BiggerPockets Podcast 142 with Josh and Brandon Transcript

Link to show: BP Podcast 142: 22 ½ ACTIONABLE Tips for Beginner Real Estate Investors With Josh and Brandon!

Josh: This is the BiggerPockets podcast, show 142.

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.

Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from Your home for real estate investing online.

Josh: What's going on everybody? This is Josh Dorkin, host of the BiggerPockets podcast, here with my cohost, Mr. Brandon Turner. What is going on big guy?

Brandon: Things are good. I finally moved in to my new house. We’ve been talking about that last few weeks here in on the podcast and I’m a.

Josh: Congratulations.

Brandon: Thanks I’m in and that’s why I’m sitting on the floor right now if you’re watching this on Youtube someday in the future. You’ll see that I’m actually on the floor leaning against a wall because I don’t have a desk.

Josh: Keep it classy.

Brandon: I know. At the other house I had a desk like built in that I built and from IKEA parts and it was cool and today I’m like I don’t have a desk. I’ve been working on my couch so you know I’m keeping it classy here on the floor with my awkward wall behind me. That’s alright.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: Today should be a good show though. I’m excited to talk about actionable stuff because you know I’m all about action.

Josh: I’m just sitting here waiting to see if you’re ever going to ask me how I’m doing.

Brandon: I’m never going to ask you how you’re doing.

Josh: Really.

Brandon: I’m excited to talk about actionable tips. Hey Josh.

Josh: Hey what?

Brandon: Aren’t you excited to talk about 22 actionable tips today for beginners?

Josh: I am completely and utterly excited.

Brandon: Good, good, okay so how are you doing?

Josh: Oh, thanks for asking.

Brandon: No problem.

Josh: I’m glad you thought of that on your own man.

Brandon: Yes, I.

Josh: I’m good.

Brandon: I’m a thinker.

Josh: Things are great. You know, we brought on a new team member last week.

Brandon: We did.

Josh: Which was very exciting, a new designer, UI guy and his name is Josh and he’s pretty fantastic and it’s exciting to have somebody who could come in and help us really start you know, reshape, redesign kind of the look and feel that is BiggerPockets. Modernize it a little bit so I know I’m not alone in being excited about it.

Brandon: Yes, no it should be good. The only thing I don’t like about it is that his name is Josh so it gets confusing and I’m always like. There’s two Joshes so I get confused. I just have to cry and you, know nothing gets done.

Josh: Yes, we had to make him take a new name.

Brandon: We probably should just maybe legally change it too.

Josh: Yes, good deal.

Brandon: That’s a requirement for working at BP.

Josh: Nice, nice, you cannot be called Josh.

Brandon: That’s the rule.

Josh: Alright, well let’s get into this thing. Yes, today is going to be a great show, 22 actionable tips for beginner and advanced real estate investors.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Before we get into it, let’s take care of a few little bits of business here. First of all, guys thank you so much for supporting BiggerPockets. Thanks so much for listening and sharing the podcast with people. We really appreciate it. I just asked for your help once again in helping us get the word out and that’s to please leave us a rating and or review on iTunes. Go to iTunes, look up the BiggerPockets podcast and leave us a rating and review. Those things really really help us. Please do that. You can also leave us ratings and reviews on Slips and Stitcher, Sound Cloud, some of the other audio players.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: That would be awesome. Otherwise as not always, but you know, as we often do, we’ve got a sponsor for today’s show and let’s bring him on.

Brandon: Alright this episode is brought to you by RealtyShares is a real estate crowd funding platform that allows accredited investors to invest in prevetted real estate deals online so investors can browse and invest in both residential and commercial properties that yield returns of 8% to 16% annually. As a RealtyShares member you can also passively invest in professionally managed real estate investments in a variety of asset types and geographies for as little as $5,000. All from the convenience of your living room so to learn more and to get started with a free account visit That’s

Josh: Alright, big thanks to our sponsors without them—well we would still on an amazing show, but they support us and help us to put on this great show anyway so.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Thanks again to our sponsors. Alright, well let’s get to today’s Quick Tip and then get to the meat of this.

Brandon: Alright, alright so today’s Quick Tips is simply to do one of the—okay so what today’s show is is about 22.

Josh: Whoa! Whoa!

Brandon: I’m back.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: I’m backing up. I’m not retracting. I’m just—I’m backing up the preface of what I’m about to say. Today’s show is all about actionable tips.

Like every single thing we’re going to talk about today is something you could physically go and do today. Our Quick Tip, Quick Tip is every single day for the next 22 days, I want you guys to do one of these tips and if you want you can go to and you can download all of these tips you can—and a little check sheet, check mark sheet and you can check them off as you do them over the next 22 days.

Josh: Check mark sheet?

Brandon: Check mark sheet is that what we call it?

Josh: I don’t, a check list?

Brandon: A check list sheet? I don’t know come on.

Josh: Yes, yes, I don’t know.

Brandon: Alright.

Josh: Let’s do this anyway. Alright guys so here we go. Today is 22 tips for beginner and advanced real estate investors. Let’s start with number one, Brandon. Number one, it’s a great one. It’s go post on Craigslist, right now.

Brandon: Right now.

Josh: If you are looking to buy houses in your area, I’m going to actually add to that.

Brandon: Sure.

Josh: I think we may cover this later, but go post on BiggerPockets too.

Brandon: Sure.

Josh: In the marketplace. Post on the Craigslist or on the BiggerPockets marketplace that you’re looking to buy houses in your area and then set an alarm on your phone every week to renew that ad.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: An alarm I use Siri for reminders for everything.

