Real Estate Rookie

By BiggerPockets

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 Dec 21, 2020
Good to know info for newbies.


Ready to build your real estate empire… but not sure where to begin?

Think of us as your personal trainer.

From detailed breakdowns of real-world deals… to one-on-one coaching sessions and a warm, welcoming community… hosts Ashley Kehr and Tony J Robinson bring on a wide range of guests to tackle the “newbie” questions you've wondered about but might be afraid to ask.

Looking to 10X your real estate investing business this year? This show isn’t for you.

Looking for your first, second, or third deal -- or envisioning a more modest portfolio? Step right up. 

Every Wednesday, we’ll arm you with the tips, tools, and roadmaps you'll need as you embark on your journey toward financial freedom.

Episode Date
Auctions, Section 8 Tenants, and 16 Doors in South Chicago with Martin Neal

Martin Neal started his career as a police officer during the great recession. His family convinced him to buy a condo since prices were near rock bottom, this is when Martin was bit by the real estate bug. When he was transferred to another police station, thus doubling his salary, he knew it was time to do something with the condo. He paid off the loan and set up a HELOC (home equity line of credit) so he could purchase cash flowing rentals!

Now Martin uses the BRRRR strategy to buy homes that need rehabbing, rehab them, rent them out, and get them into conventional loans. As of now he has 11 properties with 16 doors, most of which was picked up just in the last 3 years.

Martin has done what many investors advise against, worked with his family. He has his dad running management on some of his properties and helps when rehabbing them as well. How did Martin work with his dad without jeopardizing their relationship? He sat down with his father, laid out the roles and responsibilities of the project, and paid him for his time. It’s tough finding trustworthy workers and partners in real estate, so don’t disregard family just because they’re family!

Martin also gives some great advice on finding high-quality section 8 tenants, many of which helped his real estate portfolio through the COVID-19 shutdowns due to their government subsidized rent. He also talks about buying homes off of auction sites, but making sure you’re able to do your due diligence before putting in an offer.

In This Episode We Cover

  • Using HELOCs to fund your future BRRRRs
  • Having a defined plan so you can scale faster and with less headache 
  • Having the bravery to buy more units, even when it pushes you into new territory
  • Why townhouses may be an attractive asset in specific parts of town
  • Working with family (without destroying your relationships)
  • Buying homes at auctions 
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 21, 2021
Rookie Reply: Should I Sell or Rent Out My Primary Residence?

This week’s question comes from Dane through Ashley’s DMs on Instagram (you can find her @wealthfromrentals). Dane is asking: should I sell or rent out my primary residence?  

Whenever you’re moving from your current home to a new home, you have the option to sell or rent. While there isn’t one solid answer for everyone, you can find out whether selling or renting is the best option by looking at your market and your specific financial situation.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Get comps (comparables) on market rents from homes like yours
  • Search through recently sold homes that are comparable to yours and find the median sales prices
  • Pull out a home equity line of credit on your primary home to help buy your next primary home or more rentals
  • Run the numbers as a sale and a rental, does it cash flow?
  • Refinance for a lower mortgage payment and rent it out
  • Run the numbers for EVERY scenario and make long-term decisions
  • And more!

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 17, 2021
Putting Rentals on Autopilot While Living in the Dominican Republic with Becky Nova

Becky Nova didn’t have a linear path to real estate like many others. She’s had times in her life when she was poor and times in her life when she was rich. Becky knew that she didn’t want to go back to those poorer times in her life, so when she was about to marry her husband, she was pushed to get herself out of debt and into a much more stable position. She worked a consulting gig, got herself debt-free, and decided she wanted to start house hacking!

Now, Becky is off in the Dominican Republic, running her entire portfolio of 10 houses completely remote. Even more impressive, Becky used traditional financing for those rental properties! So how does she manage properties all the way in upstate New York while she’s thousands of miles away on the beach?

Well-tailored systems and procedures is what Becky relies on. She refers to her phone as one of the best tools for real estate, since she can call her agent, her tenant, or her contractor whenever she needs something. Becky proves that you can run a rental portfolio long distance, and do it successfully to boot!

This did take Becky some time, though. She designed the life she wanted and made her rental properties fit around that life, which is sometimes the opposite of what us busy real estate professionals do. Now, she can relax and enjoy her time travelling because she put the systems in place to automate her business!

