Are Brandon Turner & Ben Leybovich Still investors?

77 Replies

You know that @Brandon Turner   and I talk like high-school girls.  Like every day...  You could say he is my significant other:)

Well - we were talking yesterday.  Discussing whether we still have any credibility.  He only purchased 1 property this year.  I've purchased none.  We manage our portfolios.  He has some W2 income from BP.  My wife and I have the music school income, though I am not any loner involved and my wife runs the show.  I also have the CFFU income and some consulting income as well.

I've sold an SFR. Paid off a balloon. Working on a refi which will cash out another big balloon. I've analyzed hundreds of big multifamily. Put in some offers, but purchased nothing.

In fact, I haven't bought anything since the Symphony 10-unit, and have been busy repositioning it.  But, the fact is - I haven't bought anything since then.

Since we are both rather in the front of BP offering advice, the question is - are we still credible.  Brandon and I have not bought lately - are we still credible with our opinions?

What do you think?

If you tell me that you don't want to hear my opinions, I'll quit!  and Josh will pull Brandon's book is you don't wanna hear his opinion :)

In all seriousness, it takes a wise investor to take his/her time to find the right property and not simply jump at the best available.  Sometimes that may take years... Its pretty obvious that you are a wise investor and so is @Brandon Turner!

But I love Brandon...somewhere deep, deep, deep inside.  What choice do I have - both @Brian Burke  and @J Scott turned me down flat.  Brandon is kinda my default...

In my opinion, you and Brandon are just as credible today as you ever were.  Now, the question is, how credible is THAT?!?!

@J Scott hahahahahahaha

I love you!  To answer your question: I am and have always been very credible.  Brandon is a self-admitted hack :)

I'm gonna get myself in trouble on this thread, aren't I..?!

Baha ha ha @J Scott 

I heard they are  working on a new book together, it takes up all there investing time. Slumlording 101 by @Ben Leybovich  and @Brandon turner.

All joking aside and coming from a newbie that has no business making such jokes Brandon and Ben I think your definitely investors and if yer takin a small break or waiting for that perfect sexy deal to pounce on, then at least im greatful for the knowledge and humor you guys have bestowed apon the bigger pockets community in the mean time!!

Unless you both sold all your holdings and put them into gold I would say yes @Ben Leybovich  you and Brandon are investors.  The amount of time since your last purchase is irrelevant.  

@Ben Leybovich  

In 2014 did you conceive in your mind you would control more real estate?  

What was your written real estate goal you wrote down in 2013 for 2014?

If there was a gap in what you wrote down and actually achieved we should meet for coffee...


You are still credible, definitely! Real estate doesn't change as frequently as other industries like say, tech, so much of the experience is still relevant years later. Even if you were to sell all of your properties you would still have relevant, useful knowledge to share with the community.

Why no new purchases?  Are you at a level that provides for your needs and adding more will just complicate your life without any real gain?  Or are you not finding deals that are worth purchasing?  Could this be inflated markets or just the realization you are getting close to the size you need and are being overly picky to make sure new additions are really worthwhile additions to your quality of life?

@Frank Romine  :

My actionable steps revolve around maximizing time and inefficiencies.  Growth is good by me, but only if it incorporates efficiency.

As such, I don't need more doors to manage.  Unless it's so many doors that I can afford professional qualified management and pay roll.  This is why my interest is strictly in syndication at this time.  This is what I've been pursuing but have not been able to find what I am looking for yet.

I have hit targets, however, with regard to "cleaning and maximizing" my portfolio.  Still looking for that bigger deal:)

@Brandon Turner  - dude - did I not suggest yesterday that we record a video for my next blog post - just sitting around and talking - BP reality show - you always take my ideas and pass them off as yours on BP and publish a book and make all that money...damn it

It was MY idea - let's do it

Originally posted by @Ben Leybovich :

If you tell me that you don't want to hear my opinions, I'll quit!  

Really?  You've made this way too easy, Ben!  I'm not going to take the bait though, because I fear that if you stopped expressing your opinions on BP you'd get bored and find your way out to California and I'd have to get you off of my physical doorstep rather than my virtual one.  I'm sure that @Brandon Turner  shares in that fear as well.

On to your question...actually questionS, in the title you ask if you are still an investor and in your OP you ask if you are still credible.  The answer to both is yes (and notice that I conspicuously avoided making a venomous comment as to whether you were ever credible to begin with and if the word "still" was even appropriate...whoops...did I just say that?).

I believe, but have no data to substantiate, that the majority of folks who visit BP for answers have little to no experience, and a large number have likely never bought an investment property.  To those who fit the latter description, a BPer with any practical experience is a resource to that person even if just to share how they broke through that first deal paralysis.  As you climb the ladder of experience you become a resource to a greater percentage of the BP population. 

You will always be a real estate investor.  You own properties and manage assets and/or tenants.  Being a real estate investor doesn't mean being a perpetual real estate acquirer.  Quite the opposite.  A successful investor exercises discipline and doesn't acquire when conditions are unsupportive.  Instead, the successful investor spends their time sharpening their tools...building spreadsheets and databases, investor lists and identifying winning strategies and markets in which to implement them and takes action when the right mix is present.

