention to you!
  2. Sitting tight is more difficult for sure than moving; such is human nature. But inaction is sometimes the best strategy…
  3. Since when is managing existing portfolio not considered investing? I bought a 10-plex in 2013. It cash flowed a mere $3,000 that calendar year. I got it to cash flow $12,000+ one year later. It didn’t do that all on its own. Since when is doing “that” considered being “out of the game?”
  4. We have other real estate-related interests in parallel with acquisition of property. You are buried with work at BiggerPockets, and you wrote a great book to boot. I teach people to buy small multiplexes. Those deals are out there — too small to interest me at this stage in my career, but just right for many…
  5. Both of us have other entrepreneurial projects that are non-real estate. Life doesn’t start and stop with real estate. Real estate is a tool in my bag. People should respect our capacity to see past real estate.
  6. Considering you are trying to sell a book, it would sure suck if BP decided you’re not relevant (sigh and laughter). But you are not irrelevant; breath in and out, in and out…in and out.
  7. You know I am a violinist. Some of the best teachers I’ve had were out of the game for years and decades. They played, they won, they were then ready to pass it on.  Was I supposed to say no to great training from someone with mature perspective of all aspects of the game simply because they themselves were no longer on stage? That’s stupid, and real estate is no different. Sure, some things change with the times. But real estate has been making fortunes for as long as there’s been dirt. There is nothing left to invent. Your perspective and mine — because they were developed through doing — are forever valid. William Nickerson’s book entitled How I Turned $1,000 into a Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time is like 50 years old, and yet it was instrumental in pointing me to in the right direction. Techniques adapt, but wisdom and perspective are always relevant!

Related: How I Transformed My 10-Unit Apartment Building From Financially Failing to a Stabilized Asset

Wrapping Up

Next morning I took a shower. This is always a good thing at surface value, and not a given, being that I am a Russian and showers are a luxury that’s not at the top of my list (was this funny?)!

But a specific benefit of showers, in my case, resides in the fact that I tend to do some of my best thinking in the shower. Knowing this, incidentally, when I built our house, I put in a huge shower with multiple shower-heads. My thinking was: if one shower-head makes me think well, with multiple shower-heads spraying water at me, I’ll turn into an outright genius.

Let’s just say it worked this time. After about 10 minutes in the shower, I thought — let’s ask BP if Brandon and I are still relevant (proceed to the forums).

Thank you for reading.  I had fun with this one.  Hopefully you enjoyed!

Ben has been investing in multifamily residential real estate for over a decade. An expert in creative financing, he has been a guest on numerous real estate-related podcasts, including the BiggerPockets Podcast. He was also featured on the cover of REI Wealth Monthly and is a public speaker at events across the country. Ben is the creator of Cash Flow Freedom University, the author of House Hacking, and a noted Multifamily Underwriting coach. Through his company, Source Capital LLC, Ben currently operates $40M of multifamily real estate. Learn more about him at JustAskBenWhy.com.

    Kyle Hipp Investor from Appleton, Wisconsin
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    As they say, “if you have to ask”…. Real estate investing is a business. Once one understands the business principles the rest is experience. Things change however in all areas. What constitutes a good deal might shift in markets. Construction techniques and products change. Laws and regulations change. However the equalizer is that a smart business person understands that one doesn’t need to know all of this but rather know who does… I think you might be on to something with a shower making people geniuses. I think there is an invention waiting to be made there. I’ll have to think about it in the shower….
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Dude – the shower thing is for real! It never fails… Thanks, Kyle!
    Roy Schauer Problem Solver / Investor from Anchorage, Alaska
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Must be the energy from the running water or something. I get my best ideas from there as well.
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I know, right!? I am the clown on BP who says things that other people think but don’t say 🙂 Thanks, Roy!
    Dawn A. Rental Property Investor from Milwaukee, WI
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    You know, someone already has made a notepad you can write on in the shower.
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    no way – Dawn, can you find a link? I am so buying!
    sean ploskina
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I believe that being out for one year doesn’t make someone irrelevant, 10 years, 20? Sure, but not one. Plus as you stated there is more to real estate than acquisitions. Acquisitions seem to be the sexy part; management is the grind. Spending a year creating an additional 9,000 in income from one property is nothing to ignore.
    Joaquin Marte from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    You guys are still relevant point blank period .Its just not the shower the whole bathroom is a place where I do the best thinking.
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Haha – thanks so much Joaquin!
    La Nae Duchesneau Real Estate Investor from Sarasota, Florida
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Very funny and entertaining article.
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Thank you indeed, La Nae!
    Sharon Tzib
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Great post, Ben! I’ve been investing for 15 years now, but my portfolio is down to one rental property. This is due to many, many reasons I won’t get into here, but just because I only have one property now doesn’t mean all the things I’ve learned over the last 15 years gets wiped out; and the active management of even one property makes you relevant, in my opinion. I understand where Brandon was coming from, however, since he and you are in the spotlight way more than almost anyone else on BP, but looking at advice on BP collectively and then applying it to your own situation and market I have found is the best way to use this wonderful resource. And I’m just glad that it’s the shower that you do your best thinking in – if it were any where else in the bathroom, that might be a huge over share haha 🙂
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Oh my…hahahaha Well, come to think of it (I better stop there) Sharon – where’ve you been? I’ve been missing you! Reach out via email or google, or something – let’s catch up.
    Sharon Tzib from Cypress, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Nice to be missed, Ben. Here’s a little post I made on the forums explaining my absence, in case any one is interested. https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/55/topics/166193-moving-to-houston-finally-in-february
    Joaquin Marte from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    You welcome Ben
    Lamart Gomillion Real Estate Investor from Augusta, Georgia
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    LOL, You guys are like (MC Hammer) and (Vanilla Ice) of RE, no just kidding, I will always ask questions when I have some. You guys are RE Legends.
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Hah – More like I am the legend, Lamart, and Brandon is just a pretty face on my arm 🙂 Ooops, did it again…
    David Krulac from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    And as the water sprayed over you from multiple shower heads, you awakened and realized that the last seven years was a dream!
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Something like that, David 🙂 hahaha
    Sharon Vornholt from Goshen, KY
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Ben – You can continue to think and maybe even write in the shower, but please – no videos even if they are for the good of the community. Happy New Year. Sharon
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    hahahahahahaha Touche, Sharon!
    Sara Cunningham Investor from Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Ben even if you weren’t relevant I would read your articles. They never fail to either make me laugh, think really hard about what I want to achieve or make me down right incensed. Mostly the first lol Sara
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Hahaha…Sara – thank you!!! Truth be known, I took a couple of weeks off about a month or so to regroup. Felt like quitting. Comments like yours are why I am still here…besides the fact that Brandon would have a caw if I left him…
    David J. Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    You guys sound like a couple gurus sitting around trying to remember what it was like when you actually bought RE. I am also finding it harder to pull the trigger in an up cycle.
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Hahaha – seriously! I keep telling him – Brandon, you’re such a guru. It’s kinda crazy out there. I see some small things that make sense here and there. But, seeing as “passive” has always been the key for me, I cannot justify doing small things. Another $200 or $300 of cash flow doesn’t really make a difference. I have underwritten hundreds of apartment deals in 2014, and competed for a couple, but I can’t touch what people are paying right now..,