In This Episode We Cover

  • Understanding what you really want and making your business fit your ideal life
  • Getting off thepaycheck to paycheck” hamster wheel
  • How Becky got 10 units in just over 2 years
  • Joining local networking groups and your chamber of commerce to find deals
  • How to find the best plumbers, contractors, electricians, and more through referrals
  • Having systems in place so your business can run itself
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

 Check the full show notes here:

Apr 14, 2021
Rookie Reply: Stop Making Excuses in Business & How to Develop a “Scout Mindset”

It’s not uncommon that we make excuses for ourselves, especially when it comes to our businesses. A contractor may have let us down, or a tenant took advantage of a poorly-written lease, or our partner isn’t doing a job as well as we’d like. Are these problems fully forming because of the other person, or ourselves?

Today we talk to Julia Galef, author of The Scout Mindset and host of the “Rationally Speaking” podcast. Julia is trying to answer a big question: how do we improve our reasoning and our decision making? For her, there is a big difference in mindset. Sometimes we have a scout mindset, which allows us to be more exploratory and see what really is going on. Then we also have a soldier mindset, which is when we’re seeing only our pre-existing beliefs. How do you know if you’re using your scout or soldier mindset? Ask yourself if you’re rationalizing your situation or just making excuses.

This can be hard as business owners and investors because we often are the first to blame someone else for our problems. We even downplay our shortcomings, like when a novice flipper thinks he or she can do the electrical, plumbing, foundation, and flooring work without any prior experience. It’s important for us as people and investors to get honest feedback not only from our clients, tenants, contractors, and partners, but also from ourselves.

In This Episode We Cover

  • The difference between a scout mindset and a soldier mindset
  • How to get out of fooling yourself into believing something that isn't true
  • Jeff Bezos’s “30% Success” story 
  • Implementing feedback in a way that is beneficial for you and those around you
  • Leaning into confusion and finding the underlying causes
  • Being a better real estate investor
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 10, 2021
Moving From Single Family Homes to Self-Storage Units with Dee Brock

After moving from his home state of Georgia to Oklahoma, Dee Brock discovered a burning desire to buy rental properties. He had bought himself a primary residence and cosigned with his mother on her home, but knew he wanted to accrue units that could be cash flowing. He was then able to get a HELOC (home equity line of credit) on his primary and use it to buy a foreclosure

Everything was going well, but Dee wanted more structure, more advice, and more of a game plan. Someone at his church group suggested going onto a site called BiggerPockets, which later became a huge resource to Dee (and hopefully to you reading this now)! Now Dee knew how to vet tenants, get a cash out refinance, and run numbers like the pros. 

Dee developed a bit of a formula for how he sends in offers on houses. He finds a house he likes, sends it to his agent to get comps (comparables), averages those comps, multiples it by 80% (cash out refinance amount), then subtracts closing and maintenance. That’s the offer Dee puts in on the house and gives him the numbers he needs to feel confident about buying it. 

What if a house doesn’t appraise for the amount needed? Dee also has a workaround for that! Dee’s local credit union that lends to him allows him to use their ARV (after repair value) number OR an appraisal. This saves Dee tons of time and money if an appraisal isn’t needed!

Now Dee is setting his sights on a new venture, self-storage units. We’ve seen a lot of successful real estate investors transition from residential buildings to self-storage, and for good reason. Less management, less maintenance, and other benefits described by Dee makes self-storage a no brainer for where he’s at in his investing career. 

In This Episode We Cover

  • Using conventional primary residence loans to fund foreclosures 
  • Section 8 tenants and the pros/cons of having them in your rentals
  • Getting your spouse and family on board with real estate investing
  • Opting for a bank’s ARV number instead of getting an appraisal
  • The benefits of owning self-storage units
  • Giving your tenants a rent reduction if they pay on time
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 07, 2021
Rookie Reply: Buying Sight Unseen & Financing Off-Market Deals

This week’s question comes from Mitch on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group. Mitch is asking two questions: How do you close on a property sight unseen and how do you finance off-market deals?

Our two lovely hosts have expertise in both of these areas. Tony has bought a fair amount of property sight unseen and Ashley has used some very creative strategies for financing off-market deals.

Here are some suggestions for both of Mitch’s questions:

  • Get your agent, inspector, and general contractor to inspect a prospective sight unseen property
  • Don’t waive the inspection clause, especially if you’ve never been in the property
  • Look for lenders that aren’t traditional banks, especially those that work with investors
  • Ask local banks if they offer any products that could help with your funding
  • Use a line of credit or borrow against your stocks/other assets
  • Ask for seller financing whenever possible
  • And More!

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 03, 2021
Multifamily, Mobile Home Parks, and Commercial Deals: All in 2 Years! with Tommy Polise

Real estate investing works differently for different people. Some people like to gradually buy small properties, then start looking for larger deals, and then go into commercial financing for big deals. Tommy Polise always knew he wanted to buy real estate and had spent five years analyzing markets and educating himself, but never bought any properties. In 2019, that changed.

