BiggerPockets Podcast 076 with Brian Burke Transcript

Link to show: BP Podcast 076: Growing Your Real Estate Company Into a $30 Million Dollar Business with Brian Burke

Josh: This is the BiggerPockets podcast, show 76.

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, the man in the spectacles, Mr. Brandon Turner. What’s up Brandon?

Brandon: Hey, what’s up? Yes, most people probably don’t know I wear glasses because my profile picture doesn’t have me with glasses, but I do.

Josh: Well, you’re physically weak.

Brandon: Funny guy. Hey, Superman wears glasses. Come on.

Josh: No, Clark Kent wears glasses.

Brandon: Okay, well whatever. Alright, I don’t subscribe to that nerdy magazine, comic book world that you do.

Josh: Okay. What’s going on man? How are you? What’s good—what’s been doing?

Brandon: I’m good. I’ll tell you something interesting. You know, we recorded this interview with our guest today, earlier today and we’re just doing our introduction now and one of the things on the show, actually encouraged me. I made a call to my local property management company today and I have a meeting with them set, so yes.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: There’s some good stuff in this show I think that—I mean it rocked me to go and actually make a phone call and hopefully going to transition, make some big changes here in the next couple of weeks.

Josh: Aw.

Brandon: We’ll see.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: That’s great man. That’s great. Listen. If we can spark action for you, hopefully we can spark action for the other tens of thousands of listeners per show that we have so.

Brandon: There you go.

Josh: That’s fabulous man, very exciting, very exciting. Well, we do have an awesome show. Before we get into it, let’s today’s

Brandon: Quick Tip.

Josh: Quick Tip. Alright, so today’s Quick Tip guys is make sure you have some kind of professional photograph of yourself. I’m not talking about going down to the studio. I’m talking about having somebody take a nice professional headshot that you can use on BiggerPockets, Facebook, LinkedIn, your social networks.

You know, when people are looking you up, first of all, you want to use the same picture across all of your networks so it’s easier for folks to better recognize you, but especially as it pertains to BiggerPockets. When you’re networking, when you’re out on the forums, interacting, people really tend to look up other folks who have a profile way before they’re going to look up somebody who doesn’t have a profile pic and you know, beyond that, we actually also have stuff in our algorithms where if you’ve got a profile, you’re going to probably—profile picture, you’re come up sooner and higher than somebody who does not so having a profile pic is definitely advantageous and it just helps people to better relate to you so we definitely encourage you to do that. If got a picture or a skyscraper or a dog, you kissing a goat, whatever it is that you’ve got, you know, get rid of it. Put up a picture of your face even if you look like Brandon.

Brandon: I think that applies—even I mean like if you’re talking Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, whatever. I mean yes, if it’s a picture of you like drinking like I don’t know, like doing a keg stand. I don’t know there’s just like a professionalism thing that the more you can portray yourself as somebody who is serious and in business, the better it is. The more people are going to be attracted to giving you funding or deals. I mean don’t think that people don’t check you out. Like, we check our tenants out on Facebook. You can be assured that anybody considering you as a partner or a lender or to fund you or whatever. They’re going to check out your social media so make sure it reflects that.

Josh: There you go and that is today’s Quick Tip.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Brought to you by Josh and Brandon.

Brandon: There you go.

Josh: Yes, yes. By the way, this is show 76 of the BiggerPockets podcast. If you have not yet done so, please jump on iTunes and look us up. Actually, we got a link on the BiggerPockets podcast at, which will point you right to our iTunes page. If you haven’t already, please leave us a review. Leave us some rating. A rating and a review, let people know what you think. It definitely helps us spread the word. We do appreciate it very much.

Today’s show is with Brian Burke. If you think that name’s familiar, well it’s cause you probably listened to show number three of the BiggerPockets podcast. Brian is our third repeat guest on the podcast now and he’s an extremely successful house flipper and real estate investor from northern California who’s got really great story, a zero to hero type of story and he’s got an outstanding business model. Since we already know a lot about how he got his start from show three, we’re going to cover something totally different today. We’re going to really dig in into how he scales his business and so there’s really a lot of great tips here for everybody. This show is designed for sophisticated investors who’ve been around the block and those people who are just getting started so I strongly encourage everybody to focus and pay attention and that’s really all I got. Got anything you want to add?

Brandon: Yes, Brian is like my hero so you guys are going to love this episode. He’ll be your hero too.

Josh: Oh, so cute, so nice. Alright, well this is going to be an awesome show. Let’s get him on here, Brian Burke, welcome to the show man. Good to have you.

Brian: Hey man, good to be back. I appreciate it, it’s been awhile. Thanks guys.

Brandon: It has been awhile. Yes, I think it was over a year ago. You were—I think you were what two or three on the show so I’m sure a lot of things have changed and that’s what where we—why don’t we actually start with that.

Brian: Well, you know, I actually was number three on the show and you know, that kind of—that brings something to mind. You know, you guys can of start throwing questions out, but I—before we get started with all that. I actually have a bone to pick with you guys.

Josh: Oh boy. Here we go.

Brandon: Let’s hear it.

Brian: I want to know what’s your obsession with me and the number three?

Brandon: How so?

Josh: Cause?

Brian: I was on podcast number three and now I’m your third full length repeat guest. I’m never second, never first. I’m always third so I guess I can’t figure this out. Ben Leybovich was the first repeat guest. Now on the BP blogs, Ben has publicly declared that Brandon is his girlfriend so that means that one was just blatant.

Brandon: I don’t know.

Josh: I don’t know what’s going on there. That’s just some weirdness between the two of them.

Brian: Ben, I don’t know what’s going on there. That was blatant.

Brandon: I don’t know what’s going on there, Ben’s a character, Ben is a character.

Brian: Well, okay so then second repeat podcast is J Scott. Now I have no problem getting beat by J Scott and taking second place to J Scott. This guy’s got like 15 million posts on the forum. You’re probably going to name an award after him. Here I am.

Brandon: That’s a good idea.

Brandon: I’m number three again and like most real estate investors.

Josh: We’ll create the third award after you.

Brian: Well, yes, that’s exactly what’s going to happen, but see, I’m a competitive guy so here’s what my thought is for today cause I’m really competitive and I’m too big of a weakling to be competitive in any sport so real estate is the only game I can win so I want to make this an epic podcast because I want to be the first guest to be a three-peat.

Brandon: Ooh.

Josh: Ooh, okay.

Brian: What do you think? You get to keep the obsession with number three and I get to be the first place. It’s a win-win guys.

Josh: Well, here’s what it comes down to. You know, if people turn out and actually care about what you have to say then maybe, we’ll think about putting you second instead of third. How does that sound?

Brian: Caring about what I have to say, well so much for that. It was fun while it lasted.

Josh: Aw. Come on man. We love you.

Brandon: Yes, we do.

Brian: Hey, well, I do appreciate you guys having me back. It was fun last time and hopefully, it will be half as fun this time, cool.

Josh: Well, Brian has right now on Brian’s show just you guys know, Brian’s got well over 30,000 listens to his first show and hopefully with this show, we can double that so you know listen up and we’ll see what we can do. Now that you’ve got all that off your chest and you know, we now know that you’ve got some kind of inferiority complex with being.

Brandon: With Ben.

Brian: Now, you’ve told me 30,000 people are listening great, thanks a lot.

Brandon: Yes. More than that.

Josh: Well, yes.

Brandon: Now.

Josh: Oh yes, oh yes, alright, so let’s talk about what is it that you do in real estate and really quick, for those people listening to check out Brian’s show. Just go to and then you can listen to the previous show if you haven’t yet heard it so yes, what do you do in real estate today? What’s your primary function, focus, you name it.

Brian: My primary focus is to just make money.

Josh: Very nice.

Brian: I’m one of these guys that I don’t really care how that happens you know it could be from buying and flipping single-family houses. It could be flipping multifamily apartment complexes. It could be buying rentals to hold for appreciation. It could be development. I’ve done all those different things, of course, my favorite thing to do is to buy foreclosed houses, fixed them up and resell them. I’ve been doing that for 25 years. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop. I think it’s somewhat of an addiction, but it’s been a good business to me. I got into doing multifamily about 14 years ago and really enjoyed doing that. It’s a great way to make much larger profits with I think considerably less effort than what you put in for flipping houses.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: Those things are my primary things.

Josh: Got you and for people listening, I mean you literally started from nothing. You were a fire fighter right?

Brandon: Yes, I was a police officer and firefighter at the same time for a public safety department and I had nothing, you know, I was eating macaroni and cheese and living off of my checking accounts over draft protection when I bought my first house using credit cards so kind of came from zero and you know just went to a number with a zero behind it.

Josh: Nice, nice, and the goal of this show, you know, we don’t really want to rehash the stuff that we’ve talked about. What we want to do here is get into how you’ve really started to build this company and scaled it and gone from you know, the guy who’s kind of single handedly doing a few deals a year to a guy who’s got a sophisticated operation, who’s got a team, and who’s really making things happen so let’s talk about that. How big is your operation today?

Brian: Well, team-wise, about 15 people in core staff and that’s employees and independent contractors that worked for us on a regular basis. In addition to that, of course you have rehab teams, which are fully independent, those cycle through times, not the counting the rehab teams. We’ve grown that large. We were as large as 25. What I call the peak of my market, which is inverse to the peak of the real estate market when the market was at its worst, my business is at its best. At that point, we got pretty large.

Had to scale down as the opportunities scaled down and you know, we went from doing about a 120 houses a year down to about 60 houses a year. From a dollar volume-wise though, our business has stayed about the same. We’re doing more expensive houses and fewer, cheaper houses. You know, we’ve got that going for us at least and hiring now and again when somebody turns over, but other than that, we aren’t really expanding at this point.

