RG 293 – The Vision Behind The Biggest Real Estate Community In the World With Brandon Turner
If you’ve been in the real estate community for a while, you probably know who Brandon Turner is. Today, we’re in luck! Jump in on this in-depth interview with Brandon, where we talk about his upbringing, his journey with BiggerPockets, and his unique principles when it comes to building a rockstar team.
Brandon Turner is a real estate investor, best-selling author, host of the BiggerPockets podcast, and VP of Growth of the BiggerPockets.com—one of the biggest real estate investing communities in the world. Brandon bought his first home at only 21 years old, and with the help of BiggerPockets (plus his innate investing skills)—he grew his investment portfolio rapidly.
Brandon is also the founder and managing member of Open Door Capital LLC, a private real estate investment firm that helps clients achieve risk-adjusted returns through the acquisition of nationwide value-add assets.
No one knows how to build a real estate business better than Brandon. In this episode, we talk about his unique financing methods, team-building strategies, and management techniques (and everything in between!). He also shares what their culture is like at BiggerPockets and Open Door Capital, and how he casts his vision throughout the entirety of his team.
Plus, we get to hear what it’s like letting a business “go” and having it thrive without you—and why that is a clear sign of success. So, don’t hover over that ‘Play’ button any longer. Listen today and learn more about the visionary behind BiggerPockets.com!
Not all tasks have the same value. Sometimes, you have to outsource one task (e.g. maintaining the house) to work on a higher-value task (e.g. building your investment portfolio).
At times, you have to realize that you’re not good at something in order to move your business forward.
When you hire the perfect COO, everything else follows.
- It’s important for your business to not be dependent on you; you have to build it in a way that it thrives even without you.
Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!
Listen to Podcast
Reed Goossens (00:00):
Good day, good day guys. Now, before we dive into today’s show, I want you to let you know that some of you may be aware that over the past eight years, I have built a substantial multifamily real estate portfolio here in the US worth over half a billion dollars. And in that time, my passive investors have received fantastic double-digit returns. And now you can invest directly into my deals for as little as $50,000. So if you’re an interested investor, head over to Reedgoossens.com to find out more that’s Reedgoossens.com. Now back into the show,
Brandon Turner (00:41):
If your company is dependent upon you to succeed and you get hit by a bus, you don’t and your company dies. That’s a major problem. Uh, bigger pockets is a company that’s owned by many, many groups and like, you know, private equity and, and Josh and me and, and Scott, but it would be very hard to someday sell that company or go public or whatever their plans are. I don’t know whatever their plans someday are. If Brandon Turner is the guy that makes it all run. So sometimes you have to like, I, we, and we all knew it from, from the last few years, we knew that someday the Brandon Turner band day would have to be ripped off and we have to see if it can swim.
Speaker 3 (01:26):
Welcome to investing in the US, a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market, join Reed as he interviews go-geters risk-takers and the best in the business about their journey towards fire, financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from.
Reed Goossens (01:46):
Nothing good day. Good day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the US podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your Hosty Goins good as always to, with us on the show. Now, I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream are the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created their businesses here in the us, how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash, and ultimately created extraordinary lives for themselves and their families or life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action. If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like to show the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed goons. You can find the show, every you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these
Reed Goossens (02:59):
Episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to Reedgoossens.com click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts, where you can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough outta me, let’s get cracking and into today’s show
Reed Goossens (03:21):
During the show. I have the pleasure of speaking with a true legend of the real estate world, Mr. Brandon Turner. Now, for those of you who may be living under a rock, let me tell you a little bit about what, who Brandon is. Brandon is the host of the biggest podcasts podcast. One of the biggest podcast platforms in the nation. He’s also so a bestselling author. He is all all around good bloke. He’s the co-founder and co-founder and founder of Opendoor capital. He’s a to star and he’s a social media influencer
Brandon Turner (04:07):
Mate, man, I’m doing so good. I’m doing so good. It’s always good to connect with you. I’ve never been called a bloke before, so I’m gonna go with, I think that’s a good thing. I’m a show with you today.
Reed Goossens (04:18):
That is a good thing. And, and look, mate, I, I, I do want to, uh, humbly say that, you know, it’s great to have connected over the, over the past couple of months, we have got to hang out a little bit, a few different, um, you know, events over the, the last little while. I know you’ve been traveling a lot. You’re now back home in your home of, of Maui, but, um, let’s go back to the beginning, the, the, the pre-and and turn of the pre TikTok star and social media influencer. Uh, and, and, and trust me guys, you need to see his dance moves on. Oh, it’s, it’s so good. It’s freaking awesome. But mate, rewind the clock and tell me how you made your first ever dollar as a kid.
Brandon Turner (04:50):
All right. Yeah. So first dollar man, uh, fifth grade, I didn’t make, I didn’t know anything about money. Didn’t didn’t my parents didn’t like, teach me about money. I didn’t have any of the money, like lessons really growing up. Uh, so the time I can ever remember making any money is my dad paid me $5 to a haul, like a huge pile of brush. We lived on like 10 acres of land. I dunno if you have acres out there in Australia. Mm-hmm
Reed Goossens (05:35):
Awesome. Awesome. And, and following on from that, what, what was your, your upbringing like with money and, and, and walk us through the, the early brand and, you know, childhood going to school, going to uni, did you get a, did you get a day job? You got sick of that and just decided to go start working with the bigger pockets. I wanna, I wanna know the, yeah. The pre the pre stardom type of lifestyle.
Brandon Turner (05:53):
Yeah. So in a nutshell, so I, I was raised, uh, good family. I mean, solid Midwest America family, my dad’s a meat cutter or was until he just retired. Mom did daycare in the house. So we were very middle class, like blue collar family. Uh, the only really, I mean, the lessons about money was like one, you don’t talk, you don’t talk about money. Money is just more of an accident that some people just happened to get rich. And so people happen to win the lottery and some people happen to be good at business. And it’s just something that you’re either born with, or you’re not. And they didn’t say that, but that was kinda the feeling irony I always had growing up. Uh, furthermore, rich people were very much, I don’t wanna say look down on, but like look down on, uh, I remember one of my buddies, his dad owned a plumbing company and I used to make fun of the, to my buddy.