Tommy had been looking into single family homes but found that he’d only be walking away with a small amount of pure cash flow each month. While he now feels that single family homes are a great investment, at the time, he didn’t think the cash flow was worth the effort. So he and a partner went in on a multifamily deal together. It worked out well and he gained some experience and connections, so he decided to go bigger and better.

Now, two years later, Tommy and his partners are sitting on 30 units. This includes single family homes, multifamily properties, and a land deal that includes 10 mobile home lots, 8 storage units, 3 single family homes, and a 5 unit apartment complex. He even has a laundromat with a residential property attached to it as well!

So how does a real estate rookie like Tommy go from 0 units to 30 units in the span of 2 years? Tommy says you need to develop good relationships, get great partners, understand your financing, and continuously take risks!

In This Episode We Cover

  • How to get commercial financing if you’re just starting out in real estate
  • Finding a great partner that will work with you, even when you make mistakes
  • Why single family homes may work for some investors more than others
  • The appeal of doing large commercially financed deals 
  • How to do a thorough inspection when you’re closing on a large property
  • Calculating your “worst case scenario” and knowing your risks
  • Developing the confidence to pursue bigger and more complicated deals
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 31, 2021
Rookie Reply: How Do I Place Properties Under a Newly Acquired LLC?

This week’s question comes from Mantas on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group. Mantas is asking: How do I place properties under a newly acquired LLC?

Before you place your properties in an LLC, you’ll need to ask yourself if you need an LLC in the first place. This really depends on your goals as an investor and whether you have a partner or not. Many investors skip the LLC route and put a rental property solely in their name, while other investors that work with partners choose to either start a new LLC or put the new investment property in their current LLC.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Make sure you know the financing options for LLCs vs. buying in your own name
  • Get an umbrella policy if you don’t have an LLC
  • Speak to a trusted attorney or submit LLC paperwork yourself (if not too burdensome)
  • Get commercial financing for your LLC and purchase the house in its name
  • And Much More!

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 27, 2021
Diverging From Corporate Life to Flip Houses Full-Time with Sean and Ann Wayne

It’s hard to leave a comfortable job, especially when you’re working with family. What happens if you can’t make your entrepreneurial dreams work, what if you need health insurance, what about your bills? This is the predicament that Sean and Ann Wayne were in, only a couple short years ago. Thankfully, they made the jump, and now they’re flipping more than ever!

Sean and Ann left college with around $93,000 in debt, but were able to pay it off quickly due to their thrifty lifestyle and saver skills. After they had paid off their debt, they wondered where they could put their leftover money into. Sean stumbled upon BiggerPockets and knew that something within the realm of real estate was the best option.

Luck would have it that Sean and Ann’s landlord at the time was a flipper and a real estate agent. After some discussions, their landlord decided to mentor them through their first flip. If you’ve listened to this podcast long enough, you know what’s coming next. They were hooked! Sean knew he had to leave his corporate job to pursue flipping, even if it meant less stability.

Now this dynamic flipping duo has done 12 deals. Sean focuses on the rehab and Ann focuses on design. If you’ve wondered about what the best ways to paint and design your flip are, Ann drops some knowledge on what is worth risking, and what isn’t. Together, they’re an unstoppable team, and will definitely be on the Real Estate Podcast soon enough!

In This Episode We Cover

  • Why you should tell EVERYONE what you do and what you’re interested in
  • How to talk to a mentor to convince them that you can provide benefit to them
  • Tackling both the mental and financial barriers to leaving a corporate job
  • Funding deals with hard money and private money
  • Splitting up your roles as a team, whether you’re business partners or partners in life
  • Resources for finding the best designs for your flip
  • Keeping your partner “in the know” so your flips runs smoothly
  • Fighting imposter syndrome as an intermediate real estate investor
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 24, 2021
Rookie Reply: What’s The Best Way to Find a Lender?

This week’s question comes from Kaylee on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group. Kaylee is asking: When looking for a lender (specifically 203k) what is the best most effective way to find them? Do I need to find someone local? Am I overcomplicating?

Whether it’s a 203k loan, or any other loan, having a consistent and quality lender is incredibly important when building up your real estate portfolio. Ashley and Tony have both used a handful of lenders to fund their different types of deals.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Start with local lenders, especially ones you have relationships with already
  • Call or email all the banks in your area or the area you’re looking to buy in
  • Tell loan officers your plan, they may have a loan that fits exactly what you need
  • Even if a loan officer doesn’t have the right type of loan for you, keep up the relationship!
  • Get referrals from other investors in your area
  • And More!