Brandon: Okay, I think that’s an interesting thing and I never heard anybody phrase it like that before that you’re market is the inverse of the real estate market. That’s kind of a cool way of looking at it so and I think you actually mentioned that to me awhile ago. I don’t know, a week or two ago when we were kind of planning this was you said at the peak of the market, I was doing x number of deals and I was thinking 2006 and then you clarified with no, the peak of the market for me was the bottom so. Yes, kind of a neat way of looking at it. I want to maybe touch on that later in the show. We’ll talk about like how to invest in that kind of a market, like as things are getting worse for you as a business-wise, how are you adapting to that, but we’ll try to touch on that later, but.

Josh: Really quick on that—I know we’ll get into it later, but really quick, you know, it’s interesting because I get approached by a lot of people who are always like, you know, so what’s going on with BiggerPockets, how are things growing? You know, what’s happening, you know in the investment market? You know, things are really hot in the consumer market so what’s going on for investors and they’re like, you know, how bad did you guys get nailed during the crash and I say, “Listen, you know the savvy investors are going to make money whether the market’s good, you know or bad according to the media, right.” The market’s always good if you’re a smart investor, there’s always an opportunity. You know, I just wanted to kind of press upon that to folks listening because I think it’s important that you know stop worrying about chasing markets worry about learning the skills and strategies to learn how to make money in any market.

Brian: There is, you’re exactly right, there is always an opportunity and you nailed it, Josh. It’s—you can make money in any market, but what you have to do is you have to figure out the strategy, that works in the market that you’re given and real estate investing I’ve said this a number of times is like a stream that meanders through a relatively flat meadow and the stream bends left and right and if you’re rowing down that stream and you row in a straight line, you will—you’re guaranteed you’re going to run aground. You have to be ready to steer along with the meanderings of the stream. In the real estate investment market’s the same way. You’ve got to look at what’s going on in the market and determine what the best strategy is and the best location to implement that strategy given the market cycle.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: I really, really like that analogy a lot, but I do have one question on that. How do you differentiate between that and chasing the shiny objects right like you get into real estate and you’re like well, flipping’s really popular right now so I’m going to go flip houses and then this is really popular, I’m going to go do that. How do you separate what’s popular and what’s good for your business to be able to navigate those turns?

Josh: That’s an awesome question by the way.

Brian: Well, you’re describing the deal addict. Yes right, yes pat him on the back why don’t you.

Brandon: Yay.

Josh: Yes, I want him to feel good about himself.

Brian: Yes, exactly. You want him to stick around for awhile.

Josh: Do you know where he lives?

Brian: Yes, it’s—you’re talking about the deal addicts right and there’s deal addicts out there that will say, you know, they’re—I want to buy a deal just because I want to buy something and I used to be like that. I used to be the guy you know, when I was starting out that if there was a deal to somehow be had, I wanted to have it and after awhile, you learn why some deals are really worth passing up. You get your hand slapped a couple of times and you’ll quickly find out that just getting an idea in your head that I’m going to do X, Y, or Z, despite what the market is telling you should or shouldn’t be doing and you just go and do it. That’s how you get yourself into trouble.

Brandon: That makes sense. How do I know the market’s bending? I mean how do I know that I shouldn’t be flipping now, I should be whatever—how do I know I should turn my business to something a little bit differently?

Brian: You got to look at what the market is telling you and you’ve got to be able to read the signs and one thing that I think I’ve been good at is interpreting what the subtle signals are they’re telling you what direction you should take. For example, in 2004, the subtle signals were telling me that the market in California was due to have some kind of cataclysmic collapse and I didn’t predict that it was going to be as deep as it was, but I knew that something wasn’t right and it’s intuitive. You just have to be able to read the signals and just pay attention to what’s going on around you. For example, if guys that are in you know, like mid-level jobs or even low wage jobs are out buying million dollar houses using loans that have negative amortization, floating interest rates.

Josh: No.

Brian: Yes, and no income qualification and you start seeing this happen, you know that there’s a risk of collapse coming and when you see it happen in mass, you know that risk is even greater. When you start to see the bubble mentality, look at stocks in 2000—what happened in 2000 with tech stocks? All of the inexperienced people who had no idea what they were doing were dumping their money into tech stock in 2000. As soon as they stopped doing that, you have market collapse, same thing with real estate.

Inexperienced people who weren’t reading the market were jumping in left and right and saying I’ve got to buy a rental house. I know that the rents are $1,500 a month and the purchase price is $500, but I’ve got to buy one or I’ll never get another chance. You start to just —in the back of your mind, you think this isn’t right and that’s the first warning sign. Other things to look for is the actual statistics and demographic information that’s out there like job growth, income growth, vacancy rates, new home construction. You have to look at all of these different things and couple that with what your intuition is telling you and know that sometimes you just have to follow your gut and but you use the data to help guide your gut.

Brandon: Well.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: What is your—maybe I’m kind of putting you on the spot here, but what does your gut tell you about today’s market? What do you anticipating?

Josh: Are markets local, Brandon?

Brandon: Yes, I was just going to?

Josh: They are?

Brandon: I was just going to say what market?

Josh: I mean just calling you out here you know.

Brandon: No, you’re right, so okay so what is the market telling you about northern California right now, that’s where you’re at right? North of San Francisco is?

Brian: Yes, I’m in the North Bay in San Francisco and what my market is telling me right now is that there is a shortage of housing. There is significant restrictions to new home development both economically and governmental that make it hard to add to the housing stock at today’s price levels meaning that even though home affordability is on the decline, inventory is low and prices are rising and are likely to continue to rise despite the fact that incomes aren’t—don’t have the same forecast. I don’t know that income growth is going to keep pace, but we have the Silicon Valley where you have pressure from very wage jobs that are forcing a ripple effect of home prices and rent increases coming from that region.

That’s our market specifically. Your market, Brandon and yours Josh and everybody else who’s listening those markets are all impacted by different forces and it’s hard to say what’s going on in the market because there really isn’t a V market for real estate. Every real estate market stands on its own so what you have to look at is if you’re going to look at, in your own backyard, look at your own demographics. Look at what’s going on, read the newspaper. If you’re looking at somebody else’s backyard, go learn about it and find out so you know, as a real estate investor in northern California who wanted to buy multifamily apartments four years ago, I said that strategy isn’t going work here, but it works in Texas so I started buying in Texas. It’s just a matter of looking where you need to find where you’re going to find opportunity.

Josh: Good stuff.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Good stuff.

Brandon: That’s cool.

Josh: Right on. Well let’s bring it back to you a little bit, you know, instead of the prognositication type questions here. When you first started out as a company how many people did you have? Obviously, you had you, but how did you build it? You know, who were the first people that you brought on—I mean were they working out of your house? You know, how did you kind of kick up the operation so to speak?

Brian: At first, I was the chief cook and bottle washer. I did everything, you know, I—the one thing I never did do was pound nails. I’m not good at construction, if you give me some power tools, I can certainly make a mess, but I can’t do anything constructive. I’m not Brandon, I can’t get on the side of the house and fix the siding and.

Brandon: Or Ben, Ben built a shed last week.

Brian: Ben built a shed, yes.

Josh: Still blowing my mind.

Brian: Yes, I don’t know, the first gust if wind comes along I want to see if that shed is still standing, but.

Brandon: Oh, by the way, for those people who don’t know what I’m talking about, I will to link to that post where Ben talks about him building a shed. We’ll put that in the show notes at, but anyway.

Brian: Yes, but anyway, I would never even try to build a shed because I know it would fall down in the first gust of wind so I did everything myself. I did my own research, I wrote my own software for my business, I went out to the auctions and bought houses, I conducted the evictions, I used to file my evictions, I sold my houses myself. I did absolutely everything. The first employee I hired was a book keeper because I couldn’t keep up with the check writing and everything else I had to do. Started giving up the check writing part, then I started giving the data research part.

My second employee was Wun, her just was simply to start inputting data that we retrieved for foreclosure options and all of this at first took place in a home office. After about what ten or 15 years in working out of a home office, finally moved up to the bigger time. I had got a real legit office. Hired another person for accounts payable and then 2008 happened and when 2008 happened and foreclosure fines went absolutely through the roof, I partnered with a home builder in my area here to take advantage of the real foreclosure opportunity of just huge massive opportunity of houses. That’s when we started hiring in scale. Started hiring property inspectors, project managers, super intendants, more accounting people. Then we started buying rental houses. I needed to hire an asset manager to manage the property managers and it just you know, one thing starts growing into another and next thing you know, you’re hiring people all of the time.

Brandon: Well, let’s talk about the property manager, you said asset manager to manage the property manager. I mean at what point did you and maybe you never did, maybe you never managed, but what point did you switch from managing the rentals yourself or did you never and then how did you kind of transitioned I guess into property management?

Brian: Great question. Great question. I was always a buy, fix, and resell guy so I didn’t have a lot of rental properties. I started off with a couple. I managed it myself that was really early on. Very quickly I learned that tenant management wasn’t all that enjoyable and quite frankly, I wasn’t very good at it so I just realized that it was better left to the professionals. I sold the few rental properties that I had, did a 1031 exchange into an apartment building where it was at least large enough that I could support having third party management better than I could with single family and got out of the tenant management business.

Josh: Brian, really quick, how many units was that?

Brian: That was a 16 unit.

Josh: Okay.

Brian: It was 16 units, a small deal.

Brandon: Can we actually talk about that real quick. I know you.

Brian: Yes.

