BiggerPockets Podcast 048 with Darren Sager Transcript

Link to show: BP Podcast 048: Duplex Investing, Finding Great Properties, and Tips for Managing Tenants with Darren Sager

Josh: This is the BiggerPockets podcast, Show 48.

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Josh: What’s going on everybody this is Josh Dorkin host of the BiggerPockets podcast. Here with my co-host Brendon Turner.

Brandon: Hey Josh how are you?

Josh: Good, how are you doing?

Brandon: I’m doing good.

Josh: That was good man, practice a little bit more and you’ll get it down.

Brandon: I’ll get there.

Josh: No, all’s well. The year is starting to come to a close we’ve been very busy at BiggerPockets. Lots going on, lots of new improvements happening and lots of room so things are going great. Just looking forward to another good show.

Brandon: Yeah, me too. I’ve been looking forward to this show because our guest today is a cool guy, has been on a site a lot and he’s basically got a ton of ideas that really matter to me a lot. I’m especially happy for this show today.

Josh: Yeah. No offence to the rest of our guests but this might be one of my favorite shows that we’ve done so far so hopefully everybody listening will pay very careful attention. Before we get into that why don’t we do our Quick Tip.

For today’s Quick Tip stay tuned because our guest Darren is going to actually share the quick tip later in the show.

Brandon: It’s one of my favorite tips I’ve ever heard.

Josh: It’s good. Listen up, listen hard, pay attention and stick around. That said this is show 48 of the BiggerPockets podcast and of course make sure to follow the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/show48 and if you’ve got questions for out guest make sure to ask them there on the show notes. Otherwise why don’t we dig in here to the show.

Our guest today is Darren Sager. Darren is a buy and hold real estate investor on the East coast who is doing some awesome, awesome, stuff with small multi-family properties in some high-end neighborhoods. He’s got a lot of really good tips and suggestions for anyone looking to invest for the long haul as well as some tips for flippers and wholesalers and he’s got tips on getting great deals – you name it. This thing is really chock-full of amazing information so pay close attention. With that why don’t we get into it and start the show.

Darren, welcome, nice to have you here.

Darren: It’s great to be here and it really is an honor. Thanks guys for having me.

Brandon: No problem, thank you for coming on, it’s an honor for us as well. You’re active forum member and we like to get active forum members here on the show.

Let’s jump into this thing. We’ll start at the very beginning. What is your niche?

Darren: I am primarily a buy and hold investor. I’ve been investing in duplexes or two-families since 1998.

Brandon: ‘98? Great. I was in 8th grade in ‘98.

Josh: You’re still in 8th grade Brandon.

Brandon: I wish I was still in 8th grade. 8th grade was the worst year I don’t know if you guys remember 8th grade but that was a worst year.

Josh: Hey Darren do you have a little violin because I’ve got one.

Darren: I’m playing it right now.

Brandon: If any of my 8th grade bullies are listening right now I hate you all.

Josh: You’re talking to one of them right now.

Brandon: Probably, yeah.

Josh: So you started duplexes back then and presumably you’re still investing in multi-families?

Darren: That’s correct, yes, primarily in multi-families.

Josh: Right on. How did you get started into real estate? We could talk all about the other things that you do in a little bit.

Darren: I’d probably say there was a seed planted in me at an early time. Actually I failed out of school and worked for a number of years and probably spent a number of late nights watching stuff like Carlton Sheets and Tommy Vu sitting there with the bikini clad women there on a boat. And when I went back to school I actually came across the professor that was there who I became friends with, his name was Peter Hell. And Peter was this guy who you’d almost call him aloof. He didn’t seem to have a care in the world and I really mean that’s in a really good way. I asked him why after getting to know him and he said Darren I own a ton of rental properties. And you would never know it after meeting him. He started telling me how he was able to purchase the properties and he gave me idea of how much money that he was making that allowed him to basically do anything he wanted when he wanted. He literally could travel the world in a moment’s notice and just go out and buy anything. It really put a seed into my head about real estate.

Josh: Nice. It’s kind of one of this things where the last guy you’d suspect is out there killing it in the business.

Darren: Absolutely. And that’s why I think it’s very important for anyone starting out to talk to everybody. You just don’t know who you’re going to come across in life that invest in real estate. Unless you open up your mouth you’re never going to find out.

Josh: That’s awesome. Obviously he was the inspiration. Was he kind of there to help answer some questions to guide you in the beginning or was he just the guy that got the spark on?

Darren: He got the spark going but also in certain ways became like a mentor. He basically told me the one percent rule at the time and that was the foundation for everything that I went out and judged. If I didn’t have that I don’t know where I’d be today.

Josh: That’s awesome. Really quick for those people listening and who are unfamiliar – What is the one percent rule?

Darren: The one percent rule basically says that you need to achieve one percent of the purchase price of your property on a monthly basis. So if you purchase a property for $200,000 you’d have to get $2000 a month in rent for it.

Josh: There’s a lot of debate and discussion on the one percent, two percent rule on BiggerPockets. I’d be curious about your theory. I’m pretty confident in saying if you find a two percent property the odds are its going to do well for you where’s one percent you may end up potentially pretty thin from time to time. What’s your take?

Darren: Well I would say you would be very hard pressed at least in New York Metropolitan area to find a worthwhile home that actually made a two percent rule.

Josh: True.

Darren: To be able to something like that I think you probably looking at more rural areas.

Josh: I was going to say “Brandon can you say rural three times?”

Darren: I was waiting to put that in I had that word written down to make sure I covered.

Brandon: Some people say one percent rule is great – I have one property that meets the one percent that I bought before I knew about anything and that’s my only property that I lose money on. However this property is a low income property like I only paid $70,000 for it and it rents for $700 a month. But the taxes are extremely high and the maintenance is extremely high because of that it doesn’t work. I think different price points it probably works better like you said on a $ 200,000 property $2000 a month is much different.

Josh: I don’t know if you can buy a $200,000 property in NY Metro area, can you?

Darren: You still can, absolutely. The one percent rule was given to me as a foundation. It was if you don’t get this you run away from it. You try to achieve better than that but that was really – if you’re not getting this you got to move away from it. It’s just not going to work.

Josh: I think that’s the smart way to go. Again, some people say if you don’t get two percent – run away. I think that’s pushing it a little bit. I’d say two percent means odds are pretty damn good that you’re going to be successful where’s one percent is probably a good demarcation line for you don’t want to look anything that’s doing worse than one percent.

Darren: Absolutely.

Josh: Right on. Tell us about your first deal. How did you kick this thing off?

