J: Now, without any further ado, let’s hear from the man, the myth, the legend, the beard, Mr. Brandon Turner. And welcome to the show Brandon Turner. How are you doing today Brandon?
Brandon: Man, I am so good to be here. Thank you J. Thank you Carol. This is an honor. Ever since episode one, I’ve been waiting for that day when you invite on the business show. So I’m pumped. This is great.
Carol: We’re so glad to have you. Did you get you surfing in today or lately? Or what’s going on in your world?
Brandon: Not today. I did go yesterday and the waves are amazing. I was not amazing. The waves are amazing and I like floundered around for like two hours, it was great.
Carol: Love it.
Brandon: It was awesome.
J: Okay. Brandon, I know that a lot of people who are listening to this already have a pretty good idea of who you are. But some of our listeners may not be familiar with the great Brandon Turner. So some people know you as real estate investor. Some know you as an entrepreneur. Some know you as the face of BiggerPockets. Some know you as that really cool guy, with the cool beard living in Hawaii, living the dream with his family.
J: Can you take us back and just give us a brief synopsis of what you’ve done, where you’ve come from. What you are currently doing?
Brandon: Sure. Wow, that’s quite the intro. Yeah, I do all those things. I don’t know if cool beard’s the right way. I think homeless looking beard is probably the better way to describe it. But-
J: There’s a fine line.
Brandon: There’s a fine line. Yeah, I’m on the other side of that line. But yeah, I got into real estate early when I was 21. Before that, my very first business idea … I don’t think I ever even told you guys this. My first business idea before when I realized I might be an entrepreneur some days.
Brandon: Because I wanted to … in case you get this. I hated the fact that I’d take my car in when I was 19. I had take my car in to get the oil changed and I hated that entire process. I was like, “Why doesn’t somebody just come to my house and change my oil for me?”
Brandon: I was like, “It’s a total …” Like, “And people do it at houses. So why isn’t that like a thing?” So I started this business plan. I drew up a logo and all this stuff for a mobile oil change business. And that’s all I ever did with it. Because the idea is-
Carol: That was when you were 19.
Brandon: Yeah, I was 19 and I was like-
Carol: Check it out.
Brandon: Yeah, I was like, “I’m going to make a oil change business that goes to people’s houses and changes the oil for them.” And I’m like, “I would pay for that service because I hate going somewhere.” I had done my own oil myself for you know all through high school and then I went to an apartment complex where I couldn’t actually change it in my apartment complex.
Brandon: So anyway that was kind of sparked the idea, and I never did anything with it, which obviously speaks to the lesson of like, “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” It’s what you do with them that matters. So I never did anything with it. Years later I found out that somebody actually did this. I don’t know if they’re successful, but I heard that mobile oil change thing was a thing.
Brandon: Anyway. So at the time I was like … that was the first time I’d ever thought I could start my own business of any kind. And that one didn’t work out because honestly I think the reason why is I wasn’t passionate about it. I think that’s probably pretty important.
Brandon: So anyway from there I decided to … eventually I flipped the house. I lived in it. I bought it. Didn’t know what I was doing, fixed it up, sold it, made like 20 grand, and I was like, “I’m retired.” [crosstalk 00:07:40] I felt like-
Carol: [crosstalk 00:07:42].
Brandon: … I had made more money. Yes, stupid money. So I made like 20 grand flipping this house that I lived in and then I was homeless and had no where to move and I used all the money for a wedding. I got married too. I know that’s the best, best way to spend that 20 grand of course. And then that moved me into … I bought a duplex, I lived in half of it and rented the other half out because I thought, “Well, I could live cheaper.” Today we call that house hacking. I lived in half of it.
Brandon: And I was like … I remember the day that my tenants walked over. I thought every business owner probably has this moment where like they realize that they’re in it. Like they’re in the business. Now it’s like working. Where my tenants walked over and they paid me $650 in cash because there was two houses on one lot. So he walked over and handed me 650 bucks in cash. Now, today I don’t take rent in cash, it’s a horrible idea, but I did then.
Brandon: And I get this 650, and I’m holding it. And then stand in this driveway looking at it and I realized my entire mortgage payment was like $600. And I was like … or 620 and I was like, “I’m living for free. Like this works, you know.” I was pumped.
Carol: Huge light bub moment. Major light ball moment.
Brandon: Yeah, that was a major light ball moment.
Carol: It totally sparked something. So is that when you really were like, “Let’s just buy more of these.” Or, what happened? How did that whole journey start?
Brandon: Yeah, I mean-
Carol: Like when you just started building more and more.
Brandon: Yeah, good question. So, yes, that is when it started … that’s when the rental property side of things started. So I was like, “Wow, if I did it once, could I do it again and again?” But the flipping kind of started … Obviously that first deal where I made 20 grand on a basically live-in, fix up and sell sort of flip.
J: I think some people call that a house hack.
Brandon: Yes. Yes.
Brandon: There are a few ways of looking at that. Yes, it’s a living house hack where actually I rented the bedrooms, so I lived for free while I was there, sold it, made the 20 grand, moved on. But yeah, this whole thing is such like … Everything I teach today, I can base back on these first two experiences.
Carol: Yeah, that comes full circle.
Brandon: It all does. Yeah, so that’s when I started flipping houses and that was 2007 when I started flipping houses, and we all remember how great the real estate market was in 2007. So I ended up with these flips that I couldn’t sell. Because for those who don’t know, it tanked and you couldn’t sell anything back in 07 and 08 very well.
Brandon: So I ended up holding onto a few of them as rentals and just started collecting units. And I say I got into the business of collecting units. It’s what I’m trying to do. I just figured, if every property I bought, every unit, so to speak, every door gave me a certain amount of money, each one was like this little oil well producing little bits of revenue. It’s like having a bunch of candy machines that you put the quarter in. Like the more you have, the more you make.
Brandon: So everyone was a little candy machine on the corner somewhere, and yeah, it kind of worked. I ended up at 30 units when I was 27, and I was making about a little of over 3 grand in cashflow. And I said, “I’m done. I’m retired.” And I quit my job. I was working at a bank. Quit my job and I sat on the couch for six months and did nothing. It was great.
J: That’s awesome. And I want to talk more about real estate investing. But I know a lot of people in our audience and some who probably don’t know this. But to many people you’re kind of the face of BiggerPockets right now. So can you tell us a little bit about how you were brought onto BiggerPockets, how that whole thing evolved and kind of how you became synonymous with BiggerPockets?
Brandon: Yeah. Exactly at that point. So, I’m sitting there on my couch for like six months doing nothing, much of anything. And I had no job at the point, and I was like, “Well, this is really boring. What do I do with myself?” So I started writing. Well, I remember looking online. I think I even downloaded some like e-book from somebody that was like, “How to make money on the internet.” And I was like, “That’d be fun to start a internet business.”
Brandon: And so I started writing a little bit. I started a blog. It was called realestateinyourtwenties.com. And I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll be the guy that’s in his ’20s teaching people how to invest in real estate. And that led me to emailing Josh Dorkin because he was the godfather of real estate websites BiggerPockets.
Brandon: I emailed him, and I was like, “You know, hey I’d love to write for your site, I’m volunteer. I know you have a bunch of other volunteer writers. Guys like J. Scott and other people that are awesome. I’d love to do it.” And he never responded, just didn’t respond. And I was like-
Brandon: Yeah, just crickets and-
Carol: Crickets, crickets.
Brandon: Well shoot, this sucks. I just never … anyway.
Carol: That’s not the plan.
Brandon: Yeah, that was the plan. So like four months later, what happened was Josh like four months later finally emails me back and was like, “I’m so sorry I didn’t see this email, somehow you got lost,’ you know Josh is a big deal and doesn’t have time to read all of his emails, so he missed that one.
Brandon: But somehow he came across my site because I was continuing to write and then asked me to come write for him. So I started writing for him. We became friends on Facebook and that led to him writing this post years ago.
Brandon: I should go back and look actually on his Facebook. He wrote years … seven years ago now. It was something like, “Hey, I’m thinking about bringing on some help at BiggerPockets to help edit blog posts. If you know of anybody let me know.” So I responded to that thread. I said, “Did the person have to be in Denver or can they anywhere?” And he said, “Let’s talk.” And so that’s how I got on BiggerPockets and we started having a conversation.