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 20, 2021
Digital Nomad with 15 Units in 5 Different Areas with Michael Su

While traveling throughout southeast Asia, Michael Su asked what he could be doing to protect himself if he ever didn’t have stable income. As a digital nomad, travelling from country to country, all while working at a startup, Michael was used to risk. He realized that the best way to mitigate and reduce the risk of him ever being in a dire financial situation was to make his own income. The best way to do that? Buy rental properties!

Michael had already been following some popular real estate influencers, and decided to do what they were doing. He even contacted BiggerPockets’ very own Craig Curelop and asked him to be his agent in Denver and help him house hack. From then on, Michael reached out to more investors in other areas of the United States and began using their strategies.

Now, only one year into real estate investing, Michael has over 15 homes, with two under contract, in five regions in the US! This doesn’t just happen by luck. Michael had a strong grasp on financing strategies, investment strategies, and real estate economies of scale. He even read the SEC filings for major REITs to see how they scaled their businesses and dealt with problems.

Now Michael can continue building his real estate portfolio, while traveling, and working at a job he loves. All possible through smart investing!

In This Episode We Cover

  • Thinking long term on wealth accumulation and passive income strategies
  • How to create a portfolio that works with your life, not the other way around
  • Buying in different markets with different investing strategies
  • Reaching out and interviewing investors, agents, and real estate influencers
  • The multiple different ways to finance your real estate deals
  • Section 8 and the pros/cons that come with it
  • How to mitigate and manage the risk you face when real estate investing
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 17, 2021
Rookie Reply: How Do I Analyze Short-Term Rentals?

We’re asked a lot on how to analyze short-term rentals. Since short-term rentals have different expenses, rent estimates, and occupancy rates, running a short-term rental analysis may seem tricky at times. Both Ashley and Tony own short-term rentals and know the often overlooked costs of running a profitable getaway.

If you’re still looking for the best way to analyze your short-term rental prospect, Ashley and Tony may offer some much needed guidance!

Here are some suggestions:

  • Understand your average nightly rate, occupancy rate, and annual expenses
  • Use tools like AirDNA and Mashvisor 
  • Use Tony’s short-term gross revenue formula 
  • Try out the BiggerPockets Airbnb Calculator
  • Know the permitting laws and fees of the area you’re looking into
  • Add regular business expenses to your calculations (accountants, insurance, taxes, etc.)
  • And more!

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 13, 2021
Rookie First-Time Home Buyer Questions Answered by Scott and Mindy

Starting out as a rookie investor means you most likely have a lot of questions that need to be answered before you dive in and buy your first home! Whether it’s a primary residence, a house hack, or an investment property, you’ll need to know about loans, agents, inspections, and more. With us today is Scott Trench and Mindy Jensen, co-hosts of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast and authors of the new book First-Time Home Buyer.

We’ve rounded up some of the most popular questions asked on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group and asked the experts their opinions on them. Questions include:

  • Should I use an agent-referred lender or a mortgage broker?
  • Is more or less of a down payment better?
  • Does my agent need to find off-market deals?
  • How do I shop for loans?
  • Would you buy an as-is property as your first deal?
  • And more!

Scott and Mindy have definitive answers to each of the above questions and sprinkle in a bit of their own experience, so you don’t make the mistakes they did. If you’re about to purchase a house, getting into the planning phase, or just starting to learn about real estate investing, make sure you get a copy of First-Time Home Buyer!

In This Episode We Cover

  • How to find a lender and how to compare the ones you find
  • How loan applications affect your credit score
  • Getting inspections on your home and using them for price reductions
  • Buying an as-is property and what that means for your budget
  • Running your numbers 3 different ways
  • Keeping a healthy safety reserve, regardless of if your home is a primary residence or an investment
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 10, 2021
Rookie Reply: Doing The Work Yourself vs. Hiring Out

This week’s question is a very common one that has frequently come from novice and experienced real estate investors alike. If you own rentals, you may be thinking about this as well. When do you do the work yourself vs. hire it out? The answer depends on different factors, such as where your rentals are located in relation to you, how solid of a team you have, whether or not you have experience doing the work, and more.

Tony and Ashley both have different experiences when it comes to swinging hammers and laying down floors. One thing they agree on: you want to be in a place where you can hand off the work if needed.

Here are some suggestions to make the decision easier:

  • Create systems that allow you to step away if possible
  • Have a great team in place so you always have work to outsource
  • Make a checklist whenever you do a new task
  • Look at your goals and hire out accordingly
  • Read Who Not How, The E-Myth, and Traction
  • And more in the episode...