Darren: After I graduated from college, eventually I graduated from Austin College in Degree in Accounting and Marketing and went into DeLois Real Estate practice group. I was working at my client’s [inaudible][10:00] and it just got really good exposure on a very high level for working for read on how they run their business. I said “Why can’t I do something like this on obviously much smaller scale?” take away a couple of commas and the numbers can still work out to be the same. But I just graduated school, I had college loans so I didn’t have a ton of money to be able to put down on a house. New York Times had an article on how to get into a house without putting the 20% down and you could avoid PMI. I was “Wow” because the last thing I want to do is just put money out of door for property mortgage insurance – it’s just wasteful money. So they had this thing that they talked about doing a piggy-back loan and after a time they called it an 80-1010.

You were able to put down your principle loan at 80%, take out a home equity loan at 10% right off the bat and only put 10% down or even 5% down to get into a house and avoid that PMI. I was able to find a house that the numbers worked on and I basically went to my mother, The BOM – the bank of mom, and showed her the deal and the house wasn’t a great house but what was important to me was that it was going to cut my commute time by almost two thirds for me getting in and out of New York City. So that’s why it was very important for me to do it – my personal time was important and I was just speeding a lot of time commuting.

Josh: You said a couple times a house and it sounds like you bought this to live in. Was this a single family or was it a multi-family or was I not listening?

Darren: Duplex.

Josh: You said that, right?

Darren: I probably didn’t.

Josh: Just making sure because I’m trying to pay attention here Darren.

Darren: I did say that’s all I buy.

Josh: So you bought a duplex, you moved into one unit and you bought this place obviously closer to where you would be working. What did the numbers look like, was your rent covered or did you still have to pay something out of pocket?

Darren: I had to pay something out of pocket. In fact, I’ll be honest, I couldn’t afford to live in the house so I had to move out of it and rent out the other side. It wasn’t something I wanted to do but just with the higher rate on the piggy-back loan it just made sense for me to do that. The thing was this – when I purchased the house I paid $235 for it was getting $1200 per side. But I found out for some reason a guy with pretty much identical house two doors down was getting $1750 a month for rent. And I’m like why is he getting $550 more for his units than what would be mine? Turns out he had a half bath on a first floor. Because both my units have three bedrooms in them so they were three bedrooms one bath so they had what’s called functional obsolescence. Just that extra half bath removed that obsolescence allowing a family to move in and $ 550 more per month. Absolutely crazy. So I’m like “Maybe I can get 1600” Sure enough I listed it with a realtor, got 1600, moved into a basement apartment at $1450 a month and lived there for a year and paid off the piggy-back loan.

Josh: Nice. When you said earlier that you had trouble I thought that the bank of mom was going to foreclose on you and I got worried.

Darren: The bank of mom has been very generous throughout the years and got blessed for that.

Josh: You elected to just take a shot in the dark, jack up the rents and see what you can get instead of building that half bath is what it sounds like.

Darren: Yeah, because at the time I literally had no money to be able to put the half bath in. Although the funny part was the house was pre-plumbed for it. It was all set, the water lines were there, the drain line was there. Just literally open up the floor, pop in the toilet and put in the vanity and you’re good to go. For some reason the prior owner just didn’t do it.

Brandon: Did you eventually put that in then?

Darren: Oh absolutely, yeah.

Brandon: Do you still own that today?

Darren: Yeah. The rents have gone I would say through the roof since I purchased that property.

Josh: What are you charging on the rents on that?

Darren: The rents now are well above $3000 for a moth.

Josh: You’re getting $6000 on a $240,000 property?

Darren: More than that, yeah.

Josh: That is a two percent ruler. After the fact.

Darren: After the fact, that is correct.

Brandon: You’re buy and hold investor. Does that mean you don’t sell, period? Or maybe a little bit or do you maybe just hold on forever?

Darren: Very little, yeah. My primary thing was from the get go I had just wanted to create cash flow. For some reason installed in me in early age was never to work for anybody else, I had seen I guess either family members looks their jobs after working long term for somebody else. I just never wanted that in ways I created in my own mind that if I could just find a way to create cash flow, just constant cash coming in the door, then I never had to worry about creating big investment portfolio of stocks. Id eventually have to pull money out of at the later point in life. I literally just keep getting cash at ta door and I was telling this to a friend and how as like “Oh Rich Dad Poor Dad” I’m like “What?” He goes “Yeah, that’s what that guy talks about in Rich Dad Poor Dad” I was like “Oh, ok” To be honest to this day I never read the book. Never read it, no.

Josh: It’s kind of like the eMath man. I could tell you everything about that damn book, I’m on page 27 but I know it’s in there.

Brandon: Four hour work week and you’re on page 27.

Josh: Whatever. Same thing.

Brandon: And he’s got the eMath.

Josh: Nice. Just to taunt me with. I’ve got a question and this is something that I don’t think we’ve really asked any of the buy and hold guys. Obviously there are good tenants and there are bad tenants but generally most people who get into this business leave because something just really bad happens. They end up getting sick and tired of bad tenants. Have you had your running’s with those guys or have you just pretty decent luck all along?

Darren: I had few issues and primarily the only times that I really had issues is when I inherited tenants when I purchased or I took over managing. Other than I’ve just been very diligent about screening and one of the things that at least we have here in New Jersey the better properties get listed with real estate agents because they’re more premier – they’re more desirable. Here in New Jersey income and tenants pays the broker fee. When you’re dealing with rents above 3000+ on some of this places it creates a barrier of entry that can weed out a ton of let’s say less desirable tenants that may cause you issues down the road.

Josh: That’s awesome. That’s really good piece of advice.

Brandon: You’re managing yourself right now, correct? You don’t have a property manager?

Darren: Oh yeah I mange myself, yeah.

Brandon: And you do this full time or do you have another job?

Darren: I do this full time, yeah, since I’ve been at it for so long it produces enough income that enables me to be a full time landlord and also be a an investor agent.

Brandon: An investor agent? So you represent other investors?

Darren: I’ll go out and find different properties for other investors that are looking for real estate. When I got my license I tried to be everything to everyone and you obviously in a very big pond you can get lost very easily. I had a friend tell me after all my experiences you’re working with the wrong people you should be just working with investors. Sure enough he was right.

Brandon: I can’t help but plug my article here. I wrote an article a while ago called “The real estate’s agent ultimate guide to working with investors.” People can check that out ill link to it in the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/show48 but its basically all about how real estate agent can learn to work with investors.

Josh: Have you read that yet Darren?

Darren: I have read it and I have to say it is great. It really is. It’s kind of funny when I was going through it and its telling you about all the things that you should be doxing if you want to work with investors and I’m like “Oh I do that, yeah, I do that.” There is very little that I’ve come across in BiggerPockets that I haven’t said isn’t really good. You guys do a fantastic job in everything you put together.