Brandon Turner (06:37):
I make fun of ’em the fact that his family had a house cleaner, uh, because in my head it was because they were lazy. They didn’t wanna clean their own house. They’re too busy making money to clean their own house. Right. And today I’ve realized the opposite that they weren’t, they didn’t have a house cleaner because they were rich. They were rich because they had a house cleaner, right. It’s such a, it’s a subtle dip friends, but they understood the concept that not all tasks are created equal. They’re not all the equal value. And so cleaning a house might be a $10 an hour task, but I mean, this guy was a franchise. Like he started franchising, his plumbing business, that’s million dollar an hour work. I mean, like he, he was very successful because he knew the, to work on those thing. So anyway, I, I didn’t realize that until much, much later I was raised with rich people or are bad in a way.
Brandon Turner (07:23):
Um, so I ended up doing the typical thing, went to college, uh, uni as they call it and well done. Thank you. And I got a degree in history, uh, and literally the only reason I chose history, this tells a lot about my personality is I had a conversation with the, whatever, the guidance counselor, whatever of the college, when I was going in. And you see, I had done a lot of like school, like college credits in high school. Then I went to like a community college. Then I went to a little tiny Christian college and I went to all these little schools. Right. And I was basically collecting credits just based on what I felt was interesting at the time. Uh, I had no real plan, right. So now I go to the final college, said, I’m gonna go spend the last two years of my life to graduate from.
Brandon Turner (08:01):
And I’m meeting with the guidance counselor. And I say, well, I’ve got all of these credits from different courses and different schools. What can I do with this? And she looked at it all and she was like, well, I mean, if you go with a history major, you’ll get outta the college six months earlier, that’s what I’m gonna do. Like that was the only Cho, like the, the only reason I chose history is because I got out six months earlier cuz of how the credits transferred in. And it was a less credit intensive major, I don’t know. Anyway. So I became a history major, which you, uh, which can give you one of like three jobs in the world. Number one, you can become a history teacher. I been a four jobs, one history teacher, a librarian like unemployed or a lawyer. That’s really about it.
Brandon Turner (08:43):
Like you become the librarian, the history teacher, the, the lawyer or unemployed. And so I was like, well, lawyers probably make the most amount of money there. And I, I would like to have some money as I get older. Um, let’s do that. So I studied for the law school entrance exam, the test, the LSAT, uh, I studied for a whole summer. I took the test. I did okay. On it, uh, enough that maybe I could have scraped by, into one of the top colleges maybe, but probably not. And then I read John Gresham’s book, the firm. Uh, do you remember that book? The firm, they made a movie with Tom cruise, right. And John Gerson has a way of just putting these subtle digs against lawyers constantly. Cause he was a lawyer. So like, he’d be like, you know, like, yeah, that lawyer’s been at the firm for 80 years and is on his fourth wife or that guy works a hundred hours a week until he is 60 in order to become partner.
Brandon Turner (09:31):
And then he can work only 80 hours a week, you know? Like it’s like he puts these like not so untrue cliches about being a lawyer. And I realized while reading that book, I’m like, that sounds like a miserable life. Like that’s here. I am applying in applying to school and I’m headed down that direction to go be a lawyer, the rest of my life and realized I didn’t wanna do that. And at the same time I bought a single family house, rented out the bedrooms and then sold it a year later and I made a 20 grand. And that convinced me that there, like, I, I don’t even know if I would’ve made 20 grand coming outta law school. Right. Like, and I made that on a, part-time just living in a house for free. Cause I went to the bedrooms out and I decided then and there, like after I saw that property, I said, I’m gonna go be a real estate investor instead. And that’s how it started.
Reed Goossens (10:12):
Wow. Oh wow. I did not know that you’d skipped uni altogether. Well, like, you know, secondary uni. Cause I know in America here, you sort of have this preamble of going to school twice. For some reason, like in Australia, like I went straight into civil engineering school, like it like, oh nice. There was no like figure out what you wanna do with your life and you know, come in and spend a bunch of money and just do whatever you knows
Brandon Turner (10:35):
Exactly what it is. It’s like, like, uh, yeah. It’s just like, go, go do whatever you want for years. And then eventually you’ll find out what you wanna do. And you’ll be a hundred thousand dollars in debt. It’s great.
Reed Goossens (10:43):
Right. Right. Right. So, so how was then the, the transition into the bigger pockets world? Was it a thing back then? I know you were early involved with the company and for that again, for those people who are listening bigger pockets, everyone should know who it is. Go, go Google it. I don’t need to tell you where ago, but what was that transition? Like getting sucked up in that world. Yeah. So
Brandon Turner (11:02):
It started with actually, so when I decided I was gonna do real estate investing, I remember I called my parents and told them that. And I remember my dad saying something like kinda joking. Like you don’t want to get into real estate. Everyone lose, loses their shirt. This is oh seven, by the way. So like the market’s like Uhhuh peak when I decide to get into it. And he is like, markets go down. He’s like your tenants. Aren’t gonna pay rent if the market changes and you’re gonna lose everything. And I was like, oh, he’s right. Like he’s right. I don’t have any money. What am I a stupid 21 year old college grad like just outta school making $9 an hour at some like group home. And I’m like, what was I thinking that I’m going to do this? So instead of giving up though, I went to Google and I typed in what to do when a tenant doesn’t pay rent, what to do when tenants don’t pay rent.
Brandon Turner (11:47):
And the psych popped up this a little tiny forum. It was just a forum at the time of people like asking questions called bigger pockets. And I was like, and I read this like answer. Well, somebody else asked the question, somebody gave an answer and it was this incredible answer of like, well, here’s the laws you can deal with. And here’s the processes you go through. And here’s how you do this. And here here’s how you rectify. And here’s how you do cash for keys and all this stuff. And I was like, dang, there are answers to these negative questions like cuz everyone has got the negative, why you shouldn’t get in real estate. And then I realized that there are answers to every single one of ’em. And that’s when I like sold my soul to bigger pockets is like, I like this. I, I love this, this website.