Brandon: Me too.

Josh: If Siri went down I’d be in deep trouble. I wouldn’t know when to change my underwear.

Brandon: Yes, me too. Well, not that, but.

Josh: Well, you know. Anyway, but yes so get out there by putting it out there. You’re just opening the door up for folks who are—may have these opportunities for you so you know, put it out there and it will return.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: I don’t know that there’s much more to add to this one, but it’s pretty basic.

Brandon: I think.

Josh: Yes, set those reminders because you’ll forget about it.

Brandon: Yes, the reviews thing I think is key like a lot of people go and they’ll post an ad on Craigslist, but then it drops down the rankings so just every single week on Monday morning 9 am, go and hit that renew button on Craigslist and it pops back up to the top. A guy—I talked to a guy yesterday, I was giving him a ride home and he was telling me he was looking for a house for him and his wife, but he needs something really really inexpensive like maybe mobile or something. I said, “Well go on Criagslist.” Like he’s like, “I never thought of that.” I’m like just once a week go renew that ad over and over and it might take six months, but you’ll get a deal.

Josh: Yes, awesome. Good tip, good tip. Alright. Number two, Brandon.

Brandon: Number two and this is something I say every week on the BiggerPockets webinar, which you should probably join me at next week at You can sign up, but this is a tip I say almost every week there so you’ve heard before if you’ve joined, it is analyze three deals every single deal, everyday. That might seem like a lot to you if you’re just getting started, but I really want to encourage everybody to analyze three deals everyday. Once you get good at it and fast, you can do it in five minutes, you know, a piece, just a quick analysis of three deals. You don’t have to necessarily buy them all, but the more you analyze, the more you’ll end up making offers on—the more you make offers on, the more you’ll buy. It’s just a funnel so everyday.

Josh: It’s not just that it’s the more you analyze deals, the more you start doing that stuff in your head.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You can look at a deal, you can see the numbers and say oh yes, I mean you can start getting better at ball parking, speed things up, and you know, never encourage people to just you know, do it in their head before buying a property.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You definitely want to run the numbers, but at least it helps you screen through. You know, if you’ve got a big fat list of opportunities, it’ll just help you filter out much more quickly.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: By doing it everyday, I mean you make it part of your routine. A lot of investors say, “Well I don’t know what to do. I’m new and I don’t know I’m scared.” Well, you know what? You can be scared all day long, but if you’re analyzing deals, you’re actually working towards your education.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You’re making yourself smarter, you’re making your self a better investor so get out there and do that. It’s a great way to go and you can use the BiggerPockets calculators to do that. Find those at We’ve got analysis tools for house flips, for buy and holds and for wholesale deals so definitely jump in there and do that.

Brandon: Perfect. I couldn’t add anything more to that. That was great, okay. Number three, you want to take it?

Josh: Oh yes, sure.

Brandon: Okay.

Josh: Alright, number three, find an investor friendly agent who also invests—a little caveat there guys. You want somebody who’s actually an investor themselves, pick up the phone call five local real estate brokerages. Tell them you’re looking for real estate agent who’s also investing in real estate themselves and ask if they’ve got agents like that. If they don’t, keep calling, keep calling, keep working the phone and get out there again to do that.

The more likely you are to connect with these folks, the better your opportunities, again for advancing your business. I mean an active agent who is investing is going to be your best ally especially if they’re a you—I can’t talk today, oh my god. They are your agent.

Brandon: Yes, I—you don’t—like my agent is not an investor currently. Well he sort of is I guess you could say, but anyway, like you can do it without an investor friend—like an agent who invests; however, if you’re just getting started, especially, I just think an agent who also invests is so valuable because they’re going to help you see those things that you would have never seen so yes. I love that tip, I think that very important for newbies so.

Josh: Well and really quickly, you know some people may say, well why not just get any agent, you know, don’t they all know the basics of investing and the answer is no, straight up, you know they don’t require you to learn how to evaluate deals, how to understand what investors are looking for when you sign on to become a real estate agent when you get licensed. That’s not a requirement so somebody who understands the business, somebody who’s attuned to the needs of an investor is drastically going to improve the likelihood that you’re going to be successful.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: I have used bad agents, you know, in my early days who didn’t know much and didn’t know how to evaluate and it’s not good. It’s not helpful and you know, I think one of the leading causes of people getting bad deals is listening to agents who don’t know anything so.

Brandon: Yes. I think you’re absolutely right there. I know a lot of times, newbies will be kind of be in like my agent sent me this deal, do you think it’s a good one and I’m like that’s like the worst thing I’ve ever seen like that thing.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: I mean like it doesn’t—yes, anyway, I don’t go on, but it’s like it’s just ridiculously how bad because agents are well it’s a beautiful kitchen.

Josh: Ooh.

Brandon: Oh it’s such a nice front porch.

Josh: Ooh so lovely in the inside.

Brandon: Yes and I’m like, you’re a stupid agent, alright, next question.

Josh: There’s Hyacinths in the backyard.

Brandon: I don’t even know what that is.

Josh: Look it up.

Brandon: Okay, number four, connect with a local real estate investor who is doing exactly what you want to do. If you want to be a house flipper, go find a local real estate agent who is a house flipper. If you want to be a landlord, go find a local landlord. If you want to be a wholesaler, go find a local wholesaler.