Brandon: And yeah, I mean, I honestly started like the funny … it like started we had a call for an hour, and the next day we talked for another hour, and the next day talked for like two hours. And then a couple of weeks later, we talked for like four hours. And after like a month of that, like at some point in there, I became the very first employee at BiggerPockets just editing blog posts. And that’s how the very beginning of Brandon at BiggerPockets happened.
J: Let me tell you something. I remember the day he was formally “interviewing you” and we had a conversation afterwards where I don’t know exactly how your conversation with Josh went down. But Josh came back to me, and he was like, “I think this guy wants equity in the company. I think he wants stock options in the company. I don’t know what to do. Should I give him stock options in the company?”
J: And I remember for him this was like a huge step in the evolution of his business. He finally went from like he was six, seven, eight years into the business. He hadn’t hired any employees. He hadn’t given stock options. And so basically both for him and for you, this was kind of like something that kind of sparked what BiggerPockets was eventually going to become.
Brandon: Yeah. Well, you know, have you read the book Traction?
J: Yeah. Absolutely.
Brandon: Gino Wickman. All right so Traction, and then I have not read the follow-up but Rocket Fuel. But, you know what like the gist. Have you read Rocket Fuel?
J: I have not read Rocket Fuel yet. [crosstalk 00:13:52].
Brandon: Okay so the modern understanding is … oh, nice. But my understanding is that Rocket Fuel is about this one concept in Traction which was, “Any good businesses have two people. It’s a visionary and a integrator.” I think is the two words he uses, right?
Brandon: The visionary sets the vision and where we’re going. The integrator gets the stuff done.
Brandon: A lot of people think that I started BiggerPockets and I clearly didn’t. Josh was there seven years before me. And it wasn’t even that I … I literally didn’t own a computer a year before that. I had no skills really at all in anything, internet market, anything business. I’d never read a business book ever. I had no skills in any of that. The difference was, was the reason we suddenly had Rocket Fuel is because Josh was the visionary for seven years by himself and he was also trying to integrate … do the integrator role.
Brandon: But I came in as an integrator and just started doing stuff. So he’s like, “We’re going to write blog posts. We want to do guest posts across other websites on the internet that point back to BiggerPockets.” “Okay.”
Brandon: So in the first year, I wrote 50 of them. Like for different sites. I build relationships, I go to conferences, I meet people, I just write blog posts. Well, today, we’ve got hundreds of blog posts I’ve written across the entire internet that all point to BiggerPockets.
Brandon: And so it was again that Josh’s vision of this is what we want to do and my integrator role of being able to actually do it that made the Rocket Fuel that made it launch up. So I should tell Gin … what’s his name. I need to be a case study for that book.
Carol: Yeah, seriously.
Brandon: That’s what happened.
Carol: Well, and you mentioned Brandon, you didn’t even have a computer before any of that started, and it sounds like before all this other than your own personal blog, you were just busy collecting units. Right?
Carol: So that really was your first foray into internet marketing. So how did you make that transition? How did you learn how to do it? Did you just randomly go out there and experiment or did you have a process? What was your thought process about how to like grow this thing and make it so huge?
Brandon: It’s such a good question. I had read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek, which I think everybody in the world has read. And I remember thinking like, “This just sounds so cool.” And as part of when I was building that Real Estate In Your Twenties site which still exists. I haven’t updated it in seven years now, but it’s still there. And it’s actually grown since then which is interesting. There’s more people on it today than were seven years ago. So, I guess that’s just the longer you have a website, the more people go to it.
Brandon: So I had read Tim Ferriss’ book. That led me to listen to a couple of internet marketing podcasts. One of then was The Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn. That one was huge for me. I started reading a lot of different people. There is a website called ViperChill. I read a ton of ViperChill at the time. I read a ton of like Neil Patel. He’s got a few different blogs out there. I read a lot of that.
Brandon: And then, I’m a huge reader. I read a ton of … So I started reading books on this topic, just business books in general and then the marketing stuff. But I’m also a big believer in like when you learn something, you immediately go try it out. So I go put it on the real thing or something.
Brandon: Like, “Oh, Pat said to do … you know, Pat Flynn said to do a free e-book. So I gave out a free e-book. I literally even like copied his design because I was still bad at design. I was like, “Well, he already did a good design. I’m just going to do the same design.”
Brandon: That’s actually like the story of my life in everything in appearance I’ve ever done ever in business. Is what has somebody else done? I’m just going to pretty much do that. I never reinvent the wheel haradly ever. I always just find what has already worked for somebody else and I just use that.
Brandon: For example, The other day, I’m putting together this executive summary for this big real estate thing I’m doing right now. And rather than like designing this 40-page PowerPoint, I go to … what’s it called, graphicriver.net. I think it is. You can buy a PowerPoint presentations that have already been finished. It cost me $15 and I got like 400 slides that are already beautifully designed and all I have to do is copy and paste words in there.
Brandon: That is such an exact … how my entire life operates and pretty much everything is find somebody else who’s already done it better, and just copy that.
J: One of my favorite quotes is “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
Brandon: That is great. That is great. Anyway that’s how I figure things out, just testing.
Carol: That’s cool. That’s good. I think that’s a good tip for our listeners too, right? Because there are so many of us who we read and we read and we research and you get that whole, you’re just … you’re right on the verge of doing it. But just go out there and do it for crying out loud. Just make that leap and do it. So come on J, what you got.
J: Yeah, okay. So that transitioned you into BiggerPockets and you could have probably sat back and focused all your time on doing marketing and growth. You’re VP of Growth for BiggerPockets and you could have kind of focused on that and taken a break from real estate. It sounds like you were already making a good bit of passive income, you were growing your career, but you didn’t sit back. You kept plowing forward with the real estate investing. So where did your real estate investing go after you joined BiggerPockets? How did that evolve and change?
Brandon: Yeah, good question. So, during those like years where I was heavily building BiggerPockets, where I was integrator, which was for the first like call it five years and we can get to why I moved out of integrator role actually in a second. But during those like first four, or five years where I was just in there doing, doing all day long and Josh was leading the vision, and leading the team and growing it. I didn’t have a ton of time. I worked a lot of hours. I mean Josh and I in the beginning, like the first year or two, we probably worked 100 hours a week. It was fun.
Brandon: And then that early startup kind of feel of a company and we were just in there grinding away because we had to get it on. So I did very little estate. I got to buy like two or three properties a year. I was flipping a couple, I’d buy a couple as rentals during that time, and my wife at that point was able to quit her job and just managed the property. So she was taking care of that.
Brandon: I bought a 24-unit-apartment complex in there. I ended up selling that a few years later. Made some good money on that. And just kind of like slowly, like almost maintained the real estate for a number of years. Over the course of that time, I went from about 30 units I had when I stared BiggerPockets to buying 24-unit, then bought a 50-unit, then a few other small ones. So I ended up with about 100 units.
Brandon: Well I guess I could say as of today, I have 100 units, a month from now I should have 600 units. And so like I’ve made that change recently. And we can talk about what led to that. Yeah, I just slowly grew my portfolio during that time. And then at some point in there, we hired Scott Trench, who’s the current CEO of BiggerPockets.
Brandon: And what happened was Scott became … he’s like the best integrator I know. The guy just gets stuff done, knows how to lead a team, knows how to get things. He was hired as an operations manager. Well, I think he was hired as financials, but he became operations and very quickly. And so he became an integrator and the team became the integrator.
Brandon: And so I kind of moved to more of a visionary role on along with Josh where we were doing the podcast. And eventually Josh stepped out of the podcast and my role changed to a lot more visionary stuff and that led me more time and more ability to jump back into real estate, which is what I’ve done recently.
J: Well, let’s talk about that. So you mentioned a few minutes ago that you went from 100 to 600 units, presumably you didn’t do that by buying more single family houses or duplexes or even 20 unit properties. How have you gotten from 100 to 600 units over the last couple of years?
Brandon: Yeah. So the short answer is mobile home parks and we’re set to closing all of them right now. We have eight mobile home parks under contract right now.
Brandon: Eight of them, yeah.
Carol: Eight packs.
Brandon: Yeah, eight parks in three states.
Carol: Where are they?
Brandon: Well, two are in Ohio, three are in North Carolina and three are in Illinois.
Carol: Wow, allover the place while you’re in Hawaii?
Brandon: Yeah. And I can explain why. I don’t want to go into like a super in depth obviously into like why mobile home parks, I chose them. The truth is nine months ago, I got to this point where again, BiggerPockets is like running. I’m like doing … I’m still there all the time doing podcasts and videos and webinars and stuff.