Brandon Turner (12:23):
So I just started volunteer. Like, I mean, I, I, I would ask questions. I would answer questions. I would just, I would just a forum guy. I was engaged on the forums later on. As I built up my, my portfolio, I would ask a lot of questions about like, Hey, I’m thinking about buying this small apartment building. Like what’s the best way to structure it. Like you can go back and look at my old post. Like I had no idea what I was doing, but I, I bought a bunch of units like using bigger pockets as help. I ended up with like 30 rental units. I bought a, bought some duplexes and triplexes. And then as a little bit larger stuff, I ended up with 30 of 35 units after when I was 27 and I had enough to quit my job. So I quit my job.
Brandon Turner (12:59):
And I like, at the time I had started working as a banker, uh, and not like a banker in wall street. Like I was literally like the guy that sit the bank. Yeah. The teller and opened up checking. I opened up checking accounts all day long. I was making 1275 an hour, I think maybe 13 an hour. And uh, I quit that to go full-time well, I guess basically to retire cuz I had enough money to pay my bills. Uh, it wasn’t a ton. It was like 3000, $4,000 a month. Mm-hmm
Brandon Turner (13:37):
He was the only employee. He had nobody, it was just Josh. And he was doing every, I mean everything in that business. And so he put on his Facebook, Hey, I’m looking for some help editing blog posts. And I was like, I, I can, I can speak English. I can edit blog posts. It was a total lie. I am, I don’t know, Paul punctuation or English, like I don’t know pronouns. I, I don’t know. Yeah, I, yeah, exactly. I was a history guy, not an English major.
Brandon Turner (14:18):
I’d make it sound a little better. And then I’d put it out there on the, on the new, on the bigger podcasts blog. And that’s how it started. And uh, a little bit later I, me and Josh were talking and we’re like, Hey, what if we started a podcast? And then that turned into, let’s start a podcast. And then that turned into the podcast, which then became my full-time. I mean, I was just full on bigger pockets and I worked about a hundred hours a week for the next about four years, just Josh and I together just grinding it out, trying to build the company. And uh, yeah, that was the beginning and 2007.
Reed Goossens (14:47):
How, how early in that was bigger pockets at that stage? It would’ve been real early, right?
Brandon Turner (14:53):
It was real early. Yeah. So when I found bigger pockets in 2007, it had been around for a couple years. It was a small form. It had about maybe 7,000 total like members on the site. So then I, which is not bad, like which is not bad. Yeah. Like 7,000 emails is, is
Reed Goossens (15:08):
Brandon Turner (15:09):
Emails. Yeah. Like it’s, it’s not bad. Uh, and, and so Josh had, he had a thing going, I mean, he, there were several sites that were similar. They were all kind of competing for like who’s the real estate like go-to website and they were all the same size roughly. And then when I joined and this is not because I joined, but when I joined bigger pockets took off so fast. It like, there, there is no today there is no competition. Like there’s nobody, there is no other real estate community that’s even close to as large as bigger pockets. And it, and it wasn’t a, and I’ll say that it wasn’t me. What it was was this concept that, um, G Wickman explains in the book traction in rocket fuel. And what rocket fuel this concept is that when a company has a company needs to grow fast, needs to have two primary roles at the top, a integrator and a visionary.
Brandon Turner (15:58):
So a visionary sees where it wants to go and they’ve got the big picture. They’ve got the vision, but they don’t necessarily that, that skillset to be able to cast a vision and be excited and to move everyone together is not the same skillset to sit down and do all the tasks. So a lot of companies get stuck because they are focused on try to do both the founders doing both and they struggle. So Josh is the visionary and he brought in me and all of a sudden I was the integrator. I was the room running the podcast, like doing all the editing. I was editing the blog post. I was, I wrote a hundred articles that first year, like long articles. I mean, I was doing all this, like the work that needed to get done now, Josh was working as well, a hundred hours a week, but it was like on more of the bigger picture stuff.
Brandon Turner (16:37):
What happens when you get the right mix of a visionary and an integrator is the company just takes off like a rocket. Um, I found it in my own, like three years ago I started a company called, uh, ODC or opener capital. We now call it jst ODC. And I brought in right away. Cause I knew that concept. I brought in integr it right away. And then we went from zero to whatever, 300 million of assets under management now. Uh, and, and we’re hoping to double that every year for the next few years. And so like it it’s because I have an amazing integrator. Now I’m the visionary and I have an integrator. Uh, and it’s, it’s the best. So,
Reed Goossens (17:09):
So the next question I’ve always, always gonna ask, because knowing you now and come across you more recently, you are the visionary. You are the guy that everyone goes to, the, the beard and, and, and the brand. But it’s interesting that you started out being the, the, the integrator because yeah. Did you know that you wanted to become a visionary back in the day?
Brandon Turner (17:29):
Yeah. That’s a really good question. Um,
Reed Goossens (17:31):
Because preface that with not everyone knows that. Yeah. Right. You, you I’m really good at integrating as well, but I also see myself going to a visionary role. Once you get B, once you start digging into a business, you can start to see, this could go somewhere cool. Because I’m fixing these issues on that. So,
Brandon Turner (17:51):
Yeah. Yeah. So here, here’s my thoughts on the visionary. Like, so I, I like a lot of people are just are good at doing things, right? Like you, you, you are, I’m, I’m sure as well. Like if somebody said, Hey, I need you to go and write this post, or I need you to and analyze this real estate deal. Like we can do those tasks because we’re smart individuals that, that can just get things done. So all along, I could do integrator stuff, just like you could do integrative stuff, but it doesn’t mean that’s where I’m most aligned. So from the beginning, I have been most aligned whenever I can be visionary. And, and the way that I know that is because I never last in a single role at bigger pockets, like anything I did there, I never lasted more than a year. Like I would do stuff like edit the blog post, and then like, I just didn’t like it.
Brandon Turner (18:38):
I didn’t feel fulfilled. The only thing I lasted through was the podcast really. And that’s cuz really I was, I was kind of the visionary of the podcast. Like Josh like would show up and record. And now when Josh left, David Green would show up and record. Like they were like the integr. I mean, they were like the, get the stuff done, but I was the one thinking of the vision of where we headed. So I feel most aligned in that visionary role. And so every time I’m forced in, into an integrator role, that’s why like, I, I struggle personally in, in, in my soul it hurts whenever I’m in that role. Uh, and I, it took 10, 12 years for me to be able to put into words why that is. I mean, I, yeah, I just, and I didn’t have the skillset being a visionary, takes a certain skillset.
