How to Invest in Real Estate With No Money (Seriously!)

How to Invest in Real Estate With No Money (Seriously!)

3 min read
Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and podcaster. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.

Experience
Brandon began buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half.

From there, Brandon began buying both single family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single family homes in Washington state. Later, he expanded to larger apartments and mobile home parks across the country.

Today, Brandon is the managing member at Open Door Capital, where he raises money to purchase and turn around large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states.

In addition to real estate investing experience, Brandon is also a best-selling author, having published four full-length non-fiction books, two e-books, and two personal development daily success journals. He has sold more than 400,000 books worldwide. His top-selling title, The Book on Rental Property Investing, is consistently ranked in the top 50 of all business books in the world on Amazon.com, having also garnered nearly 700 five-star reviews on the Amazon platform.

In addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top-ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes. The show also has over 10,000 five-star reviews in iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.

A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie and son Wilder) spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.

Press
Brandon’s writing has been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media.

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YouTube
Instagram @beardybrandon
Open Door Capital

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Years ago, I was trying to buy a piece of real estate. It was a triplex that needed a bit of work done to it, but the numbers were solid and I knew it would make a great deal.

But I had a problem—I had no money.

So I gave up, thinking it was impossible. Instead I sat on the couch watching reruns of Friends.

Nah, not really. What I did was asked the right questions and was able to find a solution: a partnership. 

Here I’ll explain how to use a partnership to invest in real estate using no money of your own. 

Related: 5 Top Tips for Creating a Mutually Beneficial Real Estate Partnership

How to Use a Partnership to Invest in Real Estate Using No Money of Your Own

Finding a good partner to help fund a deal is one of the best ways to finance a piece of real estate. It’s also one that many investors without a lot of cash begin with.

Partnerships work great because of something we call the “deal delta.”

To put together a real estate deal, three things are required:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Hustle
  3. Money

Playing to Your Strengths

But here’s the thing—all three don’t need to be provided by YOU. Instead, partners can make up the difference for what you lack.

For example, you might bring the hustle and the knowledge, but a partner can bring the money. Now you have all the parts needed for a deal to happen!

So back to my story. This triplex came on the market in my area, and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. But I didn’t have any money, and I didn’t even have a W-2 job. In other words, I had no ability to fund the deal.

This is where most people would simply give up. Alternatively, I asked myself the all-important question, “How do I get this deal done?”

The answer I stumbled upon was to bring in a partner.

I spoke with some friends of mine from church—of all places—who I had known for many years and knew shared an interest in real estate. This couple both worked stable, government jobs, had good income, and had excellent credit. What they didn’t have was TIME!

They wanted to get into real estate but lacked the time (or “hustle”) needed to complete the deal delta. So, I proposed a solution. If they could come up with the $35,000 needed for the down payment, I would take care of the rest.

I would bring the knowledge and the hustle; they would bring the cash. We’ve owned this deal now for almost six years, and each year we save up our cash flow until the end of the year, then split everything evenly—50/50.

Man giving fist bump in sun rising nature background. power of teamwork concept. vintage tone

Splitting the Profits

On average, we’ve each earned around $5,000 per year (that’s over $400 per month each) in profit from this deal. In addition, we now have about $100,000 in equity in the property, which someday we’ll split and likely turn into future (larger) deals.

That is the power of a partnership when funding deals. And the cool thing is I did the deal for no money down. None.

When I tell this story, there are two completely opposite responses I get:

  1. Why in the world would this partner agree to losing 50 percent when they are bringing all the money?! Why wouldn’t they just do it themselves and get 100%?
  2. Why would you, Brandon, be so generous to give someone 50 percent just for bringing the money? You found the deal, negotiated it, managed the rehab, and manage the property on a continual basis to make sure it produces a profit. They don’t have to do anything but write a check!

Funny how those two responses are completely opposite from each other, and one’s response is based on their predefined opinions of what “value” is being brought. After all, I could not do the deal without their cash. They could not do the deal without my hustle and knowledge.

To me, that’s a perfect partnership. So we split it 50/50. But it doesn’t have to be 50/50. Your partnership can be whatever you’ve defined it to be, based on how you and your partner view the value each party is bringing.

Finally, keep in mind that a partnership is like a marriage. When it’s good, it’s REALLY good. But when it’s bad, it’s REALLY bad.

So take the time needed to find and vet your potential partner. Don’t jump into bed with the first person who wants to work with you. Find someone who fits with your style, goals, and ambitions.

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Real estate investing can be a powerful way to build wealth and achieve financial freedom. But knowing where to start is challenging. Unlike most real estate books, this one won’t tell you there’s “one secret path” to get there. Instead, it dives into dozens of real-life stories of successful investors. Pick up your copy from the BiggerPockets bookstore today!

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Are you considering a partnership? What value are you bringing to the table? In what area(s) do you need some help?

Let’s talk in the comment section below!