Brandon: Just because we’re there. Me and Ben Leybovich talk about—this is like the Ben gossip show, but me and Ben talk a lot about because both of us are looking to get into you know, much larger apartment buildings, 100 unit plus. He’s a little bit more active than I am in pursuing that, but he talks a lot about that you need to have a large building to support a third party a management, like he really, he’s looking for large because he doesn’t want a small property manager, he wants one of the national ones, whatever. What are your thoughts on that? I mean you did a 16 unit with a property manager, is that—I mean how do you scale that. Is an eight unit too small? Is a fourplex too small for property management? Is that okay? How do you look at that?

Brian: The way I look at it is it just depends on your situation. If you’re trying to break into this business, you’re trying to build a portfolio, nothing is too small. I mean you’ve got to just do something if you find a deal that works I mean don’t go out there and buy something that doesn’t work. If you buy something that where the numbers work no deal is too small. Now, that being said the larger the deal, the easier they are to run. I have a couple of 140 unit apartment complexes. They take less of my personal time than my 16 unit or an 11 unit or even some of my four units. It seems like the smaller the unit count, the more of my time ends up getting spent on them.

Brandon: Interesting.

Josh: Now, is that because of the staff? Is that because of who’s involved and who works towards those specific buildings or is it the tenants? Is it the location? What exactly would you say accounts for that?

Brian: Primarily it’s in the larger properties. They’re a business onto themselves so if you have 140 unit apartment complex that apartment complex has employees so when you guys asked earlier how many employees do you have and how big is your business, well that’s kind of a loaded question because I didn’t even include those people. If you look at our apartment complex where we have three or four employees fulltime at our apartment complex, that doesn’t even count in my core business’s employee count. By virtue of having a staff, that means less time for me. I don’t have to oversea it versus a four unit property where you have a property manager that any time there’s a repair over a hundred bucks they have to call you and you have to tell them what you want done or not done in an apartment complex as part of the course of running the business. That stuff just gets taken care of and your job is just to watch over the whole thing from a higher level.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Yes, you know, it’s interesting. I’m going through a lot of what you went through with BiggerPockets right now where you know, we’re finding that we’ve got holes, right. You know, we’ve you know, the thing used to be me slaving away and doing every single job. You know, then we brought on another guy and another guy and you know it seems like every couple months now we’re in the process of hiring and it’s interesting.

You know, it’s—I couldn’t have planned it because it’s kind of organic. It’s you know, we figure out where there’s a need where maybe whether it’s you know, “Hey, I don’t want to do property management. Hey, I don’t want to do this task. I’m not great at this so let me get somebody to fill in the holes.” That’s kind of how we’ve done things. It sounds like that’s been the plan for you as well. Just kind of figuring out where you might need somebody to kind of take some load off and just go with it. Is that a fair assessment?

Brian: It’s absolutely true. I mean that’s the best way to grow a business is to grow it organically. Some people try to force growth and I think that forced growth results more often than not in either challenges and or failure. Organic growth to me is you grow as the need progresses and I think that it’s more sustainable and you know had you taken BiggerPockets for example and said, I want to start this website. I’m going to hire 15 employees and try to figure out what to have them all do you might be in different position now than had you grown organically.

Josh: Yes, no I agree because you know, at least in the startup world, I see so many different companies who you know, maybe they got half a million, a million, two million, five million bucks. They go and they hire 17 people and the next thing you know, six months later they’ve burned through all of their cash and they’re out of business and I think organically building up whether it’s a startup business or a real estate business and I think most of our listeners probably aren’t going to be raising some round of cash to build you know, a large investment business. I do think everybody’s going to pretty much organically be growing their businesses. I think it gives you the opportunity to learn different facets of the business. Figure out again where your skillsets are, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and then fill in the holes.

Brandon: You know, to add to that one thing, you know a lot of people might not be worried about hiring 15 people, but one thing I see a lot of newbies doing is focusing really heavily on building their team right? I mean building a team is good, but they have that kind of same approach of I need team of 15 people right now and they have never even you know, looked at it, stepped foot inside of a property. Just like well, I need to have a team because I read this book that said I need to have a team and this what my team needs to look like. I’m—I generally like to advocate, you know, build your team organically the same way you would your employee organically, right? If you need a realtor then go find a realtor, if you need a CPA, go find a CPA. You don’t need to have you know, 15 people on your team and you know, matching suits or something like that to start a real estate company so. That’s my take.

Brian: No because what happens is, you get too caught up in the details of the team and you never actually you never actually start getting out there and buying real estate.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: That’s what trips people up. It’s just like this paralysis of analysis. You know, you hear about that all the time of people that don’t buy a deal because they spend so much time running numbers. The other thing that trips people up is they get so caught up in the mechanics of the business, setting up a team, forming LLCs and doing all these other things that all of those tasks distract them from them from what’s really important, which is buying real estate because without buying real estate, you don’t have a real estate investment business.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: I agree.

Josh: Absolutely.

Brandon: What was your, I mean, when you first started out, we talked about you kind of grow organically. I mean what did you envision for yourself? You know, we all kind of look at what our future’s going to be someday and we all kind of plan, well, I want to have I don’t know, my business be worth this much money. I want to make this much cash flow. What was that like for you when you first got started?

Brian: For me I started off with a goal that I thought if I could just buy one rental house a year, I would be set for retirement. You know, that was I first, you know, started out getting serious about it. I mean, at first it was I liked real estate. It was fun, I wanted to buy and flip houses and I did a couple of those.

That was great, but when it finally came to a point where I said look, I’ve got to come up with a plan because otherwise, I’m just going to be working for the man forever. For me to come up with a plan, I’ve got to have something that’s going to provide income for me so that’s when I went on this buy a house a year program. I quickly discovered that being a landlord wasn’t the greatest thing for me to do on that sort of a scale and that’s why I traded up into multifamily and discovered that that’s much more what I’m suited to, but as I started growing, it was to me about how to stop working and you know and get out of the fulltime job and I knew that if I wanted to get off the island. I have to burn the boats.

Brandon: Nice.

Brian: It’s you know, it’s.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: Tony Robins quote and you got a—you quit your job and now you have to make it. You know, so I put myself in that position where I had to make it.

Brandon: Well, let’s touch on that when should a person—I mean is that a good idea for everyone? When should a person quit their job? I mean, are you telling our listeners—everyone go burn your boats right now and you know let’s see what happens?

Josh: Uh oh.

Brian: Yes, absolutely, do it right now. No. No.

Josh: Okay, okay, here’s Josh stepping in please, do not listen to Brian Burke.

Brian: Yes.

Josh: Do not quit your jobs today because this guy says so. Please.

Brian: Don’t even listen to that quote. No—you want it is, again that’s an organic process. Just like building your business. You don’t want to give up the security of your income until you’ve gotten your business to the point where you know that it’s sustainable. For me, what I did was I looked at my track record. I had developed a track record while I was working, of having bought fixed up and resold a few dozen houses and that’s a few dozen.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: Not one or two and quit so after having done that and seeing that number one I could do it consistently, number two I could do it profitably, and number three I could show other people what I was doing and that I was successful at it so that they would want jump on board and give me additional funding to grow it. That’s when I knew. I got to a point where I realized that my job would cost me more money to keep than I would earn from actually keeping it because of the opportunity that I would lose by not becoming a fulltime real estate investor.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: That’s when I knew it was time to burn the boats and that was the only way that I could solidify my position of doing it fulltime.

Brandon: Nice, well, here’s my theory in when to quit your job. It’s what I kind of not really lived by because I just quit my job really early and probably too early, but this is my current theory is that, I mean you have a 168 hours in a week, right, 24 hours a day times seven days a week, 168, you work a job usually for 40 of those hours, which means you’ve got quite a few hours left in the week to other things so my thinking is this. Spend 40 hours a week at job like normal, spend 40 hours a week on real estate, if you can make that 40 hours on real estate equal more than your job.

I think go ahead and quit then your job and do it. If you can’t, if you’re saying well I don’t have time to do my real estate investments I don’t know. I think that’s an excuse that people use. Like if you can build your business, work side hustle, do it in the evenings, do it in the weekends, whatever you need to, make your business make you enough money to quit your job then quit your job and then pursue it. That’s how I approach it.

Brian: Yes, absolutely, I was working late into the night and you know, on all kinds of hours and it was crazy. I mean I was basically. It felt like I was working three jobs. You have to do that, you can’t just say well, I want to go do this real estate thing. I’ve never bought a house in my life, but I’m going to quit my job and go out and go do this. It’s likely to fail and you know, wind up back to work again.

Josh: Nice. Nice.

Brian: Yes.

Josh: Awesome. Well so you know, we’re talking about building and growing and bootstrapping so many investors have the need to bootstrap their way through the growth of their business as we’ve kind of talked about. I guess my question is what kind of tips do you have for folks in real estate who are trying to bootstrap their business? You know, how do you kind of do it? How do you kick the ball off so to speak.

Brian: You have to start with a plan that has some shot at success so don’t say I’ve never bought real estate before so now I’m going out and go buy a 100 unit apartment complex. I’m going to raise money from investors and I’m going to go buy this thing even though I have none of my own. Be realistic about what you can accomplish given the resources that you have at hand so I think that’s the first thing. The second thing is you have to be willing to take some risk and you have to be willing to fail and fall flat on your face and that’s a very uncomfortable thing and the only way that you can expand your comfort zone is to test its boundaries and I tested my comfort zone’s boundaries plenty of times and in some cases, I paid the price for it.