Whatever you want to do, go find somebody who’s in that same niche and doing the same strategy that you want to do and a couple ways to find them, you can go to a local real estate agent and ask the agent, “Hey can you recommend me a good landlord in the area. I’ve got a house flipper. I just want to connect with him.” You can do that, you can also go on, M-E-E-T, not meat like beef. Meet as in I’m going to go meet you.

Josh: Thank you for the clarification.

Brandon: Yes, you know I don’t want people buying BiggerPockets beef because you know, it’s not very good stuff so go get on, find someone in your area who’s doing what you’re doing and check it out.

Josh: Awesome, great tip, great tip. Alright, next tip, number five, consider house hacking. You guys have probably heard us talk about this before, house hacking, look for duplex, triplexes, quads, run the numbers. The essence of house hacking is you’re living in a small multifamily that you can get traditional financing on and you’re living in one of the units.

The other units, you’re renting out to tenants, you’ve got training wheels now and you’re you know, getting experience working with tenants. You’re getting experience managing a property. You’re getting all sorts of experience just kind of being a real estate investor. The nice thing about house hacking is you know, you’ve got somebody else in there helping you pay down your mortgage so you know, you’re both paying down your primary residence and this rental property at the same time. It’s phenomenal, it’s a great strategy, people love it, love it, love it.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You know, since we’ve started talking about it on BiggerPockets and it’s really probably one of my favorite strategies for new investors.

Brandon: Yes, my first house ever, well my first rental house ever, I did a live in flip and my first rental duplex. I lived in half, rented the other half out. My mortgage payment was like $620 a month and I rented the front house for $650. I mean it was awesome.

I still have to pay, obviously water and garbage and those kind of things so it wasn’t quite living for free, but it was pretty darn close and you know, I moved out of that property. When you move out of a house hack, you don’t have to go get a refinance. You don’t have to get a new loan. You just stay with it, now all of the sudden, that property that you were living for cheap of for free is now a cash flowing property for you if you do the numbers right not all properties.

Josh: You rent the other units to other people, obviously.

Brandon: Yes, yes and I like to think of house hacking like training wheels for real estate investors.

Josh: I said that already.

Brandon: Did you?

Josh: Well, but thanks.

Brandon: No, I don’t want to be saying.

Josh: Were you listening?

Brandon: I wasn’t listening. No so here’s why, right so something goes—I don’t think you did. I’m going to listen to the edit later. I think you’re wrong.

Josh: I did.

Brandon: I like to think because I’m thinking this idea that like you know, you can’t—yes you could fail if you’re house hacking. You could do them wrong; however, like the fact that you’re living and there’s hopefully really good cash flow because you bought smart. It’s just like, it helps you so much—the risk is so much lower and you have that long term, hopefully, 30-year fix mortgage or 15 if you want to go that route. I don’t know, I love house hacking, I think everyone should do it.

Josh: Great.

Brandon: Cool.

Josh: Are you done?

Brandon: I’m done, move on.

Josh: Fantastic.

Brandon: Alright.

Josh: Alright, tip number six, go to your local library, yes they still make those things folks.

Brandon: They do.

Josh: Google the library, go to your local library and.

Brandon: Amazing.

Josh: Check out three real estate books. I’m going to add to this. I’m going to say three real estate and or business books.

Brandon: Sure.

Josh: You know, I mean at the end of the day, running a real estate empire is running a business and I think business books are certainly helpful. You want to read those cover to cover before you watch another TV show. Get out there. Stop wasting your time, stop just burning and melting your brain away watching television. Yes, I know, House of Cards is the greatest show on television today, however, take a break from it, get out there, read some books.

If you don’t have any time, which lots of people are saying, “Well, yes I’m too busy to read.” Okay, well then listen to audio books in the car. Well, hold on, before you listen to an audio book in the car, you’ve got to listen to the BiggerPockets podcast in the car, but once you’re done with that go ahead and listen to those audio books in the car. You can go to for a list of Brandon Turner’s 21 favorite real estate books. They’re all pretty good real estate books. I mean most of them are pretty good, but yes, get out there and make sure you’re constantly reading and educating yourself through books and audio books.

Brandon: There you go. There you go. Alright, number seven, start working on your credit. Your credit’s going to matter. Even if you want to invest with no or low money down someday.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Your credit is going to matter someday, start working on it today so the tip today, number seven is go to and go and get your free credit report. Now that’s not your credit score, it’s just a credit report, but it’ll show everything that shows up on your report and it’s government run program. It’s not one of those like cheesy like you know, late night TV commercial, you know, get your free credit report when you sign up for a free trial that’s going to charge you money. No, this is like actual like government free

You get your report look it over make sure there’s nothing weird. Make sure you’re happy with what it looks like. You know, then you have an accurate picture of your credit, how the creditors see it and then also go to, C-R-E-D-I-T-K-A-R-M-A, I’m a huge fan of that, not a sponsor for the show or anything. I just really like CreditKarma and it’ll actually give you your credit score and you can monitor over that over time. It’s not like one of those free trial things. They make their money off upselling you to credit cards, but don’t buy the credit card. Just go get your free credit score at Credit Karma and monitor it monthly. Every month you should be going up higher than it was the month before.

Josh: Nice, nice, yes and just to reiterate,, that is the site. Don’t go to the other ones. That is brought to you by the US government, it is free, you’re limited to I forget how many searches per year.

Brandon: I think it’s like three a year or something like that.

Josh: Yes, something like that, but yes, that’s the one you want to go—the other ones, there’s all sorts of catches too, but anyway, go ahead, cool.