Brandon Turner (19:22):
It takes a certain confidence level. It takes a certain like how do I inspire people to work for me and to not leave and to, to be aligned in the vision. And, and that takes a skillset that I did not have. And so I’m glad, like I think I had to come through the bigger pockets world to realize that I’m the visionary and it’s partially why I’m I’m, you know, I just, I think you, you probably saw on Instagram, I just, uh, stepped away from the podcast and bigger pockets entirely. I mean, I’m a part owner now, but the reason why is cuz like I have like, they don’t need another visionary there. They’ve got, they’ve got private equity, they’ve got a CEO like Scott, we put Scott in charge when Josh left and, and like they’ve got all that. They don’t need another visionary. And so like, all I could really do is integrate and be the integrator, but I don’t, I don’t like the integrator. I don’t feel, I don’t feel great there. I don’t feel aligned. And so I would rather be the visionary of open door capital, my, my company, and, uh, do that cause I feel super align there. So
Reed Goossens (20:20):
I think it also comes back from being in the trenches. Everyone’s gotta be in the trenches, particularly as an entrepreneur, you have to learn every facet of the business in order to get to that point to say, yeah, this is not for me because in the beginning and then, and I’m gonna get to a point a minute in the beginning you do everything right? Because you don’t have the capital to afford someone to edit the podcast or to write the blog. It’s, it’s literally, you have to do SOS nuts and they’re letting go of the vine. Uh, if, you know, also in the EOS traction book, uh, talks about when you get to a certain stage, understanding who you are as a person and what you align with may have changed from when you started the business and that’s okay and you’ll change in the future as well.
Reed Goossens (21:03):
But it also that self, um, you know, self, not self realization is important for you as a leader because you can then say, I am not good at this. And it takes a lot of courage to say, I’m not good at this because you’ve started the business, doing everything. You couldn’t do everything. You, you think you can do it to the best of your ability. But in reality, there’s probably some things you can’t do that. Great. You know what I mean? Like, and you, you have to come to realization and it sometimes is a little bit of a shocking realization. Like, yeah, I’m not that great at analyzing this or I’m not that great at blog posting or whatever it might be to, to, to, to move the business forward. So I think you’ve gotta go through the hard times in order to get to that point to say, this is where I’m at. This is not where I’m at. So
Brandon Turner (21:45):
I think thoughts, I think it, I think it definitely, definitely, definitely helps to have gone through this stuff now, do I need to know how to change a toilet in order to hire a plumber? Probably not, but I should know. I should know what a toilet is and how a toilet works. So I’m not gonna get completely ripped off. Right, right. But if there’s like one thing I could like write a letter to myself and teach myself one lesson from give it to myself 20 years ago, this is what it would be. And, and it’s, it’s relates to any entrepreneurship at all. Any, any layer of entrepreneurship or, or doesn’t matter what business then whatever, if there’s, if there’s one thing I could tell myself 20 years ago, it would be this about entrepreneurship. There are like four layers. And if you’re, if you’re listening or watching this right now, right?
Brandon Turner (22:25):
Write this down. There’s four layers I see in, in starting a business or growing a business, the, the level one I call the DIY level. So DIY means you are in there doing the work. When I got started in real estate, I was doing the work. I was changing the toilet. I was, I was, you know, answering the phones, placing the tenant, doing all that. Uh, I was doing everything cuz that’s what, that’s where my mindset was at is I get in there and do it. I also didn’t have any money. So it made it like that was a lot easier. The next level up, I call the project manager level. That is where like, you don’t necessarily do the work, but you like hire someone close to you to do it and kind of manage the project. So for example, I no longer change the toilet.
Brandon Turner (23:00):
I hire the plumber to come and change the toilet for me. Uh, and there’s a, that’s a cool level too. DIY is cool. It’s fun. And some people love it. Project manager level of a business is great too. Uh it’s it’s fine. Level three. I call the COO level a COO or chief operating officer. It’s like the level where you build a team like you’ve got, you’ve got a couple reports, direct reports underneath you. You’ve got a company like, you know, mission statement. You’ve got this business that is like a little engine that just works. And you’re and your job is to make sure the engine always works. So you’re meeting with people, having one-on-one conversations with your team. So you’re not necessarily even telling the guy, Hey, I got a call from Ms. Johnson to fix the toilet. Cuz you’ve got a, maybe a property manager or someone on your team.
Brandon Turner (23:43):
Who’s getting that call. But you’re making sure that team member is doing, you know, well compensated and you’re encouraging them. That’s where most business leaders get to at some point in their life. Now there’s a fourth level that not everyone gets to. And that I’m fascinated by. And I call that the architect level, the architect, almost like the architect of the matrix is kinda where I get that phrase. It’s like this person that oversees the whole thing and kind of designs it, but is not a part of it. It is separate from the beginning. And so for example, when I started ODC and the, the investment firm that I, I have, like I was, I never analyzed the deals. I never even managed the team. What I architect does is they hire one person. An architect brings in one person, probably the COO then builds a team.
Brandon Turner (24:25):
And that’s just enough. The COO generally hires, project manager, level people and project managers tend to hire the, the DIY levels or the, or the workers. Now the interesting thing is couple things. One every, no level’s wrong, right? Every level’s fine. And there’s people that are perfectly happy at each level. However, every level has a limit as a limit of how high you can grow. Like you will not build a billion dollar real estate business at a DIY level. You can’t do it. You just can’t do everything in there. Yeah. You cannot flip a hundred houses a year. If you’re the one doing all the construction, there’s a limit to what you can do in any business being di DIY. So every level has a limit at the same time, the higher you go on those levels, the more risk it is. And the more expensive it may be, right?
Brandon Turner (25:03):
Like you can’t just be an architect and go and higher that one person and give a good salary and then you’ll build it a big team. If you have no money, now I’ve got good money right now. Therefore, when I built open door capital, I just was like, boom, like there’s my team. I just hired everybody. And I built it and I cast the vision and boom, it’s done. Now, the third thing is this. The third point about the, the levels is you can choose what level you wanna start at. Now, most people naturally start at wherever they were. So I was at work guy at like group homes and at that bank. And so I started at the same level. I started at DIY, but I have a lot of friends who came from more of a project manager level, Jay Scott, great example, Jay Scott book on flipping houses.
