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9 Ways to Tweak Your Mindset So You Can Lock Down Deals with Brandon and David

The BiggerPockets Podcast
46 min read
9 Ways to Tweak Your Mindset So You Can Lock Down Deals with Brandon and David

Are you a new or aspiring real estate investor who hasn’t locked down your first deal? Or maybe you haven’t hit your personal goal or unit count yet. If so, you may need to tweak your mindset to reach new heights.

Brandon and David are back flying solo on this weekend’s episode to talk about the 9 mindset changes that make successful real estate investors, well, successful! You’ll hear them dive deep into each mindset change, with examples from their investing careers, and how they made the leap to change their mindsets for the better.

If you’re looking to cultivate a healthier relationship with real estate investing for the better, this is an excellent episode to take some notes!

Whether you’re brand new to investing or just looking to level-up your current portfolio, you’ll take away some important lessons on this weekend’s episode.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon: This is the BiggerPockets podcast show for 17

David: in many areas of life. The way you avoid making mistake is that you don’t get in the game. You can’t strike out. If you don’t get up to bat, you can’t make a turnover. If you don’t get in the game, you can successfully avoid ever making a mistake by hurting yourself and your own success.

Intro: You’re listening to BiggerPockets radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype you’re in the right place today. Too. That’d be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com.

Your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon: Hey, what’s going on? Everyone. It’s Brandon Turner host of the bigger pockets podcast here with my co-host. Mr. David Green. David, do you remember what it would like to be new to real estate investing?

David: It’s very easy to forget. I will say that it takes a certain interview with someone or conversation to bring back up some of those old emotions.

Brandon: Yeah, and this is one of the thing that drives me nuts in like the real estate education space is when it real estate educators, which I would include ourselves in there. We tend to forget what it was like to be brand new to real estate, to not sure what we’re doing. And so what I find helpful is like when I get to talk with a bunch of new investors, so I got two interns that live out here in Maui now that are both like young guys getting started on the real estate.

And so I’ve really been brought back to a lot of. You know, getting started stuff. And I know you, you have a ton of clients that are all like new real estate investors as

David: well, right? Yeah. It actually helps keep me really, really sharp because the majority of people that are coming to me to represent them on a purchase are new, or they’ve only bought a house or two, but most of them it’s their first time.

So I’m continually put through the same first couple of steps with every single client. Every time we get started. And it keeps me very aware of how new people. I think what gets in their way, what trips them up. And I think that is very helpful when it comes to educating new people. But it’s so easy when you start listening to podcasts, we all want to learn from successful people that when you’re trying to learn from a black belt, but you’re a white belt.

It’s very difficult for them to teach

Brandon: you. Yeah. That’s exactly it. So today this show is about white belt training, but not like I’m not going to, we’re going to tell you here’s how you put an offer on a duplex or here’s how you, you know, we want to talk more about the mental side a little bit today of what it takes to get started with real estate.

So if you’ve done less than, I would say 10 deals, this show is really geared toward you, uh, and getting into the mindset of what it takes to go from where you are now to where you want to be. So that’s kind of the goal of today’s show. But before we get to that show, let’s get today’s. Quick tip today’s quick.

Tip is simple. If you are not subscribed currently to the bigger pockets, YouTube channel, both David and I put out content on the BiggerPockets YouTube channel. We would like you to be subscribed there. So if you’re not subscribed, just go click that subscribe button right now, over on at youtube.com/biggerpockets.

And, uh, we can put out a ton of stuff there. Uh, I mean like several videos a day related to real estate, you don’t have to watch every one. Just watch the ones that matter to you get notified when a good stuff comes up. So that’s your quick tip. I think we’re ready to jump into this thing. Uh, w you know, we don’t have a guest today, so it’s just you and I talking about the, the mindset shifts that a new investor goes through the different ways of thinking.

It’s going to help accelerate your business, help you get financial freedom, years faster, uh, help you build wealth faster and help you have more fun, less stress while you’re doing it. So, anything you want to add before we jump into number one, David.

David: Yeah, I, we get a lot of compliments on these solo shows.

People really liked them. Please leave your comment at the bottom of wherever you’re listening to this and let us know what type of show you’d like to see more of Brandon. I are committed to bringing our bigger pockets members as much value as we possibly can. So if you give us ideas of what type of shows you like, we are happy to make them for you.

That’s where this show came from. Was there was a lot of people that were saying, I know I need to do this. I want to get started, but I’m just so scared. I can’t get over this thing. And that’s why we came up with these ideas was to help. Those people. So make that known, share what you want to know, and we will give you the content you like.

Brandon: Very cool. And this is gonna be a pretty rapid fire show. So here we go. Number one. Uh, what’s the first one you got there, David Green,

David: not seeing the big picture. This is something that stops new investors from ever getting started.

Brandon: Okay. So what do you mean by not seeing the big picture?

David: Well, when you are scared, this is something that we learned in law enforcement.

Cause you’re in scary situations all the time. You tend to focus on the thing that’s going to scare you. So, um, the police officers often talk about all I could see was the knife, or all I could see was the threat. You hear this with mountain bikers that crash, they’ll say I just was looking at that rock in the middle of the trail.

And that was the last thing I remember seeing before I crashed. But when you’re getting training, what people tell you is look for the way around the rock stare at the path out, and your mind will automatically direct you in that. In that direction with real estate investing, it’s very easy to open an inspection report and see everything that’s wrong with a house and use that as justification to talk yourself out of moving forward, we tend to zoom in on things we think will hurt us when we’re afraid.

But when you talk to successful investors, they never mentioned a toilet that was leaking and needed to be fixed as something that stopped them from building wealth. In fact, I like to remind my clients all the time I’ve yet to meet in my life. Any human being that bought a property 30 years ago, that said, I really wish I wouldn’t have bought real estate that leaky toilet just wasn’t worth it over the 30 years.

In fact, Brandon, if I had to tell you what every one of them says, what would you guess?

Brandon: Uh, I wish I would have bought more.