Brandon: But I had more time to do something and I moved to Hawaii. So, I moved to Maui last summer and I got to that point where like I could just ease off and just relax and sit back and just coast I guess on my laurels. Is that the phrase?
Brandon: Like rest on my laurels, coast along. And I had to come to the decision of like not so much like, “Do I need the real estate?” Because I could live on the 100 years, as in slowly pay them off. Even right now, I could probably pay all my bills with just the income coming in on the 100 units. I can pay my bills with that. And in that 100 was a mobile home park in there by the way. And I’ll bring that back in a second, why that’s important.
Brandon: I came to the decision where I had … like I had to make a decision I guess for week, after week, after week, on the podcast. I talk to these real estate investors about what they’re doing, taking to business owners. And like I’m giving advice on things to especially new investors. Of like, “You just got to go for it and set some goals.”
Brandon: And I found myself kind of stagnant because I didn’t need it. There is this famous quote, I’m going to butcher it. But basically like … it’s like, “The enemy of good is complacency.” Is not it, or something like that? You know what I’m talking about?
J: “The enemy of great is good, the enemy of good is,” yeah, “Complacency,” something like that.
Brandon: And basically like I was fine. I was very complacent. I had enough money coming in. I mean, book sales have skyrocketed over the last couple of years. People who seem to buy a lot of BiggerPockets books which has been great for you and I. So I said, “What do you do next? What do I do next?” And I would meet with a lot of other people who had sold businesses and made millions of dollars and they’re asking the same question, “What’s next?”
Brandon: And some of them for years have been asking the question, “Well, what do I do next?” Because at the end of the day, everybody is trying to find like what is that … people want to find what’s that next thing? What should I do? Whether it’s, “You know, hey, I own this McDonald’s. Should I expand? Should I buy another location? Should I just keep the one I have? Or should I add this new product line in my business?”
Brandon: And people get stuck. And I know I was stuck in this like, “I don’t know what the perfect thing to do is. I don’t know what the right thing to do is, for a long time.” And then finally I realized that that was the wrong question. The question is not, “What’s the right thing there?” It’s not like there’s a beach out there. And somewhere in that beach there’s a hidden gem under the sand and I’m out there looking everywhere for them. Like, “Where is it? It’s here somewhere. My purpose, my passion, it’s here. I got to go find it.”
Brandon: For me, it was like I finally realized that I can burry whatever I want anywhere. I have the choice on that beach. I’m not stumbling across something that was predefined for me and I got to find out whatever it is. It’s like I can create it.
Brandon: So I shifted the question in my head from, “What’s the right thing for me?” To, “What would be awesome?” What would be awesome to have? It doesn’t mean it’s the right thing. Because I don’t think there is a necessary right thing. I mean, there’s a lot of wrong things. Like I’m not going to go and become a meth addict or something like that or turn to Breaking Bad stuff.
Brandon: But I don’t know if there’s a right thing that’s been predefined for me. So I said, “What would be awesome? What would be cool?” And at that time I read a book called the Vivid Vision by a guy named Cameron Herold, called Vivid Vision. It’s a short little book and in there he makes the point that … of you should have a Vivid Vision for your life, for business and that’s not like a vision statement.
Brandon: It’s not like a mission statement for your work. Like, “We’re going to do this?” What it is like a three dimensional deep dive into the future. Like if you can get into a time machine and look three years, he says, “Three years or four years in the future. What does that look like?”
Brandon: And so I read this book on a plane. It took me an hour to read it on one plane ride from … I think it was from Omaha to Salt Lake City and then from Salt Lake City to Maui. That entire flight back. I spent the entire thing drafting out my Vivid Vision.
Brandon: Yeah, that changed everything, like everything in my life.
Carol: Yeah, just looking at what would make us. And so can you share with our audience some of the process as you were mapping out that Vivid Vision of yours. How do you go through … how do I here … help me Brandon. How do I figure out now what’s next for me about what would be awesome? What are some of those steps I would take internally and to just really kind of tease out those ideas?
Brandon: Yeah, a great question. So, a few years ago, I went to Nashville, Tennessee and a buddy of mine there runs a music production. He’s a big songwriter, has a ton of hit singles that he’s done. His name is Seth Mosley, super-legit guy and also a real estate investor. That’s how we actually got to know each other.
Brandon: But anyway, I went to Nashville and we traded. I went and spoke at his real estate event. He had like a real estate … he has like meetup called Music And Money. If you’re in Nashville, you should go to it. It’s great.
Brandon: And I went to that Music and Money and then he traded me, “Hey you come out here. I’ll pay for your flight and whatever. You speak at my event and if you come out here, we’ll spend a day in my studio.” And I was a music guy when I was a kid. I mean, I still play a guitar. I led music for church and I love music and writing songs and this was an opportunity to be in a real Nashville studio and work with somebody who writes songs that you hear on the radio.
Brandon: So anyway of course I’d already booked my flight before I got off the phone call with him. And I went to Nashville and I saw the way his team worked. I got to do music and it was like the greatest day of my life and I wrote this song for my daughter Rosie which is called Heartbeat. Maybe you guys heard it a while back. I put it on Facebook.
J: Absolutely. And-
Brandon: Yeah, so it was like that.
Carol: It was so amazing.
J: And I’m going to do my best to link that in the show notes because that was an absolutely … I remember the minute I heard that, I ran to Carol and I said you have to come hear this. And she’s like, “Oh, that’s amazing. Who is that?” I was like, “That’s Brandon.” And she’s like, “Wow.”
Carol: Like spoiler alert, make sure everyone of you grabs an entire box of tissues before you listen to the song. Because it hits you right here.
Brandon: Oh, that’s funny.
Carol: It’s amazing. It’s so amazing.
Brandon: Well, thank you.
Brandon: Thank you. Well anyway so that was the day. So, got to record in the studio. But what really I came out with in that time was seeing how his team worked. And what I mean by that is he had like four or five people working there. They showed up kind of when they wanted. They kind of went home when they wanted, but they all worked all day long and more. They hangout at night, afterwards going out for drinks. They all had these … I mean these people are world-class at what they do. Everybody was just like a rockstar at what they did.
Brandon: And I saw this and I was so inspired by that at the time. I mean like still to this day, I talk about it all the time how it impacted … how much of an impact that had on me. And I thought, “That would be cool. Like what if I had a team of people?” So I started from that end … you know, started with the end in mind. I said, “What would it be like to have that, a team of people that I just loved and I wanted to do life with to a large degree and hangout with everyday.”
Brandon: Not because I had to go hangout with these co-workers. But what would it be like to have a life where I could like do work and do meaningful work with like rock stars? And I started from there and I worked backwards. So that’s the recommendation I have is again, think in your past like what just inspires to be like, “I want that?” And then I could work backwards. I say, “What does that look like?”
Brandon: And so on this plane ride, that’s what I did. I said, “Well, what would it look like? I would need to have four or five people.” “So what would they all be doing? Well, I mean, what if I had like an acquisitions manager who’s in charge of buying deals full-time? And what if I had somebody who’s just in charge of managing the … the property managers, so like an asset management?”
Brandon: “Okay. What if I … I would also then need … oh by the way, there’s also …” let me caveat here.” At the time we interviewed Tim Ferriss on our podcast and he says this thing often. And he said it on our show as well is, “Start asking what if it was easy. What if it were easy.”
Brandon: So I’m like, “Well what would it look like to have a big real estate business with five people, and it was easy?” So that’s where these roles came from. It was like, “Well, I don’t want to handle the … finding the deals. I’m not going to handle managing the properties afterwards. I’m not going to manage the money.”
Brandon: “I’m going to need a investor relations person raising money. I don’t want to handle the actual dealings of the team like all the irritating things. So I need an operations manager. And then like all the little stuff in my life, I’m going to need an executive assistant.”
Brandon: Well, there’s four or five people right there, right. And I worked backwards from that. And I can actually you … if you were watching on video, I’ll just turned on my camera record and show you. This is what my Vivid Vision ended up looking like. It’s kind of hard to see here.
Brandon: But what it is, it’s a giant poster and so there’s a lot of ways to do it. My friend Seth who owns a music company. He did Vivid Vision and he made his tri-fold pamphlet. Like you open up in threefold. And it was like, “Welcome to full circle music.” And it was the year 2021, “And here’s what we are and here’s what we do.” And that was his creative way of doing it. I loved the pamphlet.