Josh: Thanks. You’re investor agent today, you’ve got these multi-families. You bought the first one, did you end up tweaking your strategy at all or had you been sticking to duplex or is there a plan to expand beyond it? Tell us about that.

Darren: I would probably say I recently last couple of years decided to go into the potential of flipping homes. I had the opportunity to buy a house that needed pretty much everything in a very good market in New Jersey and a house was just surrounded by multimillion dollar homes. So there this house was that was built in 1961 and nothing was done to it. Hollywood would love to film in this house but when I bought it was in a really perfect time piece. Kitchen floor looked like a Jameson whiskey bottle cover it wasn’t good. What I decided to was with that house since the potential to make a lot of money was there, when I say a lot of money we’re talking about multiples of six figures, I decided to buy it and actually live in it while I was fixing it up. With tax laws if you live in a house for 2 of the last 5 years as your primary residence you can get not big capital gains on the first $250,000 if you’re single or $500,000 if you’re married. So it can really make a huge difference when you go to sell.

Josh: Interesting. The strategy is to buy dilapidated homes, start with the bedroom, fix that sector up and maybe the kitchen, move in and hang there for two years and one day get the hell out?

Darren: Pretty much, yeah. Originally my strategy in buying multi-families was to look for something that needed a ton of work or there was functional obsolescence to it and create that value that didn’t exist and that way I could raise the rents. But now doing it with single family.

Brandon: Do you still live in that property, then?

Darren: Yes. I’m still living in it right now.

Brandon: Do you have projection on how much you’re hoping to make from that or what’s your end game with that?

Darren: If my numbers are right and I think they’re pretty good – probably about $400,000.

Josh: That’s not a big deal. I could see the walls crumbling behind you. No, that’s great.

Darren: But obviously that’s only when we go actually to sell it. Until then I’m not going to say I’m speculating because I run the numbers and I constantly am checking them over.

Josh: This one that you are in now is this the only one that you are in mid process of a flip?

Darren: Everything else that I’ve done was pretty much renovating to rent. Obviously in that type of scenario you need to move quickly as well because you don’t want to lose your rent. I’d say they were more mini-flips because in the end I’m holding on to it. But you need to be able to execute equally the same.

Brandon: That makes a good transition because I want to talk about when you’re finding a property how do you know what a good property is to buy? What kind of duplex are you looking for, what can you tell us about that process?

Darren: Sure. Not to any way sound like it’s a cliché but location to me is everything, it really is. I love transportation hubs – specifically train stations. Again, from when I first bought my property, the very first one, it was, for me, to be able to commute in and out of New York City and to be able to get in under half an hour. I can commute from New Jersey and be in center Manhattan in less time than some people from Brooklyn taking the subway system. I can have a good quality of life at lower cost of living in New Jersey and get in and out of city quickly. I try to focus in trying to find duplexes that were within always to a walking distance to a train station – under ten minutes. 10 minutes is really the maximum that I would like to go, I’d prefer 5 minutes or less. Again, just to be able to if you have to run to home in a rain you can do it really quickly. I really try to focus on having three bedrooms at least in each unit. So I’m going to appeal to families because I want overall less turnover if possible and I also look for something that’s beat up I want to find something that I can go and raise the rent by adding an extra bathroom. Let’s say it’s a tree-one how I can get that extra bathroom in there so I can get a family to increase my rent.

Brandon: You talked about 3 bedrooms because they are good for families. I bought a triplex last week and one of the units was 4 bedrooms in it and I talked a lot about it in a blog post I wrote on how I bought an ugly multi-family which I will link to in the show notes. The next day a friend of mine Ben Leybovich who’s also a blogger on BiggerPockets wrote a kind of response to that and he said “Here is why I wouldn’t have bought that.” His main reason was, again, me and Ben are really good friends and we talk about this blog posts, because it had three bedrooms. He wouldn’t have bought it because it had 4. But he doesn’t want to rent to a family because you can’t turn them down for some discrimination reasons so you’re forced to have bunch of little kids destroying your property faster. I’m wandering what’s your take on that? What’s your response to that? Because I like bigger units like you do so what’s your reasoning?

Darren: You know, when I go in to fix up a place one of the things I try to do is over engineer the crap out of it so to speak and make it more abuse-proof. I’ve don’t tremendous amount of research, constantly researching materials and things to use that can take more abuse but I prefer to rent to families because, again, in the end when you don’t rent to families you get more turnovers and every single time you get a new tenant coming in you’re going to have to do more work. It is a trade-off but families tend to stay longer.

Brandon: I also find that they seem to have better jobs. By the time you get into age when you have lots of little kids those people aren’t going to lose their jobs and then they don’t pay rent you have to evict them. The one bedroom studios – those ones you’re dealing with people who are more transient nature with their jobs, too.

Josh: At the higher rents, though. You can say that, I had properties that are low rent properties and I had families that destroy the hell out of every damn property. How do you get a hole in a hardwood floor? That’s what I never heard of before.

Your point on transportation hubs – I think the reason Brandon doesn’t understand it is because he lives in the sticks and they don’t actually…

Brandon: I live in a rural area.

Josh: But seriously, take places like New York or Chicago, San Francisco where trains are really essential to life for the vast majority of folks and it’s a brilliant strategy it works really well. It doesn’t work everywhere, Boston of course it works in but I think that’s a fantastic plan. I wanted to hit you up more on this abuse proof thing because it’s a first time I’ve heard somebody say that they do that and I think its brilliant. My question is – What are you doing? Down to materials for which rooms and what do you do in the kitchens, the bathrooms, the bedrooms – can you fill us in a little bit?

Darren: Sure. If we’re going to gut a room or something of that nature instead of using half inch dry wall we’ll use 5/8s because it can take a bigger hit. The cost to put up 5/8s is not much greater than it is for a half inch drywall. But again you banging into it it’s going to be able to more abuse. Tiles – I love porcelain tiles and if I could tile an entire house I would just because tiles can take so much abuse. Again, a lot of my rentals are higher priced so one of the things that I would say we were originally putting in granite in the kitchens but now without the doubt going forward anything we’re putting in is quartz because quartz can take much more abuse. I had a tenant accidentally go and put wine, even though granite counter top was sealed, it still stained the counter top. Quartz doesn’t. It can take abuse, it won’t stain like granite can.

Brandon: I love quartz.

