Are Brandon Turner and Ben Leybovich Still Relevant?

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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.

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!

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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!

About Author

Ben Leybovich

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. Most recently, he invested $20 million along with a partner into 215 units spread over two apartment communities in Phoenix. Ben is the creator of Cash Flow Freedom University and the author of House Hacking. Learn more about him at


  1. Kyle Hipp

    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….

  2. sean ploskina

    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.

  3. 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

      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…

    • Ben Leybovich

      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..,

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