Brandon Turner (25:38):
Author, Jay was actually literally a project manager for like Microsoft or some big company. So when he started flipping houses, it never occurred to at him, Hey, go change a toilet yourself because that’s not what a project manager does. So he started by hiring little contractors to do the work. So Jay started at project manager level. Now other people I know they were the COO or they were in charge of a business. They were an entrepreneur in another business or they were the boss at another company. So when they came into real estate, my buddy Charles’s at example, his first year, my buddy to up like 70 houses, he immediately hired like four people and they just went and did that. And he’s involved with every piece of it because that’s where he came from. And then of course, some people like architect, like if I was today gonna start a flooring business, like I would not lay flooring today.
Brandon Turner (26:22):
Like DIY, I would not hire a random flooring guy and get him jobs and get him go do the work. That’s like the project. I wouldn’t even like go and hire four people and manage those people. I would just hire one guy, actually what I would do. I go buy a carpet company, right? That’s what an architect does. They go buy the carpet business or the flooring business. So anyway, that’s the, that’s the advice I would give myself is to just to know that there are different levels. You do not have to start a DIY, but it’s definitely cheaper at that point. But if I can elevate quickly and if I could have elevated quickly or if that’s a word I would have,
Reed Goossens (26:54):
For those of you who are interested in staying up to date with all the latest happenings in my business, or to learn more about passively investing direct into my multifamily value ad deals, then head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter. By signing up, you’ll automatically be notified about my new up and coming investment opportunities. You’ll be able to stay up to date with all the latest real estate news here in the United States and much, much more. So head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up to day. Now, back into the show.
Reed Goossens (27:29):
I, I, I love that. And, and, and just giving a bit of feedback. I started as a structural engineer. So I came in more project manager, COO level with my business. Yeah. But I do think it’s important. Going back to what they’re going from an integrated to a visionary, there is a big step where you get to that COO. And a lot of people, business owners, business owners stop at COO, right? I’m at that stage right now where I stop, I, I have stopped. And the next step is exactly what you just said. I’m literally going through this, this conundrum right now. I was like, I’m coming into some money. Yep. What are other big businesses? They reinvest in themselves. They can remove themselves, actually got one. I’ve got a word on my board here, replace myself in operations. It’s gonna, it’s gonna take money.
Reed Goossens (28:13):
Brandon Turner (29:10):
For you? Yeah, man, that’s a, that’s a great question. So when I, when I looked in the beginning, first of all, I didn’t build ever. I didn’t, I didn’t hire everyone at once. Right. So I scaled it a little bit with new partnerships. Now there are ups and downs of that. So I gave away a lot of equity to a lot of people where I only own like roughly 40% give or take right now of my real estate firm. I have equity to a lot of my early people in exchange having to pay them and for bringing in people that are like legit, like Brian Murray, who wrote the book, uh, crushing it in apartments, in commercial real estate, one of the best real estate investors I’ve ever met, uh, we decided to partner together. So he has, he owns a large chunk of ODC. And so does my buddy Ryan Murdoch.
Brandon Turner (29:47):
And so does my integrator Walker. So I did that. First of all, as a way to lessen the blow now long term, that’s gonna cost me, but is it because now everybody has incentive to grow it together? I do. I mean, our original goal was 50 million owned in three years. We actually just crossed three, well we’ll cross this week, 300 million in three years. So like, yeah, thanks, man. We, it was six X, our goal would that have happened, had I not had those people, not a chance. Right. So the first thing is I gave away a decent amount of equity in exchange for okay, to the right people. I also gave equity to the wrong people early on, and I made some mistakes there. And that, that sucks. I’m pay for those for a long, I mean, it cost me a lot of money, but you get through that stuff and not bad people, just stuff like I give away way too much to where I didn’t have to.
Brandon Turner (30:28):
Uh, that said, that said, this was the logic I, then I, I had. And this is where syndication is so freaking awesome because what we can do is let’s say I, okay. So started the idea, go like start at the beginning, going, if I needed to buy 50 million in real estate, what would I need? Well, I would need an integrator. Cause again, I wanna be architect. So I would need, I need that. COO. I need somebody to run the business. I would need an acquisitions person. It just does nothing but acquisitions. I would need an investor relations person. I would need a finance person. I would need a, I dunno what I’m missing there. Asset manager. Right. So I would, I would need like these five or six rules. So real estate’s very clear cut. I mean, it’s pretty clear what every real estate company needs.
Brandon Turner (31:08):
It’s like these 5, 6, 7 rules in the beginning, uh, to be able to buy a bunch of big apartments and stuff. And so I asked myself, well, what would that would, what would that cost me? And at the end of the day, it was like, it was gonna cost me about $500,000 a year. Just if you just paid for them. I paid exactly. And I just paid salaries. Um, and, and so I was like, well, what would I have to buy to generate acquisition fees? Which, you know, a fee when you buy a big apartment complex goes to keep the overhead, which is exactly what this is. So in other words, I worked backwards and set goals for my team based on paying salary. So like whatever, the salary amount that I, I like basically I need to make half a million dollars. What does that look like in terms of assets to buy?
Brandon Turner (31:51):
Uh, and it ends up being like, I don’t know, call it 30 million. If we buy 30 million in a year of real estate that will pay about a half, a million dollars worth of salaries, you know, give or take, it depends on what you charge for acquisition fees and what your other over half costs are. But, and so what it here’s what it, here’s what this does is yes, it is risky. This, the thought of spending a half, a million dollars a year on salaries feels like it’s a lot of money you’re going to lose, but in reality, as long as the company hits their goals, I don’t pay anything. And so that’s the truth. I have never actually spent any of my own money on employees from the beginning, because in the begin the first few months it was partners and, and bringing in those people.