David: That’s exactly right. There’s not a human being alive. I have met that. Doesn’t say, I wish I bought more real estate. So if you trace down a why that happens, it’s because you are focused on the small detail and not the big picture.

And that’s a mistake that new people make all the time.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s so good, man. Uh, and I don’t think that changes even if you know, this show is just show is kind of geared towards the new investors today. But I think even like myself, I tend to get. A little bit sucked into just thinking like the mundane working in my business.

Like this is the mobile home park I’m buying, or this is the offer we’re putting out here. Or this is the employee issue that I’m dealing with rather than thinking like I’m working, you know, this is classic work working on your business, like looking five or 10, 20 years out of my business. Does it really matter that this employee wanted a $3,000 raise or, or, you know, this guy wanted 2% back, uh, for this fee or this like.

Some of those things that don’t matter. Long-term as much as you might think they do because we’re so in the forest, we can’t see the forest. So yeah, that’s a good one. Number one, not seeing the big picture.

David: Yeah. And not focusing on the cost of inaction. That would be the next thing is that it’s easy to say, if I do this, what could go wrong and then never ask yourself if I don’t do anything, how much is that going to cost me?

One of those is very easy to see if I make a mistake, I could lose money. I’m putting $20,000 in a deal. What if I lose that 20,000? You’re not looking at the 2 million that you could have made if you had learned it. And it’s just very, very easy because no one puts that in front of you to miss it. But that 2 million is just as real as that 20,000.

Very good.

Brandon: That’s very true. All right. Moving on to number two, trying to check every single box for every single property you buy, or are you trying to buy, what do you mean by that? David?

David: I see this one all the time from people that are, it’s usually their first deal. And they’re saying, okay, listen to Brandon and David, I want a house that I’m buying at 50% of fair market value with very little rehab in the hottest part of town.

With the best numbers that cash flows at 25% ROI. And I have a value add components to make it worth even more. And I’m going to hold to my guns and I’m going to find that property that checks every single box for what I want. And they spend so much time looking for that property that prices appreciate by 30% and they never get the deal.

It is okay to find a property that checks a box or two boxes, and start with that, like a base hit and not look for a home run. Home runs will come. If, especially when you get in the game more, when you’re analyzing stuff, when people know about you, you will come across those deals, but it’s still valuable to get a deal that cash flows or that has a big upside on equity, but maybe it doesn’t cashflow there’s value in owning that you don’t have to find a house that checks every single box in this same deal.

It’s okay. To split that up over three different properties.

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah. I think there’s a lot of danger in looking at, you know, like they say, social media is a highlight real. In a way, podcasts are a highlight real, right? We talk about our really good deals, David, and I will talk about it. The guests will talk about it like, Oh yeah, I got this deal is making me 1500 bucks a month and it’s got this.  It’s got that. Well, we’ve been in the game a long time. And so we can find these things and not that David and I are saying, you should go buy a bad deal. Right. We didn’t say go buy something. That’s terrible. It’s going to lose you money. But we’re saying it doesn’t have to be like. Uh, braggable, you know, deal deep dive level deal for every one of your properties, especially when you’re getting started, because as we always say, wealth is not built from a property it’s built through a portfolio, which means more important than you get started and you start building your portfolio of several properties, and then over time, all of those, add a little bit to your net worth and a little bit to your cashflow, a little bit to your financial freedom.

And so really just gotta get in there and start doing it.

David: That’s such a good point that where that comes from is seeing other people talk about their deals and thinking I have to do the same as them, and that’s not true at all. In fact, the majority of investors that are on here, when they’re talking about a deal they bought, when they bought it, they had no idea what was going to be that good.

I’d say 80% of the time you stumble into this deal, that appraise for way more than you thought, but then you go tell people, Hey, look at how good I did. You should listen to me. It’s okay. To not know. I always take that perspective. 15, 20, 30 years down the line. How is this going to make me look? It doesn’t matter how it makes me look when I first buy it.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s true.

And I, yeah, I was gonna say when we started Opendoor capital, you know, my first fund that raised money for my very first fund. This is now a year, a half ago. We bought a property in Ohio that honestly, today. If it came up on the market today, I wouldn’t, I like based on our current criteria, I probably wouldn’t buy it.

Uh, even though we bought it back then I probably wouldn’t buy it today because I’ve got, we’ve tightened our criteria. So much example, today we only buy within where there’s a population of a hundred thousand people within 15 miles. That’s one of our criteria points because we want areas. This one didn’t have that.

So I would’ve passed this deal over. Cause it didn’t check every box. The funny thing is that’s the best property we have in our entire portfolio right now. And like, so sometimes in real estate, like it, I would have called it like today, I’d say, yeah, it’s a base hit, but we’re only looking for home runs today, but I would have passed up what was actually a home run

It’s phenomenal because of. You know, I didn’t check every single box now in, in my, in my business because I’m raising money and have investors. Like, that’s why I have to, I have to aim only for home runs going forward because I have to get them. Uh, but if you’re new and getting started and you’re okay, you need to build the momentum and the base hit, get the base hit.

Cause sometimes your base hits actually turned into home runs, especially that you hold them long enough. So, yeah, don’t be, don’t let that fear hold you back.

David: My question to you would be, would you have got to the criteria you have now had you not bought that property?

Brandon: No, I learned from that one, because we were like, Oh yeah, we don’t like, like after we bought it, we’re like, Oh yeah, this is, you know, in the middle of nowhere.

I mean, not quite middle of nowhere. I mean, there’s people around it’s an hour from like Detroit It’s an hour and a half from Detroit. And so like, But we, we decided at that point that that was a challenge that we would prefer to not have to deal with in the future. Uh, now for whatever reason, there’s some other reasons I won’t go into the details on that, why that property ended up being so good, but we wouldn’t have bought it if we were trying to check every single solitary box that we have today.