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Mar 06, 2021
Virtual Assistants, Roach Infestations, and Turnkey Companies with Maria Acosta

Everybody knows someone who has attended some kind of course, workshop, or “guru” consulting. Maria Acosta attended one after watching HGTV, and ended up buying her first rental property from someone at the conference. What she thought she was getting was a turnkey duplex that had professional management and was rented out on both sides. What she actually got was a trashed duplex without tenants and a roach infestation

Bad luck right? Thankfully, Maria isn’t a quitter, and all that did was inspire her to be more diligent with her future deals. Now, that same property has healthy cash flow each month (and no roaches). Maria has gone on to do a few flips, a couple wholesale deals, and owns 8 units throughout the United States. She’s learned some impactful lessons along the way, like how to fire and hire a property manager, what to look for in a pre-foreclosure property, and how to get a subject to deal under contract.

Maria has been through some tough scenarios that many experienced real estate investors would have never dreamed of. Ever had to track down the brother of a partner of a seller who has no address? Maria has done it. Ever had to get a father who is in a correctional facility in another state to sign a power of attorney for a property? Maria has done it. 

She’s hired multiple VAs, set them up on a system and schedule to find off-market deals, and created a small real estate empire that is growing day by day. This is what hustle and grit looks like in a rookie! 

Mar 03, 2021
Rookie Reply: Tips on Owner Financing Then Refinancing Out

This week’s question comes from Cory on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group. Cory is asking: Owner financing would buy me some time to get the property rented and cash flowing as well as build some equity before taking it to my bank for conventional financing. Any tips, suggestions, stories on doing this? 

Many real estate professionals have an opinion on owner financing (also called seller financing). Some love it, some hate it, and some just haven’t had any experience with it. Ashley has had some great experience not only owner financing a package of properties for sale, but also being the owner who has financed her property when selling it. 

Here are some of Ashley’s suggestions:

  • Show the seller that you’re financially stable with some key documents 
  • Work with the seller to find terms, interest rates, and payment options that work for you both
  • Ask the seller what they need to make this deal work for them
  • Draw up a letter of intent and attach an amortization schedule 
  • Get it structured and drawn up legally with your lawyer 

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Feb 27, 2021
Combining House Hacking and Live in Flips with Tyler Madden

Talking to Tyler Madden for any more than a minute, you can tell that he’s a smart guy. But would you ever guess a general contractor and real estate investor has degrees in biology and chemistry? Probably not!

Tyler went to school to be a doctor, but after leaving school he found himself in the restaurant industry. He was serving tables, which later turned into bartending, and later managing the restaurants himself. He enjoyed the growth he found in the restaurant industry but realized that there was a cap to the success

At the same time, Tyler was fixing up his primary residence every so often, learning new tricks of the trade from online. He got so good at fixing up his own house, other people started asking him to take care of projects on their houses. Tyler loved fixing up houses, and decided to get his general contractor license and start up his own business. 

Tyler was even inadvertently house hacking and doing a live in flip/rehab on his first primary home without even realizing it. He rented out a room in his house while he was fixing up the property, which helped him cover a lot of costs. When Tyler and his wife decided to move into another house, they kept it as a rental property, and held on to a LOT of equity that he is now using to pursue future deals.

He’s had a fire in a home, a break-in, and at one point had 40 cop cars surrounding him with guns drawn (he shares in the episode). Tyler is an interesting guy, and has a lot of knowledge to share on rehabbing, contracting, cost estimating, and financing

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How doing a great remodel can boost up the price of your house significantly
  • Taking out HELOCs (home equity lines of credit) and keeping them around for future financing options
  • Starting an LLC so you can take advantage of financing later on
  • Using high-end finishes vs. using standard finishes for rentals
  • How to get your spouse on board when they are worried about real estate risk
  • Making offers on and off market so you can get a deal in an expensive area
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Feb 24, 2021
Rookie Reply: The BEST Apps for Real Estate Investors

This week’s topic comes from our hosts, Ashley and Tony. They’ve heard many rookies ask the same question: what are the BEST real estate apps to have? Well, Ashley and Tony have rounded up their favorite apps and created a list so you and your partners can invest more successfully and with less headache!

Ashley and Tony break down some of the best apps that they use in their real estate investment careers. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Stessa: Manage the accounting and documents of a property
  • Propstream: An easy way to get lists for off-market deals
  • Wrike: Project management made easy
  • Dealcheck: Run your numbers quicker 
  • Google Voice: Keep your tenants and vendors off your personal cell phone with a FREE business number
  • Everlance: Mileage tracking for business traveling
  • And More!

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE)

Links from the Show

Click here to check the full show notes:

Feb 20, 2021
Turning 9-to-5 Burnout into 24 Doors (in a Year and a Half!) with Kristie LeSage

Kristie LeSage didn’t mind her 9-5 much before she went on a hiking trip to Yosemite. When she turned her phone off for a few days, hung out with friends, and spent time in nature, she realized that she wanted more freedom in her life. After that hiking trip, she returned home to her husband and told him it was time for her to quit. The problem? She didn’t know how she was going to make money when she left her job.