Brandon: Awesome.

Josh: Alright, tip number eight, join a local REA club or attend a meet ups put on by BiggerPockets members so go to the BiggerPockets website. Look on the local real estate networking forum on BiggerPockets for local meet up. Start your own if there’s not one if there’s not one in the area or you know, real estate investor associations in your area. Now you know, keep in mind some of them maybe designed for you know, upselling you, things like that, not all of them are, but some of them are actually run as a means to upsell you so be prepared, go with your wallets out of hand. Yes, get there and network.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You know this business is all about meeting people. The more people you know who are doing it, who are successful, who are making moves, the better your opportunities to do so so definitely get out there and join and or attend local meet ups.

Brandon: Yes, I’m a huge believer in that whole like, you know, that famous quote says, “You are the average of the five people you associate with the most.” I think Jim Rohn said it and Tim Ferris says it so, anyway.

Josh: Well, I guess since I associate with you, I’m in trouble.

Brandon: I know, you are in trouble like I think about, who do I hang out with the most in my life. Those are the people I’m going to be like and so is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t.

Josh: You’re going to be short and Jewish.

Brandon: You’re going to be tall and hairy. I don’t know, in your dreams. Alright, number nine, tips number nine, this is something that everybody who’s listening right now, if you’re driving down in your car right now, you can make this your today’s tip that you’re going to do right now, this very second. Here it is, there’s two words I want you to eliminate from your vocabulary, especially when talking about real estate, the words, “I can’t.”

When you say “I can’t” do anything shuts your brain off. You know, I learned the you know, this was kind of brought to my attention when I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad the first time and it totally changed my life, but this idea that I can’t do something shuts your brain off. You’re no longer thinking. When you change that word, change it to, “how can I.” You know, “I can’t” buy property, well how “can I buy a property?” “I can’t” afford the down payment. “How can I afford” the down payment? Every thing you do, change I can’t to how can I and your life will turn upside down. I’m going to do that for everything, not just real estate, you know. “I can’t” grow two inches, no “how can you” grow two inches, Josh?

Josh: Wow.

Brandon: You can’t

Josh: Really?

Brandon: You can’t. You’re stuck short.

Josh: You went there huh?

Brandon: You’re stuck short and Jewish.

Josh: Wow, ouch

Brandon: Sorry, but that’s okay, that’s okay. You can be short, but no almost every area in your life, you—there’s a way to do almost everything. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t. Ask how can you.

Josh: There you go. There you go. Alright and I’m going to add to that. One of the things I hear people say besides I can’t is “the problem is.”

Brandon: Oh yes, yes.

Josh: It drives me absolutely mad. The problem is bla bla bla.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: That’s great. Congratulations, you identified the problem. What is the solution so I don’t want to hear the problem is. I want to hear, alright, there’s an issue. I’ve found the solution to said problem by.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: ABCD and E.

Brandon: The other thing that bugs me is when people say well sure, for bla bla bla it works, right like, well everyone of the podcast guests people that, you know.

Josh: That works for Brandon.

Brandon: Yes well, you know.

Josh: You know.

Brandon: Yes, if I had a you know a rich uncle then I could invest too or oh sure must be nice to have that, like.

Josh: You know.

Brandon: Yes, everybody has unfair advantages. Everybody, including everyone of the listeners today so don’t use that as an excuse. You can do whatever you want to do so go out and do it.

Josh: If I had a disgusting beard like Brandon, I too would have lice.

Brandon: I don’t have lice. It’s ticks, come on, alright.

Josh: Alright number ten, call up your real estate agent and ask them to set you up with auto-emails whenever a new property is listed.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: This is just so simple.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Basically, give your agent your criteria. What is it that you’re looking for if you don’t have a criteria yet, a set of criteria then create it. Figure out what is it that you’re looking for. What is your focus? Do you want single families in the you know $20 to $30,000 range if you live in Detroit? You’re a rich man. If you live in New York City, you’re in a cardboard box.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Call up your real estate agent. Ask them to set you up with those automatic emails and whenever a new property that meets your criteria pops up and then you can go in there and make offers.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Or evaluate obviously first and then make offers.

Brandon: Real life story, yesterday I had an automatic alert come in from my agent because it was automatically was listed. It was a fourplex for $79,000 in my area. Like absurdly cheap, I mean even in my cheaper area, it was absurdly cheap.

Josh: That’s pretty absurd.

Brandon: Yes, so I texted my agent right then and said, “Hey, I just got an email about this property. Can we go look at it?” He said, “No problem.” He called me back and we’re going to go look at it today. Then he texted me like an hour later, this is yesterday afternoon. Texted me an hour later and said, “Hey, I called the agent. There’s already multiple offers. What do you want to do?” I said, “Throw in an offer.” I was like, “I’m going to offer before even looking at it. I’ll put in an inspection contingency in, but I know that this property is going to be a killer good deal so anyway, I did that because I had an automatic alert and now I’m in the running for it and we’ll see.

Josh: We don’t know if you got that.

Brandon: We don’t know. You’ll find out next week.

Josh: [Inaudible][21:18].

Brandon: It’s actually, yes, we’ll find out next week or the week after I don’t know.

Josh: Alright, I can’t wait to hear the horror story. By the way, I made an offer sight unseen.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: On a property with 17 homeless people living in it.

Brandon: There maybe, but for $79,000 for a fourplex, I will—I will fight the homeless man, alright.

Josh: There you go. There you go. Alright number 11.