So again, don’t let fear cripple you real estate. We’ve said this on the show before, and I’ll say it again. Now. Real estate is a very forgiving asset class. You can make mistakes, you can make little stuff. Rent wasn’t as high as you thought it was going to be. Okay. Next year it probably will be like, it’s a very forgiving asset class.

David: That’s very true. And when you keep that in mind, the smartest thing you can do is set aside healthy reserves and live beneath your means. And then almost all the time you’re going to be fine. It’s when you’re already kind of playing fast and loose with your personal life, that your criteria for real estate has to get a lot more stringent and that can really hurt you.

Brandon: Yeah. And that actually brings up kind of the next point. Actually, I was going to talk about earlier in the, uh, or later in the show, but I’m going to throw it in right now. And that is some people. This is number three for today. If you’re taking notes, number three was looking to real estate to be your savior from like, Your lack of happiness, your lack of financial responsibility, your, your struggle with like meaning in life.

In other words, people think, and financially I see this a lot, right? People are like, I’m broke, I’m poor. I don’t have any money. I am therefore going to invest in real estate because that’ll make me rich. And the truth is it’s not real. Like you could be a millionaire and still be broke. And I know there’s a lot of broke millionaires out there.

Uh, because of the problem isn’t solved by real estate. The problem is solved when you introspectively look at your head and your heart and figure out what the real problem is, what the real issue is. Anything I want add on that, David?

David: Yeah, I would ask yourself, what’s your relationship to real estate? Is it healthy when you have a relationship with a person and you’re not happy, and you’re looking to that person to be your source of happiness.

And when you’re really insecure and you look to that person to meet all your insecurities, that puts so much pressure on them, that they usually end up feeling resentment, pulling away. They’re not happy. And it ruins the relationship. Are you doing that with real estate? Do you not like your boss? Because you frequently come in late.

And what you say is your boss, micromanages. You is really you not having the discipline to be there on time. So they have to discipline you. And rather than taking ownership of that, you say, I want to just go find real estate where this money flows in and I don’t have to worry about anything. Cause you’ll take those same problems with your job.

You’ll bring it into your real estate business and you’ll be talking the same way about your contractors and your lenders and your agents. It’s not going to change. If you don’t have a healthy relationship with your current career, you’re probably not going to have one with real estate. So that’s what I would ask is do you have a healthy relationship with real estate so that you get the healthy results that you want?

Brandon: And that’s really good, man. That’s a deep. Good stuff. All right. Well, another point I will make on that is  a lot of newbies will, I guess, buy property and look to get into real estate because they’re in this really bad place, maybe Emotionally or mentally or financially, like they just went and completely broke.

And so I would just look at that and say, are you investing in real estate from a, at least a position of strength? Doesn’t mean you have to be rich. Doesn’t mean you have to be perfect to be able to do this, but are you coming at it with a, like, I have a plan, I’m doing this. I’m going to put my, all my effort into this.

I’m going to. You know, I’m, I’m taking my responsibility and my, you know, extreme ownership to this project. I’m going to take it on. That would be a healthy way to approach it. And then there’s the, like, I’m just running all that chicken with a head cut off. I can’t seem to make any money. I’m just, everyone’s angry at me.

I just lost my job. Hey, there’s a real fit. I’ll go do that. That’s just a dangerous place to try to build a career from, because like you said, David, you’ll just bring the problems from the last one into that one.

David: We interviewed Matthew McConaughey. He, during our research for that interview, I heard him talking about someone, told him in Hollywood, Don’t ever let them sense you’re needy. If they can tell you, you need that role, they will take advantage of you. And that got me thinking about life. If you are vulnerable in any way, you are very easily taken advantage of, and you put yourself at the mercy of the other side, who that has no business caring about your best interests.

Most people won’t do that. That’s the people that gurus are going after, you are so unhappy that when they say for $50,000, I can teach you how to make all this money that you actually consider that. Whereas if you were not in a vulnerable state, you’d be like, I don’t need to pay $50,000. There’s a better way.

So if you catch yourself having those thoughts, there’s some form of vulnerability going on in your life, and that’s not the emotional state you want to be in. When you step into a new career with other people who may be more experienced and might not have your best interests in mind. So, yeah Brandon, I think that’s a really good point.

Brandon: Yeah. With that said, let’s move on to the next one, trying to avoid ever making a mistake. How is that a mindset issue, David?

David: This is the problem of perfection, which doesn’t sound like a bad problem. Right. Like, it’s not bad to want to be perfect. I’m trying to avoid making mistakes. It becomes a problem when you can’t avoid making a mistake.

So in many areas of life, the way you avoid making mistake is that you don’t get in the game. You can’t strike out. If you don’t get up to bat, you can’t make a turnover. If you don’t get in the game, you can successfully avoid ever making a mistake by hurting yourself and your own success. And you have to weigh what mistakes are okay to make with the value that I get from learning. And how can I set this up in a situation where I may make some turnovers, I may make some mistakes. However, what I learned or, or the good that I did far outweighed the bad. And that’s why we see specifically in real estate investing the people that have the most success tend to be the ones who take the most action, who don’t worry about making mistakes, who understand there’s risk, and they mitigate for it.

They don’t try to completely avoid it. And the people who are really, really smart. That typically have a job where they are successful by not making mistakes. Like if you’re a surgeon, you don’t get to make mistakes, right? If you’re an accountant, everything needs to go where it’s supposed to go or an engineer people could die.

If the airplane that you are in engineering has something wrong with it. You can’t bring that mindset into this world. You have to be okay. I bought a house in the wrong area. I learned a lesson next time. I’m going to do it over there. Good news is I use the burrr  strategy. So I got a lot of my money out.

I can still go buy the next deal. That’s the mindset that you have to have in this world that perfection can hinder progress and you have to give yourself permission to make mistakes. It’s actually okay to make the right kind of mistakes in this business.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s good, man. I got nothing to add to that.

You said it perfectly. Let’s move on to the next one, which is number five here. Not considering the emotions of the other side side when negotiating, but only focusing on the numbers. What do you mean by that?