In other cases, I was able to build upon small successes and make them larger successes so I think that you have to take action. I think that you can’t make excuses. You have to have prioritize. You have to not get lost in the procrastination. Not get lost in the minute details where you know—a lot of people will be like yes, I’m working on my real estate business today. I spent all day, you know, going through all my email. You know.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: That’s not buying you a house. I mean you know, getting out there and looking at property, looking at what strategies might work. Going out and meeting people, networking, getting involved with BiggerPockets on the forums, finding out what’s going on out there and what strategies are successful and what kind of melds well with your skillset. I’m not that great at tenant management so I wouldn’t want to be a small-scale landlord. It just doesn’t fit for me so you have to find a fit.

Josh: Yes, yes, you know, you raised something and I was thinking about this. You’re an active guy on BiggerPockets. You know, you clearly don’t need to be. You know, you’ve got a very successful business. You’ve been doing it for 25 years. You know, I was going to ask this at the end, but you just brought it up. I was just curious why do you do that? What does it bring to you? What kind of value—a guy who’s been around the block you know, many many times and who’s killing it. What does this site actually do for you?

Brian: Well, it does a lot for me actually. I first joined BiggerPockets because I thought I could give back, answer some questions, maybe provide some advice on something. I really didn’t know what I was going to do, but what I ultimately found was even though I have been doing this for a long time and I think I’ve done just about every kind of deal under the sun, I’ve done 700 real estate deals and that’s actually properties that I’ve actually purchased and either kept or resold over.

Josh: Wow.

Brian: I don’t even know now. Like 200 million dollars worth of real estate so I thought you know, I’m not going to learn anything from this site, obviously. I’m just here to give advice or share my knowledge and what I found was quite the opposite. I found that.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: There’s a lot to learn out there. No matter how much you think you know there’s stuff out there that you don’t know and that’s the beauty of this business. You know I’m a licensed pilot and I like to go flying in and you know I went to flight training when I was in high school and you know, you learn how to fly an airplane, you know. You don’t know it all. You spend the rest of your life learning things about flying an airplane and about better ways to land and just different things and same goes with real estate. There’s so many nuances that you can learn and then beyond that, you know, I started making connections, making friendships, you know, I got to go out to dinner with Brandon Turner. I mean who gets to do that.

Josh: Well, you didn’t go out to dinner with me.

Brian: No, I just, I just drove you back to the hotel and dropped you off.

Josh: Wow, man, geez.

Brandon: That was a good dinner.

Brian: That was a good dinner. I went back there the other day actually.

Brandon: I remember that. Did you, yes that. Where was that at Santa Rosa? Was that?

Brian: It was in Santa Rosa, yes, went back there the other day and thought about you and.

Brandon: Nice.

Brian: You know, it’s just all the things that you know expanding my network, meeting new people and actually, get this, this is probably the best part about it, making even more money and I said in the beginning of this podcast, you asked me, what’s my favorite thing to do in real estate and making money is my answer. BiggerPockets even does that for me and you know, I get—I’ve gotten deals from people I’ve met on BiggerPockets, I’ve met partners on BiggerPockets, I’m working with Ben Leybovich on his multifamily project, I’m working with Sam Craven from podcast 33, there’s that damn three again. We’re looking at doing a fund to buy rental houses in Houston, Texas. Thing, I mean I would have never met those two guys had I not come to BiggerPockets. I’ve gotten investors from BiggerPockets. I could just go on all day about.

Josh: Wow.

Brian: What it’s done for me and my business, but this isn’t an ad for BiggerPockets.

Josh: Yes, yes, yes.

Brian: It’s just true. I mean this is what happens when you’re involved with a community and for me it’s grown my business substantially.

Josh: That wasn’t a loaded question. It was legitimately you know, I know that you get value from it and I thought it was important for—you know, newer folks and any of the guys who might be listening who are at your level who are sitting back and saying you know, I’m good, what do I need to dig inand get involved for? Well, there you go, there’s your answer.

Brian: There’s your answer. I mean, yes, were talking about growing a business into a larger business. Well, one of the components of doing that is putting yourself out there and getting involved. You don’t grow a large business on your own. I didn’t grow my business larger until I got a partner to partner up with to help me grow it. You’ve got to get out there and build your network to build your business.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Do you have any good tips for people listening on—what is like one of two or three things that they can actually do, like maybe on BiggerPockets to do what you’re doing. I mean how are you doing this. I mean I haven’t gotten you know, tons of fi—I actually have gotten funding, but I haven’t gotten like as much as you have so what should I be doing, what should other people be doing that you’re doing that’s working well for you.

Brian: Well, you know what, what’s working well for me is just talking about what either—talking about what I’m doing or helping other people sort out what they’re trying to do and this is what’s interesting about BiggerPockets. There’s people on there that read the forums that you’ll never hear from. They’ll never post, they’ll never interact with you online, but they’re reading and they see how you approach real estate as a business and form an opinion about you. Everything that you say on the forums is getting read by a potential partner of yours.

It might be someone that might invest with you. It might be someone that will sell you property or will buy a property from you, but whether or not they do business with you depends a lot on how what you say resonates with them. I think if you contribute on the forums by giving sound advice or you know, helping people, other people reading that, see that and say wow, there’s a guy I want to do business with because he knows what he’s talking about.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: People who know what they’re talking about are successful. If you approach it form that angle I think you’ll get business.

Brandon: Yes, that’s cool.

Josh: Yes, right on.

Brandon: To add on to that—just to. Like you said, there’s a lot of people who just read. Just to give some numbers to that I mean, we get what a thousand—a little bit over a thousand forum posts everyday, which is a lot fo—I mean we’re one of the most active forums on the web period. We get, I don’t know, ten times more traffic than we do a forum post at least, I mean probably far more than that so there’s a whole—like you said, there’s a whole ton of people that are reading BiggerPockets every single day who aren’t posting in them. Obviously, I want to encourage people to post, but at the same time, if you are posting, like you said, just understand there’s ten times more people reading than are even interacting.

Josh: Yes. That’s great. That’s great. Well, again sorry everybody for the Segway, but you know it just came to mind and there we are, well, let’s jump back to you. You’re growing, what about the guy who’s like, alright, you know, I’m in a position where I can’t pay for somebody. I can’t pay to bring on that employee, but I’m so stretched. What do I do? You know, how do you build your team if you can’t afford to pay the salary of somebody. How do you get it going?

Brian: Well, what I’m wondering is what are you stretched with. If you’re so stretched that you don’t have time to run your business. What are you doing in your business that it’s not making you enough money to be able to afford a team?

Josh: Yes.

Brian: It sounds to me like you’re just misallocating your time and you’re putting your resources in the wrong place so.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: This is where people start getting into that loop that I was talking about before about well, I spent the whole day checking my emails or addressing postcards or whatever it is. It’s like maybe you need to shift your priorities into doing something that actually brings you money. Kind of like when you’re fixing up a house. You want to make sure that if you’re going to put a thousand dollars into that house, you get $2,000 back in the resales value.

You’re not just fixing up the house just to make it pretty and say oh, I’m going to spend ten grand on the kitchen because I think the kitchen would look better with dark cabinets versus white cabinets, but it’s not going to change the ultimate sales price, you’re wasting your money. Well, people do the same thing in their business. Instead of putting their efforts into their business in the areas that produce profit, they put it into areas that just create work and therefore not generating revenue and if you’re creating work without revenue of course, you’re busy and can’t afford a team.

Josh: I got to tell you I am probably one of the most guilty of that people on the planet.

Brian: Yes, you are.

Josh: I did it for very very long time and yes, I mean I think it’s a really -to fall into for folks who are bootstrapping is getting bogged down by the details. Going on the roof of your house and putting a shingle on or you know hammering nails.

Brian: Fixing your siding.

Josh: Fixing your siding, yes, you know, I mean putting up your own shed. What—you know.

Brian: Yes, I don’t think it’s a shed.

Josh: At some—Ben so it’s hard. It’s hard to get that mindset. Again, I’m extremely guilty of this. I’ve been running BiggerPockets for almost ten years now and for three quarters of that, at least, I was focused on the details. I was focused in the business versus on the business. You know, I think there was a lot of value to it, but I also you know, looking back say, “Oh my goodness, you know, what if I had, you know, stopped and brought some folks on and kind of started to scale it sooner.” That said, you know, there is this fear that people and I think it’s a rational fear that people face, which is you know, it’s not going get done the way I want it to get done. I’m you know, I’m going to get stretched. We’ve got all these fears right.

Brian: Of course, it won’t get done the way you want it to get done because, you know, that’s the classic mentality of the self employed person is.

Josh: Right.

Brian: I’m the only one they can do this if I want to get it done right.

Josh: Exactly.

Brian: Look, Josh, I was in the same boat as you. I’ve been investing in real estate for 25 years. We’ve already said that, but you want to know how much money I made in my first ten years in this business? Zero.

Josh: Definitely.

Brian: I made nothing. I mean I might have accumulated a little bit of property. I got to do a multifamily or whatever, but I made nothing and the reason I made nothing is because I was so bogged down in the details of doing absolutely everything. Like I was writing my own software, I was going out and doing everything, looking at all the houses, I was doing all these things and I was really kind of getting nowhere. At a certain point, I realized I got to off load some of the non-revenue stuff, but you have to have revenue to be able to off load it so I shifted my focus into activities that made money. That brought money in that allowed me to afford to hire somebody to do the stuff that wasn’t making me money, which made even more money. It was all a part of making a foundation for the business so that stuff you went through, Josh, it’s necessary to build the foundation of the business that later allows you to scale it up.