Brandon: And other people do just a blog post. I’ve seen that style. Some people just have painted a picture. They don’t even have words. They’ve painted a picture. It’s like whatever sparks you creatively. So I did a newspaper article written about my company three years in the future. It’s called the 50 Million Dollar Surfers. And says, “How a small team of adventure seekers built a real estate empire.” Hold one, I’ll going to read this out. “Help millions achieve financial freedom and kept their humanity in tact.”
Brandon: And I basically I wrote an article, it starts even like, “December 31st 2021, Maui, Hawaii, Open Door Capital is blaH, blah, blah.” And it’s just like an article. And I go through everything from like, “What do we do? How many units do we have? What does the media say about us? How do we generate leads? How do we feel about the business? How do other people feel about us? What our employees think? What kind of benefits do they have.” I mean things like … I mean I could go all day.
Brandon: But I can even take a picture of it. We can put it on the show notes page. I can even show you the entire thing.
Carol: Yeah, that would be very cool.
J: I would love that. And I’ll tell you, this is so timely. Literally, what was it Carol, two hours ago? Carol and I were sitting down talking. So a lot of people who listen probably know we moved down to Florida a few months ago and we spent the summer kind of getting settled. Our kids went back to school today and basically I walked into Carol’s office this morning with kind of this dilemma, that I’m ready to do something big, next thing.
J: I know Carol is in the same boat. She’s ready to do something next. And literally two hours ago, we were talking about, what is that next thing? How do we figure out that next thing? Because I’ve had some ideas that just … they don’t get me excited, the same thing you were saying. They didn’t get me excited and I walked out of that two hours ago saying, “Okay, we’ll keep thinking about it.”
J: And I love this idea of vision and creating a vision and actually creating something physical that defines your vision. Whether it’s an article, whether it’s a pamphlet, whether it’s a movie, whether it’s a book, whether it’s a fake biography. And it sounds like a lot of these are … what you’re doing is, it’s like writing a letter from your future self to-
J: … today’s self. This is where I am 3 years, 5 years, 10 years in the future and just like you were saying, “You worked backwards from there.” It’s always … it’s working backwards, figure out where you’re going to be in 3, 5, 10 years and just work backwards.
Carol: Certainly, and it also feels like doing it in that manner almost gives you something tangible where you hold yourself accountable to that. Like you almost owe it to yourselves to find a way to get to that. So that you are achieving what really … that really awesome thing that matters to you.
Carol: So, with that, how, Brandon, what’s the plan to get to be that 50 million dollar surfing real estate company? How do we take this big hairy audacious goal that you have mapped out in your amazing newspaper article, and how do you take that big thing and break it down into smaller pieces or whatever you do to actually make a reality?
J: And I want to generalize that even more. Because anybody that knows Brandon either just by listening to this or through your backstory. I mean the amount you’ve achieved is incredible. You’ve done your 100 units. You’ve done another several hundred, many hundreds of units of mobile home. You’ve written best-selling books, you are the co-host of one of the biggest podcast in the world, you are basically the face of one of the biggest real estate investing forums and communities in the world.
J: And on top of that … I mean, not to take anything away from you, a lot of people do some amazing things in business. They do a tremendous amount, but on top of that, you’ve moved to Hawaii. You put your family first. I know that personally, and people that have talked to you, have seen that you put your family first. You put your wife first. You’re raising your kids. You’re surfing everyday. How do you manage your time and optimize your productivity such that you can not just achieve all this, but you can juggle it successfully?
Brandon: Oh yeah, good questions. So the answer to both those, I guess I kind of say similar stuff. So first of all, once I have like the vision by the way, include stuff about personal life as well. So I start from a vision of where I want to be and then I work backwards to, “Okay well, in order to have a vision, what does that look like in terms of a goal for year one? What do I have to have in year one?”
Brandon: And so my goal was to have 100 more units under contract this year … to buy this year. And like I said, I think I’m at 500 right now. Which is funny when you’ve set a vision for yourself and you have just complete clarity on where you’re going. It’s amazing the speed at which you’ll get there, faster than you ever thought.
Brandon: I applied the … I wanted 1,000 units, $50 million of real estate in three years. If I really want it, I’ll accomplish it this year. I mean, I’m half way through the year now and I’m half way to the goal. I could probably accomplish it by the end of the year.
Brandon: So I worked backwards from that to have a one-year goal to then set 90-day sprints where I’m like … I have a 90-day journal that we’re actually launching I think today. So I use that to take the 1-year goal down to a 90-day goal. And then from there, it has like a section for like weekly battle plans. So, like, “What is this week? What am I accomplishing this week?” I mean just this morning, we’re recording this on a Monday morning. This morning was my … I do my weekly-battle plan every Monday morning.
Brandon: So I go through, I’m like, “What are my three goals that I’m working most towards?” And that includes to go to your question J, it includes things about family. So many people are … especially business owners are great at setting goals for their business and they’re great at saying, “We’re going to hit this … you know, we’re hitting this benchmark by this date.” But they completely ignore setting goals for their family or for their relationships, for their health and fitness.
Brandon: It’s like people feel like you can only choose one thing. And if there’s like one message I think if I can get out to the world. Is like you can’t have it all. Like you really can’t. You’re not going to be perfect, you’re not going to be world-class in every single thing that you want to do in life.
Brandon: But you can be pretty good in every area as long as you’re focused and tracking every area that’s important to you. But the reason your marriage sucks is because you’re not regularly evaluating your marriage, I mean mostly likely.
J: Hey, hey-
Brandon: I mean your kids.
J: … be careful with that.
Brandon: Yeah, but not you. You guys I know you do. Like you look at your life and you’re like, “How do we do this better?” I mean, my wife and I every January 1st, we go out together and we do this goal setting retreat, just me and her at the beach out in Washington State and we review last year’s goals and we set this year’s goals.
Brandon: In fact two years ago we set a goal on January 1st. A year a half ago, 18 months ago, we set a goal that some day, within five years we were going to have a home in Hawaii that had an extra unit that people could come and visit us and stay us. We wrote that down as our five-year goal or five-year vision.
Brandon: But again, like I said earlier, when you have crystal clarity on a vision the speed at which you can accomplish that improves dramatically. And so it took us not … I mean we bought a house six months later in Hawaii, even though we could never-
Carol: Seeing a trend here.
Brandon: Yeah. Right. It’s like get clarity, like real, real clarity on what you want and again, it doesn’t matter that much what you want. You’re not stumbling across this. So just pick something that’s cool, get clarity, like real clarity. My vision is like, I don’t know. It’s probably 2,000 words. It’s long. It’s not just like you know, “This is how much money we make.” It’s everything. And then start working backwards, so as in you’ll get it accomplished much faster.
Brandon: So anyway so I have my goals. I have things that are like health-and-fitness-wise. And the truth is like if you want to improve all those areas, like I said you can have it in all areas of your life. It doesn’t require a tremendous amount of work in any of them.
Brandon: If I had one secret to goal accomplishment or success it’s in that. Let me try to like … You ever read a book. How long does it take to read a typical book? I’ve used this analogy a lot but I’ll say it again. Are you guys reading anything now, like book-wise?
J: I’m reading the book called The Alchemist.
Brandon: Okay, I’ve heard that. That’s a great book.
J: Good book.
Brandon: Let me actually ask you this question. I’m going to change it. Is there any book you’re reading right now that you’ve been reading for months. Like you just haven’t gotten through it? You started at six months ago or a year ago.
J: Yeah. About 90% of the books on my bookshelf, I’ve been reading for 10 years.
Brandon: Okay yes. If you were to tell somebody, “I’ve been reading this book for 10 years.” You are the slowest reader on the planet. I mean come on. Like you take like one word a week? But of course the truth is, what do we do. We pick it up and read for an hour, and put it down. We don’t pick it up again for six months. We pick it up and read for two hours. It’s the same thing as the guy who goes to the gym, and he gets to the gym. And he lift weights hardcore for an hour, he is like pushing and pulling, and getting swole and then he leaves. And he comes back two months later and he does it again.
Brandon: So, most people, the reason that we fail to accomplish most things in life is because people put too much space in between the action steps of … the reading is just an analogy, but in anything in life, right? So if you can just shorten that, I call it dead space. If you can shorten that time, you can accomplish so much.
Brandon: It’s the fact that we haven’t identified what that next step is, and we haven’t time-blocked that step. And in fact, if you just do those two things, right? You identify what your most important next step is, M-I-N-S, is what I call it mins. Identify your mins, and then time-block it, put it on your calendar. Identify it and then put it on there, you’ll get that done.