Brandon Turner (32:29):
So it didn’t cost me anything. Then we bought our first deal. Hey, we made, I don’t know, it was like 30 grand in acquisition fees. That very first deal, that money went to hire the first employee that actually I had to pay a salary to. And then like three months later, we got another deal. Now it could pay like four more employees. And so like now we just have our goals. Now it’s a lot higher than what salaries are, but it, it really, it pays for itself in real estate. If you charge those fees. Now not every company charges fees, and that’s perfectly fine. There’s a million ways of skin that cat. But, uh, my mentality always has been, I will make my money at the end. I wanna be the last one of everybody, my employees, my investors, everybody. I will put all of my eggs in that real estate basket. And I’m gonna watch that basket very well. And I’m going to be super rich if this works out well. Right. But I don’t need to make it. Now. I will sacrifice all my book, Royals tease. I will sacrifice everything. I will sacrifice all the fun things of having a private jet and all that cool stuff that rich people love to have because I wanna put it all to the end and to make sure that it works. So anyway, that’s kinda where my mentality is done.
Reed Goossens (33:30):
So that’s incredible. Cause I, I just happen to be in this, the right, exactly. The similar position right now of, of reinvesting and, and uplifting myself. And I think just, it sounds like going from that COO to architect is really, for me, at least it’s unfulfilled potential. I I’m driven by that to go. I’m 35, you know, I dunno how old you are, but you’re like 36. I, I need to take that next.
Brandon Turner (33:52):
Level. Yup. That’s what it was for me. It was this feeling that like, I would go to conferences and everyone there was doing way more stuff than me, even though I was the guy stage because I got a loud mouth. Right. And so they put me on stage, but like, I’m like, I got four properties. It was like stupid. Right. I just felt dumb. Uh, and so I was like, I, I have UN what’d you say unrealized potential, whatever.
Reed Goossens (34:11):
The phrase is, UN unfulfill unfulfilled potential. Yeah.
Brandon Turner (34:13):
That’s what it is. But I felt that exactly there I’ll tell you here’s, here’s the best tip I have for people in your shoes. That’s like, look, I am right now, I’m running, I’m in charge, but I wanna get to the architecture role. And this is the hardest thing in the world to do, but it’s the thing you have to do. And that is hire the perfect integrator. Like when you hire that CEO that can take care of everything else. It’s really that easy. Cuz now like now, like I hired Walker and by the way, Walker, my integrator started as an intern working for free. He then became a analyst for us. He then became an investor. I mean, analyst, uh, became a, our lead like lead underwriter, all unpaid. Finally we offered him the job, uh, of like head of, uh, head of acquisitions, uh, after a year of him working for free. And then from there we offered him a year later, often the job of COO. So intern all the way up to running all of ODC right now. Uh, and,
Reed Goossens (35:07):
And he, and that would be the same DIY that we just spoke about. He, he went from DIY, he went from DIY. Yup. Yeah. He went all the way up the steps that, that, that’ss incredible. That’s incredible. Um, one quick question, before we, we move into the next topic is sure is your, your team there. I know they’re remote. How, how has that been managing that from Hawaii? Because I know that’s where you live and it’s a beautiful place. The place of the on earth where you are. Yeah. How has it been keeping the culture and keeping everyone rowing in the same direction?
Brandon Turner (35:35):
Yeah, man. Uh, so interesting enough, we kind of accidentally in a way developed a couple hubs. So I’ve got two, I think two official team members that live in Hawaii. Now one of ’em actually moved here just cuz he was super cool and we like, we didn’t have to work together. I just was like, Hey, you wanna come to Hawaii? He was like, all right. Uh, and another guy, my finance manager, I actually found, he actually lived here already. So two of my team are here. We eat together all the time last night, we’re say, oh, and then Ryan, of course who’s on my kind of board of directors. He was like my first integrator. Uh, Ryan was a, you know, co-founder anyway, Ryan lives here as well. He actually lives on the property. Same. Like I have an extra, like an ADU in my backyard.
Brandon Turner (36:10):
He lives there anyway. Like last night we’re hanging out on my line drinking until like, I don’t know, 11 o’clock at night, just talking about real estate in life. And our families were all over and everyone’s like having a great time. And that’s what I wanted. First of all, I, I wanted that. So that helps with the culture here, but, but interesting enough, most people actually end up in Atlanta. Uh, like my integrator was in Atlanta. Uh, my guy, the guy who I moved out here to, to live in Hawaii, he actually is from Atlanta. Uh, Brian Murray who’s, you know, our asset manager and uh, a lot of stuff, just kinda like the smart guy on the team. He lives in Atlanta now. He moved there unrelated to everything else. So, uh, and then the management team, we then built in Atlanta because they were there.
Brandon Turner (36:46):
So I’ve got kinda these hubs. So all that to say is most of everything we do is digital. Even though like I live three miles from a couple of my guys and one of ’em in my backyard, we still have most of our meetings on zoom. So you, it wouldn’t matter, uh, how keep the culture going though. We are very, uh, culture going and people excited and moving forward and rolling in the same direction. That is my job. Right? That’s the visionary’s job. The visionary’s job is to get. So how do I line people up? Well, couple things. One, I cast a very clear vision of where we’re headed. Everybody knows it. I once heard Jack, um, Jack, uh, not Canfield Jack. Uh, who’s the guy in GE for years now. I’m gonna go little good.
Brandon Turner (37:24):
Jack Welch, Jack Welch. All right. So Jack Welch once had once said that his job was to make sure that if he went to any one of his hundred thousand employees and shook them awake at three in the morning and said, where is GE headed? They would be like, we’re going and they would be able to name it. They would know exactly where they’re headed. Mm-hmm
Brandon Turner (38:16):
Right? So EOS has allowed us to do that, uh, which has been great. Secondly, I also, my job as a cast division, which is literally, I, I like, I mean, this is one piece of it. So for those who are can’t are, are listening and not watching. You can’t really see it, but this is a magazine cover that I made myself. It’s called open door capital magazine. And on here is a bunch of our, uh, where we’re headed, uh, with the company. Everybody has this in their office. Mm-hmm
Reed Goossens (39:25):
That’s that’s incredible, man. And thank you for sharing. I, I do actually do love that idea of creating a magazine cover that it’s like a, it’s essentially it’s a poster, right? It’s, it’s the same thing that really out your goals and then creating a magazine outta that would be freaking awesome. I’m gonna be a subscriber or send me a free copy when, uh, when, when it comes outta my friend, um, let’s move into for the last 15 minutes of the show. Um, your transition away from bigger pockets. I know we, we just online, you just mentioned it, you know, I think I gave a bit of a voicemail to say, congratulations, tell me where that’s come from. You know, mentally, you know, again, you probably went through a walk mm-hmm yeah. A lot of angst probably with your family as well. Cause you built a baby from scratch and you’re now walking away from that baby. What, what what’s, where’s it going? And why was the big impetus to,
Brandon Turner (40:10):
To leave? I, so first of all, I love bigger parks, all my heart. So like, I love it. I I’m a product of it. I’m the poster child of it. And I’ve built so much of it over the last few years. Uh, but it’s also like watching your kid grow up. In fact, Josh doer, who started it, you know, he left a few years ago, his, he had a, he had a daughter who got really sick. Uh, and so he left when that happened, she’s fine, by the way, now she’s great. But, uh, he left when that happened just suddenly. And so Josh came back and did it an episode of the podcast. My final episode is I brought Josh back in and we were just talking about this process and he made the, he made the analogy of it’s like watching your baby grow up.