After doing some options trading and making money off of it, she made the decision to leave her job by the end of summer 2019. While she was trading, her husband was getting into the BiggerPockets community, and through some of her husband’s suggestions, Kristie found another way to make money. In August of 2019, they closed on a 4-plex in San Diego. A year and a half later, Kristie and her husband have an impressive 24 doors!

Kristie walks through the benefits and struggles of owning multifamily properties both in and out of state. She also talks about the different types of funding she used in order to get them under contract, including conventional loans, HELOCs (home equity lines of credit), and commercial loans. Even without a W2 or 2 years of 1099 income, Kristie proves it’s possible to start your real estate journey regardless of where you’re at. 

In This Episode We Cover:

  • The advantages of buying rentals in your state or out of state
  • Why multifamily properties made the most sense for Kristie’s situation
  • How to leverage an array of financing options to get houses under contract
  • How to avoid mistakes when vetting tenants (plus what to look out for)
  • Calculating your DTI (Debt-to-income) ratio before applying for financing
  • Self-managing multifamily properties even when they’re out of state
  • How to show a house remotely (and safely)
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Feb 17, 2021
Rookie Reply: My Debt-To-Income is Too High to Get Another Property, How Do I Keep Up the Momentum?

This week’s question comes from Meghan on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group. Meghan is asking: How do I keep up the momentum after closing on two deals, when my debt-to-income ratio is too high to get another loan? I’m too new to bring experience to the table, and without much cash or financing, what do I bring to the partnership?

We’ve heard this A LOT from rookies, and this is one of the main reasons that rookie investors get stuck and stop investing consistently. Ashley and Tony both have some great advice on keeping the ball rolling so your investment portfolio keeps growing!

Here are some suggestions:

  • You always have some amount of experience that is valuable to a partner
  • Find strengths in yourself that partners may lack
  • Share what you’re doing with other investors or in your social circles
  • Be confident on future deals: you’re bringing partners an opportunity
  • Look into other types of lending like commercial lending 

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group! Or, call us at the Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

In This Episode We Cover

  • Debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and how they affect loans
  • Getting your personal finances together to show investors you’re responsible
  • What you should say to ANY investor who may be interested on partnering up
  • Finding a strategy that fits into your lifestyle
  • And More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Feb 13, 2021
18 Deals in 2 Years AND a Full Time Job with Kevin Christensen

Real estate investors are very busy people, and often, rookie investors become busier than ever as they’re learning the tricks of the trade. Kevin Christensen is no different, he works a full-time job, runs a retail store with 5 locations, and self-manages his long and short-term properties, all while doing some handyman work himself!

As a United States Marine, Kevin was used to the “improvise, adapt, and overcome” mentality, which has served him well in his investing career. Kevin only started actively investing in real estate around 2 years ago, but has so far done 18 deals, won a lawsuit, and hired two full-time contractors for his properties. He runs a very tight ship, and doesn’t let much slip through the cracks.

Kevin’s secret to success is centered around just being himself: work hard, be kind to others, and focus on customer service. As you’ll hear in the episode, Kevin was able to get a $350,000 house reduced to $190,000 simply by listening to the seller’s needs and being courteous throughout the transaction, something that the other wholesalers in his area failed to do.

If you’re interested in subject-to properties, it will serve well to heed Kevin’s advice. He was sued in the middle of a subject-to deal while renting out a house as a short-term rental. Kevin walks through exactly why the sellers were suing, how he protected himself, and how he pulled in $14,000 of revenue in only around 2 months!

You’ll probably hear Kevin on the BiggerPockets Real Estate podcast soon, because even though he’s a rookie in years, he’s a pro in experience!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to be a better wholesaler and listen to what sellers need
  • Getting your spouse on board for real estate investing
  • What a subject-to property is and how to facilitate a subject-to transaction
  • The best property management software (that’s also free!)
  • The importance of having a W2 income if you’re going to BRRRR, flip, or buy long-term rentals
  • Why short-term rentals can be serious cash-flowing investments
  • When to BRRRR and when to flip (depending on your goals and finances)
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Feb 10, 2021
Rookie Reply: I Have Analysis Paralysis, What Should I Do?

Welcome to the first Rookie Reply episode of the Rookie podcast! We’ll be taking questions from Facebook, Instagram, the BiggerPockets forums, and maybe even the Rookie Request Line (Call us at 1-888-5-ROOKIE).

This week’s question comes from Trevor on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group. Trevor is asking: What was the hardest part of getting started? What helped you overcome that obstacle, and how do you mitigate analysis paralysis? 