David: Yeah, this again, if you notice a lot of these problems come from a fear-based mentality, I’m afraid of making a mistake was when we just went over in this one, you’re afraid of being taken advantage of, and it becomes very easy to write an offer, to buy a house that a lot of other people want to buy and try to put every single protection you can possibly get in that contract and say, I have to make sure I’m covered often by unreasonable things and not think about how the other side is going to feel about that because they’re not primarily concerned with your fears. They’re concerned with theirs.

That seller is thinking when, when I’m going to take the software or not, are you the one most likely to close? Are you going to hold up your end of the bargain? And when you get scared, it’s easy to not think about what other people feel and really hone in on your own.

And you can work yourself out of good opportunities for yourself, often over things that are silly. So in my market, one of the ways we’ll see this play out is people want an appraisal contingency so they can back out of a deal. If it doesn’t appraise. That’s normal. You don’t want to have to overpay or lose your deposit.

Well, then there’s also an inspection contingency that lets them back out. If they don’t like the inspections. Well, sometimes we can use our inspection contingency. In fact, almost every time it’s a back out, if it appraises low. You don’t actually have to have a specific appraisal contingency in there and what that looks like to the seller is that, Oh, that’s some good faith.

You’re going to move forward, but I’ve arranged it to protect my client because we’re not waiving our inspection contingency until we get back in appraisal. We’re going to inspect the appraisal. Okay. And it’s perfectly safe. It’s good for both sides. It’s a win-win. But when you get a client who’s in such a scarcity mindset, that’s constantly afraid,they’ll say no, no, no, I need both of them. There’s no logic behind it. It just makes them feel safer. And what are the ways that. People that are successful in anything, get there is by they understand the other side. They consider how they come across to the other person and they structure their contract or their, how they present their opportunity, whatever it is in a way that works for both party.  You have to do that in real estate investing as well. Yeah, that’s really good.

Brandon: That’s really good. Yeah. I think it’s hard to sometimes separate the emotion and the math, like, cause they, they both are at play in every real estate transaction. And so like some people are really good at the math science of it.

We’re really good at the emotion side. But if you can get, if you can be acknowledged that both are at play, you can play with both of them. And what I mean by that is there’s things like, I would like to say people like to buy from people they like, people like to sell to people  they like. And so people like to do business with people they like. And so like, if you remember that, it’s not just about the numbers, it’s not just about getting the best deal possible. You can get a, if you remember that there’s another person on the other end of the line, you can then actually use that to your advantage as well. And then get to know the person a little bit, try to find a way to make a deal happen that makes both of you happy. And sometimes you’ll get what you want. They’ll get what they want. And everybody wins.

David: And winning is what’s important. It’s not necessarily beating the other side. Define what a win is for you. If a witness to get a property that 30 years down the road you’re really happy with, and you got a chance to buy a duplex when there’s hardly any duplexes out there.

And let’s say that your lender needs another extra two weeks to get your loan done. The seller’s going to feel irritated by that. They’re not going to want to give you a two week extension. They know they have a hot property. They don’t want to put it back on the market, but if you make them feel like they have to, that’s what they’ll do.

It’s okay to throw another three to four or $5,000. I mean, my market’s pretty expensive. Maybe if your market’s less, it’s only $500. As a sign of Goodwill to say, Hey, I understand this is frustrating. Let me give you another 500 bucks to make it up to you. That is still a win for you. It doesn’t the way you succeed in real estate is not making sure that you never have to pay anybody anything. We see this with wholesalers people, don’t like the wholesale fee and they fight with the person over 2000 bucks, but they could just go bring that deal to somebody else next time. So, the point here is, make sure you are thinking about their side too, and that your own fear and apprehension doesn’t get so strong that you completely lose sight of what the other person’s going through.

Brandon: Wise words, number six today, this might be my, one of my favorites on this list is people try to skip the work it’s this and what we mimic. There’s a mindset. What we’re talking about. You’re not so the work, they’re not doing a good job, but it’s this mentality, how do I get the most out of this by doing the least amount of work possible?

And so David, you and I both know those people. We get them all the time. It’s like, can you just show me a website where he just buy all the properties I want that are amazing deals, and you’re like, that’d be really nice. It was just a website that you could go to. And they’re just amazing deals. You press one button and boom, you got deals.

You got motivated sellers calling you left and right. It’s because people want the outcome. They don’t want to do the work necessary. They don’t want to do the process necessary to get those results.

David: You know, this is huge in my market in Silicon Valley, where I probably felt like 90% of jobs in the tech industry are designed to remove a human being from an equation.

And their mind is geared towards finding software to replace people. And when they bring that same mentality into real estate, it doesn’t work. They’re like, what’s the website I go to, where’s the best place to go get the deal? Somebody emailed me today and said, Hey, the next time you find an amazingly red hot deal, can you please send it to us?

We’ll we’ll look at it. Maybe buy it. And that would be great for them. But what I said to them is, Hey, when I come across those deals, I bring it to my clients that are signed up to work with me, that we’re in a committed relationship with. I just want to be upfront with you. I wouldn’t bring you that deal.

I would bring it to the people that are in a relationship that have already gone through a process with me. And I know that that doesn’t make people feel good. They like to look at real estate like, Hey, I wanted to be a mercenary, but from the person who has the deal, they’re not gonna bring it to the person from that perspective.

So trying to skip the hard work is the fastest way to skip success. If, if there was a website that had amazing deals that you could just go to and buy him, do not think that a hedge fund would have already bought all those deals and the website at the same time.

Brandon: Well, the truth is there are websites where you can go.  There’re Turnkey companies out there where you can go in on their website, find a property, click, buy, and buy it. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that. But those are not the kind of deals that we’re talking about on the podcast that are going to make you tons and tons of money. Most likely may they will, but like they’re, they’re base hits.

Now, if you’re busy and you don’t have time for the hard work, you don’t have time to go in to do all that stuff and you just want to get started fine. That’s nothing wrong with that necessarily. But the degree at which you’re willing to do hard work now we’re not talking number of hours either, but there’s a, the level of work you do the degree of which you’re willing to do that, that level of work.