Josh: Yes. I agree and I think looking back what you said, you said it twice now is something that really resonates. If you’re bootstrapping, if you’re scaling your business, find those keys that are going to make you money. Now, it may not directly be something that makes you money, but it’s something indirectly affects you that makes money. To Brian’s example about licking envelopes, you know, if you’re sitting around licking envelopes, you know for three hours a day instead of spending x amount of dollars for service and we’ve got tons—you know we got all these vendors on BiggerPockets who do this stuff right. Instead of hiring one of these companies, that does it, you’re licking the envelopes to save, you know, $50-$100 bucks. If you had spent your time working on activities that produce more than a hundred bucks over those three-four hours then you really should be spending your time doing those things and not licking envelopes.

Brandon: Well.

Brian: I say that because I’ve been there, I’ve been licking envelopes. I’ve addressed envelopes. I’ve done that.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: You’re absolutely right, but you know, the people get into the thing where they say, I don’t even know what else to do.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: To get the phone to ring so I lick envelopes because if I’m not licking envelopes what else I’m I going to do?

Brandon: We have this kind of running on BiggerPockets about me right, working on the siding in the rain because there was a picture of me on the forums that I took of me working on the siding in the rain so. Here was my argument though and I want to know what your thoughts are. I mean my argument was this. That night I had choice. I could pay $200 for a contractor to go and fix the siding or I could go and just take good care of it, an hour or two because I knew how to do it right.

I—was like okay, I have a choice, I’m going to—I could be sitting here watching Lost on TV or you know, reruns of Lost or I could go and put this up on in the rain and save myself $200. Where does a newbie or somebody who’s trying to grow their business—where does come into play. I mean I wasn’t going to go find a new property that night to go buy. Obviously, my strength is putting together deals. Like that is what my strength is, but I wasn’t putting together a deal that night. What are your thoughts on that?

Brian: My thoughts are, you know, we kid a little bit here about how we’re allocating our resources and licking envelops or putting siding on houses right, but.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: We also have to go back to my comment of saying that all of those things are a necessary component of growing your business. Having actually done that yourself is kind of just part of the process. What you have to do is you have to evolve away from it so you’re growing your business organically so you know this time you went and hung the siding. You know, a year form now, you might be in a different position where you’re saying look, my main focus is on acquisitions and it also depends on your goals. You know, if you’re—you know, Brandon, you’re a self-made gazillionaire now with all the properties that you own so.

Brandon: Not quite.

Brian: Your objective now is just to sit on the sidelines and collect your rents and minimize your expenses. If that’s your position, there’s nothing wrong with going out and fixing the siding on your building to save yourself $200.

Josh: Yes, yes, and I look at it like mowing the lawn, for years and years, I got a decent lawn. I take pride in my law and I hate mowing the lawn. Absolutely loathe it. It takes an hour or so to do it and you know forever I was just cheap about it. I was like, you know what, I’m going to do this. I got to get it done, you know, so on and so forth.

One day, I was like, you know what, that’s an hour out of my day that either is better spent with my kids. I value an hour with my kids more than the $26 bucks that I pay the guy to mow my lawn and I value my time at work is worth much more than that. You know, one day, I was like, alright, I’m done, I’m giving it up. I’m not mowing the lawn anymore. I’m going to pay somebody and it’s hard, you look at the bills. You’re like, okay, this adding up. I just spent you know, this much on mowing the lawn, but you got to do the math on the time value of your money and your availability to do other things and you know, do the equation and see where it fits for you.

Brandon: Yes, you know to add one more thing in then we can, you know, probably move on from this, but I want to talk about my biggest mistake in all of real estate investing and that was when I started buying property, I didn’t account for having to hire a contractor to pay him $50 an hour. I didn’t account for property manager to charge me 10% a month to manage the properties because I said, well, I only have one or two why does it matter?

That’s why I was out on the roof in the rain fixing siding and that’s why once in awhile, I mean it, I hardly do those things anymore, but that’s why for years, I—and I still manage my own properties because if I were today going to transfer my properties over to property management, I would lose three-$4,000 a month. I mean I would lose almost all of my cash flow overnight because all of a sudden, I switched to property management because when I started, I didn’t plan for that. I think a good way to scale—a good way and just a lesson that I’ve learned is a good way to scale is to make sure when you’re doing the math, when you’re doing the numbers, account for those things that you’ll eventually will have to have in order to scale. Otherwise, you get put in this box that I feel like I’m in where I can’t really go—I can’t really do anything, but manage myself because that’s how I set it up from the beginning.

Brian: Well, here’s what a lot of new real estate investors underestimate and even somewhat experienced investors make the same mistake is they underestimate the importance of the acquisition as it relates to the successful outcome of that investment. The successful failure of that entire deal is decided when you buy it.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: If you buy wrong, you’re doomed. If you buy right, you have a much better chance of a successful outcome so and then there’s variations in between. Brandon, I’m not saying you bought wrong, I’m just saying you bought at a level that worked for you based on the information that you had at the time and the expenses that you estimated at the time. Now, now that you know what you know, if you were to buy that same property again, you would probably still buy it, but you would probably pay less because you would say you know, if I pay $20,000 less for this property, then the price to rent ratio and cash flow, etcetera are going to allow me to afford to pay a property manager or allow me to afford to pay someone else to make that repair and I don’t have to do it on my own.

Brandon: Yes, and another side of that too is, I mean I don’t regret the decisions that I made to do that because for example, the thing that takes the most of time is the apartment complex. It’s a 24 unit, though I bought it with no money down, I mean, zero dollars down. Now, I could have put 20% down, take a $100,000. I didn’t have a $100,000, but if I would have, I could have put a $100,000 down my mortgage would have been significantly less.

I would have significantly more cash flow that would have paid for all the management that I could need on that property. I mean essentially, so what I—I made a choice. I mean I traded what I did have and that was time and that the ability to fix things and I traded that and I quit my job the day I bought the apartment complex so—a few months before, but I mean, I knew I was getting it so that’s why I quit my job the second time around was to do that because I knew I could trade my creativity and use my skills in place of a cash down payment so again, I hustled and it worked, but now I’m in a whole new place now. Now I can look back and say well now this is what I’m going to do from here on forward and hopefully help other people who are in that place to be able to do that.

Josh: That’s all of—that’s what Brandon was talking about in the beginning of the show about crossing river and that meandering.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: That’s happening. You know, I mean, where you are today isn’t going to be where you are tomorrow and you have to be, you know, ready and willing to shift if you have to. I mean and let me just flip this on you Brandon. I know this isn’t the Brandon show, but I’m sure the listeners will appreciate it so you know given that you bought it at the price you bought it at and given that you bringing in property management would kind of damage you right? It’d put a dent in your cash flow. At some point, I’m assuming, you’re either going to have to suck it up or you’re going to have to unload these things.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Is that kind of where you’re at then?

Brandon: Yes. Well, I mean it—a lot of it is mental. It’s a mental game right, so I’m going to go from making three to four to $5,000 a month in cash flow on the apartment complex to making a thousand a month in cash flow. That hurts my—you know a lot. I’m like ugh—that just hurts because that’s money in my pocket every month and I like having it; however, a thousand a month in cash flow for a zero dollar down investment is still an amazing investment right, I mean it’s just mentally it hurts to give that up—so yes, I mean that’s the choice I have to make because am okay receiving a thousand or maybe nothing.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: You know, in a bad month if we had a bunch of vacancies and evictions. Am I okay at that?

Brian: That was all part of the growth process though too so when we talk about how businesses go through a growth cycle, people go through a growth cycle so you know, when you’re young you can go out there and you can do all these things and manage the properties and fix the siding and do all kinds of stuff and as you age, you’re investments begin to mature. Your cycle in your life begins to change and you’re focus differs from I’m going to do everything to now I just want to receive the profits from doing everything. You know, it’s kind of like if you reach a certain age in life where you no longer have to help people move. You know so I mean, it’s the same thing in real estate, you reach a certain point in your business where you no longer have to go out and fix siding. I mean all these things just evolved, but you still have to experience that for yourself because going back to your acquisition Brandon and talking about how well—you know maybe I would have bought it differently if I knew now, what I knew then, what I know now. I mean, it’s all part of experience right and I mean experience—good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: Because we don’t what we don’t know.

Josh: Right.

Brian: We make mistakes. We learn from those mistakes. We’re still getting next time. I would do it this way and so that next time comes along and you do it that way and then your business grows and then you do it—and then it grows and then it grows.

Brandon: Yes. I think that’s a really good, I mean, that’s really really good and to emphasize one more thing that I’ve seen in your life, I mean you mentioned earlier that you’re working with Ben. Ben calls me you know or I’ll call him from time to time to talk about the large multifamily he’s pursuing. This is how the conversation goes. It’s—the first call is, “Hey Brandon, I found this really good,” I should do the Ben accent, I think I can. I’m pretty sure.

Josh: “Hey, Brandon.”

Brandon: “Hey, Brandon.”

Josh: “I find beautiful property, fantastic.”

Brandon: He’ll say, “I got this amazing property, 170 unit, it’s amazing deal, amazing property. I’m going to get it.” I’m like, “Wow, that sounds awesome. Did you talk to Brian yet?” “Uh, I’m going to talk to him later.” Next day he calls me back, “Yes, that was a terrible deal.” What that does—I mean, honestly, like he’s the piggy backing off your experience and so like he’s gaining that, the same thing he could get by failing by messing up, by buying a property that was too expensive. He’s get it by piggybacking on you and on your experiences and you’re failures and that’s just one thing I want to emphasize that if you’re trying to get into real estate, like it’s okay to piggyback on someone else, like you, doesn’t mean you have to partner with them, but you could I mean just become friends with them, talk them.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Get in a call with them, get in the forums with them, whatever. That is huge, huge, just piggyback on somebody else’s successes or failures.

