Real Estate Investing Basics

5 Ways Real Estate Can Help You Escape Your Lousy Job

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP
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In the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I spent a few hours working at a local strip club.

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But don’t worry, Mom. I was just helping my plumber boss fix a leak. And it was closed that day.

I’ve also worked on a congressional campaign, run a handyman business, and spent time as a banker.

I was on a streak of pretty terrible jobs. That is, until I discovered real estate.

Real estate has some tremendous superpowers—not the least of which is its ability to get you out of a terrible job. Today I want to share with you five ways real estate can make that happen.

Here we go.

How Real Estate Can Help You Escape Your 9-5

1. House Flipping

I know you’ve seen the TV shows. The annoying guy and attractive woman walk into the dirty house, the man takes the sledge hammer, pounds a hole in the wall, and 25 minutes later, they are touring the completed property and counting their profit.

Although house flipping might be a wee bit different than what you see on TV, you get the idea: buy nasty houses, fix them up, sell them for more, and make it rain.

2. Cash Flowing Rentals

Obviously, being a landlord isn’t the most glamorous job in the world, but behind male modeling, it’s a close second.

OK maybe not. But owning rental properties can be a great way to get you out of a job.

Think about it. If you made $200 per month in cash flow per unit after all the bills have been paid, how many units would you need to quit your job?

Twenty? Fifty?

Whatever the number is, that’s your goal. So go out and start collecting rentals.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Enough Side Money to Eventually Quit Your Job

3. Wholesaling

Imagine a scenario with me: Your neighbor tells you he wants to sell his go-kart for $500. You know that your cousin Jim-Bob has been looking everywhere for a go-kart. So you get the go-kart for $500, and then you charge JimBob $800 and make a cool $300 for just facilitating the deal.

Makes sense, right?

Well, wholesaling is pretty much the same thing. You find great deals, you find people who want great deals, and you put them together and make some cash on the spread.

Of course, there are a lot of rules and laws that govern this practice — and it’s easy to get yourself into trouble with wholesaling because you don’t want to break the law of “practicing real estate without a license.”

But if you do it right, you can wholesale just one or two deals a month and make enough to quit your job.

tricks-find-flips

4. BRRRR Investing

BRRRR stands for “Buy-Rehab-Rent-Refinance-Repeat.”

It's the basic idea that you buy a fixer upper, make it look pretty, rent it out to some rad tenants, refinance the loan so you get all your money back, and do it again. It's kind of a cross between flipping and rentals and allows you to get the advantages of both without some of the risks of each.

Of course, as with any of these, there are right and wrong ways to do it. To learn more about BRRRR investing, be sure to read my free guide at www.BiggerPockets.com/brrrr.

Related: I Quit My Day Job, Retired Early & Started a New Venture Using Real Estate: Here’s How

5. Become a Real Estate Agent

I know, this one is a little different because it doesn’t involve YOU investing in real estate. Instead, you can make a nice income helping other people buy real estate.

Not only can you make good money as an agent, you also get first access to deals as they are listed. Yes, being an agent might be a "job"—but there is a good chance it's a lot more fun than yours!

So don’t put up with a terrible 9-5 job for the rest of your life. Follow one of these five strategies, and start planning your escape.

Are you using real estate to leave a terrible, no-good job?

Let me know what strategy you’re using and where you are in your journey in the comment section below!

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 Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, 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, and How to Invest in Real Estate, which he wrote alongside Joshua Dorkin. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.