This is a question we often get, so it’s perfect for the first Rookie Reply show. Here are some suggestions:

  • See the first deal as a learning opportunity 
  • Don’t let it become emotional
  • Verify your data and numbers
  • Have another exit strategy
  • Get an accountability partner
  • And more in the episode...

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group!

In This Episode We Cover

  • How to overcome analysis paralysis 
  • Why you should know your “worst case scenario” and adjust accordingly to it
  • Having other exit strategies for your property 
  • Having reserves (or a partner with reserves)
  • Taking the emotion out of the deal
  • And More!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Feb 06, 2021
Targeting New Builds to Get Around the W-2 Requirements for House Hacking with Andres Bustamante

Not many college students get their real estate license while in college, let alone during freshman year. Andres Bustamante did just that, becoming a leasing agent so he could cover his housing and tuition costs. Andre didn’t know if he would go into real estate full-time after college, but when he found the BiggerPockets Podcast in the Summer of 2019, he decided to make the jump.

Andres reached out to a guest on the show, who later became his mentor and asked Andres to join his team! In his first year of full-time real estate Andres managed to sell 15 houses, with 15 more under contract as we speak. He lives in a house hack, has another house hack under contract, and bought an AirBnB as a short-term rental.

Since Andres had 1099 income he wasn’t able to take the traditional route to house hacking that W2 employees have available to them. Instead, Andres found new construction projects going up, put down earnest money for them, and locked in the deal. As Andres describes, he was able to get into these projects at “stage 1”, so as the builders were building, Andres was guaranteed a price for a house that was appreciating everyday in his growing market.

As Andres has been house hacking he's come up with some great ways to verify that tenants will work for you and for your profit margins. He talks about what he provides, what he puts in his leases, how he decides on tenants, and more helpful tips for any aspiring house-hacker!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to get a property for house hacking when you don’t have a W2
  • What you’ll need to get a new build under contract
  • How earnest money differs from a down payment
  • The criteria you should have in place for househack tenants
  • How to split utilities among tenants when house hacking
  • How to make equity profit from new builds
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Feb 03, 2021
4 Ways Newbies Can Finance Deals with Richard Kelly

After Richard Kelly shadowed a veterinarian for the day, he realized that his passion wasn’t performing surgery on animals, it was actually money. This led him to become a banker and after he was given the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, his interest in real estate investing was sparked.

After deciding he wanted to become a landlord, Richard found BiggerPockets and started listening to every episode of the podcast he could. After feeling confident enough in the real estate investing education space, he made his first jump into flipping, buying a short-sale home with some creative financing via hard money loans.

After some very heavy hard money fees paired with long nights working to get his flip finished, he walked away with a solid profit, and knew that he wanted to park it in buy-and-hold investing. Currently, Richard has completed 2 flips and owns 2 rentals (a single family and a duplex), and knows exactly what (and what not) to look for when using hard money and creative financing. Now, he’s here to share the knowledge with all of us.

Richard has done 4 deals, with 4 completely different ways of financing. From private money, to 401(k) loans, and using a fan favorite, the 203(k) construction loan. He also talks through how to find deals, who to partner up with, and why you need a great real estate agent especially when you’re just starting out.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why short sale properties may be a great buy for new investors 
  • The importance of having reserves when going through hard money lending
  • How to get comfortable with making offers (before you see the place)
  • Financing through hard money, 401(k) loans, and 203(k) loans 
  • Finding quality partners that make deals easier
  • How to find off-market deals, wherever you are
  • Richard’s favorite tools for finding and managing properties
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jan 27, 2021
0 to 7 Deals in a Year Using Other People's Money with Andres Bernal

Andres Bernal came to America to play tennis with only $500 in his pocket. He thought that professional tennis is what his life would end up revolving around. After playing for 2 years and being burnt out from work, Andres decided to take some advice from his family members: start buying real estate.

After buying his primary residence, he started looking into multi-family homes that could make him some cash flow each month. He later put down 3.5% with an FHA loan to purchase a triplex, and rented out the bottom 2 units while he lived in the upper 3rd unit. He sold his condo, had some cash, and was ready to start investing more.

Andres had some pretty creative ways of getting funding for his real estate deals. He started calling every contact in his phone, asking if they were interested in real estate, and if they were, he packaged up a deal for them. The trade? He does the work and the analysis, they do the financing.