Brandon: If it’s like every day you read for 20 minutes, you can read it … I think I’ve heard the stats. So, you read 50 books a year if you just read 20 minutes a day, right? It’s the consistency of doing that over and over, and over and over. Identify what your most important is, and then put it on your calendar.
Brandon: And so, not to suddenly turn into a pitch here, but that’s what this whole journal that we’re launching today, that’s … we have a spot in there. What is your most important next step for this goal? And the fact is we just don’t identify it usually. We just don’t even … it’s probably a five-minute task, it’s we just don’t do it.
Carol: I also think it’s also that second part of that equation Brandon. Just like you said, it’s the identifying it, but then blocking it in there and not letting anything interrupt it no matter what that has to be solid in there.
J: Yeah. And so it’s funny, because my followup question was going to be, tell us about some of the tools you use to basically capture these goals and ensure that you’re actually held accountable, and mention the journal. And you said it’s a 90-day journal?
Brandon: Yes. So it’s a 90-day journal, it’s called The Intension Journal. We launched it a year ago. Our previous version was called the 90 days of Intension Journal. We’re just relaunching it now, a brand new version of it called The Intension Journal. Because technically it’s 90 days long, but somebody could use it if they had a 180. We don’t want people to be like, “Well, my goal is going to take a year, so I don’t need this journal.” Fine, you can still use the journal.
Brandon: So we realized that we changed a couple of things, made it a little bit better. I like it 10 times more, but the original one was great and I still use it. But now the new one is been launched, I’m going to that one because it’s just go a few things that we were like, “Oh, you know what would be really cool is to add this in.” It’s just really based on science, research, psychology as what actually helps people get things accomplished.
Brandon: So yeah, identifying your mins, I guess putting on your calendar, there is a spot where we actually … the new edition now has a calendar spot in there. Identify what that is and then actually getting that done. And Carol you brought up that really good point of like actually doing it, right?
Brandon: Because here is the funny thing, if you would have called today with insert politicians name here, Barrack Obama, Donald Trump, someone that you really like, or somebody who is super, or Bill Gates, right? You had a call with Bill Gates today at 4:00, would you show up to that call? Of course you would.
Carol: Of course.
Brandon: Yeah, who wouldn’t show up to that, like “Elon Musk wants to come over for coffee today at 5:00, you’re going to be there?” You’d drop everything. But then who is more important in your life for your future, Elon Musk or you, right? Elon Musk is not that important. So, why would we treat an interview with Elon Musk that much more important, and yet we treat ourselves, appointments with ourselves, dates with ourselves with such disregard.
Brandon: Now although it’s just Brandon, I don’t have to go to this appointment, it’s just to me. And changing that mindset of this is the most important thing I can do ever is huge.
J: I absolutely love that. Can you share with us, and again like you said, “I don’t want to turn this into a pitch for the 90-day Intension Journal,” but this is because we’re talking about goals, and we’re talking about productivity, and we’re talking about tools that we use to achieve that. I want to dig into this a little bit more. So can you give us an idea of what are one or two of the business and the personal goals that you’re tracking in your journal right now?
Brandon: Yeah sure. So like this morning I’ll even … I’ll show you. I got three goals, so I have a spot in the journal for three goals. And by the way, quick side-story. So back January 1st I started a 90-day sprint, I was doing things on quarter.
Brandon: So January, February, March, my 90-day goal that I set in January 1st was to put one mobile home park under contract, and have it least 50 units. That was my 90-day goal. And the next one was to have a 34-inch waist. And the next one was to spend less than an hour per day on average on my phone, so like tracking.
Brandon: So one of those was a business goal, was real estate. One of those was a fitness goal and one of them was a … I’ll call it like family goal. Because I knew that the best way for me to be a better husband and a better father was spend less time on my phone. Because the average person spends four and a half hours a day on their phone and I knew I was right up there with them.
J: Stop, stop, stop staring at me Carol Scott.
Carol: Do you feel my eyes like shooting lasers [crosstalk 00:42:53].
Brandon: Yeah. If you guys don’t track that stuff, man, just tracking it makes you feel like a piece of crap. But then what you measure gets changed, right? I don’t know there’s a lot of quotes about that. But what you measure is going to change in your life. And so once you start measuring and tracking your times … I don’t know but those are my three goals originally from my 90-day goal.
Brandon: And so everyday I’d wake up, I mean every single day, and I write down, “What time did I wake up, did I drink water this morning?” I mean that’s huge important. “Did I do some kind of exercise, did I read? I read something out of a business book, something out of a spiritual book, right? Then I go, “Here is my gratitude … I’m grateful for this.” I do that every single morning. Then I’d work through, “Here is what my goals are.”
Brandon: And writing down your goals every single day I think is one of the most important things you can do. So I write down, “Here is those three goals,” boom. That way, it’s always top of mind. Because again it’s not that we can’t achieve our goals, it’s that we let days, weeks, months go by before we focus on them.
Brandon: So, honestly I mean let me be real here. The last week and a half, two weeks, I have not been very good with my journal, I’ve had people visiting, I’ve was off Ireland for a little bit. And I’ve not been very consistent. I’ve gained almost 10 pounds in the last two weeks, why?
Brandon: I mean I lost 40 pounds in the past year. I’ve lost 40 pounds, and I’ve just gained back almost 10 of them in two weeks, why? Because I took my eyes off the goal, I stopped writing my goal every single morning. So this morning I was like, “Dang it, I’m getting I got to build that habit again, because I was so good for the first six months of it, right? Then that happens, even though I’m the guy that wrote the journal, it happens.
Brandon: So anyway, here is where I’m going with that story. Everyday I got up and I did this. I reviewed my goals, identified what is the next thing I got to do, what is my weekly outcome. What do I need to get done this week to be on track for my 90 days, right? What’s the most important next step? I put it on my calendar, I get it done.
Brandon: At the end of 90 days, we had not … the goal was to get 50 units under contract. We ended up getting 300 units under contract. And so completely blew by the goal, because once you’re a Dagon, once you have a vision and you have a target you’re hitting and you have that clarity, you’ll achieve the results you want much faster. So this was so important as having this system I guess in my life.
Carol: That’s a cool system.
J: Yeah, so while we’re on it, let’s turn this into a little pitch. Because I think that’s okay because now I’m intrigued. If I want to get the Intension Journal that you and BiggerPockets have just launched, can you tell a little bit more about how I can get it and where I go and what I get?
Brandon: Gladly, gladly. Biggerpockets.com/journal. It’s very simple, biggerpockets.com/journal. The new one that’s been launched today is super, super high quality. We actually just upped the quality significantly. It costs us a lot more money, but we still signup for the same price. Because I want it to … it’s got this leathery … it’s actual leather. It’s vegan, but leather-feeling cover and it’s got ribbons in there, it’s got all those cool stuff that we didn’t have last time, such very very cool.
Brandon: There’s a bunch of bonuses that come with it, so, if you do buy it, for example you get a goal-setting class that I’m actually hosting. It’s a video that basically hosting on goal setting. And a live online productivity master class on how to get twice as much done in half the time. But then, most importantly, and this is where I think we could go next real quick is well, you actually get access to an accountability group.
Brandon: So, mastermind groups are a huge piece of everything I’ve ever done successful has been because I’ve been a part of mastermind groups. And I saw that of how being together with three, four, five, I mean other people who are also working towards their goals has been so big for me. So, we incorporate, so, any body who gets the journal, also gets invited to join a mastermind group of your own with other BiggerPockets, the people who bought the journals.
Brandon: So, you can all have your own goals, but you meet together based on your schedule, and we just put you together and give you some … I guess some guidelines and rules that work mastermind group, but then it’s yours, you guys should do it.
Brandon: And in fact I think more people … last time we launched a journal, a year ago almost, more people bought the journal because of the mastermind groups than because of the journal itself. And so, if you don’t even want the journal, you just want the mastermind group, just get the journal and just join the mastermind group. It’s been huge for me is having this group of … I work with two guys right now. We’re in a group of three right now, and it’s Chris and Seth.
Brandon: And these two guys, we meet together at least every other week. Sometimes we try to get a call in every week, and just constantly stirring each other on to attain, “What is your goal? Where are you at on your goal? What are you struggling with? How can we help?” It’s been huge.