Brandon: Number 11, write your first yellow letter. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be yellow, but that’s the phrase we typically use in the real estate industry. A yellow letter is a letter you write, usually handwritten, but not always that you send to potential motivated sellers and it might say something simple like, “I would like to buy your house or I’m looking to buy a house in your area, I can pay cash or buy houses for cheap or whatever you want to write.” There’s a lot of different examples you can find in the BiggerPockets forums on what to write, but just write your first yellow letter.

Sit down and write one letter. Very very simple task and then go find somebody to send that to. That’s your one tip for today and obviously yellow letters, the idea of using yellow letters is to scale. Your sending hundreds, maybe thousands a month, but just as an actual tip today, go write your very first letter and put it in the mailbox to somebody who might be a motivated seller.

Josh: There you go. There you go. Yes, there’s always this fear to get started. This fear.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: To kind of get that first one out and once you do it, once you get that first one written, sent, you know, then you’ve overcome it. You’ve done it, now you can figure out how am I going to do this en mass in order to get more opportunities.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Of course, if you are interested in getting more opportunities, if you just want one property and you’re done, well find that one property and be done.

Brandon: There you go so.

Josh: There you go, right on alright tip number 12, choose a farm area, target market, desired location, and then drive to that location. Basically, you’re trying to figure out where is it that I want to focus my efforts in looking for real estate for investment purposes. You want to become familiar with what has sold already. What needs work?

Gather up a list of property addresses and see when the last time they sold one. Send letters to anyone who’d owned it for more than five years. You want to basically—you want to know that area cold. At the end of the day, this farm is your farm.

This is your backyard this is where you’re investing. It may not be necessarily right in your backyard, but you need to know anything and everything about that area and the properties that sell and rent in those areas—in that or those areas. You should be able to walk into any property, look it over, and once you’ve gotten to know the area, without even, you know, trying you can probably get within an order of magnitude, the price, the cost of repairs, things like that. That comes naturally over time by studying and getting to know your farm area and that happens by seeing every property that’s available in that area and studying what’s sold and what’s currently selling and things like that.

Brandon: Yes and so closely related to that is tip number 13 is after you drive for dollars, that’s the idea of driving around the neighborhood, you’re driving for dollars. After you’re done driving for dollars go walk for dollars. I mean, we all could use a little bit more exercise in our life, we could all use a little bit more time to listen to a BiggerPockets podcast episode or a—how many steps did you add Josh?

Josh: Yes, it’s not good today, man.

Brandon: Yes, I.

Josh: Then again, you’re at like 12,000 over the last seven days so you know.

Brandon: I lost my charger for my FitBit.

Josh: Aw.

Brandon: In the move.

Josh: That was in Charlotte wasn’t it?

Brandon: I brought it to Charlotte, but I brought it home I think and I just lost this somehow when I got home, but anyway, yes, we could all use a little bit more walking steps in our days.

Josh: Good.

Brandon: Go walk a neighborhood and you get—you just see so much stuff like I’ve been walking and like trying to find a different neighborhood everyday when I walk and like I always found like—I didn’t know the house was for sale or hey that looks for foreclosed on or that is vacant. I mean you find all these things and when you’re walking, you can really kind of investigate and go you know, peep through the windows and do creepy stuff like that and it’s amazing.

Josh: Yes, don’t peep through the windows. Don’t be creepy like Brandon.

Brandon: No, don’t do that. Don’t do that. That’s bad. Alright.

Josh: Yes, yes and it’s good for your health right?

Brandon: It is good.

Josh: At the end of the day, you know it’s a win win.

Brandon: There.

Josh: Unless you’re creeping like Brandon.

Brandon: I don’t—I don’t creep I only.

Josh: Getting locked in the pokey.

Brandon: Alright, number 14.

Josh: Number 14, alright number 14, set your keyword alerts on BiggerPockets for five of your local city names. If you’re in Denver for example, you may want to set it for Denver, Aurora, Golden, Westminster, Centennial, I don’t know if anybody other than Denverites know this, but you know, set those local areas, those city names. That way your likely to find out about events, you’re likely to find out about conversations that revolve around things that are happening in your farm area, in the place that you’re focusing on. You can jump in and get involved, meet our local investors, you know, online, meet them basically in the real world and get out there and improve the likelihood that you’re going to get that local network built up.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You can do that at

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: That’s at

Brandon: Here’s one more thing to add to that. We now have the ability to set a marketplace only alert and so if you go to, you could put in you know, Westminster, right? You put that in and then you do marketplace only and then set it up. If you’re a Pro member you can do a text message so here’s what I did for that. I set up—what was it? Seattle and multifamily, a dual keyword alert, you can do two and then I have it set so it only alerts me with text message if it’s in the marketplace. What does that do? It means if somebody lists a property in the marketplace and it is a multifamily in Seattle, guess who’s the first guy going to know about it? This guy.

Josh: Yes, baby.

Brandon: There’s a quick tip for anybody, especially if you’re a pro member, you can get that text message thing. It is key. I love that thing so. That’s it.

Josh: You can use those text messages for any kind of keyword.

Brandon: Yes, for any alerts.

Josh: You know, if you’re a business and you want to know about things that are happening in your industry so you’re a self directed IRA company, you may set up self directed IRA as a keyword. Set it to text alert you, you need a Pro account to do the text alerts and then you can be the first company, the first person to jump in there, respond, help people out.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Get your brand out there so.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Anyways.