Darren: Quartz is just fantastic, it really is. So it’s just matter of researching and certain things are going to wear out no matter what. If you’re going to refurnish a hardwood floor my floor guy knows how many layers of oil that I want to put on it. I refuse to be the typical home where they’ll put two coats in or something like that. I have them in around 4. So I know that floor can take abuse. I prefer if I possibly can to do things once and make it last. We try not to be trendy in any of our choices, any of our design choices we try to use stuff that’s going to be timeless. No matter when you go and walk into that place it’s going to look good - either today or twenty years from now.

Josh: What would you say on average, if you were to take what you’re doing in terms of materials and extra coats of sealant and things like that, what’s that costing you additionally above what you might have paid if you were the average person doing this kind of thing?

Darren: 10% - 15% maximum.

Josh: 10-15 %? Ok.

Darren: In the end what will it do? It will save me down the road in having to replace it in 5-7 years. Going from 5-7 to maybe 12-15.

Brandon: One thing that I do and I don’t think it sort of applies in higher end rentals but in lower ones to kind of make an abuse-proof. They have this floor at Home Depot called Allure. It’s like a vinyl plank flooring its flexible and it looks really good. It’s like laminate flooring, if you know what laminate flooring is, it’s like that but it’s made out of vinyl so its rubber basically. I love putting that stuff in. It’s about $1.85 squared foot a little more than carpet. I have to have it in places where I have 4-5-6-7 kids living in this houses. Not on purpose but they decided to run a day care out of it. The carpet is completely destroyed, gone 100%, the floor looks as good as the day I put it in.

Darren: It’s great. We’ve actually used that but only in basements. To make a basement floor look good. We had some issues with it with the overlap where the glue sticks. It’s come apart on couple of places but other than that it can look god for a very long period of time.

Brandon: I had that floor in the bathroom It came apart around the toilets I won’t use it in the bathrooms anymore. Good stuff.

Josh: That’s awesome. Thanks for zooming in on that stuff I think it’s a topic that a lot of people may not even consider. I think the average guys look how can I do think, make it look nice and save as much money as possible. Clearly if you think about it doing a better job of what you’re doing, putting better materials is going to pay out in the long run.

Darren: I think also when you use the better materials, too, the incoming tenant can see it and it kind of gives your place more of an IT factor just more desirable. I’ve been very blessed in this aspect and when I tell people this they are shocked – since 1998 there’s only been two months that I’ve never collected a rent check.

Josh: From any unit?

Darren: From any of the units.

Josh: So two unit months, total?

Darren: Correct.

Brandon: Are you talking about because they were vacant and you couldn’t fill them up fast enough or you’re talking about because you had an evict or something?

Darren: I been fortunate to never had to evict and I’ve been also fortunate I’ve only been at court once. What I basically do is I have a very strong lease. I’m a member of a New Jersey property owners association, I’ve took their lease and modified it. The lease is over 20 page long and that’s kind of also an entry barrier as well. If someone puts up a big resistance to signing my lease they’re not going to get into door.

Josh: 20 pages? That’s about as long as I’ve heard of. What types of screening type clauses if you’d be willing to share – its okay if they’re just local to New Jersey. Just curious what kind of things really piss people off?

Darren: Well there’s certain things that I make tenant pay for that maybe some other tenants wouldn’t have to pay for. I make sure, first of all, all my units all the utilities are separate so I don’t have to pay any utility not even water. I even will charge for their sewage usage because I get billed out for it directly. Again, certain people will go “Oh I shouldn’t pay for that.” Again, you don’t have to live here. One of the things I’ve done to kind of cut myself out of having to take phone calls from my tenants is I started doing this and all the other landlords in the area started doing as well, making them pay for PSEG service that covers all the major appliances and the hot water heater, boiler, you name it. If anything goes wrong even in the middle of the night they have 24h hotline that they can call. They don’t have heat they don’t call me they call PSEG and they send out the service person to turn the heat back on.

Josh: That’s a local utility, yeah?

Darren: Yes, that is a local utility. It saves me money, it saves me time and it makes me more efficient in being a property manager because there’s less hand holding that I need to do. I try to make sure going in that the tenant really understands the lease but I’m responsible for and what they’re responsible for. They understand how they need to return the property to me ahead of time and either they agree to that or, again, it’s going to create that barrier for them to get in there.

Brandon: One thing you said I really want to highlight here is that you have your tenants pay even for things like water and sewer. I think a lot of landlords just assume that that has to be the responsibility of a landlord. Maybe in some jurisdictions there’s a law that says that but I’m not aware of one in my area. Most of my multi-families I pay it but like the new triplex I’m going to part that out and I have a couple of duplexes I just divided in half and tenants never even said a word. When I told them “Hey you guys are each responsible for your own water.” Not even a peep from them. I think a lot of landlords can actually save a ton of money just by shifting that responsibility over.

Darren: Absolutely. I’ve got a friend of mine who had over 20 rental units and pretty much the way he was running things was more like a hotel versus tenant landlord relationship. He thought that even though tenants have their own water meter that he had to cover it. When anything would have gone wrong in the place, let’s say they clogged their toilet, he would be paying for a plumber to run out and unclog the toilet. I would be like “Why are you doing that, they clogged it” You know? You tell them to get a plunger. I have things like that in my lease that explains that therefore nuisance items are just regular maintenance items those are things their responsibility and not mine.

Josh: What if they screw it up? What if your tenant goes and gets a snake or throws a bunch Drano down the toilet or does something that they shouldn’t be doing and they mess it up because they’re trying to maintain it or has that just not been an issue for you?

Darren: It hasn’t been an issue pretty much all the plumbing’s have been updated, plumbing and electrical in all the places so they dump drain down the PVC pipes. Some of these homes they were turn of the century 1906 or above but again we pretty much have done everything in their homes.

Josh: Got you.

Darren: Again, you need to find people with responsibility to begin with. I’m not sure if I’ve heard on BiggerPockets on a podcast but someone said one of the ways you should go and possibly screen a tenant is when you go to meet with them look in their car and look at the condition that they keep their car because that’s how they’ll keep your house. As kind of a leading indicator. That’s interesting and I got to start looking at cars now.

Brandon: Let’s move one a little bit to talk about how you’re actually finding the properties that you’re getting? We’ve talked about your early ones but I want to know in today’s market how are you finding good deals? Direct Mail, MLS, what?

Darren: I’m pretty much an MLS guy since I have my license I mine MLS every single day. I’m constantly in there seeing what has just come on to the market. In certain areas in the MLS system they will tell you what’s just been listen in the past few hours and you can see it. So I go in and constantly viewing to find things. They’re not just for me personally but for my clients as well because a lot of MLS system can put you on auto alert so if anything comes on a day prior you’ll get it next morning. In certain places, in certain markets the competition’s so high if you’re not in there the day it comes on the market you’re going to lose out. I’m constantly looking in the MLS system and also networking with other landlords.