If you were out there acquiring deals that don't make sense just so that you were buying stuff, I'd say that your credibility (and all of the above applies Brandon too since you also asked on his behalf) would become compromised.  You are still investors, Ben and Brandon...and your credibility is intact, relevant, and for some strange reason, sought after by many.  :)

P.S...I got Brandon's book for Christmas and for the first time in 15 years I read a book cover to cover in one day.  Three pages of it were the best pages I've ever read in a book...see page 107.

I would say definitely!  You are still involved in real estate almost every day and have plenty of experience that your input and comments are helpful and insightful.

Also, I am hoping that purchasing a property is not a pre-requisite of being a real estate investor.... I am new, haven't purchases a property (other than my residence) and have been at this for over a year.  I still label myself and introduce myself as a real estate investor because I feel that is what I am doing - making money or not.

If you two aren't real estate investors - then I'm in trouble.

Thanks for all you  do!


When does the movie come out?

As @Brian Burke  stated, you don't have to be in acqusition mode to be an investor. In fact isn't that the goal of most of us? Looking toward the day we don't need to acquire property.

Keep up the good work.


Well - I can always (and I mean Always!) count on my friend @Brian Burke  to read between the lines and chausse through the bull into the core of my argument.  Apparently @Jeff Greenberg  is right there as well...

So much of BiggerPockets is about ignorant enthusiasm.  So much of what happens here is aplomb and hyperbole.  

Investing is about positioning thyself (thy family) to be able to withstand financial inflections of life with least possible effort.  It's not about making money - it's about doing it while you sleep!

I am there.  Every month my tenants make me richer on both ends.  The time paradigm is turned on its head, and time is now in my corner.

Do I want to make more money - sure  - but only because it's a fun challenge and because I'm kinda bored.  But, I'll do it on my terms.  And I will do it only if passion is with me.

I started with nothing, and I am here.  I'll be damned if in order to make money I'll do a silly thing like wholesale SFRs or offer turn-key pigs to investors in Ohio - my reputation is much too important to me.

I've got millions of dollars of partner cappital sitting on the sidelines - these people trust me.  I will not put their capital at risk and occupy my time with anything other than REAL OPPORTUNITIES.  I don't see them right now...every sucker is in the marketplace.  While I still see some opportunities in the small stuff, I just don't need to do that...

Patience is a virtue - I think that's a fair paraphrase of @Joshua Dorkin  from our last conversation.  Patience!  It is time to get ready, as Brian put it

Here's where I would play devil's advocate a bit though.

One, no matter what, I would be shocked if anybody out there wouldn't still consider you investors. Bottom line is you own multiple units.  Whether you manage them yourself or not or whether you're buying more or not doesn't really matter. You are what most investors aspire to become.  And I agree with Brian that an investor doesn't have to always be acquiring more to maintain the status of their "investor card".

That being said, I think the pertinence of your advice might start to change over time. At some point, your time away from certain investing strategies will likely lessen your ability to give advice thats as meaningful is it might be if you were actively doing it.

Does that mean your advice would be useless? No. But, as as whole, I'd have to believe that someone actively buying 5 or 6 houses a year would be more likely to have a better pulse on that investing activity than if they were 3 or 4 years removed from it.

Instead of being experts at acquiring properties or managing them, maybe its on how to reposition them (i.e. refinance and turn over to professional PM) to free yourself up. Or instead of buying SFHs, it'd be how to buy small to mid size multifamily.

Either way you cut it, you're still real estate investors. However, your focus/specialty on what it is your most familiar with will likely change the type of advice you offer most.

Good example: If brandon doesn't buy another house for the next 10 years and then puts out another book on how to buy SFHs with low/no money down, do you think he would have the same credibility as he does today when his purchasing is still relatively recent? Would all of his techniques still make sense in 10 years? 

Maybe you should clarify the question for this topic. If you haven't bought a SFH in the last "x" number of years, would you still have as much credibility to other investors when talking about SFH investing?

Now that would be a very debatable topic in my mind.

That, as well, how it is Brandon could have had an entire hour on the podcast to ask Josh about his investing and I still have no clue whether Josh is still actively investing or not. Does he have 1 unit or 100? SFH"s? Multifamily? What a wasted interview.

The only interesting thing I really got out of that one was that Josh was on SNL. :-)

I for one, see through your smokescreen and deflections.  I did not realize it until nearly an hour ago.  I finished Rehab Addict and Netflix recommended I watch "Hotel Impossible."  The show is based on the same premise as some of Gordon Ramsey's restaurant fix up shows.  It was then it all clicked...

Ben and Brandon have taken time from buying up all the multi families to film the first Biggerpockets TV drama series, MULTI FAMILY MAYHEM.  That's right, these two co-warriors will find failing multi family properties ranging from duplexes to 100+ units and tough love the owners either into shape, or out onto the street through a 3 month lease option that allows Ben/Brandon the property at a cap rate of 784%.  

It should be noted that each episode is actually 14 hours long which consist 95% of Ben discussing his thoughts and Brandon discussing his pets.  The remaining 5% will have you at the edge of your seats.  Stay tuned for further details.  

@Greg Baker  - You know, I've actually been considering this EXACT TV show model - the Kitchen Impossible thing. I need to find some people who know how to pull this off. We could have fun. 

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