Brandon: Also just to wrap up the thought, you already kind of mentioned it, but you know, we mentioned earlier about local meet ups, go to those local real estate clubs, a local BiggerPockets kind of get togethers. How are you going to know about those if you don’t have an alert set for your area so if you’re putting on an event, put some keywords in there you know like this is going to be in Denver and if you’re from Aurora, you should be here, right? Then people who have keyword alerts set for that will get notified so anyway.

Josh: Well done, well done.

Brandon: Thank you.

Josh: Thank you, thank you.

Brandon: Okay.

Josh: Thank you.

Brandon: Yes. Hey you’re welcome. You’re welcome.

Josh: Number 15, come on.

Brandon: Number 15, alright this one, the tip is we talked about this last week with Chad Carson on episode number 141, but we’ll.

Josh: That was a great show.

Brandon: Talking about—it was a great show. Yes, if you guys have not listened to that yet, go back and listen to it, phenomenal advice on how to find properties, but one of his tips was about eviction records so and I love this tip anyway and this is just fantastic. If you’re just getting started and you want to find a good source of motivated sellers, go find out who’s being evicted and talk to their landlord. How do you do that?

Go to your local county, whoever is in charge of evictions at your county, every county is a little different, but go to your county. Ask who’s in charge of evictions. It’s all public data and find out anybody who’s had an eviction in the past six months and then look up the property address or look up the landlord or whatever and go and do some research. Call every single one of them or send a letter to everyone on of them, those people—there’s a very good possibility they want to sell because they’re tired of dealing with these crappy tenants.

Josh: There you go. Great tip.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Great tip. Alright, number 16, check in at the courthouse steps and learn when the sales are held. Then go to the next one. Meet everyone who’s there, find out who they are, what they do, ask them a lot about themselves and their businesses. Be the newbie, they’ll love you. People love talking about themselves.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: People love talking their business model, how they’re successful, things like that, courthouse steps are really really great place to go find people and the cool thing is you can watch and see who’s actually winning these bids.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You know, study from the guys who are successful.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Then actually, you know, go and do your own analysis afterwards. Did they over pay? Figure out maybe why. Is there a reason why they’re overpaying? What is it that they’re doing? Because you know what the guys that are winning the auctions, may not necessarily be the guys that are the good real estate investors so you kind of have to do your homework and figure that out a little bit.

Brandon: Yes. Yes, but I just think I love the idea of just going to the courthouse steps whenever they have—usually it’s like weekly or maybe monthly, whenever your courthouse does their foreclosure sales and just go and hang out there and go meet people.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: It’s a great way to do it and it’s free. Alright.

Josh: There you go.

Brandon: Number 17, let’s see, number 17, contact a local lender and tell them about your financial situation so talk to a mortgage lender or something and don’t just you know, tell them what you want, but ask them what you need to do to get to where you want to be if that makes sense. If you’re goal is to go get prequalified for—or go get a loan for a fourplex, go tell them, I want to buy a fourplex. What do I need to do? Can we—let’s do a—let’s talk now and give me a roadmap to get to where I need to be able to qualify for what I want. I mean the lender’s going to do that for free because they want your business eventually and you’ll get like this very step by step roadmap of where exactly you need to get to. It’s just so simple yet very few people do this, but yes, if you’re getting started go do that today. Go meet with a banker somewhere and talk about what you’re going to do.

Josh: Yes, I think a lot of people forget that local professionals in our industry, their jobs.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You know are to service you, to help you out, to give you title companies, you name it, these guys want to help you. They want you to be successful because they want you to then use them down the line.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Don’t feel guilty that you’re going to call these people and not necessarily work with them right away. Now granted, you shouldn’t be working with people and using them. You know, you should use them with the intent of actually—work with them with the intent of actually using them down the line, but getting to know them and building a rapport is a great way to go across the industry.

Brandon: That it is. That it is.

Josh: Alright.

Brandon: Number 18?

Josh: 18.

Brandon: Alright, we’re legal.

Josh: This is one, you know what? I’m sorry.

Brandon: What? What? What?

Josh: What did you say?

Brandon: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Josh: Oh okay, just you know.

Brandon: Number 18.

Josh: Just checking. Alright go print out your bank statement for the last three months then divide every single expense. Everyone, it’s a categories then look and see exactly how much you’re spending in every category on average. Every month for example, Brandon spends like $8,000 on Starbucks, no I’m.

Brandon: Seven, $7,000.

Josh: Which is why he needs to walk for dollars more. Once you’ve printed this out, organize it. Decide where you can trim. We can all trim the fat, guys, everybody, it doesn’t matter how rich you are, but we can all trim the fat somewhere so decide how you can trim what categories where.

Then write down your new budget specifically and stick to it and I shouldn’t be the one giving this out because I’m very bad at this; however, the advice is good and you should listen to me and do it and make me feel guilty because I’m not doing it. For help, we work with a company called You Need a Budget. It’s That’s You can use You Need a Budget to help you kind of get organized and get this altogether and if you are a BiggerPockets Pro member, you actually get a discount at on the software. Even if you don’t use that software, use something else, but get that budget figured out.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Because you know, a lot of people say, “Oh well, I don’t have the money. I don’t have anything to get started out. I don’t know where to go. I don’t what to do, you know.” Well, everybody could trim the fat somewhere.

Brandon: I’ve told the story before, but I’ll say it again real quickly, back I don’t know probably five years ago, six maybe seven years ago, I don’t know. I had a.

Josh: Ten years ago.

