BiggerPockets Podcast 217: How to Work Less and Earn More Using the 80/20 Rule with Perry Marshall

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Every day, our lives are consumed by things that simply don’t amount to much. In fact, most of your successes will come from a very small percentage of your activities. That’s the basic concept of the 80/20 rule, and today’s guest is one of the world’s foremost experts on using the 80/20 rule in business! Today’s guest is Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More, and on today’s fascinating show, Perry dives into how to use this principle to work less and achieve more. And don’t miss the fascinating discussion on how to make $10,000 an hour; if you’ve never heard this concept before, it’s about to blow your mind (and business) into the stratosphere!

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Perry’s background and how he got into marketing
  • How he stumbled upon the 80/20 principle
  • Why it’s alright to let go of tenants causing you issues
  • The 80/20 inside the 80/20
  • How this affects investors with rental properties
  • What we can learn from the “principle of the 2700 espresso machine
  • The most important thing in direct mail marketing
  • The 5 qualifiers you should know when selling
  • What to consider about the concept of retargeting
  • How to handle a bad response rate
  • A tip to help you make $10,000 an hour
  • Why you should say no to a lot more things
  • How to differentiate the $10 an hour job from the $10,000 an hour job
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “80/20 is everywhere.” (Tweet This!)
  • “We can fix so many problems by doing so little.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Half of what you are doing right now you shouldn’t be doing.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Perry

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!


  1. Nathan G.

    Just finished listening and really enjoyed the podcast!

    I read The 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferris a year ago and it really set me on this path of eliminating mundane, minimum-wage work that was monopolizing my time so I could focus on the stuff that brings in the money. I certainly haven’t mastered the technique but I did set aside some time to evaluate what I do day-to-day and identify what I could give away. I passed a significant portion of the work to an assistant property manager and it not only helped maximize my time but it enabled her to grow as a property manager. She’s now taking on tasks that a year ago scared her to death and I am seriously considering hiring an assistant for her!

    I’ve owned a property management company for seven years. Last year we netted $70,000 from property management and $50,000 from sales. The interesting thing is, we spent about 80% of our time on property management and 20% on sales. After analyzing the time/effort for property management vs. sales, it looks like we spent about 80% of our time on management, which earned us 60% of our income. We spent 20% of our time on sales and earned 40% of our income. If we calculate this out as an hourly wage, we earned 3x as much on sales as we did with property management. Ouch!

    Property management brings in good money and it’s steady, while sales income fluctuates. However, the number show that I am 3x more productive with sales. If I hired a property manager at $20 an hour and focused solely on sales, I would still realize an increase of $20 an hour!

    I’ll need a little more time to analyse the numbers but my initial assessment tells me I need to focus on finding a replacement so I can start to focus on sales.

  2. Brian Stieler

    Great podcast. I love hearing about process efficiency and this one gave me a boost to focus more. I have one question pertaining to his 5 power disqualifies and how they relate to a direct mail list. #5 states “Does what you sell fit their overall plans?” Am I correct in assuming this is referring to timing? I’ve had people call and say they want to sell all their properties and retire some time in the next ~5yrs. So #5 means I need to focus on owners of a specific age group? It seems to blend into #2, “the bleeding neck”.

  3. Jake Charles

    This Podcast was Awesome! At first when Josh said the guest was not a Real Estate investor I was a bit skeptical (Only because I am a REI junkie!) But you guys did not disappoint. I learned a ton from this and then immediately went and downloaded Perry’s 80/20 audio book, listened through it twice now, so much incredible/ very useful content!
    Thanks Guys keep up the good work!

  4. Krista Riggs

    Another amazing podcast. The statement that you can have something making you 120% of your money while another loses you 20% blew me away – that is definitely happening in real estate! I’ll be looking at ways to analyze everything in my life now for the 80/20 rule (us engineers love numbers)… now to figure out how to stop doing dishes.

    side note… the podcasts have convinced me to get sign up for audible so I can “read” all these great books (Brandon you always mention it so I hope they are a BP sponsor!).

  5. Jen Harwood

    I am late on listening to this episode, but I don’t think I’ve heard anything in a long while that made so many lightbulbs go on over my head! I listened to it late last week and the next day turned over most of the daily operations of my business ($10/hr job) to one of my employees so I could turn my focus to more important work. I realized that not only was I using that work to procrastinate doing higher-level work, exactly as Perry said on the podcast, but I was incentivizing myself to NOT grow my business because my own time was maxed out at my current client level. Probably not a good thing!

    The other thing I loved was that it helped me absolve myself of the guilt associated with not feeling “busy” all the time – a trap I think we probably all fall into from time to time. During my first week of this new approach, instead of getting home every night being too tired to think, my creative business side has already fired up again AND let me focus more on caring for my daughter. I think too it has helped my employee feel more empowered with my ceding some control. Win-win!

    Thanks for bringing Perry Marshall on – I know it’s not strictly real estate-related, but the application to so many areas of life is apparent.

  6. stephen n.

    I enjoyed this podcast and had to listen to it a second time. As a result of the podcast, I sold a property that probably was causing 80% of my headaches, and hired a leasing agent that advertises my available units and shows them for me; thus saving me a lot of time as I no longer have to market and show my properties. Just wonder how I could leverage Google Adwords to become more effective at marketing my properties to targeted demographics? It would be great if BP could do a second podcast with Perry on target marketing specifically for houses/units for rent or even running RE Aquisition campaigns.

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