Brandon Turner (40:44):
And I said, for him, it’s kinda like now watching your grandkid grow up, like, like Josh, Josh grew his baby to the point where it was like grown up. And then now I was like the kid and helped it grow to the next level. And now it’s like, now it’s a little grandbaby. That’s about to go college, um, uni, as they say uni. Yes. Uh
Brandon Turner (41:31):
So I had a performance coach who asked me, I was just talking about being stressed out and having way too many hours working. And I wasn’t watching my kids grow up. Like, I, I mean, we get into real estate so we can watch our kids grow up. That’s what most of us do, we do it. So we can do our hobbies. And I live in Hawaii and I never surf. And I live in Hawaii and I never take my kids to the beach cuz I’m always working. Uh, and I’m like, finally just realize like this is stupid. So my performance coach, he pushed the, he pushed the question to me. Do you need to take like a one month sabbatical just to clear your head? And I don’t take, I never took days off the podcast. I mean, I, I am the podcast for a decade.
Brandon Turner (42:05):
And so I don’t miss an episode. That was part of my identity is I don’t miss an episode. And as soon as I said, yes, I will take a month off. It was like part of my soul, like detached, just a little bit like that. I just tore away from bigger pockets, a quarter inch. But in that process, I kind of found a little bit of who I am without bigger pockets, just in, I mean, this is like an hour long of just thinking mm-hmm
Brandon Turner (42:39):
And if I go for three months, what if I just, what if I didn’t, what if I didn’t put a timeline on when I come back? I mean, I, I I’m sure I’ll come back and notice a show again at some point like on, on and off and I’ll, I’ll be around. Cause I love BP and I have, I’m a part owner and now of the company, but yeah, it’s it’s time to let them go. And the other reason, why is this in a company? If you are like the one, if your company is dependent upon you to succeed and you get hit by a bus, you don’t and your company dies. That’s a major problem. Uh, bigger pockets is a company that’s owned by, uh, many, many groups and like, you know, private equity and, and Josh and me and, and Scott, but it would be very hard to someday sell that company or go public or whatever their plans are.
Brandon Turner (43:20):
I don’t know whatever their plans someday are. If Brandon Turner is the guy that makes it all run. So sometimes you have to like, I, we, and we all knew it from, from the last few years, we knew that someday the Brandon Turner band day would have to be ripped off and we have to see if it can win or if it can, if it can float just fine. And I think it will Def, I mean, they’ve already, they’ve already had, now I’ve done a number of episodes without me. And those episodes are some of the best episodes we’ve ever put out. Uh, so it’s, uh, it’s a ego, it’s hard for the ego to see your baby go and survive without you. And for me to be like, oh, I guess maybe I wasn’t that important, but it’s the, but it’s the best thing in the world for the company, which is to make sure it’s not dependent on any one person. So for anybody out there with a business is yeah. Think who, who, if they got hit by a bus today in your business could tank the business and that’s not a good thing. And so it, it’s important to kind of find ways around that.
Reed Goossens (44:11):
It’s really, honestly, this conversation is actually quite, uh, well timed. I dunno, this KIS, we, we, whatever you want, I’m actually going through a pivot right now in my own company into something more, something bigger. And having that realization of talking about the steps, the CEO to the architect, but also talking about the, the identity with a piece of something that you think that you are, and then having the self realization that actually the company needs to operate without you and you it’s okay that you go in another direction, right. It’s okay to let that go. Um, and over the last couple weeks, six months, I’ve like, I had a lot of mental, you know, angst about it because it is what it, you know, it’s, it’s your net worth. It’s all these other things. That’s not going away, but it’s just like, you gotta start something new and challenge yourself and unfulfilled potential, all the stuff we talk about. So I guess the bigger question is when’s the month coming mate. When’s the family and the, the wife when you’re going away for a month.
Brandon Turner (45:00):
Ah, so we, uh, it’s a good question.
Reed Goossens (45:37):
I’ll hold you to it, mate. I don’t wanna see you. I don’t wanna see anything on Instagram. Just go. You’re done, but that’s freaking awesome, man. Look at the end of every show, like to dive into top five investing tips, uh, you ready to get into it? Let’s do it, man. Mate, what is the daily habit you practice to keep on track to will two.
Brandon Turner (45:52):
Goals. Yeah, I journal every single day, so, and not every day. I, I don’t, I didn’t do it this morning. Uh, I woke up a little too late cause I was up too late, but uh, I journal almost every day. In fact, I journal so much in the beginning. I went and bought every single, like success based journal. I could find I had Greg Cardones. I had, uh, Darren Hardy’s. I had all these people’s like daily success journals, like gold journals. And I use each one for like six months and they were all great. Every one of ’em I love cause there’s something you can pull out of each one. But finally I was like, I built my own. I actually, like, I wrote my entire own, like what would be the perfect journal for me, Brandon Turner. And so I wrote it and then I went and printed it, uh, with a book company.
Brandon Turner (46:26):
And then I had my own journal. I used that for like a year. And then I, when we went and actually sold it, now it sold on bigger pockets, uh, on Amazon, it’s called the intent. So I literally, this was my journal that I use every morning and I write down my top three goals. I write down why I want that goal. I write it every week or every well I have a weekly and a daily, right? So every, every week I write it every day I write it what my goals are and what my most important next step is. So here’s, here’s what this is. If there’s like one thing you remember from this episode, if we, as humans simply define what our goal is and then ask ourselves, what is the most important next step? MINS like, and then schedule it or do it.