Josh: That’s called a true mentorship. I mean that got.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: In my mind is you know forget these guys who are charging whatever they charge. That’s what a mentor is you know. He’s got Brian as a mentor.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Right, so whether or not it’s formalized, it doesn’t have to be. You know, he looks up to Brian, Brian’s got wisdom. Brian’s got experience and he’s turning to him so you know, everyday somebody contacts me and everyday 20 people go on the site, “Hey, how do I get a mentor?” That’s how you get a mentor. Find the guy who’s experienced, who’s local, or not even local. You use BiggerPockets and become friends with them. You don’t force it, you don’t ask, ask, ask. You got to provide some value, but that’s what’s going to help you.

Brandon: Well, let’s me ask you Brian then, what is it that attracted—I mean when Ben got in touch with you, obviously Ben saw that you were doing what he wanted to do. That’s why Ben wanted to talk to you to do more because that’s where he wanted to. He sees himself where you are right?

Brian: Yes.

Brandon: What attracted you to him. I mean to be able to yes, I want to work with him. I want to—same with Sam Craven. You said you were working with him. What made you want to work them I mean because you’re probably getting literally a thousand people to email you after this.

Brian: Yes, I know right.

Brandon: Yes, but right just.

Brian: Thanks a lot.

Josh: Just don’t give your email address in the end of the show.

Brandon: Why—what is though that made like—when people—I don’t know. For people who want to mentor somebody like you. What is it that made you jump onto that bandwagon?

Brian: I’ll go right back to what I was saying earlier about how BiggerPockets works and how it works people and how it works for me. You know, it—you read what people write. You hear what people have to say and you form an opinion in your own mind about how that person works and how they think. It either resonates with you or it doesn’t so you know I read Ben’s posts and I think okay, here’s a guy who really knows what he’s talking about.

I mean you know, he’s smart, he’s analytical. He thinks it all the way through. You know, I saw the same thing in Sam, you know, and I listened to Sam’s podcast about the success that he had in podcast 33 with all the threes. You know, but why you know, he was able to turn his business into what he did and you know, I’m attracted to that.

I’m attracted to people who have that sense of success and who have made something for themselves out of nothing and think it all the way through. For the same reason that people contact me and say, “Hey, I want to partner with you or I want to fund one of your deals or I want to invest in one of your private offerings and that sort of thing.” The same thing goes in reverse. You know, I see people out there and think, gosh, here’s a guy who’s really got it together. You know, there’s guys out there that you read what they have to say and you just go wow, you know, that’s the way to think you know. J Scott is one of those guys. You know he writes these great books on this stuff and you say well here’s a guy that really knows what he’s talking about.

Josh: Yes, alright so how do you transition that you know, we’re talking about our mentors, but how do you then transition that to find somebody similar to add to your team. I’m talking about an employee, staff, contractor, or whatever it is. You know, you don’t have the ability to use say BiggerPockets forum to gain their knowledge. When you’re hiring, what’s your process of vetting somebody?

Brandon: It’s business, same conventional thing of going through the interview process and you know, my interviews are a lot different than most people’s interviews. You know, it’s not tell me about yourself and you know what are your strengths and weaknesses. I mean, my interview process is centered around getting into someone’s head. I want to know how they think. I want to know what makes them tick. I want to know what they’ve done and why they’ve done it. Then it’s going to either—it’s either going to resonate and gel. Well, I see, okay there’s a fit here or it’s not and I realize there isn’t a fit. You know, I’m not hiring necessarily off of skill. I can train skill. I’m hiring off of aptitude and attitude and a willingness to be part of the team and learn and you know. I think those are the most important components in an employee, they’re important components in a partnership. They’re important components in me as a leader of a team as well so. We all have to be on the same page.

Brian: Yes.

Josh: Cool.

Brian: That’s good.

Josh: If you, you know, you’ve got somebody who comes to you and says, “Hey, listen, you know, I’m doing you know, 20 houses a year. Things are going well. I want to be in your shoes.” You know, what one piece of advice I guess would you give to them when it comes to skilling their business?

Brandon: First piece of advice and probably the most important is document your track record. If you’ve done two dozen deals and now you want to grow you’re not likely to grow without raising outside capital in some form and you’re not likely to raise outside capital in any form without demonstrating to the holder of the gold so to speak that you’re worthy of the money. There was a post not long ago within the last week or so on BP that I had answered and the questions surrounded raising money from investors and why is it so hard? It’s hard because people have to trust you to part with their money.

If you want to grow, you got to have the funds. If you want to have the funds, you got to be trusted. If you want to be trusted, you have to be able to show number one, you know what you’re talking about and number two that you have a track record of success so document that. I have a sheet that goes all the way back you know, 700 deals. Everyone of them is on there. I mean people can see exactly what I’ve done, whether it was successful or not and make determination of whether or not they think that I would be a good risk for them to invest their capital in. You know, we’ve raised about geez, I mean, we’re a 30 million dollar company now that came out of nowhere. That happened in a very short period of time in the last five years most of that growth and it was all because we were able to demonstrate a track record so.

Josh: Wow.

Brandon: If that’s your position, show your track record and then the growth will come.

Josh: You know, I really love that advice and you know, you mentioned J Scott a couple of times in the show. I think J was the first guy I’d ever seen publicly document his track record.

Brandon: Right, yes.

Josh: He created his blog, 123Flip and on it, he was literally creating this meticulous records of each property that he went and flipped and it’s an enormous tool for folks to learn how to flip houses. You see how this guy went through from his first one, you know, how successful he was, what he did right, what he did wrong, you know, and I encourage people to do that. I mean, you know, for him it kept him, you know, it keeps him accountable. He still records stuff. He’s now got a website for a new—his home, which he’s building from scratch basically and so I guess I’d recommend whether you know, whether you’re doing it on paper or if you want an extra layer of you know, I need to keep myself accountable, go out there and get a blog.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Document it and you know, it’s also a great way to find partners and find people because now you’re publicly sharing you experiences and your successes and failures and that’s actually why we have our success story forum on BiggerPockets. We want people to share what they’re doing. You know, we want them to show what deals they’ve done. What they’re accomplishing because as you do that other people are going to see it and they’re going to say, wow that’s great. This guy just closed his 17th deal, his 34th, his 500th and these numbers look fantastic. That’s the kind of guy I want to work with. That’s why it exists. If you aren’t using the success forum on our site, it’s just another tool.

Brandon: Yes. I—my first, a track record really was a spreadsheet that showed purchase date, address, purchase price, resale price, you know, that’s the thing with this vital statistics. I was the worst guy ever about actually showing pictorial representations of what I was doing before and after pictures and that sort of thing. I had a very little documentation and I realize that was a big mistake and a big area of improvement for our business so we’ve been on a campaign recently to get better photographic documentation of our rehabs just to show people more tangible thing and the numbers because I think that’s important. I just did my first post in the BP success forum for a—kind of like a flip diary. Flip number 653 and it’s my first one that I’ve actually put on BiggerPockets show because it was like the worst task I’ve ever done. It’s going to be the most amazing visual transformation.

Brian: Because that’s the cat.

Brandon: I had to post it.

Josh: This is the hoarder house.

Brandon: The hoarder—yes the cat litter.

Brian: The cat litter flip.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: Yes, tell us—let’s talk about that real quick like because people who have.

Josh: By the way, this is a deplorable property like from visually. I saw this and I vomited in my mouth. It was awful.

Brandon: Imagine walking to the front door.

Josh: Oh my goodness.

Brandon: My poor wife, she went to the front door with me. I opened the front door. She turned right around and got back in the car.

Josh: Nice. Nice.

Brian: We will link to the forum, I’ll to that in the show notes as well so everybody make sure to check out—I mean you will not believe these pictures. I mean I have—I don’t believe them when I’ve seen them so, yes, check it out. I know this isn’t really about scaling your business, but maybe you just real quickly, how did you get this property and I mean what’s your plans with it?

Brandon: It was funny, I was—I’ve never done direct mail, I’ve always bought most of my properties at the courthouse steps and so I was trying to get into the direct mail side of the business and I was reaching out to people on BiggerPockets who I thought were good at direct mail and would be able to provide some advice and through the course of those discussions I ended up in a conversation with a guy that said, “Hey, you know, while I’ve got you, I’ve got this property that came into me as a lead.” It all started from there and you know, it was a guy I met through BP and we took a look at the house, I sent my acquisitions guy down there. He came back to the office and he said, “This is the worst property I’ve ever gone to look at.” I said, “Come on man, you’ve looked at a thousand houses for me. How bad could it be?” Well, he—judge for yourself.

Josh: Yes, it’s bad.

Brian: It’s bad.

Brandon: Yes, it is, but it—wait ‘til you see it. We’re almost done with the rehab and I’ll keep posting pictures on it and you’ll be able to see the progress all the way through and fast forward so to speak. It’s pretty amazing, but finally I’m getting to a point where I’m showing people a little bit more about what it is in a format that resonates with people on an emotional level versus just numerically.

Brian: Yes. Yes, for sure. You know, one other place that people can you know, go to do that is on BiggerPockets there’s a place called the member blogs. A lot of people don’t know about this area on the site, but if you go to There’s a number of people who are doing exactly that. They’re just writing their day to day or week to week or month to month struggles, successes, whatever, as an investor so that’s kind of cool too so people should check that out and if you want to start a member blog, it’s totally free and you can add photos and all sorts of cool stuff so. Anyway, yes, that’s cool, you can do it on the forums too. I know like Wendell, who we interviewed on the show a few weeks months back, he’s doing that as well so on “Life of an Investor,” I think it’s called.

Brandon: Yes, I saw that, that’s what inspired me to do this.

Brandon: Okay cool, yes.

W: Thanks Wendell.

Brandon: Yes. Yes. It’s a cool thread.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Just kind of everyday like what he does to.

