BiggerPockets Podcast 189: 500 Deals, the $100,000 Wholesale Paycheck, & the Systems That Make it Work with Tarl Yarber

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Are you looking to ultimately work less, travel more, and life proactively rather than reactively? The key to this life is found in systems. And on today’s episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, we are excited to introduce you to a guest who’s a master at building systems in his business. Tarl Yarber, an investor in the Pacific Northwest, shares his story of beginning with no money, making $100,000 on a single wholesale deal, and ultimately turning his love for real estate into a profitable business that has done 500 deals. This powerful show is sure to transform the way you run your business forever.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Who Tarl is and where he got his name
  • How he got into real estate 11 years ago by joining a seminar
  • Details on his first wholesale deal
  • Things to note about guru seminars
  • Details on his second deal
  • What exactly a double close is
  • The difference between a cosmetic and full remodel rehab
  • Their average cost on a rehab
  • What his typical targets are when doing a deal
  • Why you should have criteria based on cash on cash return
  • Whether newbies should be flipping from a distance
  • How many deals he’s done so far
  • Tips for getting good house inspections
  • How to get funding
  • What it means to be a “systems guy
  • How to become replaceable and vacation off the grid
  • What’s next for him?
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “One hundred percent of nothing is nothing.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Really, the majority of my success all comes back down to networking.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The better you become, the better everything else becomes.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Tarl

Show Preview

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


    • Ben Ballinger

      Hi Tarl, loved the show some great info. I am all about systems myself.

      Quick question, you mentioned using basecamp for all projects. I assume this means you have each important individual involved on the project in basecamp… including your contractor/subs?

      If so, how have you convinced them to use it? I find that the industry tends to be filled with technology-adverse contractors who barely use email and have trouble responding anyway to anything other than a phone call (maybe text), so getting them to learn a new software system seems tricky.

      I am very interested to know how you break your project down within the site in general. Thanks!

  1. Nghi Le

    When I first met Tarl, I thought, “Man, this guy should be on a podcast.” I’m glad you guys thought so too =)

    And Tarl, glad to have you in the Pacific Northwest! You are an inspiration to me.

  2. Nick Moser

    Great stuff Tarl (and Josh/Brandon)! Really liked the conversation regarding having systems in place. The photo progress tip is a great one! I love using Dropbox for this in my personal life and it makes a lot of sense for business too.

    As someone new to real estate investing, I really liked your answer to what sets apart successful investors. I think everyone should be honest with their self and own up to good/bad things that happen. And if you start out this way, good things can come. Thanks again and keep up the great work.

    • Tarl Yarber

      Thanks Nick for liking the show and your awesome comments! The key to using the drop box and taking pics is to make sure to label the folder specific to the property and then sub folders labeled with the date the pics were taken. That’s key to making it work and simplifying challenges down the road.

  3. Ugwu Uche

    My Takeaways from this podcast:
    – Set a criteria for what you are looking for (i.e. what % return do you want for every deal you go after)
    – Put systems in place from the start and don’t be afraid to change them as you grow)
    – You can be the “cash buyer” and make money in REI without heavily marketing

    Great pod, would love to hear from Tarl in the future and hear how much he has actually transitioned into rentals and what systems he may have come up with for landlording.

    • Tarl Yarber

      Thanks for the comment Ugwu and pretty much summarizing it all! We are well on our way to the rentals, buying another this Tuesday and doing the BRRR on it. Thanks again for your comment and if there is anything I can do to help your business, feel free to message me!

      • troy whitney

        Tarl hi. You and I met maybe a year and a half ago at a meeting up in Kirkland I think. Looks like you’re still going strong. I’m curious what sort of returns you are looking at for rentals in Seattle. Are you buying wholesale to rent these out? Seattle is just so pricey that even with the high rents, it still seems tough to make the numbers work. Then again, I don’t have the pipeline here that you. I’ve got a 3 unit I’m closing on either Friday or Monday near the University of Pennsylvania in West Philly. Purchase price is $150k. Total renovation cost will be $130k$150k. So I should be all in at $300k. Gross rents on it will be $3,200-$4,000. The higher end of those ranges apply if we convert it to a 4 unit instead of 3. I can’t see finding anything that good in the Seattle area, and that’s honestly not even that great of a ratio for Philly. So yeah, I know Seattle has great appreciation, but how are things looking for you in terms of buy and holds?



  4. Tek Chai

    Thanks Tarl for the wealth of information and tips in real estate investing. Although fix-n-flip is not really my cup of Chai tea, I work with a few rehabbers and it is always good to learn the trade.

    Having a “franchisable” system in place so that you can make more trips to the Galápagos Island but remember you don’t have to swim faster than the shark, just faster than your buddy.

    Josh and Brandon, it’s always been educational and fun listening to your BP Podcast.

    Brandon, regarding parenting, learn the art of regurgitation from the Galagapos Island’s Boobies or Goonies.

  5. Bryan Miller


    Here is a solution to find files that are stored on external hard drives. For Mac there is a software called NEO FINDER formerly called CD FINDER.

    Basically label each external hard drive then the software scans the contents of each of your drives, and it remembers all the file names for all files. Then when you are looking for a file, just search for a file name, like “Photos for 2525 Kurt Cobain Drive”, and any files that have those key words will show up. It will tell you which hard drive the files are on, and then you know where the files are. As long as you have labeled your files correctly, you can find any file in a matter of minutes.

  6. Bryce Jacobson

    I’ve been loving these podcasts and was stoked to hear from somebody in the PNW! What are the best sites to connect to the local Real Estate Investor groups in the area?

    I never knew what wholesaling was until tonight. Having been on the wrong end of a NOD and short sale I’m interested in the time commitment involved.

  7. Julie Marquez

    Great podcast! What I love most is your systems. All your systems remind me of exactly what I do at my W2 construction project management job for a large general contractor. These things can be implemented to anyone’s business, and thanks for sharing!

  8. Stephanie Dobbs

    Awesome, awesome, awesome podcast! Originally got scared when Taryl was referencing cash on cash, like what, he doesn’t leverage! Glad to hear of your measurements, methods, and that you do leverage your deals! Excited to see myself get to the levels that you’re at and help other investors do the same! Thanks for sharing such valuable information!!! Again, Josh and Brandon Great job!

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