Josh: Prior to being a manager what where you doing to find deals?

Darren: Strictly working with an agent who I thought was good until I became an agent myself.

Josh: We talked about that article earlier but what criteria would you say for somebody starting out who might be looking for an agent to help him find good properties. What should investors be looking in an agent?

Darren: I think you really need to ask the agent what experience they have with real estate investing. Someone who is not a landlord and hasn’t been a landlord how are they going to understand what is that you’re really trying to do? Otherwise they’re just on the sidelines looking at it. Typical real estate agent generally deals in emotions, most home purchases are a purchased emotionally. As an investor we look at things totally different and that’s why when I started to be a real estate agent I would go into a house with someone who was looking to buy a single family home and I would walking into it and I’m thinking to myself “Oh you can open up this wall that will create this value” but to be honest with you the average person didn’t appreciate it but an investor does. I can walk into the house just because I’ve done it so many times that I can understand the bones of the house since I’ve gutted houses and plumed them and wire them so I understand what needs to be done to be able to maximize either a flip perspective or from a rental perspective.

Josh: That’s great. What’s a typical deal for you? Obviously you’re buying these duplexes but how about property condition are these things turnkey, cosmetic fixer, major fixers and just tell us about that.

Darren: The worse condition that it’s in the more I love it. Especially now at this point in my investing career. Probably when I started off I was over my head I really didn’t know much about how to do anything around the home. Thank god I had a friend of mine who was in construction, Ted, who literally came down helped me out and literally showed me how to do certain things. Other than that I had to learn how to do everting by reading books. You name it, if I didn’t read a book I couldn’t do it. When I bought my first one I couldn’t afford to pay plumbers and they were so much money it’s like “Oh my god this is crazy!” Again, I bought a house that I really couldn’t afford. Deloitte was paying me $40,000 a year at the time I bought a house that was $345,000 and got it because of my mother. She co-signed on that loan and that’s how I got into the house.

Josh: You go, mom!

Darren: Exactly.

Brandon: I think it’s pretty cool. I like your perspective because you’re a lot more like me – more hands on landlord. I don’t do as much fixing anymore but a lot of people who we had on the show they have a lot of system and processes and people that do everything for them. But you still do a lot of your own work it sounds like.

Darren: I still do a portion of it but when I first started off, again, I did majority of it and I think by me doing a majority of the work in the beginning gave me greater perspective as to being able to hire someone to do it and now it’s like when I do go and talk to the plumber and talk to an electrician I can go and tell them exactly what it is that I’m trying to do. It’s not vague in any way shape or form. When I talk to the plumber about putting a new heating system in the house I make sure that he installed check valves the spiral vent to take the air out of the hot water base port system actually respects me more because I know what I’m talking about. It helps you out and I grew up in the day and age where you used books to learn stuff but nowadays everything is different with the advent of the internet. I have learned to do things in the shorter period of time by utilizing sites like YouTube. The current project that we’re in right now when we bought the house it was literally sinking in the middle. The main beam that runs through the house sunk by two inches so I brought in an engineer and asked him “Ok, we need to level up the floors” and it will cost me well over $10,000 to level out the floors. I’m like “Oh my god this is crazy. What can I do?” so I went on to YouTube and I looked up how to jack up a house. I watched the video and this really doesn’t seem all that difficult. I had two bottle jacks each one did 10 tons of pressure. I put them on each side of the post, went out got metal plates and slowly jacked up the house, stuck in the metal plates, leveled all the floors in the house one shot.

Josh: I keep my bottle jacks in the back of my Prius. It’s always helpful to have – you never know when you’re going to have to jack up the floors.

Brandon: I love that. I use YouTube a lot of time as well. I don’t do as much anymore – the fixing. But when I was getting started, we talked about it a couple weeks ago – the unfair advantage that could be your unfair advantage is that you have the ability to learn how to do these things. When I got started I got a book One, Two, Three – Home Depot from the Home Depot.

Darren: Absolutely.

Brandon: Big orange book. That how I learned how to do everting. I remember soldering in my garage trying to get my water heater working it was a disaster I ended up calling the plumber, a friend of mine, to walk me through it on the phone. I think there is a time and place for doing your own work especially when you’re getting started.

Darren: And it can save you a tremendous amount of money and as you said give you that unfair advantage where you know if you go in and do something and not have to hire someone. Who knows how many replacement windows I’ve put in with everything that we invested in. Now it’s like I’ve got clients that are just “Oh Darren I need to do windows. – Ok, no problem, I’ll come over and show you how to do it.” That’s an added benefit that I’ll do for my clients as well, I’ll show them how to do things so that it can save them money because I want my clients to be as successful as they possibly can because I want to do more deals with them.

Josh: You are the rising above and beyond type of investor friendly realtor which is rare. Seriously if you want to create a successful niche you’re certainly doing it and I implore any real estate agents who are listening to pay very close attention because it’s about the intelligence factor but it’s also about that serve factor. If you can provide that extra level of service that’s really going to help out.

Darren: I also try to get my clients access to any connections that I have so if I know someone, my good friend again who works for a window company, he can get me the windows at virtually cost. So I give it to my clients at the same thing, again, I want them to be successful. One of the things I probably say was one of the hardest things I did when I first started out was you watch TV and you see this people who it seems are paying absolutely nothing to get work done around the house at least in the New York Metropolitan area. Things that would probably cost three four times as much. When you’re a newbie it’s how can you possibly get better pricing on services to make you more competitive in the marketplace. They’re going to give a guy who’s done 60 homes with them a better rate then it would for the newbie. A plumber may charge 95 or a $100 an hour to the seasoned investor where’s newbie is going to pay $190 to 200 an hour. What I did in an effort to try and save money and I implore all new investors to do this is to group together and that is to create volume between a bunch of you. When you go out to find a right plumber you tell them it’s not just me I’ve got, let’s say, 10 units here but it’s also these 20 units or these 5 units or this one unit. In essence we’ve got 50 and we’re all going to give your business so what’s your rate? Give me a better rate.

Josh: That’s a great tip. I think that’s awesome. I also implore anyone who’s listening to do that because you can certainly save a lot of money to service folk doing that. Anybody to a handy man to a plumber that works fantastic.

Let’s transition really quickly to how you’re acquiring this properties. What are you doing in terms of financing? Are you paying cash for them, are you putting money down – what’s the plan these days? Not mom, not BOM?