Josh: Yes, but now here’s the thing right.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: You now know Wendell right Brian? I mean you may not know him, but you’re like, “Oh, wow, this Wendell guy, he’s out there. He’s rocking it. I like how he’s doing it. I like his approach and maybe, maybe at some point, you say, okay, this is the type of guy I want to work with.”

Brian: Yes, exactly—that’s exactly how it happens, yes.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: That’s exactly how it happens.

Brandon: Yes, hey.

Josh: Cool.

Brandon: I’m curious though. I know we had a—you know, slowly start wrapping this up, but I want to talk a little bit about when you get bigger and we when you start to grow, you endanger yourself of getting sued more often right? I mean like.

Brian: Yes, absolutely.

Brandon: Has that happened to you and how do you prevent that? How do you get away from ever being sued.

Brian: Yes, it does happen and it has happened me and you know the thing about you know, being in business. If you haven’t been sued yet, you just probably haven’t been doing it long enough because it’s inevitable.

Brandon: That’s a tweetable topic right there.

Brian: Yes, there you go. Yes, exactly. There’s one for your show notes.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: It happens to everyone even when you—you know I like to think that I do everything right. You know, I try to be fair with people, honest, and just do everything on the up and up and even despite all that once in awhile something is going to come along. I’ve had a few of them. I’ve probably been sued half a dozen times and most of the time it’s related to foreclosure actions where I was the purchaser at the foreclosure auction and this kind of goes back to why I see people on the forums all the time say, “I’ve never bought a property before, but I’m thinking of going to the auction and buying one at the courthouse steps.” Scary.

Josh: Yes.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: I mean if you know take a look at my flip that we’re just talking about on the forums. That’s a house that’s from the street, which is all you get to see on an auction house. Didn’t really look that bad. You never would have imagined what you saw in the inside and you wouldn’t have found out ‘til it was too late, but there’s also other things that come up when you’re buying at the courthouse steps. You know, sometimes, you’ll get an owner that thinks they were wronged then they sue their lender and the court is suing the lender they also have to sue the purchaser. I’m involved in one of those right now. I’ve spent a $140 something thousand dollars in legal fees.

Brandon: Oh my gosh.

Brian: Trying to clean my title.

Josh: Wow.

Brian: We’ve already won the lawsuit, but I still don’t have clean title and we’re still paying money in legal fees to get clean title and I don’t even know how long it’s going take. I’ve had others that have cost $20-$30,000 just to defend our position. Oddly enough, every lawsuit I’ve ever been involved in and I’ve won and you know that goes back to always being sure that you do the right thing, but you never prevent it. People talk all the time. I’m like well, I’m going to set up an LLC.

Brandon: I was just going to ask you that.

Brian: Tell that you know.

Brandon: Isn’t an LLC.

Brian: Yes.

Brandon: The cure all?

Brian: Yes, I knew you were going to ask me that. I read your mind. I’m going to set up an LLC so that I can you know, prevent lawsuits or I can insulate myself form lawsuits and if you’re not out there doing the wrong thing, the likelihood of you getting a judgment rendered against you is fairly low and if you do, you have insurance hopefully to cover that. What isn’t covered in every case is your legal costs and that’s really where the expense comes in so you know, I don’t know, I think LLCs are great if they’re necessary. I don’t think you need one and you know, if you have a partner and the two of you are going to buy a house together, having an LLC you know, gives you some—a vehicle to take title without having the intermingling of his personal debts getting involved with the deal or whatever. For lawsuit protection, I just think they have limited value.

Josh: Got you.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: It’s just one of those it’s going to happen things. I mean it’s like losing money on a deal. I mean if you haven’t lost money on a deal, you haven’t done enough deals yet, I mean.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: It’s just, as you grow your business, things will happen. They will happen. You can’t prevent it. It’s just part of growing and hopefully you learn from it and get past it and hopefully it doesn’t happen too early in your business where it wipes you out and doesn’t give you the ability to comeback.

Josh: Yes, right on. Right on. Alright, well, what about balance? You know, in the beginning of the show, you talked about leaving your job, your fulltime job. Obviously, you now have a fulltime job again, don’t you?

Brian: Yes, that’s for sure.

Josh: You know, at some point there’s this work and life balance that has to happen. I’ll talk about me personally, I set some boundaries, saying you know, I’m not going to get up at 6:30 and jump on and do work anymore. I’m going to wait until I you know, eat breakfast, spend time with the kids and the same goes for you know, the end of the day. You know, I set this time period for you know, five to eight, 8:30, where I don’t look at work. I don’t look at anything unless it’s a 911 right so. What do you do and what do you recommend that people do to kind of maintain some kind of balance, particularly, when they’re working and trying to build that business.

Brian: Yes, you know, it’s really tough when you’re working and building your business and I know that I was particularly bad at that balance so I’m probably not the best guy to give advice on.

Josh: Okay.

Brian: How to balance that when you’re doing it because you know, I worked a lot and it was just part of the process and I looked at it like this. I’m paying my dues now so that later on, I get the pay off of not having to work a job and do real estate investments.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: Working for myself and having more flexibility. That outcome comes at a price and you know, the price for me was I didn’t have very good balance when I was in my 20s or even in my 30s for that matter, but you know, over the course of the last few years, I’ve gotten a lot better at that balance now that you know, I’ve got more employees. I’ve got more systems. I’ve grown larger. I can start to step back a little bit since I’m not involved in every decision. I like to take vacations and when I’m on vacation, it’s like, I’ll check my email in the morning and maybe again at night and the rest of the day I’m off work.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: I like to spend time on the weekends with my wife and just do things. We like to go for walks where you know I don’t have you know email in my hand or anything like that. You know, we just kind of reconnect at the end of the day and you know, during dinner and just kind of setting that time aside as your own personal time. It’s not easy, but you’ve got to do it.

Josh: Yes, yes, and you know, that’s one of the things that one of my big pet peeves about kind of society in 20—what are we—2014, you know, you go out to a restaurant and you see you know the family, the kids are on the pads and the wife and kid, wife and husband are clicking away and typing away. You know, they’re not sitting down at the table together or if they are everybody is on a device. I think it’s really really important. You know, not just for a balance, but frankly I think it’s important for the future of our society.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Really and relationships between people and humanity that we create some kind of separation, distinction with when we’re at work and when we’re not at work and the devices, you know, putting them down for a couple minutes or hours and set you know, pretty dedicated time for yourselves.

Brian: When you have a chance to clear your head, you recharge your brain and when you recharge your brain, you think better, and clearer and you get more done and it helps to grow your business when you can be creative and think and like you I’m not the guy that gets up at five am and you know, a lot of people might think well, if you built a big real estate business, you know, you must be the first guy up because everybody knows that the early bird gets the worm. Well, you know, I use a different and Brandon, I’ll give you one of your tweetable moments while everybody else says the early bird gets the worm. My philosophy is that the second mouse gets the cheese.

Brandon: There you go.

Brian: I’ll say I’ll get up later. I’ll let you go buy that property and I’ll buy it when you lose it on foreclosure or.

Brandon: Wow.

Josh: It was flowers until then.

Brian: That competitive side came back.

Josh: There it goes, yes. Number three, number three.

Brian: It’s how I treat my business too you know. It’s.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: You know, I wait for the right thing to come along and sometimes waiting means that you’re not just busy, busy, busy. You’re just standing back and observing and watching to see what’s happening and then you leap when it’s time.

Brandon: Yes, yes.

Josh: Throw down.

Brandon: It’s all like—it really wraps back to what you said earlier. It’s all in your purchase. If you just try to buy everything you possibly can, you’re going to make mistakes. If you wait for the right deal and wait for the perfect. I think you’re going to do a lot better so.

Brian: Yes, been there, done that. It’s not fun.

Brandon: Yes. Very cool. Alright, well, hey did you guys hear that siren?

Announcer: It’s time for the Fire Round.

Brian: Is that the Fire Round siren?

Brandon: That is the Fire Round.

Josh: That would be the Fire—this is the Fire Round.

Brandon: There you go.

Josh: So angry, why is he so angry, Brandon?

Brandon: I don’t know, he’s an angry guy. Alright, the Fire Round, these questions come straight out of the BiggerPockets forums so may have seen them because I know you’re in there a lot. Number one, I really like these questions, very actionable. What is your system for handling and following up with business cards that you get through networking? I put them in a stack and put a rubber band around them and never get to them again.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: That’s my strategy, what are you talking about.

Brian: Yes, I mean you know, it’s funny, in this business, you get so many of them and no so—it depends. I used a CRM called the ZoHo that I started out—that was like a free and now I think I have a paid thing and so if it’s an investment contact, I put them into ZoHo and then they are on our mailing list so if we put out a newsletter or information on what we’re here at the company, they get—they get to hear about it. I organize them that way, aside from that, not too much.

Brandon: Alright.

Josh: Right on, right on. Alright, what’s the most critical component of the due diligence process for fixing and flipping houses?

Brian: Yes that’s a good question. Well, the biggest area is where people get tripped up is they over estimate the ARV.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: Which is the After Repaired Value—the value of the home after it’s fixed up or they underestimate the rehab budget or they underestimate the other ancillary cost that are involved so the most important part of due diligence is to nail down those three components. Number one, make sure you’re running good comparable sales that actually compare to the property that you’re selling and don’t use that one outlier comp as your ARV. If everybody is selling it $350,000, but one guy got $400, you’re ARV is not $400, it’s probably $350.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: Nailing down that rehab budget that comes either from experience or contractors quote or a combination of the two that’s really important to get that right because if you don’t get it right. You’ll feel the pain midway through the project when you realize you’ve reached your budget and you still have half the house to fix up.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: Then finally, the third component of the ancillary cost is, you know, talk to the title company and other vendors that are involved in acquiring and reselling property to—figure out what those costs are and don’t forget that they’re there. This isn’t the television flip show where you sell the house for $350 and you spent $100 to buy it up and $50,000 to fix it, which means that you made $200,000. There’s other costs in between those two numbers that need to get subtracted as well.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: Don’t get tripped up by missing that.