Brandon: I don’t know, 20-30, whenever I was a baby.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: No so my wife and I one day we read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and I was in heat all about budgeting and you know being frugal and whatever else so I sat down and we worked out our budget. We took out our last three months bank statements and looked at exactly what we were spending and we realized we were spending a thousand a month more than we were making. Like a thousand a month more than we were making and so like I was wondering where all of my money was going.

Josh: How did you not know?

Brandon: Yes because I had a bit of savings and so like—we didn’t realize that like I mean more money was going out than came in so like we sat it down. We created a budget, we even went to the envelop budget like we had this group of like 20 envelopes and it was like car fund and it was all cash, completely and like we had to do that to get on track and we were able to cut like $2,000 out of our budget. Like, I mean we were only making like I don’t know, $3 or $4,000 a month anyway so like we cut like a ton out of our budget like overnight and I didn’t even notice any change like it was just like subtle little things here and there.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Made a drastic difference and that really was like kind of a starting point between like where I was being totally irresponsible with my money to where I am today which is still fairly irresponsible with my Starbucks money.

Josh: By the way, is that money still buried in your backyard at beep, beep, beep.

Brandon: Yes it.

Josh: Street.

Brandon: Yes, it’s still all buried there. That’s what I do with my money.

Josh: Oh okay, I’ll be there with my shovel.

Brandon: Yes, no problem. Alright so that connects to tip number 18 then connects to number 19, which is use that extra money that now you have because you have a budget and set automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account the day after your paycheck comes in so whatever—however you make money, the next day, take all the money out so for example, of you make $4,000 a month and when you did your budget you figured out you could live on $3,200 a month. Automatically deduct that $800 a month then go throw it in the savings account because that is going to be your down payment in the future or it’s going to be your reserves when you get into investing. You know, you need money to invest in real estate whether or not you use somebody else’s or not, you should have some kind of financial foundation and so start that today. Set up that automatic withdrawal from your account and it’ll be gone. You won’t even notice it missing, but your net worth is going to start growing.

Josh: Hey Brandon?

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: If somebody wants to start investing though with low and no money, how might they start?

Brandon: You know it’s not possible. Next one. Just kidding, alright, you can get The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No and Low Money Down, which is all about the different strategies that I’ve used to invest using other people’s money. You can get that at

Josh: Right on. Right on.

Brandon: Check it out.

Josh: Check out. Check it out and by the way, you can get anything that’s in that book you can find for free on

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You just have to do the work and dig around.

Brandon: If you want it all in one little book. It is a powerful book. People seem to like it.

Josh: It is a powerful book. Right on, alright, number 20, we’re almost done.

Brandon: We are almost done.

Josh: Sad.

Brandon: I liked number 20 a lot. I actually did a lot of this in my early days.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Well can I do it?

Brandon: No you can’t.

Josh: Alright, start watching Youtube with This Old House reruns. Watch all those, you know, flip shows. Watch, you know, watch as much as you can about, you know, on video and television about what’s going on in the real estate business, on people kind of working in real estate. Chances are if you’ve never owned a property and have no tools, no knowledge. These things are going to help you out a little bit. Now granted, keep in mind that many of the flipping shows and many of the scripted programs on television are going to have lots of none sense in there.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: However, you start to learn a few things. This Old House is amazing.

Brandon: Yes, I love This Old House.

Josh: The tutorials are phenomenal.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You can go to their website and they’ve got great tips and tutorials there. Go on Youtube. You know, anytime I need to do something in my house, I go on Youtube, I look up videos on you know, how to fix a swamp cooler, on how to you know.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Whatever it is. How tile, I don’t actually end up tiling, I hire it out.

Brandon: It’s good to know the basics of how to do something.

Josh: Yes, yes, there you go.

Brandon: There you go. Yes, I’m a huge fan of This Old House. I should—I wish I could watch more of it, but I don’t watch much TV anymore, but that was one of my favorite shows. I love that show so. Alright, number 21, we’re almost done wrapping up. Number 21 is begin today educating yourself on financial literacy. What that means is understand the difference between like operating expenses and capital expenditures and financing costs.

Josh: What are the differences since you’re talking about it?

Brandon: We’re not getting into that right now.

Josh: Just take six seconds and explain it.

Brandon: Okay so capital expenditures also known as cap x are those big items that happen every so often like a parking lot or a appliances, a roof.

Josh: Roof. We have a parking lot needing to be repaved.

Brandon: Yes, repaved like those big items. Operating expenses are more of like what does it take to maintain your property on an ongoing basis. The repairs, the maintenance, the vacancies, stuff like that and so those are all expenses that you have to deal with and things like I mean yes, understanding how to figure out cash on cash return and all of that good stuff. If you’re wondering how that all kind of works, there’s an excellent book by one of our former guests on the podcast, one of our very early guest named Frank Gallinelli. He wrote a book called What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow and 36 Other Key Financial Measures and when I first started investing that was one of the early books I read. It just gave a really good foundation for what all those things mean, cash on cash, IRR, all that stuff so.

Josh: Yes. It’s a great book. Great book.

Brandon: Yes

Josh: We’ve got tons of articles on all those measurement. Any of the terms that you just heard, if you just go on BiggerPockets search for the terms, you’ll find articles and articles and articles all about it so.

Brandon: Yes, you will.

Josh: Check it out. Alright.

Brandon: Alright, we’re here.

Josh: It’s sad, this is the end.

Brandon: This is the end.

Josh: This is the end. The Doors, man.

Brandon: I don’t.

Josh: It’s cool.

Brandon: I don’t know it.