Is a direct proportion to the level of deal you get. Right? So if you’re willing to be really smart and really hustle and do the, do the work, you’re going to find those amazing home run deals. Uh, but if you’re not that maybe just where you are in life, that’s fine, but you’re just not going to get those home run deals.

You’re going to get base hits. Maybe you want to add to that.

David: That is exactly right. And we’re actually going to cover that a little bit later, having the right expectations for what you’re looking at, but for now, just understand that that comes from fear too,  fear of hard work is real there’s people that actually are afraid.

If I work hard, I’ll be unhappy and I’ll become a slave to work. So don’t let that color the decision-making process when it comes to building wealth through real estate.

Brandon: Yeah  so good. Well, let’s move on to the next one. We’ve got a, that was number six and number seven, not thinking outside the box.  David, what do you mean by that

David: Yes, there is a form of fear that says I don’t want to make a mistake so let me just copy what somebody else did. And Brandon, I think that you probably have seen this too. If your inbox is anything like mine, there’s a lot of people that say, just tell me what to do. Tell me exactly what to do, and I’ll do what you say now from a humility standpoint, I love that attitude.

They’re, they’re compliant. They’re flexible. They’re submissive. They understand, Hey, I have to learn how to do this. From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t always work because what I look for in a deal, what skills I’m bringing to the table, what resources I have are, are not going to be the same as yours that you can’t there’s no, you know, what’s that color by number, right?

Like you just draw from one dot to the next and it’s very simple. You’re not going to find that with real estate investing when it comes to structuring your business or finding the best kind of deals.  You’ve got to look for things that other people would miss. So one of the reasons that my, my real estate sales have skyrocketed this year, I’m doing three to four times what I did last year is we figured out how to target people in the Bay area that were paying very high rents that couldn’t find a cashflow in property. So they just gave up. Or they were looking at duplexes and triplexes and we don’t really have very many of those here. And so what we did was we started finding really big houses with a lot of square footage and converting them to function as multi-families, you’ve got an upstairs and a downstairs, it’s easy to put in a separate entrance, put up a little bit of drywall. Boom, you’ve got a house where you can live in the upstairs, rent out the downstairs, kind of similar to what your setup is like Brandon, in, uh, in Maui, you bought it where they were connected.

You separated them. If you ever go sell it, you can just connect them again. Yep. That was thinking outside the box and I’ve helped. I think we’ve sold 110 houses this year. So far, probably 70 of those were people that never would have bought a property. If not for the fact we did that, that was huge to helping Bay area people building wealth. Because I think outside the box, like you said, I asked the question of how could we do this? Not, well, I can’t do it, and I know no matter what market you’re in, there’s something that you can do to make this happen. If you live in the Midwest, I guarantee you a lot of those properties have basement foundations.

How do you get good at finding a contractor that can do basement conversions and then buying an area where there’s good rental demand. Sometimes you live in an area with a high short-term rental demand. Can you buy a property that you can live in part of it? And you can rent out the rest on short-term rentals.

When people bring me ideas and they say, I’m stuck. I usually come up with a solution pretty quick, Hey, you could do this. And they say, Oh, I never thought of it. But if you get good at thinking of it, of seeing those angles, you can start investing in many situation where people think they can’t.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s really good, man.

You know, it reminds me like of that, that we talked about this a lot on the show, but this idea of like running toward hard, like a lot of people naturally will look towards the easiest thing they can do. That’s actually relates back to the way we talking about a ago, skipping the work. But it’s also like this idea of they’re going to find the easiest path possible, which means I want to do Plex. Okay. I’m going to look for a duplex. Oh, there’s no duplex in my area. I guess I can’t invest because like having to manage a rehab. Oh, that sounds hard. Right. Having to do the burrr strategy, uh, and dealing with contractors. Ah, no, not for me right? So they, they are not willing to look outside the box because they’ve been conditioned and trained  their entire life to run toward easy to run towards the, the simplest process possible. Uh, where I think. Almost every successful. I know they, they specifically choose hard thing. That’s why I chose mobile home parks.

They’ll make that’s tough. You know what else is hard hiring people. And you do a lot of that, David and also that is tough as dealing with the emotions of clients. You know, like those things are tough, but tough is where wealth is built tough is where money is built and tough means you’re looking outside the box and you’re willing to try different things and maybe experiment and risk that failure once in a while to figure that out.

But if you can crack the code on something hard, That’s where you’re gonna make a lot of money.

David: That is such a good, insightful thing you mentioned, before we did this podcast, Brandon and I were talking about kind of the struggles that we’re having in our own businesses. And one of mine is hiring. And one of the things I’ve learned is when I hire someone that did very hard things before they came to work for me, everything I asked them to do seems easy and light.

And it’s just a dream working with them. They pick it up quick. I can give them more. They make more money, the whole thing works great. When I’ve hired people that are very smart or have a great attitude, but they haven’t done a hard thing in life yet. Or this is the hardest thing they’ve done, their attitude is terrible, the interaction is rough. It’s trying, it’s like running in the sand. It’s so hard at burns up so much energy. So I’ve learned, I have to seek people that have done. Hard things like the guy that I’m looking at hiring right now, James, on his resume, he showed me how he works 14 hour days in the military.

And he told me, yeah, if, if it means getting the mission done, I’ll just work until I collapse. That’s what’s important is accomplishing the mission and I knew, Oh, that’s the person that’s going to do well in this situation. So now I have a heart for the people who are struggling, explaining to them, start doing something hard.

That’s what people are looking for. That’s what’s going to make you successful is. It’s similar to what you found in your own efforts with Opendoor capital and your other companies?

Brandon: Yeah, it’s a hundred percent it’s it’s when people have that mentality of don’t run away from hard, but run toward hard.