Brandon: Cool, cool and I have to plug it here, if people want to go to, you can check out the house flipping calculator that we made so check it out.

Brian: That’s great. Nice.

Brandon: It’ll help you with that so next question of the Fire Round, what college degree would best prepare you for or best prepare me for a career in real estate investing? That was the question?

Brian: You asked the wrong guy with a high school diploma.

Brandon: Really?

Brian: Surprised?

Brandon: I am.

Josh: There you go.

Brandon: I think that’s. I mean I think that’s awesome. It just shows that you don’t need to have a college degree to do well in real estate.

Brian: Yes, I don’t think so. I mean I think that I love people with college degrees because they make great employees. Not to say that you can’t be an entrepreneur. I don’t want to offend anybody that has spent a lot of time and money on a college degree because it’s you know, I don’t think you have to have a college degree to do this business. Now, I will say this, I do have a degree. It’s a—and I have a Phd, in the school of hard knocks.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: I think that my tuition for said degree is probably fairly similar, if not, even more than the tuition that most would pay for a scholastic Phd so I think that having a real estate education and a finance and investment education is probably very helpful and would have kept me out of a lot of trouble. You know, there was a point in time where you know, I took some big hits, fortunately not with any deals that I had with investors, but in my own personal portfolio because I always try to do a new strategy on my own before I bring investors in on it and if I don’t know what I’m doing because that’s when you’re going to make your biggest mistakes. I made my mistakes on the way to that Phd in the school of hard knocks and those mistakes cost me millions.

Brandon: Wow.

Brian: I think a finance education and an investment education might have prevented me from having to cough that up.

Josh: By the way, I love that idea. You know, if you’re going to experiment, don’t experiment on someone else’s dime.

Brian: Yes.

Josh: Do it on your own.

Brian: No. Yes, no, I mean it is—it goes back to what I said earlier about investors. Investors want to invest with you because you have a track.

Josh: Yes.

Brian: That—just because you have a track record of flipping houses, doesn’t mean that you can go raise money to buy apartment buildings. You know, guys want to know that you’re good at doing apartment buildings too so anytime I’m in a new strategy, I’ll try it on my own before I go out and raise money for it. If I’m good at it, I’ll go raise money and if I’m not good at it, I move on so don’t expect to find me doing anymore hotel development, been there, done that, got the t-shirt, lost my money and I won’t do it again.

Josh: Nice.

Brian: I’ll stick to what I’m good at.

Josh: There you go, there you go. Alright, do you think a written business plan is needed to be successful.

Brian: I do, I do, now that’s kind of a loaded question, Josh because a written business plan is thought of in a lot of different ways, but people. I mean you know, there’s the simple one where you say you’ve written down your 20 goals and you paste it on the fridge and.

Josh: Sure.

Brian: You read them every morning. There’s that kind of—that could be called a business plan, but you have to have some kind of—so let me look at one of my investment funds for example. If I’m going to go out and start private offering to raise money to go buy an apartment building or a portfolio of rental homes or whatever the case may be and Josh, I come to you and I say, we’re going to go buy this apartment building at 123 Main Street. We’ll probably make, you know $200 grand or whatever it is, would you want to invest in it? What are you going to tell me? Yes, you’re going to say well, geez, you know, you got to show me something.

Brandon: Yes.

Brian: You know, let me see what that means so I have to show you a written business plan that shows this is what the income’s going to look like and everything else. Without some kind of a plan to set the course, you’ve really got no tool to use to sell yourself of investment.

Brandon: Yes, good stuff. I like it, alright. Let’s move on to the end of the show, a section we like to call lovingly the.

Announcer: Famous Four.

Brandon: Alright, the Famous Four. These are questions we ask every week to guests and we want to know your opinion on them. I think we’ve asked you these before probably, but maybe they’ve changed so we’re going to do it again. Number one, what is your favorite real estate book?

Brian: Favorite real estate book, you know I still think it’s probably the Art of the Deal, old Trump book from way back in the day. I don’t have a lot of time to read books. I don’t even have a newer one because I just haven’t had that much time to jump back into the reading bandwagon.

Josh: Yes. That book by the way was probably one of the books that inspired me to get into real estate as well so definitely a good one.

Brian: Yes, for sure.

Josh: What about business what you’re—and any I know you’re not reading these days so you know. Are there any business books? Business audio, business websites, business something.

Brian: Yes, well, most of the reading quite honestly, most of the reading I do lately is on BiggerPockets and the forums. You know, I read a lot there at the expense of anything else, I want to read to kind of stacks up and I look over at it and go oh man, I got to get caught up on, you know, all these other economic reports here because I’ve been reading too much BiggerPockets.

Josh: Never, never too much.

Brian: Yes, yes. Right, exactly, never too much. Yes, you know, it’s been so long. I can’t even think of the last great business book I read. Well, there was one that was kind of interesting. It was called The One Minute Manager. That was pretty good, but that’s probably the last one that I read.

Brandon: Okay.

Josh: Right on. What about hobbies? We know you fly. Love to spend time with your wife. What else do you do? Anything interesting that you picked up in the last year? Any exciting new hobbies.

Brian: No, same old, same old. I just you know I like traveling. I like going to Maui.

Josh: Boring.

Brian: Yes, you know, that’s about it. Yes. Pretty boring you know one thing I’ve got on my radar that I’ve been working on getting my helicopter pilot’s license so.

Josh: Nice.

Brian: I started that and had to take a break from it because I got busy, I can’t wait to get back on that band wagon and finish that up and the other thing I want to do that I’ve been really excited about is I want to go down the there’s a Sean Tucker School of Aurobatics. The guy is an aerobatic air show pilot and go down there and learn how to do loops, rolls, snap rolls and lazy eights and all that kind of fun stuff and fly upside down.

Brandon: That’s cool.

Josh: Wow, cool. Yes.

Brian: Yes, it’s pretty cool.

Josh: Yes, let us know when you do it man, yes. We want a video.

Brandon: Josh wants to go ride with.

Josh: Not a chance in hell dude.

Brian: Yes, come on. You could do it. You got to get a GoPro for that one.

Brandon: Yes.

Josh: Yes, actually not a bad idea.

Brandon: Alright.

Josh: That’s not happening. I’m not going.

Brandon: Not even.

Brian: Right.

Brandon: My final question. What so you believe set apart successful business owner and real estate investors as they’re trying to scale their business from those who never scale. They stay small.

Brian: Oh, wow. You know, I think a lot it is just—it’s the way that people think and their own internal barriers. I mean, you know, I’ve said before that you can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. You know, and that means that you have to—you have to.

Josh: Did you make that up or did you steal that from somebody?

Brian: I steal everything Josh, come on.

Josh: That was really nice. That’s pretty good man.

Brian: This is the real estate business, everything is plagiarism.

Josh: Come on now.

Brian: You know what, but I think what that means to me is that you know, you have to be able to expand your comfort zone if you’re going to grow your comfort zone and most people aren’t willing to expand their comfort zone. You know, I think that sometimes the worst things that happen to you, which is—the reason people fear expanding their comfort zone is something bad will happen. You know I think everything happens for a reason.

You know the worst thing that happens to you is setting you up for a teachable moment that propels you to be higher than you ever imagined. I really believe that. I’ve been knocked down and every time that’s happened. I’ve gotten back up, stronger and more successful than before. It’s all part of that growth process and that cycle we talked about earlier about you know you know going through that doing it all yourself all the way to you know, growing a large business. All that is all part and parcel with that. You have to be willing to accept that risk if you’re going to become successful.

Brandon: Yes, that’s good.

Josh: Fabulous.

Brandon: That’s great.

Josh: Fabulous. Awesome man, well listen. I think your follow up was well worth it. I really do.

Brian: Awesome.

Josh: Where can people learn more about you?

Brian: Probably the best place is either on BiggerPockets forums or through my website, which is Praxis Capital, it’s There’s information on there about you know what our company does and what I do and background and all that good stuff.

Josh: Nice.

Brandon: Cool, cool, very cool.

Josh: Well, Brian, listen man, thank you so so much for coming back and maybe just maybe we’ll be in touch in a year or two for number three, but can we. Maybe we should just skip number three and we’ll have your for four. I don’t know how we can do that.

Brian: No, no that’s going in the wrong direction.

Josh: Because you hate three so much.

Brian: That’s going in the wrong direction.

Josh: Because you hate three so much. You know.

Brian: No, no I don’t know if that works or you know you can also maybe have me come speak at a BiggerPockets Summit.

Brandon: That would be a good idea.

Josh: Alright.

Brian: I wonder about something like that maybe. I could be the first one. I don’t know.

Brandon: I like that idea.

Josh: Alright man, well listen. It’s been a pleasure. It really has. We really do appreciate it you guys can find Brian at the website he mentioned. If you’ve got questions for him at all, hit him up on the site or you can ask on the show notes at Another reminder you can find Brian’s previous show at That’s all I got for you. I mean if you’re not out there making things happen. Make sure to do that. Keep up with the latest BiggerPockets news and information through our newsletter that comes out twice a week. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and so on and otherwise we just want to thank you for being a part our world and for checking us out each and every week and we’ll see you next week with Show 77. Thanks so much for listening. See you around.

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