Josh: You don’t know it. You don’t, oh, oh well. Alright number 22, you’re too young. You need to. Yes.

Brandon: Yes, The Doors, what? All—didn’t Val Kilmer play. I don’t know.

Josh: Oh man. Really?

Brandon: That’s all I know.

Josh: Number 22, listen to the other 141 podcasts on BiggerPockets. No seriously guys, these shows are awesome. Maybe not this one when it’s just Brandon and I, you know.

Brandon: No.

Josh: They’re not as good as when we bring on amazing guests, but you know, they’re okay, but you guys I mean get if you haven’t listened all the way through, we have some unbelievable shows. We’ve interviewed some incredible people and it doesn’t matter what your experience level, I mean I’ve spoken to folks who’ve been in the business for decades who say even the early shows, the shows—not the early shows, but the shows with the newbies are helpful.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: They help to kind of reinvigorate, re-motivate, things like that so listen through if you haven’t done that already. Check out the rest of the BiggerPockets podcast. It’s at and they can listen to another set of podcasts somewhere too, right Brandon? Like the Ask BP.

Brandon: The Ask BP? Yes.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: The Ask BP podcasts was daily show. We’re taking a break from it right now, but we went a hundred episodes. Everyone just answering a question so if you want to read those or listen to them or watch them on Youtube, go to and also if you subscribe to that in iTunes, you’ll know when the new episodes come out again.

Josh: Yes, awesome, awesome. I’m going to add, tip 23. It’s totally self-serving for the rest of this.

Brandon: Don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Josh: Number 23, the bonus. Alright, if you’re not subscribing to our Youtube channel, subscribe to our Youtube channel. We put out you know.

Brandon: That’s a good idea.

Josh: You know, we put out a fair amount of new content on Youtube and you can go to and subscribe and get all of our new video content whenever it comes out by doing that.

Brandon: That was kind of kind of like 22 and half.

Josh: Yes, well you know.

Brandon: We could title this, 22 and a half tips.

Josh: There you go.

Brandon: There you go. Alright.

Josh: Alright man.

Brandon: We just came up with a title. Good job.

Josh: Nicely done.

Brandon: Yes, you want to take us out?

Josh: Yes. That’s a little short, but what—let’s get out of here.

Brandon: That’s what she said.

Josh: Wow. Really?

Brandon: Alright, sorry.

Josh: Alright, yes get it to—get it to—collect yourself.

Brandon: I’m good. I’m good.

Josh: This is a family show. Aren’t you a youth minister?

Brandon: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t say anything. What?

Josh: Alright, folks I apologize for my child of a cohost, but what the heck? I hope you enjoyed the 22 tips guys. We love you guys. We love that you guys listen to us and put up with our none sense every single week and some of you yell at us and some of you love us, but you know, thanks for listening. Thanks for coming back, definitely please share BiggerPockets. Share this podcast with your friends. Let people know about us. Put it on your social media. Put it on Facebook. Hey I love BiggerPockets podcast, #Brandon, I don’t know I need something clever.

Brandon: Nothing.

Josh: I can’t think of it. Oh I can’t think on the spot.

Brandon: #BrandonINeedSomethingClever. That’s the hash tag right there.

Josh: Alright there you go. Hash tag.

Brandon: #BrandonINeedSomethingClever.

Josh: BrandonINeedSomethingClever will start looking for that one. Share the podcast, get it out there. Help spread the word guys and thanks for being a part of our world.

Brandon: I have one more. I have another half tip.

Josh: Oh for Christ sake.

Brandon: Oh come on, this is the end. This is my last thing I’m going to say today.

Josh: This is the rambling close.

Brandon: No this is really good.

Josh: Rambling closes.

Brandon: Okay so when you—people who are listening to this right how, they’re like okay well I got a couple of good ideas right?

Josh: There’s probably six people left listening.

Brandon: Probably right, but they’re like I got a couple of good ideas. I’m going to do this one or this one right and then they’re in their car driving to work and then they get to work and they’re like angry at their boss and their coworkers and they forget everything and then they go home.

Josh: Why us everybody angry at their boss?

Brandon: I don’t know. People are always angry at their boss so here’s my tip. I want you guys to go on the show notes page for this show and in the comments section, I want—we’re going to hold you guys accountable here. I want you actually in the comment section write which tip your going to do today so go to That’s S-H-O-W-1-4-2 and in the comments section say, “I’m going to do tip whatever.” You can also review the whole list right there of all these tips. You can even print out a little worksheet that we put together for you and I think that’s my final tip.

Josh: There you go. There you go. You know, it’s funny. This last week we had a comment on one of our videos on Youtube and it was the comment of the week. It was “BiggerPockets: Pissing off since 2004.”

Brandon: Yes, that’s true.

Josh: We take some pride in that I mean we want you to be good at work, but you know, we want you guys to do well become financially independent and you know, maybe someday leave your jobs if you so desire so.

Brandon: There you go.

Josh: That’s it. Alright, well it’s been a lot of fun. Thanks for listening. Sorry for making you put up with all the bliggity blas that I couldn’t get out of my mouth and I’m sorry that I had Brandon as my cohost yet once again.

Brandon: I’m sorry.

Josh: Yes, alright. Alright guys have a great week. We’ll see you next week in the Bigger—we’ll be there for you next week and I still can’t do it—on the BiggerPockets podcast. I’m Josh Dorkin, signing off.

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.

Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from, your home for real estate investing online.

Josh: No, I’m not drunk.