J: Yeah, this whole idea of a mastermind, it’s funny because the last year or two, that’s the big thing everybody is talking about, “You gotta do a mastermind group,” and, “What mastermind groups are you part of? Who are you networking with? Where are you flying to do your mastermind group?” But for those of us that have been in business and real estate investing for a long time, we’ve been doing this mastermind thing forever. I mean we all have those people that we surround ourselves with. You and I have been chatting on and off about real estate for the last 10 years. Ever since I found your blog you probably found my blog.
J: And you just have those people in your life that you can bounce things off of. But formalizing that relationship and holding each other accountable, and making each other define your goals in detail, really it takes you to the next level, and really it forces you to really take action and continue to take action.
Brandon: You know, there’s a study done and I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me. But the Dominican University did the study, and it walked people through … they had to set a goal. They got the whole bunch of people and had them set a goal, and they broke them to five groups. And I think the first group was like, hey, you have a goal. The second group was, you have a goal and you wrote it down. The third group was, you have a goal, you wrote it down, you wrote out action steps. The fourth one was something that you shared it with a friend.
Brandon: And the fifth step was you have your goal, you wrote it down, you wrote down your action steps like we’ve been talking about. You shared with a friend and you met weekly for accountability. And looking at a chart, it was like over double, I think it was almost three times, it was 30% of people who set the goal end up accomplishing it. And at the end of the chart it was 90% who had the full five had accomplished their goal.
Brandon: And so it just shows like … and the biggest one, by far the biggest one was having that weekly accountability. So setting your goal, writing it down, being clear on it. Having action steps, knowing what your actual process looks like to get it accomplished, having a friend know about it and then getting weekly accountability. You can include those five things, it was 92%, a lot of people accomplished their goal because of that compared to 30, that’s crazy.
J: Yeah. And for me, the big one there is having a friend that knows about it. Because too often we have this idea and we’re like, “Okay, I’m going to do this. And not going to tell anybody until I get some traction.” But what you don’t realize or maybe you do realize it is that you’re not going to get the traction until you’ve told somebody because that’s the thing that’s going to keep you accountable, it’s going to keep you moving forward.
Brandon: And on that note they didn’t … I read another story when I was putting this together that said, “Should you talk about your goals publicly?” And there’s different, some studies have shown that actually they followed some people who publicly tackle their goals and they severely decreased their chance of accomplishing it. The other people show that they increased it.
Brandon: And so this article kind of tried to figure out why that is and here is what they came up with. When you go and post a goal online, like on Facebook and you say, “Hey everybody, I’m going to be a millionaire by the time I’m 24,” what that does is everybody goes, “Yeah, you got this man, you’re awesome.” And you get that dopamine hit, you get the victory without the pain. And your chances of even accomplishing it decreases.
Brandon: And so because you already won in your head, your subconscious thinks you already accomplished it even if you didn’t. “Hey guys, I’m going to loose 30 pounds in the next month.” Everyone is like, “Yeah you got this.” You’re excited, you don’t get it.
Brandon: But when you tell one or two people, or three people or a small mastermind group, you don’t get that dopamine like, “Wow you’re the best.” You get, “Okay, well what are you going to do about it? What does that look like?” And that’s why telling a small group of trusted people is far more valuable and more important and more likely that your goal accomplished than telling the world or run Instagram or Facebook.
Carol: Really cool.
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Carol: So you mentioned a couple of times a week, or at least once a week, you’ll take with your mastermind groups. And so you’ve got that going on, you’ve got this amazing real estate business that is, it is a free train, it is just going and going with no end in sight.
Carol: You’re the face of BiggerPockets, you are a husband and a father. You have all of these things going on and I want to know … and I know there are lots of other listeners who want to know also Brandon, what is a day in your life like, how do you fit all this in? Just walk us through, you get up in the morning, what happens from there, what is a day in the life of Brandon Turner?
Brandon: Good question. So the last few months have been different than the months previous, but I’ll go through what recently has been. Typically I get up like 5:30 AM. The good part about Hawaii is that you get up super early, because the birds start chirping there, we call them alarm clock birds.
J: And it’s six hours earlier than where I am, so it’s easy to get up early.
Brandon: It is. I get up at let’s say 5:30 and it’s like already like halfway through the day if I’m going to East Coast which is great. So I get up early, I get work done. In the first hour it’s like me-time, like Rosy and Heather usually aren’t up until about 7:00, 7:30. So the first hour is me, so I go through my journal every single morning, I drink that cup of water every single morning, like that became … it became a habit for me.
Brandon: Because we wake up dehydrated every day. So immediately you hydrate yourself, everything else goes better, it just starts with that, anchoring that thing. I’m such a big believer in developing good habits for yourself, which by the way in the journal, not to revisit that, like kill a dead horse, is that what’s called? Beat a dead horse?
J: Beat a dead horse.
Brandon: But yeah, not to beat a dead horse here-
Carol: [crosstalk 00:54:51] sting of a dead horse.
Brandon: Yeah, but there’s actually … well, it’s a spot in the journal, it’s like a weekly, daily habit tracker. It’s like I actually write down, what are the habits I want to build that should help me accomplish other things in life? So, for example, right now I have like, I sleep by 10:00 PM. If I can be asleep by 10:00 PM, I know that everything else, a whole lot of other good things will come out that.
Brandon: The next day I’ll wake up early, I’ll get more accomplished, I’ll be more rested, blah, blah, blah. Go to the gym, reading every single day, I do that seven days a week. Do I have meetings with my team two times a week, like it’s a habit we built.
Brandon: So, anyway having those habits is important. So, I try to make my first hour of the day very routine, very habit. So, again going through that, I try to do some stretching in the morning, etc. Then I go into my sea shade, I built this office, my little work sanctuary studio in my front yard basically. And I go in there and usually that’s when I knock out BiggerPockets stuff. So, within a few hours, podcasting or meeting with people for BiggerPockets, writing, making videos, things like that.
Brandon: Then by 9:00 ish in the morning, I’ll go inside, eat breakfast with the family, and then just usually hangout with them for a few hours, and then just usually hangout with them for a few hours. And then in the afternoon usually meet with Ryan on real estate stuff and that’s when we’ll kind of knock out. Ryan by the way Ryan Murdock, he was a buddy of mine. He actually brought me that very first mobile home park.
Brandon: And oh, I never brought this back in earlier when I said I was going to, that so I’m a big believer in telling people about your goals, big believer in that. So, if you have something you want accomplished, tell people what you’re looking for, not just your goal, but what you’re looking for, right? And be specific, have that clarity. So, I mentioned at a meetup, out in New York City when I was speaking. I said I was looking for a mobile home park. If any body knows of any, let me know.
Brandon: So, this guy Ryan Murdock, who had been on a podcast, the BiggerPockets podcast, the real estate show, he emailed me and said, “Hey, I actually just got an email from a friend of mine who’s selling this mobile home park.” So, Ryan and I bought that park together along side Mindy Jensen of the Money Podcast. The three of us joined forces, bought it together, and that’s what made me want to buy mobile home parks because one, it was game. What would be cool? Well, I really liked our mobile home park, that worked out really well, and we make a lot of money from it. Let’s do that.
Brandon: Not that it’s the best thing in the world, but find something that you like that works well, that inspires you and say, “Okay, I’m just going to do that.” So, that’s how that … so, anyway so then Ryan, when I moved out to Hawaii, I called him and asked him for help for a week. I was like, “Can I give you a flight out to Hawaii in exchange for helping me move,” basically and he never left. So, I’m still trying to get rid of him.
Brandon: So, him and his wife [Pinky 00:57:16] moved in here, and so they live in the extra … I have a three-unit house. It’s three units here. There’s one in the back, one down below and one up above. So, Ryan lives in the back house, and then we just work together. And remember I said earlier, my vision was to have people that I just loved and respected, that were rock stars I could do life with.
Brandon: Every single day I get to experience that with … because even right now it’s just Ryan, but we brought in an asset manager on our team, Brian Murray. And Brian wrote the book Crushing It In Commercial Real Estate. So, Brian’s our asset manager. He’s a rock star and ready to do business with him. So, my vision is coming more and more-
Carol: [crosstalk 00:57:48] it’s completely coming to fruition. So cool.
Brandon: It’s coming to fruition because I know where I’m headed. So, anyway, so we work in the afternoon usually for a couple of hours on random real estate stuff, but Ryan really takes the bulk of that, which again I’m trying to set up, what if it was easy? What would it be like to build a 50-million dollar real estate portfolio mobile home parks easy, what would that look like? And so again Ryan does the bulk of that work right now.