Like that’s what gets the job done in anything it’s like that, how you do anything is how you do everything line. And I love that quote. I don’t know who said that first, so I’m not stealing it. Somebody said it, how you do, how you do anything is how you do everything. And so. How they approach. I mean, I actually had this great conversation the other day. I went to this high school, uh, and I met with some kids last week and I did a presentation on real estate to one of the local schools out here in Maui. And, uh, afterwards, one of the kids asked me, they said, basically, basically the question was, should I go to college? And I said, you know, obviously that’s a question for him and his parents set aside, but I said, I have never once looked at anybody’s resume in my, uh, in my team and,  and looked at where they went to college. I’ve never asked for a transcript. I’ve never known it. However, Like, I don’t know if I would have hired my finance manager, Micah, if he hadn’t gone to college. I don’t. I mean and I say that because there are certain careers that going to college shows that you have some proficiency right in something. But more importantly to me is that somebody who went through college, did something hard, like for most of us,

David: that’s what a resume in college shows you that the better the school, theoretically, the harder it was to get through it. And that’s where the value is.

Brandon: Yeah. I  don’t care. I don’t care what they got in school.

Now, if they are, if they graduated top of their class, that means they did more hard things. So again, it’s, it’s, uh, I think when you’re in school and you’re in life, You think that these things are going to lead toward toward greatness and they do, but it’s indirectly. It’s not because of those things.

That’s because you are somebody who took on those things. That’s what gets you in. So like, I don’t think anybody’s ever asked for my college transcripts, but the fact that I went to college probably helps me get jobs, you know, in my path, easier than if I hadn’t, but it’s not college that got me. It’s not even anything I learned at college that got me.

It it’s the fact that I did it.

David: That’s so good. I just wish everyone would listen to that and just let it sink in. I get asked all the time, David, how do you know so much about real estate? It seems like every time they ask me a question, like I’ll do Q & A sessions at the end of a presentation. And I, I welcome people firing questions at me that many speakers don’t do.

They don’t want to look stupid by not being able to answer a question. And what it is is it’s the pressure that we feel being in this platform as the Bigger Pockets Podcast, those where, where you’re expected to know. Pretty much everything about real estate forces me to be proactive about learning everything I can.

It is hard to hold this title, this position, and as a by-product of that, I perform better that run towards hard. And the last point I’ll make before we move on, is would you sign up for a gym if you walked in and they said, Hey, we know people don’t like lifting heavy weights. It’s hard. So all of our weights here are made out of styrofoam.

Brandon: I’d love that, Jim. That’d be great. That’d be all

David: right.

Brandon: Right. That’s a really good point. Good analogy, mr. David.

David: Thank you.

Brandon: All right. Well, we talked about one of the hard things that David and I do is hiring people. It’s always one of the challenging things just in growing an empire and growing a business.

Did you start bringing in more people? And that’s actually number eight is the eighth mindset shift is thinking you have to do everything yourself.

Uh, and the reality is I just got finished with a book called who not how, and it’s about like, instead of always asking, how do I get more done? How do I get this done?

Is asking, who’s going to get this done. So why is that a problem, David, when people just really want to do everything themselves?

David: That also comes from fear. It’s fear of trusting other people, fear of having to build the skills of delegation and oversight and management. It’s not easy when you don’t do everything yourself.

It’s also not easy when you have to do everything yourself. And so what we often see is people that have a glaring weakness in maybe weaknesses in the best phrase, but when it comes to real estate investing, there’s many different skills you need. Networking helps you find deals. Creativity helps you put deals together.

Analization helps you avoid buying the wrong deal. People skills help you manage properties. There’s a lot of different aspects of someone’s personality that will make them better at worse at a, at a deal. You can be amazing at 80% of it, but if you’re not at 20%, it can make the experience so bad. Then you won’t invest in real estate at all, or you want to anything.

Okay. I see this all the time and I start to read it now where a client comes to me and wants to buy a deal. And it looks great on paper, but I know that this rehab will be expensive. I know that every contractor is super busy and they’re not being patient with needy clients because they don’t need your business.

And I know if that person buys that deal, their experience with the contractor could be so bad. They’ll never buy another one. And I’ll and I’ll tell them, I don’t think you should. And here’s why I think for your first one, you need to get a deal where you’ll have a good experience. You will learn it, you will like it.

And then once you’ve got a little bit of momentum, then you can chase after that deal. But if you try to do it on the very first time, you’ll never go out there and you’ll never do it again. It was kind of like my first snowboarding experience. My buddies took me out there. They were really good. I had no idea.

They didn’t even teach me how to get off a ski lift. I didn’t realize it didn’t stop at the end to let you like step off. Right. I learned that about four seconds before we got off of the lift and we were on a black diamond Hills going down my very first day. Like, I just had no idea that that wasn’t how everybody learned to snowboard.

And to this day, I don’t really like snowboarding. I never really got into it. Cause experience was so bad for me. I see this happen with investors and my heart goes out to them. It doesn’t have to be like that. Don’t think you got to do everything yourself, finding the right people to work with. You can make it so much more enjoyable.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s really good. Yeah. My, my snowbird and experience is actually exactly the same way, which is why I was going to, uh, I was going to learn to ski that’s when that was one of my goals, I was going to go to Denver. I’ll go and get a place in the mountains with my wife and kid kids, uh, for like a month or two.

And just like every day or every other day go out there and ski. And I was like, and get an instructor. And like, cause like I knew that if I treated my ski, like the way I treated my snowboard, I would never get there. Uh, and so yeah, by having the right team around you, I have the right people around you that can show you how to do the stuff.

So how does somebody do that in real estate? Let’s go talk about real estate. If you don’t, you can’t just go and hire a bunch of employees. You don’t even know what you’re doing. Right. So what do you mean by trying to do everything yourself? Who are people that they should have in their corner right now?

David: Uh, the first thing I would say is when you’re doing your first couple, don’t worry about how much money you make. Just worry about the experience that you have. So like you took me surfing. And the first time we went out there was with Doug who walked us through the whole thing, told me which waves to get.