Brandon Turner (47:06):
It’s always like a five minute task. Everything in life can be boiled down to a series of little, like 2, 3, 4, 5 minute tasks, for example. Okay. I wanna buy my first apartment building. Okay, great. What’s your most important next step people are gonna say, well, I need to find a deal. Mm. Go, go deeper. What’s your next, most important. Very next step. Well, I need to, uh, I need to find a mortgage. I mean a, a, a commercial deal, uh, broker. Okay. What’s your most important next step to do that? Well, I guess I need to maybe go on LoopNet and look for properties in the area that are selling and look for who’s who’s listing those properties. Oh, okay. So you’re saying your entire future, your entire vision for where you want ahead in life, all comes down to a, a simple task of going to a website, going to LoopNet and then searching for some properties.
Brandon Turner (47:53):
Yeah, that’s all it is. So every morning I do that, I write down my goals and I write down what is my most important next step. You see, the reason we lack, the reason we fail to make progress on our goals is not cuz we lack the ability it’s that we haven’t defined what the next step is. And if we just get into the habit of defining the next step of knowing what you want, defining the next step, and then putting that on your calendar, you can literally accomplish anything. It’s all possible. If you just break it down to the next step. So I do it every morning. Love.
Reed Goossens (48:23):
It. I love it. I have to get the intention journal by Brent intention journal. But Brent, he’s got your beard on it as well. Is that.
Brandon Turner (48:29):
I, well, it’s got beard hair. So when you open it up, the beard hair falls out.
Reed Goossens (48:35):
And you just dunno what body part it’s come from, but it’s dunno.
Brandon Turner (48:37):
Doesn’t matter, man. Doesn’t doesn’t matter. There’s a bit.
Reed Goossens (48:40):
Of, there’s a bit of bit BT. That’s all that matters.
Brandon Turner (48:42):
That’s all that matters. It’s all. It’s the magic in the hair.
Reed Goossens (48:46):
The question number two is, uh, who’s the most influential person in your career to date.
Brandon Turner (48:50):
Uh, you know, I’m gonna say Josh doin and here’s why, so Josh doin found bigger pockets and Josh is, I always say this he’s the best entrepreneur. I know. Not because he is smart, even though he is, it’s not because he is talented, which he is. Josh is the single most, the best in entrepreneur I’ve ever met because Josh didn’t give up. Josh is like the perfect example of like getting through what I call the trench. So in business, there’s this point where you start a new business, right? You’ve been here, I’ve been here and you get very excited about it. It’s like, oh, this is be amazing. And then reality sets in and the money’s not there yet, but reality sets in of the hard work and the time. And I call that the trench, you used to go through this crappy trench and very few, make it out of that.
Brandon Turner (49:30):
Very, if you make it out of that, where you’re having to just grind for months, maybe even years of making almost no money. And everyone’s like, you should just stop and get the job. Josh made it through the trench. And very few people do. And I learned that from Josh was like, Josh worked in his basement for 10 years making no money before he brought me on. Uh, and because of that, Josh is one of the wealthiest people I know. And he’ll, he’ll always be because, uh, he got to the trench. So that was a huge impact on me. That’s
Reed Goossens (49:57):
Awesome. And being persistent, never giving up is so never giving up so important for all those people listening out that you have to do put in the work. Uh, question number three is what’s the most influential tool in your business. It could be a physical tool. Maybe already mentioned it, which was with the journal or it could be a piece of software that you just can’t run your business without. What is it,
Brandon Turner (50:13):
Man? I love that question. Um, I would say EOS as a system, uh, and a tool sort of like this whole process of the entrepreneurial operating system, EOS from the book traction mm-hmm
Brandon Turner (50:54):
And like, I was like, I wonder if I’ve ever put that in ever. I mean, I have like the password managers, but it wasn’t working. And I was like, maybe I would’ve at some point, put it in Evernotes I type in like had those passwords boom. There it is. At some 0.5 years ago, I wrote down her apple ID and password into Evernote. And uh, I use it all the time. Like I’m looking at it right here. I got a list of things I’m doing today, including this conversation. It’s in my Evernote awesome stuff, mate.
Reed Goossens (51:16):
Question number four is in one sentence. What has been the biggest failure in your career? What’d you learn from that failure?
Brandon Turner (51:21):
Oh man. There’s a few to choose from. I’ll go an easier one. Like on a smaller level, I flipped a house and lost 15 grand on it because I didn’t realize that a 4,000 square foot house would cost four times as much as a thousand square foot house.
Reed Goossens (52:06):
Brandon Turner (52:21):
Yeah, I’m probably most active on Instagram. Uh Beardie Brandon, but I do plan to hit TikTok a lot harder in 2022, uh, but not the dance moves, but, uh, I’ve been intrigued by TikTok. It’s a fascinating platform, but no beard D Brandon on Instagram beard with a Y like beard D Brandon and that’s where I’m most active, awesome
Reed Goossens (52:40):
Stuff. My friend. Well, look, I wanna thank you so much for taking some time outta your day to really come on the show and give us your all just to, I’m gonna reflect some of the things that I took away from today’s show. I think that the, the sort of the food trial angle of going from DIY to PM to COO to architect was really, really good visualization for a lot of people on the show to understand the steps that everyone goes through. Every entrepreneur goes through in order to get their next step, and then what you need to do to keep up leveling yourself. Uh, I think that’s SU super important. And then thank you for being so honest and vulnerable about the transition out bigger pockets. I know we probably, a lot of things have happened, uh, mentally in and around that and the decision to come, but also ultimately coming to peace with it, to know that you’re leaving your baby and it’s growing up and it’s gonna do just fine without you. So awesome. Dude, did I leave anything out, um, of that summary?
Brandon Turner (53:27):
I don’t think so, man. I think that was, uh, pretty good, man. You’re a good host, man. You know what you’re doing? You’ve done this.
Reed Goossens (53:31):
Before. This is great. I think I, I think I, I think I, I thank you so much.