Brandon: Anyway, we go to the beach every day, pretty much, I mean there’s hardly a day we don’t make it down to one of the beaches. Mali has more beaches than any other Hawaiian islands, so, we spend a lot of time with them. I try to surf a few times a week, not every day yet, but that’s only because I’m a weenie and I’m like, “Oh, I got to go out and paddle again, like oh, I’m just sore.”
J: Well, it sounds like at some point, we’re going to have to have a discussion maybe another episode on delegation, because it sounds like you’ve done a really good job of surrounding yourself with people that you can offload a lot of these important tasks to, but tasks that … again, as you said you’re the visionary. You’re the guy at the center running it all, and you’ve been able to offload a lot of these really important tasks to really smart people who kind of allow you to be successful. They’re successful too, but you’re kind of the face of it.
Brandon: Yeah, there’s a big lesson I learned over the last few years, a business lesson that I used to have to choose between working. I felt like I had to choose between working with people I liked or if you know … people I really like a lot and got along with well, and people who were just rock stars at their thing. And for years, I chose between the two. I would hire someone I really really liked, but they just weren’t experienced. They didn’t have the ability, and not that they were bad people, but they weren’t right for the role.
Brandon: And then other times, I hired people or worked with people and doesn’t mean I hired them, maybe at BiggerPockets or other things or contractors, whatever that were awesome at their job, we just didn’t get along. We just didn’t work together well.
Brandon: And what I realized in Nashville, that’s what clicked for me that day in Nashville when I went there and I flew with my friend, I saw his company working. Is I saw the rock stars who got along well, and I realized at that moment, you don’t have to choose between the two, you can have both. It’s harder to find both, but if you get both, that fixes a lot of stuff. So, yeah, I’ve been really focused lately on how do I find people that I would love to do life with, that are also top of their game? And I want both. I don’t want to have to choose between those two things again.
J: That’s great. So, Brandon, before we jump in to the final segment of the show, I do have one more question. So, I know what you’re working on now, I know what you’ve accomplished, and your big [inaudible 01:00:15] goal of a 50-million dollar real estate surf company, real estate surf company, something like that.
Brandon: You can call it that, yeah, you can call it that.
J: Real estate surf, palm trees, coconuts, whatever it is, just 50-
Brandon: Lifestyle and business, that makes a lot of money.
J: So, is there anything really big other than that on the horizon for you? What’s the other, if anything, in your Intention Journal right now?
Brandon: Yeah, so, the real estate thing I’m in is the big focus right now, I mean for business lives, growing the real estate thing. So, I created a fund … I have a 506 C fund so I can raise money now officially from accredited investors, which means I can actually legally talk about it on a podcast. So, anyway, I have that going. I mean, that will be full by the time this episode comes out, but I’ll probably do more. I’m sure I’ll do more.
Brandon: But I’m excited about that, I was just raising money and helping other people kind of be able to do it. Planning on writing more books, I got three in my head, and I have … 10 years before we recorded, I got their covers specked out for new books, real estate books, but I haven’t actually written them yet, but again it goes back to the clarity thing, though, right?
Brandon: I have a very clear vision on what the book is going to be, and I’ve outlined it. Now I got to actually do the work of writing down. So, I deliberately did not put that in my journal this quarter, because I’m like, “I know I’m not going to get to it, so, I’m not even worrying about it. I’ll probably add it next quarter or the quarter after it will be.” And I will write a book in 90 days, that will be my 90-day goal.
Brandon: And I will break down to my weekly, “Hey, by this week, I need to have this many words written, and today, I need to like …” it’s really going from vision to 90-day to quarter to whatever. So, that’s a big one. And other than that, just I got a little baby boy on the way, so, my wife is pregnant. So, yeah.
Carol: So excited.
J: Rosy is going to have a little brother.
Brandon: Yeah, I’m pumped for that, but really it’s the flushing out the vision where I’m going to, and at the end of the vision, it says Brian Turner is a New York Times best selling author, so, you heard it here first. I’m going to eventually get that New York Times name, we’ll see, that’s my goal, that’s my vision.
Carol: That’s a great goal.
J: Let me know if you need a co-author on that one.
Brandon: Okay, I will.
Carol: But I have to back track just a touch, do you think your little baby Turner will come out with a big amazing beard?
Brandon: Yes, yes, clearly. Baby boy Turner, which we still don’t have a name for him, we’re trying different names, but we’ll get one eventually. It’s actually a requirement, we’ll put him back in if he doesn’t have the beard yet, and we’ll wait until he has one, so.
Carol: Perfect, yeah, I like the priority.
Brandon: Yes, very priority.
J: Awesome. Okay, well, now let’s move on to the final segment of the show, it’s something that we call the four more, where we’re going to ask you four questions and then after that, we’re going to give you an opportunity to tell us a little bit more about where our listeners can find out more about you. Sounds good?
Brandon: Sounds good. That sounds awesome.
J: Okay. I’m going to take the first question if that’s okay with you Carol.
Carol: Go for it.
J: Alrighty. Brandon Turner, what was your first or your worst job and what lessons did you take from it that have helped you succeed since then?
Brandon: First, can I answer both, because they’re different.
Brandon: First job was I carried out groceries at a grocery store for my first job. It was pretty good, it taught me the value of hard work and customer service. So, I did that for a little while. Worst job I ever had, was probably and I hope my old boss doesn’t listen to this, but I worked at a bank for a year. At a national bank as a banker who opened check-in accounts and credit cards for people and lines of credit, home equity loans and stuff like that.
Brandon: I gained a lot of experience and I’m really good today with the financing side of things because of it, but man, the pressure. I mean you guys have heard about the whole Wells Fargo drama a few years ago, but these people these people were opening up … I mean, I have 25 check-in accounts. Why? Because we were required … we were told, “If you don’t open X amount of check-in accounts this week, you’re going to loose your job.”
Brandon: And so, I would literally be like, “Hey, who wants to check-in … ” everybody in the branch would open up check-in accounts for each other, because we had to have them, because there was such pressure to perform. And we lived … the town had 3,000 people in it. I can’t really do that much to get people. So, anyway, that was a horrible … I remember I’d stare at the clock just watching that minute hand tick by, right? And it was 9:05 and I’m like, “Oh, it’s just seven hours more, seven hours, 55 minutes more,” horrible.
J: Carol and I used to walk into our local Wells Fargo branch, that’s where we always banked, and there was a woman there and … doesn’t matter, I’m not going to mention her name. But literally we would walk in. every day she’d just kind of wave us over and just beg us, “Please just open up one account. Please it will help me so much.”
Carol: “I already have the paperwork filled out, just sign, just sign it.”
J: “I already have the paper work, all you have to do is sign it,” exactly.
Brandon: Yeah, that’s exactly what we had to do, stuff like that as well. And I didn’t work for Wells Fargo, but it was another competitor of theirs, and it was just horrible. Like people listening to this show, some of you guys are still working a job like that, I feel for you. That day when Sunday night comes and you just dread going to sleep because you know you go to wake up the next morning, like man, there’s so much better out there. There’s so much better out there.
Carol: Okay, I’ll take the next question Brandon, what is an opportunity along the way that you’ve said no to and do you think it was the right decision?
Brandon: Oh, wow, that’s an unbelievably good question. An opportunity I said no to, I was … okay. So, four years ago, I had the opportunity to move to Denver. What happened was Josh was starting to scale a team, this is when Scott first came on and we were like, “This is like a thing. Something magical is happening here. And Josh was like, “I think you should move to Denver.” And I was like, “I think I should too.”
Brandon: And so, Heather and I were finally onboard with going and it was … and we were like … all four, we were going to sell our house and it was a huge opportunity to move to Denver and be a bigger part of the actual team. Because a lot of people don’t know the inner workings of BiggerPockets, but I’m like the only guy really who is not in Denver. I mean, there’s a couple of others now, Kevin here who is a producer of a podcast. He’s out in D.C. and we have a couple of developers in the UK. But everybody is at the office, right? And we could see that that was the way it was going.
Brandon: So, I said I was going to move to Denver, and then I actually wen to this … I was a youth leader at a church for the last decade before I moved to Hawaii. And I went to this conference, and while I was there, every single speaker who spoke at this event, every one said the same message, “Don’t quit where you’re at, God has you right where he wants you.”