I got that really big, huge surf board. That’s pretty easy to learn on that. Everybody makes fun of the new guy, but it was fine because I actually got up on a, on a wave with that thing. I didn’t, I couldn’t do it at all with the smaller board. You’re going to meet those people at meetups, talking about real estate, sharing this with other people.

It’s totally cool to do a couple of deals with somebody who’s good at it. Watch what they do, and then decide I’m ready to go to the smaller board. Right? What was even better when we went surfing was when we went to that wave pool in Austin. I think you might not have been there for that. That was such a good experience that I’m like surfing is fun.

I see why Brandon loves this. It was so much better than being exhausted out there, swimming in the ocean for three hours at a time. And then when the wave comes, you’re too tired, even paddle. So that type of stuff is how you should be thinking. It’s okay to start slowly, but just keep moving. You’re always building momentum.

Like we don’t understand how important momentum is. We think we’re going to go out there and get it in one shot. And if we can’t, we shouldn’t do it. That isn’t true at all, but let the momentum build, get yourself some experience, get so where you’re not scared analyze so many properties that it’s boring to you to do it.

Like you tell people that all the time and that’s huge. It takes the fear out of it. When someone, when you see a property for 140,000 and you look at the rents and you don’t even have to run it through the calculator, because you can say I’ve done this so many times. I know this is going to be a six and a half to 7% ROI.

I want to get a nine. That property has to be worth 129, 140. You’re not afraid when that’s the case. So bringing in partners, bringing people with experience, it same goes for, for business. Like we’ve talked before. I think the apprenticeship model, it’s sad that went away because what that did was that built confidence with the people that were learning from somebody else so that they then went out and made a lot of money later.

Don’t worry in the beginning about what you’re making, just learn, worry about what you’re learning. I like it.

Brandon: Speaking of like the team and stuff. Can you explain what your core four is? I know that’s part of your book, long distance real estate investing for those who haven’t read that. What does core four mean?

David: Yeah. Thank you for that. Bringing that up. I don’t know how I didn’t answer it that way.

Your core four are the four people that you need to do a deal in any area. So you’ve got a deal finder, which is usually an agent, but it could be a wholesaler or somebody else. You’ve got a lender, you’ve got a property manager and you’ve got a contractor.

If you get those four people that are pretty good, they’re handling almost every problem that could come up, that investors come to you. Or I say, what do I do when this happens? My answer is usually I go to this person and I asked them, what do I do? It’s why I don’t have a ton of fear or apprehension about investing, because I just want to be around the people that have already done it.

I read a really good quote. I think it was Henry Ford when he was being interviewed by Congress or, or interrogated question something about his company and how they had a monopoly. And they asked some questions that they thought the person who owned a car company should be able to answer. And we didn’t have the answer.

They were kind of saying like, you’re not fit to do this. If you don’t even know. And he said, I have a button in my office that I can push and I can call anyone I want and they will come. And they will tell me the answer to this. It’s their job to have the answers. It’s my job to do the business. And I think that that’s a really smart way to approach it.

If someone says, what do you look for in a market? How do you know if it’s going to be solid? I could answer that. But the much better answer is find a really good property manager that their business is built on knowing that and ask them. Let them do that. And then you’re going to bring them business by buying that property.

So they’re going to give you those answers and that core four probably I’d say good, 80% of what your concerns are. Can they can handle it on their end.

Brandon: There you go. I like it.

David: Thanks.

Brandon: What about number nine? Our, our last one here in this list using off-market techniques to buy properties on the MLS or the on-market.

And I’m going to say tweak this one or using. On market techniques to buy properties off market. In other words, there are on-market deals and off market deals. Can you explain it difference, David?

David: Such a good point. So when you’re buying a property, that’s on the market, what that means is someone has listed it with an agent it’s on the MLS.

Everybody else is seeing that property. Okay. So in a sense, you are often not negotiating and competing with the seller. You are negotiating, competing with the other people who want to buy the house. That’s the first thing you have to understand. You can put together an amazing deal that works great for you.

You just need one other buyer. Who’s 1% less good for them and better towards the seller. And they’re going to go with somebody else. When you’re buying an off-market deal. You are typically dealing with someone who is not, they haven’t hired a professional to help them net as much money as possible.

They probably are selling their house for convenience sake, more than just profit. And a lot of the techniques that we share on this podcast become applicable in those situations. Cause you can go to structure a deal in a way that works really good for you. You can say, Hey, I want seller financing. You can say, Hey, let’s structure this with a seller carryback you can buy the property at a really significant discount by giving them terms that really helped like that fast close really means a lot.

If you’re offering cash. The problem is when people take those ideas and they put themselves in a situation where they’re buying, finding a house on market. And they say to me, their agent, Hey, what if we offer them a 14 day close and we pay all cash, but we offer them half of what they’re asking for, where somebody else is going to give them more than what they’re asking for with a 30 day close instead of a 15 day close.

And what you’re saying is to the seller pay for 15 days of time that I’ll save you, you may lose $300,000. Most people would not make that decision. And it, it gets a lot of people frustrated with a lot of the techniques that they’re reading about in these books or what they hear people say. I got a great deal by using this technique, will that person also put a massive amount of time into finding an off-market seller that was highly motivated with a property, with a lot of problems.

So don’t make it frustrating on yourself by trying to structure an offer on a property. That’s very good for you as the buyer and not good for the seller. If there’s nine other people that will put an offer together this much better for the seller.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s a great point. So really you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

You gotta know what you’re like. Are you going to be an off-market buyer? Are you going to try to do off market strategies? Which is great. I did a poll recently on my Instagram and 90% of people that follow me on Instagram. Beardy Brandon. Uh, those people, 90% of them said that they want to pursue off market deals.

Then the next day that another poll and I said, Uh, do you feel comfortable pursuing off market deals and 87? None of them said, no, I don’t feel comfortable with that. In other words, like Dale, everyone knows that there’s a lot home runs are found, but they aren’t willing to do it. So instead they’re kind of living this quasi, like middle ground, like they’re trying to do off market sort of stuff for on-market deals.