Darren: Yeah, the bank of mom is tapped out. How I originally came across and found BiggerPockets was that I had exhausted the traditional methods of financing homes. I was trying to find ulterior ways of being able to finance more property deals. I found BiggerPockets and “Oh wow there’s this whole other avenue that I can tap into” that I really wasn’t all that aware of at the time. Now it’s just like I’ve actually hooked up with so many different money people to be able to either get me into a community bank or a I can be part of a portfolio loan and that’s just opened up the doors and being able to do a lot more, after you’ve gone past the four it makes a big difference.

Josh: You’re going to these sources financing a good portion of your properties putting 20% down – is that kind of a typical deal?

Darren: Pretty much 20 or 25 – if it’s an income property they generally want 25 right now.

Josh: You said you’re going to these community banks, going to portfolio lenders, are you getting money from private lenders as well?

Darren: It’s an avenue that I’ve only explored in looking out something to fix up and then being able to refinance. Get the initial loan and then possibly put a couple $100,000 into something via construction and go and refinance a whole thing out where I’ve created a lot more value of the home.

Brandon: That’s what I’ve done on the last few small multi-families I used private money to fund the purchase, fix it up and then go to the portfolio lender and they refinance it without too much of an issue.

Darren: Again, if you can show that you’ve got a cash flow there and you can show them success they’re going to look at it seriously.

Brandon: Lets transition a little bit before we close this up. I want to know some details about land lording. A lot of people who listen to this show are landlords so let’s go into some really specific things. First of all – how are you finding tenants?

Darren: Again, the primary way that I’m able to find tenants is by listing the properties and getting the exposure there by putting it on the MLS. The properties that we have are generally more desirable because of their location. People want to live there, you’re very close to train station and they’re close to schools, they’re close to the town that can allow a person to walk in and do whatever and not use a car. That has enabled us to always have this constant source of potential tenants but I think what’s really important is if you’re a landlord is really to try to understand who it is that you’re trying to rent to. Know your target market. Again, we’ve got three bedroom units – we’re trying to target families. Generally families don’t like to move outside of the school’s year. We make sure that all our leases renew either June/July/August. Again, it’s trying to found a tenant in the middle of October before the holidays are coming in it’s just very tough to do. No matter if you’ve got one bedroom or two or three it’s really important for you to understand who your target market is and make sure that you’re going to be able to rent to them. Try to understand the cycles on which they generally move on and plan around that if you possibly can. Let’s say if you did have a tenant who moved in January offer them a year and a half lease to get them through the end of June. To make trough that it would work on this whole system cycle.

Josh: That’s a great idea. You’ve got to be careful about violating any fair housing laws when you’re advertising or when you’re screening and picking your tenants but by having your leases run during those durations you increase the likelihood that you’re going to get that target demographic.

Darren: Absolutely. We’ve been very fortunate that pretty much everything we’ve done is via realtor.

Brandon: That’s interesting to me because in my area we don’t do that. They don’t list rental properties on the MLS. For those people like me we don’t have that. What is that process like?

Darren: It’s very similar to selling a house. A realtor is going to come in and list the property for rent and you’re going to have your listing with them for a duration of time for them to find you a tenant. Obviously you have the amount that you want to pay and the realtor general goes and does the whole screening process. If it’s a credit report in the application process, if they’re looking at the criminal history, whatever it is they go and then present it to you as a landlord and you can if that person works out to whatever your standards are, I think it’s very important as a landlord you write down what is important for you or what your qualifications are so that way you never make exceptions for anyone that can kind of get you in the trouble down the road. On The Ultimate Guide, that you wrote, to Screening Tenants it’s like their income has to be three times the rent – the absolute minimum. Then you better never go lower than that if that’s your criteria is. Than you can never have an issue.

Brandon: I’m so strict if it’s a dollar below it I won’t do it because I have to draw that line. I don’t want to be the guy in my own mentality I don’t want to be “Well you make a 100 less so I guess that will be ok.” And then “Oh you make 200 less, well I guess that’s ok.” I don’t want to parse that so I have a very defined line.

Josh: Slippery slope.

Brandon: You have to make exactly $1745 a month. If you don’t make that don’t apply. I state that everywhere.

Josh: I think that the realtor thing comes into play and I’m as speaking out of generalities here but when I was an agent in Los Angeles I dealt with a bunch of rentals. I know New York City you can’t rent an apartment without going through a real estate agent. I’m guessing it’s in major cities and maybe someone in the show notes can verify that for us but I think in the big cities agents’ play a lot more than sticks.

Darren: Probably. Again, depending on where you are, who pays that broker commission is going to be different. You go to the Chicago its going to be the landlord that pays it but primarily here in New Jersey or New York Metropolitan area incoming tenant is paying for that broker’s commission.

Brandon: Really?

Josh: That is advantageous for sure.

Brandon: I would love to have that tenants pay for all their own work of finding the place. I don’t have that.

Josh: Start moving out of Podunk and come join us in bright lights and big cities.

Brandon: Darren you got any rental properties that I could rent from you?

Darren: Sure. It really depends if you qualify.

Brandon: Just don’t look at my car.

Josh: Do you have any tenant horror stories? You said you only had two evictions and you had to go to court once. What was that all about?

Darren: I’ve had no evictions. I’ve only been to court once and that was for what I charged the tenant in moving out – they were in disagreement with the numbers that I had. The only time that I really had issues were the police showed up and I had a tenant with hands around the throat of his wife was when I inherited the tenant. That was in my very first duplex we bought when we bought in that town. It was really questionable, it wasn’t the greatest neighborhood but then a few years later for some reason Money Magazine named it one of the best towns in the top 10 towns to live in the United States.

Josh: They don’t always get it right.

Darren: Yes, they don’t but thank god they hit it on the head with that one and rental rates went up, demand went through the roof.

Josh: Nice. And I think I saw that CSI episode by the way.

Darren: Good.

Josh: Law and Order, whatever it was. Husband choking his wife.

Darren: It was very interesting to see that through the window, it really was.

Brandon: My only eviction was from inherited tenant as well. There is some risk in that.

Josh: I’ve had many evictions but of course that came with low income properties and having crap standards. Very quickly learned my lesson.

Darren: You make a really good point with that Josh, really you do, I told first time investors that a bunch of them would say they would rather go out and buy a bunch of smaller properties because they cost less in more questionable areas. “My cap rates are going to be better, my cash on cash return is going to be better.” I said “Yeah, but you’re going to be dealing with a whole bunch of other things that are just not aware of and unless you’re really seasoned at this you really should have crawl/walk/run trying to get into the best place that you possibly can to have a good experience that you could build upon. From there you can build an empire.