Brandon: And it was like over and over and over and just drilled it, and everybody … I got home from that, and Heather and I just looked at each other and we were like, “Whether or not that was divine inspiration saying I shouldn’t do it or whether it was just because this is a ministry-type conference and they know everybody’s dealing with that I want to quit,” but we were like, “We can’t go. We’re needed here.”
Brandon: And I would say definitely that was the right choice. I mean, I love BiggerPockets and I love everything about them, but I am not a corporate guy. I am not a 9:00 to 5:00 commute kind of a person and I think I would have been driven crazy. And I probably wouldn’t be here today if I would have had to do that. Instead I spent another two years at home building up a real estate and moved to Hawaii, which much more suits my personality. So, I think I’m glad I made that choice.
J: If you were meant to be in Denver, you’d be in Denver. You’re meant to be in Hawaii.
Brandon: Yeah, that’s what I feel like. So, side note, when we went to … we actually went to Denver looking for places that we could live, and nothing just felt right. Then couple of years later, we went to Hawaii. After this whole thing, came to Oahu. Spent three months in Oahu looking everywhere, nothing felt right. And it wasn’t until we flew over to Maui for a couple of days for a quick weekend trip.
Brandon: And Rosy fell asleep in the car and we were driving around and we drove down this highway and I saw a open-house sign. And because I’m a real estate investor, we like to open houses sometimes.
Brandon: So, I drove up to this neighborhood, and I went to this open house and I stood on this front Lanai. This porch, we call them Lanais in Hawaii. I stood on the Lanai and I just looked at the ocean and I was like … there’s an incredible ocean view and the pool and I was like, “I found it. It’s done.”
Carol: You were home-
Brandon: Yeah, that’s what it was, earlier I said that with opportunities in business, it’s not like your uncovering something hidden in the sand. With a home though, I think you are often times. It’s almost like that home was already mine and it fit. So, I was meant to live this home, but I was not meant to Denver.
J: That’s awesome. Love it.
Carol: Great answer.
J: Question number three. What’s the worst advise that either you’ve been given or that’s popular in our industry, your industry, the real estate industry? And how do you take that advise and turn it around to make it good advice?
Brandon: Oh, wow. I’m going to go with, follow your passion and I’m totally stealing this from that book Deep Work. And So Good They Can’t Ignore You both by Cal Newport. But he makes this point and I completely agree with them. People are always like, “I got to find my passion and then follow it.” And so I really like baking cookies, so, I want to open a bakery because I am following my passion.” But as anybody whose read the [inaudible 01:09:02] knows that’s generally a horrible idea. Because following your passion tends to make it no longer your passion.
Brandon: And so if you completely follow … just like whatever you like, do. I mean, I really like music, but I don’t follow music passionately because I don’t think I’d enjoy it much if I was in the business of it. I liked politics, until in college I did an internship for a person running for U.S Senate. They won and I never wanted to be in politics again. So it’s not about following you passion, it’s about picking something that makes you feel good and fulfilled. Doesn’t mean it’s your biggest passion in the world.
Brandon: And then working at it until it becomes … until the work becomes your passion. Because if you don’t love the work involved, you’ll never accomplish it. There is that book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F, where he makes it a point in there. That we shouldn’t look at goals as much as what do we want to accomplish. We should say, “What are we willing … what pain are we willing to put up with?” And so the people who are in shape are the people who like the pain of working out. The people who are good at real estate are the ones who like the pain of analyzing deals and negotiating.
Brandon: And so, yeah, don’t necessarily follow your passion but be diligent in your work so that the work becomes your passion, the pain becomes your passion.
J: Love it.
Carol: Very cool. Okay Brandon, what is something that you have splurged on that was totally worth it?
Brandon: A multimillion dollar house in Hawaii, because here is the truth-
Carol: Can’t argue with that one.
Brandon: Here is the backstory. I don’t think I’ve ever told this in the BiggerPockets Real Estate Show either, but here is the story of the house. It gets like almost 2 million dollar house. I mean, I make good money, but I also recognize we are in the greatest economy in the history of mankind. And that what happens in good economies is that people who make good money, people who are buying a lot of books. And like, “You know, my real estate is doing really well and they’re vacancy rates are nothing.”
Brandon: So what people do in good times is they then overspend and over splurge and then the economy changes and they lose all that, right? It’s like the boom and burst cycle that happens. And so the real estate gurus who were huge back in 2005 lost everything in 2007 because they were buying jets and fancy houses in Hawaii. And I looked at that. And I guess I’m self-aware enough to go, “I don’t want to be that guy again.” And so I wasn’t going to do it. And the guy who actually convinced me to do it was David Greene my host, co-host on BiggerPockets Real Estate Show.
Brandon: And he said, “Well, let’s talk through this. It’s three-unit property. Well, could you rent your house? If you are to come home and the economy changed, you want to just rent out your property. What could you rent the top unit for? What could you rent the bottom unit for? What could you rent the other unit for?” And he walked me through that math and I realized, “Oh, yeah, I’d actually break … even maybe make a little bit of money by owning this property in Hawaii.”
Brandon: He’s like, “Okay, so then ask yourself, 30 years from now, 20 years from now, a house with an ocean view in Maui, is that going to be worth more or less than the 1.7 you’re buying it for?” “Good point. I’m sure it’s going to be worth a whole lot more.”
Brandon: “So you’re telling me that worst case scenario, you have to rent out your property, make money every month in cashflow, go live somewhere else that you get to choose at that point and then be worth … and then that property over the next 20 years gets paid off and is now 4 million dollars or 5 million dollars, that’s worst case scenario?” And I’m like-
Carol: It’s the worst case.
Brandon: “… That’s worse …” I’m like, “Hmm, yeah, you’re right, that is kind of worse case scenario of the day.” So-
J: This is your biggest burr ever.
Brandon: Yes, this is a giant burr house hack, everything combined in one, multifamily also kind of a single … it’s every real estate strategy you’ve even done all combined in one. And this property, I will make millions of dollars at if I hold it long enough. And so that’s why I don’t feel stupid for doing it at the greatest economy ever.
Brandon: I didn’t go buy a jet, so.
J: An amazing splurge worth every last penny.
Brandon: Every last penny.
J: Question number five. Ooh, we’ve never had a question number five before.
Brandon: What? Now I’m scared.
J: Tell us a secret. Tell us the Brandon Turner secret? Come on-
Brandon: Is that a favor.
J: … something that you’ve never told anybody ever.
Brandon: Wow. A secret.
J: Oh, I’m not really going to make you do it.
Brandon: No, I hear you. Now, I’m going to tell on. I’m going to tell on. When I was in … and this is going to torment people for life. Because now you’re going to do … you’re going to do it too. It’s not really a secret but it’s a funny story.
Brandon: When I was in sixth grade, I had a youth leader at a church tell me, “Do you ever wash the middle of our back? You can’t reach it. So, the middle of your back never gets washed.” And I said, “Oh my gosh, you’re right.” I think about that every time I take a shower, every day since sixth grade and I say, “How do I wash the middle of my back?”
Brandon: And I think of that story every time. Now, everybody listening to this is going to go, “Shoot.” Every time you take a shower for the rest of your life, you’re going to go, “How am I washing the middle of my back?”
J: That’s like a Buddhist poem. What’s the sound of one hand clapping?
Brandon: Yeah, you can’t do it. You have a dirty middle back, sorry everybody.
J: Brandon that’s awesome. Okay. So, that was the five more or-
Brandon: There you go, five more.
J: … that was the five, let’s jump into the more. So, for our listeners out there who want to find out more about Brandon Turner or find out where they can contact Brandon Turner, tell, us more about where we can get in touch with you.
Brandon: I’m like a 13-year-old girl. I’m obsessed with Instagram. So, Instagram is Beardy Brandon, beard with a Y, Brandon and of course my BiggerPockets and I’m on everything else. But Instagram is where my inner 13-year-old child comes out.
J: Awesome. And for anybody else out there that didn’t catch this earlier, if you want to buy the 90-day Intention Journal-
J: … that BiggerPockets is just coming out with, I think-
Brandon: Which you should.
J: Which you should, it was … say it again, was it BiggerPockets-
Brandon: Biggerpockets.com/journal. Yeah, biggerpockets.com/journal.
J: Easy enough. Cool.
Brandon: Easy peasy.
J: Brandon, this was absolutely awesome. I’m sure our listeners appreciate it. Carol and I appreciate. Thank you so much for being here today with us.
Brandon: Thank you.
Carol: Thank you Brandon.
Brandon: Thank you guys.
J: Talk to you soon.
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