They’re trying to go on market and trying to use some of the stuff they heard off my it just weird. Right. Um, I think it’s good to learn both. I think it’s great to learn both. Just recognize that they are different and the way you approach an off market deal is different than your approach on market.

Like when you’re going off market, you don’t have an agent to represent you, which means you don’t have, like, you have to come up with your own contract. You have to come up with your own, you know, the purchase and sale agreement. You gotta get, you gotta go take it to the title company and say, Hey, we’re opening up escrow.

Now you got to do all that stuff. And if you don’t know what that means, This goes back to a point you made earlier, David, maybe it’s time to bring in somebody else who’s been there. Maybe don’t worry about your first deal. Make it a lot of money. Maybe you make zero on your first deal. You’re afraid if you’re trying to go off market and instead go find an ex, an experienced off-market person and say, Hey, I’ll do all the work for you.

I want to make no money. I just want to learn and this is what I think I can do. And then go out and do it. Uh, maybe that’s a way to get started, because again, you got to know what you’re getting into. And then do it correctly. Otherwise it’s going to struggle if you’re trying to go off market on market or on market off market way it’s not going to work.

David: Yeah. Or if you want to do both, which is something that I talk to people about all the time. Yeah. Just put a plan together to where you can. Do you want to do black diamond, snow skiing, or do you want to do the bunny Hill? Well, what if you do the bunny Hill enough times that you take that momentum and you move it in and you progress to where an off-market deal doesn’t scare you, you can house hack 10 times in 10 years.

Get. Really good deals with really low risk, be so comfortable with real estate that when you take that momentum into the off market space, you crush it. That makes so much more sense than trying to get your first or second deal in a red hot market when everybody else is buying, going after properties, that you have no business trying to take down because it’s just too confusing.

It’s okay to start somewhere, build up some momentum and then jump into the next space.

Brandon: Oh, that’s so good, man. That’s so good. And that actually takes us full circle back to the very first point we made today, which was, you’re not seeing the full picture. And so if you’re really that worried about the very first deal and you’re freaking out over how to do that one, you know, perfectly like.

Do you remember? This is a long game. This is a decade long, two decade long, three decade long adventure you’re in today. And so just get going, get moving. And hopefully the, the mindset shifts we gave today, these nine things are going to help you. Let’s do a quick recap for those who maybe fast forward it to the end, which would be weird, but maybe you’re taking notes and missed one.

Number one was not seeing the big picture. Number two is trying to check every single box on a single property. Number three, looking to real estate to be your savior, instead of as a tool, number four, trying to avoid ever making a mistake. Number five, not considering the emotions of the other side in a negotiation, trying to skip the work is number six.

Number seven is not thinking outside the box. Number eight, trying to do everything yourself. And number nine is we’ll say mixing up your acquisition strategy and based on the method that you’re acquiring properties. I need a better way to phrase that shorter, but that’ll you guys get what I’m saying?

That’s it. Anything you want to add? David, anything want to close with?

David: Yeah. The last thing I’ll say is if you’re someone who is having a hard time getting started, or more importantly building momentum, because you have this subconscious idea that a deal is supposed to look this way. Well, David doesn’t buy deals like that so I’m not going to buy deals like that. Make a commitment to just let that go. Your relationship with real estate does not need to be the same as Brandon’s or mine. Because when I got started, I didn’t have these same criteria either, and I never would have gotten to the point with these criteria if I wouldn’t have got started your question, shouldn’t be, if I compare this to David’s deal, is it good enough to buy it?

Should be,is it better for me to buy this house or not buy a house? If it’s better for you to own it, it’s better to get a base hit than to not get a base hit. Don’t compare a base hit to a home run it’ll screw with your head and you’ll never get started. So please, if that’s you and you’ve been stuck, give yourself permission to let that go.

Let your perfectionist side die. Don’t buy a deal so that you can brag to other people and tell them what you did. Ask yourself. What is best for me right now? And make decisions with that framework in mind,

man. So good. Good job, man.

All right, well thank you, Brandon.

Brandon: Cool. Well, I guess that’s all I got anything, anything going on in your world these days?

Anything you’re looking for, anything that could help you

David: now, I’m looking to hire people you just talked about. If you’re thinking about a career change and you live in Northern California and you want to come work with me and learn real estate and give incredible service to our clients, I’d love to talk to people and that’s for both loan officers or real estate agents. So thank you for that. Brandon, it’s funny that what I noticed is the more challenges that I have I have in my own world, the more I start giving training and directions awards other people who are trying to get into that world.

Right? So as like hiring becomes a struggle, I start talking more about the right mindset to have as an employee. When finding deals becomes harder  I start talking about how to find deals or make deals I should say. And that’s because I run into hard things. That’s where a lot of the value that comes that you can bring to other people is by doing something hard.

So you gave great advice, run at what’s hard. Don’t avoid it.

Brandon: I agree. All right. You get t-shirts that say, run at hard.

David: Yeah, that would be good. But you might be able to phrase that a different way. Run at hard. It’s funny.

Brandon: I like run at hard. I think it’s kind of clever cause people are like, what does that mean?

And then you get to explain it and then people are like, Oh yeah.

David: Speaking of  that, I think you have jujitsu training to get to you right now.

Brandon: I do. I got to get out and go, uh, get beat up by somebody. So with that said, I’ll let you take us out of here, David.

David: All right. Thank you very much. This is David Greene for Brandon BJJ Turner signing off.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why many new investors haven’t done their first (or second) deal yet
  • Understanding the cost of inaction (and how it can work against you)
  • Focusing on the big picture without being bogged down with details
  • Building your investment criteria to know what you want
  • Turning “base hits” into “home runs”
  • Running towards hard” and taking responsibility for doing the work
  • Thinking outside the box, regardless of your career, investor level, or experience
  • Gathering experience and keeping the momentum going
  • Using off-market techniques to get on-market deals (and vice versa!)
  • Letting go of expectations for your deals
  • And SO much more!

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.