Josh: I agree with you a 1000% on that. I would tell a new investors never ever buy the low income properties until they’ve got experience as a landlord, until they understand how to screen, until they get it because it could be absolute nightmare – it was for me. I have no qualms talking about it I’ve had horrible experiences about as bad as they can be as a landlord and I don’t want other people to go through the same thing. That really is one of the big reasons why BiggerPockets exists today is because of those experiences. I am glad we agree on that.

In wrapping up this main section here – What’s your end game strategy? Where do you see yourself in 5-10-20 years? Right now it sounds like you’re doing alright, you’ve got a portfolio, you’re living off it, you’re starting to build it up – what’s next? $10,000,000,000?

Darren: That would be great but we don’t have aspiration of anything of that sorts. I’ve met some great people, members of BiggerPockets, that have aspirations of even being a billionaire and we don’t. We want to be comfortable and we know what our number is and how we were able to devise that number was by reading a few good books. I think The Millionaire Real Estate Investor was able to put that in perspective as to where we want to be and how we want to get there. There’s a little plug for that book as well.

Brandon: Why don’t we take this to the fire round? These questions all come from the BiggerPockets forums where you, Darren, probably have seen this questions before so you’ll be ready for them.

Question number 1 – I can’t find any tenants to fill my vacancy. What do I do?

Darren: You can’t find a tenant. I would probably say the very first thing is the place is overpriced. If you don’t have a tenant possibly coming in there the reason is that you’re just probably above what the market is at the moment so you need to drop your price to be able to attract the people who are actually in the market at that moment. This is another reason why I would say that I prefer to invest in the saturated market and not in more rural areas. I want a constant steam of people who are always going to be there. Overall its – you’re overpriced.

Josh: How do your tenants pay rent? Are they paying online through Direct Deposit, cash, something else?

Darren: We never do cash. It’s either Direct Deposit or trough Bill Bank. It just makes it a heck of a lot easier.

Josh: Really quick I will do a plug here for those people who do have tenants who pay cash. We recently started working with the company that allows you to collect cash without you actually handling the cash which is kind of nice for safety purpose. It’s called PayNearMe. We’ll link to it in the show notes but it’s pretty cool. Basically your tenants can pay the rent at like a 7-11 or some other local business can take their payments but it’s great, you never handle it, it’s all accounted for so checkout the links in the show notes for PayNearMe it’s a service we came across about a year ago and we just now started working with those guys because we really like the idea.

Darren: Sounds great.

Brandon: Window curtains or blinds – do you supply them or do the tenants supply them?

Darren: We supply blinds and pretty much that’s it. If they want curtains they’ve got to put them up. If they go and they damage the window they’ve got to repair it – they’ve got to fill the holes if they drilled any holes and paint afterwards and restore it back to mint condition it was given to them.

Josh: All included in your 20 page lease of course.

Darren: Absolutely, it’s in there. No joke.

Josh: You’re lease is kind of like a big Q&A section. What if my pin puts a hole in the wall?

Darren: I had people come back to me “I’m not signing this! What are you, crazy?”

Josh: Here is a morbid question that Brandon decided he wanted me to ask.

Brandon: It was on forums.

Josh: What do you do if your tenant dies?

Brandon: I had this happen one time.

Darren: Interesting. It’s never happened to me, obviously.

Josh: Maybe Brandon can answer.

Darren: I think the first thing I would do is probably talk to my attorney and ask because I don’t know if they’re renting alone lease would probably become null and void. Again, I’m not an attorney so I can’t officially say. However if someone else is living with them in New Jersey we’re required that if anyone is 18 years and above they have to be on the lease. Let’s say the mother is living with her daughter and daughter is above 18 the daughter is technically still responsible and still does all the legal aspects of the lease. At least that’s what I understand. I would say, again, I would be on the phone with my attorney I would even know where to begin on that officially. I wish I had a good answer but sometimes in this industry it’s important to understand that in most cases you don’t know everything. I don’t claim to.

Josh: That’s not true.

Brandon: Josh knows everything.

Josh: I don’t know squat. Forget me. There are people who are claiming to know everything and anything and like to change a lot of money for access to that information. I think what you’ve said – you’ve been investing since ’98 that’s considerable amount of time 15 years. In 15 years you don’t know everything and you’re still not going to know everything in another 15.

Darren: In fact the more time I spend on Bigger Pickets it’s kind of like looking up at the starts and going “God, I’m small.” You realize in the end though I may know a lot than the beginner in the grand scheme of things there are so many things about this industry that I still have yet to learn and that makes it great.

Brandon: Do you rent to students?

Darren: Me personally I’ve never done it. Again, if I were to do that I would have to really over engineer the place.

Brandon: Put some spots for the beer kegs on the counter.

Darren: I’ve been through student rental units just in the past 6-8 weeks looking at them as potential investments for my clients. It’s not something that I would necessarily jump into if I was new. Again, it would be very important for me to understand how I was being able to attract those students going forward. Because, again, if students are going to be more abusive to a place in general.

Josh: Some landlords are abusive to their student renters. When I was a senior in college I rented an apartment and you walked in, you opened the fridge, I kid you not there was not a square inch of that refrigerator that was no covered in about an inch of mold. I said to the manager “This is disgusting, you guys need to replace the fridge” and they brought in a cleaning crew and I said “There’s no way in hell you’re cleaning that thing and I’m still going to use it.” Apparently they thought we would and when the time came to start using the refrigerator for some reason it just didn’t work and don’t know how that happened but…

Darren: It’s funny that you say that the very first place that we bought there was so much mold in the fridge and good old bank of mom she got that fridge spotless. Oh my god he thought it was a new fridge by the time she was done but I’m sure that there are landlords that can be abusive to their tenants and that’s very unfortunate I think If you do that you really shouldn’t be in this business. If you’re landlord you needed to understand that you are in the service industry. You need to serve your clients and you will get a bed reputation and people will not want to rent from you. It will catch up with you at certain point. Either if you’re personal reputation doesn’t matter to you then so be it but if you’re doing stuff like that legally something is then going to catch up with you as well and that’s not a place that we know we want to be.

Josh: And you’ve given bad name to the rest of the industry. That’s why every article you read about landlords and everything you hear on the news is bad because they like to pick up those guys.

Darren: He’d be like Joe Pesci in that movie when he was the landlord that’s the difference of the opinions.

Josh: Fire round - If tenant wanted to buy one of your properties would you sell?

Darren: That’s a great question and I would probably say no. Reason why is because of how well they produce it would really take some of them a very strong number for me to want to sell. Again, because they produce. My mindset was always been create cash flow.

Brandon: Moving to the final segment this is our famous four.

Darren: Wait there was no Quick Tip at all throughout this whole thing.

Josh: That happens in the beginning we usually record that before you. It’s time for the Quick Tip. Today’s Quick Tip is listen to the famous four.