    Allen Chambers
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I’ve worked 23 years In a job I hated, the last seven of which I received no raise because the state had frozen wages. I took the leap, got my Real Estate license and haven’t looked Back. I’ve flipped 2 houses in the last 18 months and sold 25 as an agent . I’m not getting rich but I am no longer miserable and the amount of time I’ve had with my family has been unbelievable. I would never discourage anyone from taking the leap. If it doesn’t work out you can get another crappy job!!!
    Allen Chambers
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I’ve worked 23 years In a job I hated, the last seven of which I received no raise because the state had frozen wages. I took the leap, got my Real Estate license and haven’t looked Back. I’ve flipped 2 houses in the last 18 months and sold 25 as an agent . I’m not getting rich but I am no longer miserable and the amount of time I’ve had with my family has been unbelievable. I would never discourage anyone from taking the leap. If it doesn’t work out you can get another crappy job!!!
    Account Closed from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 3 years ago
    That’s great Allen. Glad to hear your enjoying being and agent and doing deals. What city are you in?
    Allen Chambers
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I’ve worked 23 years In a job I hated, the last seven of which I received no raise because the state had frozen wages. I took the leap, got my Real Estate license and haven’t looked Back. I’ve flipped 2 houses in the last 18 months and sold 25 as an agent . I’m not getting rich but I am no longer miserable and the amount of time I’ve had with my family has been unbelievable. I would never discourage anyone from taking the leap. If it doesn’t work out you can get another crappy job!!! Reply Report comment
    Allen Chambers
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I’ve worked 23 years In a job I hated, the last seven of which I received no raise because the state had frozen wages. I took the leap, got my Real Estate license and haven’t looked Back. I’ve flipped 2 houses in the last 18 months and sold 25 as an agent . I’m not getting rich but I am no longer miserable and the amount of time I’ve had with my family has been unbelievable. I would never discourage anyone from taking the leap. If it doesn’t work out you can get another crappy job!!! Reply Report comment
    Allen Chambers
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I’ve worked 23 years In a job I hated, the last seven of which I received no raise because the state had frozen wages. I took the leap, got my Real Estate license and haven’t looked Back. I’ve flipped 2 houses in the last 18 months and sold 25 as an agent . I’m not getting rich but I am no longer miserable and the amount of time I’ve had with my family has been unbelievable. I would never discourage anyone from taking the leap. If it doesn’t work out you can get another crappy job!!! Reply Report comment
    Ben Leybovich Rental Property Investor from Lima/Chandler, Ohio/Arizona
    Replied over 3 years ago
    We would never see an article titled like this from the likes of Scott Trench…LOL
    Account Closed from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great article Brandon. I was happy to see number 5 in there because I’m finishing up my real estate course as we speak. I am anticipating that being on the inside will net me some deals for myself as well as given me real estate knowledge and experience. Definitely beats my current 9-5
    Ashley E. Investor from Henderson, Colorado
    Replied over 3 years ago
    So many people are in jobs that they hate, doing things that they hate, perpetuating s lifestyle that they hate— and do NOTHING about it except complain. I love your incorporation of humor in the article to make it a fun read, but informative also. I am a firm believer that your future is up to YOU and no one else. Loved this article, Brandon 🙂
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    Replied 6 months ago
    Good article and Idea. But, the Repeated refi has to stop somewhere. Banks are watching the debt/income ratio very closely now a days.
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    Jeffrey Bower
    Replied 4 months ago
    This is a great goal to have. Work smart not hard!
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    Replied 4 months ago
    "Not only can you make good money as an agent..." You *can*, but I've read that it's difficult to become successful in the first two years, including the start up expenses. I hope readers know that becoming a real estate agent doesn't guarantee you're leaving a lousy job. For some people, this might *be* your lousy job if you're not very good at it. Lol.
    Mike Miller
    Replied 3 months ago
    Very informative post, Brandon!
    Rob B. from Chicago, IL
    Replied 3 months ago
    I know this is an older post (looks like it was added about 3 years ago), but still rings very true today. I'm working through the process of securing my first rental property, and many of BiggerPockets resources have seriously come in handy during this process. My focus has been primarily on BRRR strategy and I'm also prepping to acquire a realtors license; in addition to the full-time role I currently hold which has helped me in a tremendous way (as far as learning about REI and building multiple revenue streams by way of acquiring rental properties). Eventually, I want to get to a place where I can start flipping homes but for now, going to focus on BRRR.
    Sandra Ceja from Los Angeles, California
    Replied 2 months ago
    hello everyone! the wholesaling business really interest me. I'm just waiting to receive my appointment to take my real estate sales person test. can I still do wholesale being a licensed sales person?
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    Replied 2 months ago
    Thanks for the informative post! My plan of action is (3) wholesaling -> (1) House Flipping -> (2) Rental cash flow
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