Darren: I got one. Always put your paint coats of what you use in your leases so in case you ever have to do a touchup or they call you to do a touch up they don’t have to call you and say “What color is in the living room?” Its right there.

Brandon: If you were in a room I would give you a hug.

Josh: That’s probably one of the best tips I’ve heard on the show, period.

Darren: Seriously?

Brandon: I have the worst problem with paint. I say I only use one kind of paint but they’re out so I have to do a different kind or a color match. I must have a 100 different types of paint around my different properties and I never know what I’m doing anymore. It is very problematic I have a major problem with paint. It’s not my fault. I hired a resident manager to take over all my maintenance so he goes and gets the wrong one, every time he color matches paint and I didn’t realize this for a while. He’ll go to a Walmart and get them to scan the color from the wall and its totally different color every time.

Darren: We use strictly Benjamin Moore paints and pre-mixed colors and we tell them what those colors are so they never have to even question it.

Josh: And Brandon needs to fire his resident property manager.

Brandon: We’re working that way.

Josh: Darren what’s your real estate book and it’s clearly not Rich Dad because you haven’t read that one.

Darren: I’d probably say The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller. But a close number two is The Millionaire Real Estate Agent that he wrote as well.

Brandon: Would you say that was your favorite business book or do you have another favorite business book?

Darren: I would say I have another favorite business book but I would probably say it’s more of inspirational business book. I don’t know if you ever heard of it it’s written by man named Art Williams and he wrote a book called All you can do is all you can do but all you can do is enough and it is a fantastic book. Art started out he was a football coach and created an amazing company selling insurance and I think he now owns the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team or something. He’s a billionaire but he started out making $10,000 a year and he talks about how trough determination you can successes even if you have limitations you can’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. There’s is a great speech that he gave to the National Association of Religious Broadcasters if you look it up on YouTube it is fantastic. Art is really one inspiration behind Nike’s Just Do It ad. Art came out with Just Do It well before Nike ever used it. Really interesting guy, again, great book.

Brandon: I’ll link to that in the show notes.

Darren: I was going to say Hamburger America by George Motz but that got shot.

Brandon: I don’t know that one.

Darren: This is classic. It’s a burger book.

Josh: Anything about burgers is good for me. Next question hobbies. What do you do for fun?

Darren: I would probably say I like to travel and I’m also a gamer. I’ll admit that. I love my X-Box 360. If you want to find me on there, my tag sign is GreenDarren.

Josh: I think we should start and I’m going to point this to Brandon because I’m too old, actually I’m clearly not too old, I think we should start setting up BiggerPockets online gaming tournaments. Might be kind of fun.

Darren: That would be great.

Josh: As we’re talking to you throughout the podcast a light in your room has gotten darker and darker. I can’t even see you anymore.

Brandon: I was going to comment on that as well.

Darren: The sun is setting here in the East coast so hold on one second ill turn it on.

Josh: That’s ok, we’re almost done.

Brandon: Last question of the famous four and the last question of the podcast – What do you believe sets apart the successful investors from those who fail?

Darren: I would probably say no matter what it has to be persistence. You need to jump into this business with both feet and really be committed to it to really be successful in my opinion at least in buy and hold. In flipping you probably can get in and out of it obviously more easily but you have to come into this business expecting that you’re probably going to get some knocks on the head and you’re going to come across some bumps on the road but obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goals. You really need to be focused and never give up. I probably say the most successful people in this business that I’ve come across are the ones who fail the most. But they didn’t give up and that’s why they’re in situation that they’re in now.

Josh: Alright Darren definitely a fantastic show lot of great tips and tad bits in there and we definitely want to thank you for joining us and we appreciate you being part of the BiggerPockets and people who are listening who may have question will hit you up on the show at BiggerPockets.com/show48. They can ask you any questions and I’m sure you’ll be there for them.

Really quick before you go can you tell people your website because I know they’ll want to find you there.

Darren: That’s a great question and I don’t have a website Josh.

Josh: What? No website?

Darren: Yes, no website. I’ve got websites for my prior companies but not when it came to real estate investing.

Josh: So it’s not necessary to have a website to be a successful investor.

Darren: You hit a nail on the head. What you need to be is a good networker and someone is going to open up their mouth and ask questions. You guys have put together probably one of the best websites when it comes to real estate investing that I ever came across and you’ve taken it to a whole another level. BP is a gold mine. I know I’m shamefully plugging BP right now and you’re not paying me to do this. There is not a single day when I don’t come across something and go “Wow, I didn’t know that.” It is so chalk full of information, again, Millionaire Real Estate Investor may be my favorite real estate book but it hails in comparison to the information which is on BiggerPockets.

Josh: Thank you, definitely appreciate that. I didn’t know that Darren didn’t have a website but I asked him just to mock him. Honestly I wanted to make a point for investors. A lot of people go “You’ve got to build a website first.” And I think that’s nonsense. I don’t think that’s true. I was hoping that Darren would parrot that and sounds like that’s the case.

Listen Darren thanks again, we definitely appreciate it and anyone listening could find him on the show notes or look him up on BiggerPockets – Darren Sager and we’ll see you around man.

Darren: Thank you so much for having me guys, it’s been a pleasure.

Brandon: Thank you.

Josh: Alright everybody that was probably one of my favorite shows that we’ve done so far – just a tone of really good information. Hopefully you enjoyed it as much as I did, I know Brandon did.

Brandon: Totally reinvigorates me to what I’m doing. Whole buy and hold. Buy and hold investing can kind of feel sometimes like I’m not really seeing the fruits of my labor but you see a guy who’s been doing it for a lot longer than I have and he’s experiencing those fruits right now and I think that’s refreshing.

Josh: I just think that a lot of tips like tenant proofing your property it’s just really smart stuff there. Good stuff.

Please make sure if you’ve got questions post them to Darren on BiggerPockets.com/show48 on show notes. Otherwise we’re really happy you chose to listen to the show. If you’ve missed any previous ones go and catch up, they’re all pretty darn awesome and leave us some feedback and reviews if you haven’t done that already on iTunes. Otherwise check us out on Facebook, Google+, Twitter so on and so forth. We like to do fun stuff there and share some cool things that we don’t share or discuss on BiggerPockets itself so follow us there. If you’re not a member of BiggerPockets already – what are you waiting for? Seriously there’s just so many reasons to join I don’t have to tell you if you’ve listened to our shows you’ve heard from enough people who have given you about a 1000 different reasons why you should.

Thanks for listening we appreciate the time you’ve given to Brandon and I and our guest’s throughout the year and we will see you on the next one – show 49 coming soon! I’m Josh Dorkin, signing off.

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