These types of partnerships have worked well for Andres and they can work for other rookies as well. His advice is to test the partnership, build the trust, and use the BiggerPockets Rental Property Calculator! The rest will fall into place.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why FHA loans are a great first financing tool for rookie investors
  • Calculating out your “worst case scenarios” on houses
  • How to treat tenants so they want to stay (and will respect your home)
  • Why investors need to solve a problem for tenants (especially those that cause you the most trouble)
  • Finding local investors and investors within your existing circles
  • The profitability of student housing as an investment
  • Using social media to grow your existing network
  • How to set expectations for contractors
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jan 20, 2021
How an “I Don’t Want to Invest” Couple Became Successful Long-Distance Landlords with Annie and Trey Johnson

Most rookie real estate investors want to hit a home run on their first deal, Annie and Trey Johnson did it completely on accident. Neither of them were interested in being landlords or real estate investors, but after they made six figures profits on their first home, they realized there was real money in the real estate game.

Annie and Trey were looking for a home to raise their family in. They found the perfect plot of land which had a new manufactured home and a scenic view. After living in the home for a few years they decided to move elsewhere to be closer to family, and instead of selling it, they decided to rent it out for a year.

Now they were landlords by accident, and as the money started to flow in every month they questioned “is this something people are normally doing to make money?”. Fast forward a year, they subdivided the land, sold the home, and walked away with profits exceeding $200,000. Not bad for a couple of rookies!

Annie and Trey now invest out of state, building up their real estate portfolio by rehabbing inexpensive homes. They’re so into real estate, that Annie even hosted her own socially-distant meetup during 2020!

This investor couple walks through their keys to success, the players on their team that make the biggest difference, and how they went from just homeowners to real estate investors!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to use your primary home to make more money
  • The ability to cash flow using ADUs and mother-in-law suites
  • How to parcel out lots of land to sell them separately (and make more money!)
  • Why writing a “love letter” may be a good move when submitting home offers
  • How a good or bad property manager can make or break your long-distance investing
  • What to do when there are no meetups in your area (or COVID has limited them)
  • The best advice for new rookies who are looking to find their first deal
  • How to find funding for your BRRRR
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jan 13, 2021
On-Air 2021 Goal-Setting and Accountability Plans with Rookie Investors Beth Henson, Jackson Seedott, and Jordan Crockett

Not one, not two, but three real estate rookies join us on the first Real Estate Rookie episode of 2021! Beth Henson, Jackson Seedott, Jordan Crockett all started their real estate investing careers in 2020, but are in different stages of the game. They each have contrasting strategies, goals, and visions for 2021, making this interview even more interesting!

Beth acquired 6 units in 2020! She’s also got 3 more units under contract and is ready to close in early 2021. Beth is also flipping houses as well and has a BIG revenue goal to hit in 2021 for her flipping business.

Jackson is still looking to get his first deal under contract but made a very impressive personal finance transition in the 2020. He doubled down on his side business during COVID-19 and has seen revenue triple, which is going directly into his investing fund. He’s analyzing deals, calling agents, and ready to get his first deal in Q1 of 2021!

After joining the “How to Get Your First Rental in 90 Days” webinar, Jordan made it his mission to get his first rental property under contract. Jordan bought a duplex within that 90 day timespan and house hacks one side of it. He’s looking to add more rentals and start wholesaling in 2021. 

These 3 investors talk about their visions for 2021, how they accomplished success in 2020, and what new investors can do to maximize their efforts for the coming year.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • The importance of having a profitable side business
  • Why daily consistent action is the driving force behind goal accomplishment
  • The reason real estate investors vet contractors, agents, and partners so thoroughly
  • Why it’s okay to not know everything, especially if you’re just getting started
  • Defining your “worst case scenario” and making a plan to tackle it
  • How to follow up on your action items for your 2021 goals
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jan 06, 2021
The Top 10 Real Estate Rookie Questions Answered by Tony and Ashley

You asked, we answered! This week we’re tackling the most common and most interesting questions asked on the rookie request line! If you’ve sent in a voicemail, you may be featured on this week’s episode!

Questions such as:

  • What is better, LLCs vs. Sole Proprietorships for buying properties?
  • How to find a great real estate agent
  • What do you do after you’ve bought your first rental?
  • The best investment types that AREN’T real estate
  • How to start buying rentals after bankruptcy
  • And many more great questions!

These will all be answered by our two experienced co-hosts, plus a special cameo from our senior producer, Kevin!

If you’ve been wondering about a certain aspect of real estate or just want to know what you can do to get started, this is the episode for you!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How LLCs can limit or expand your financing for rental properties 
  • What factors make a great agent (and which one’s definitely don’t)
  • The importance of shopping around for many different financing options
  • What other asset classes real estate professionals invest in
  • Subletting and AirBnB arbitraging
  • How lenders look at income when two different partners are in on a deal
  • Whether you should pay off debt or add more investments
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Dec 30, 2020
Defeating 5 Years of Analysis Paralysis to Do 4 Deals in 2020 with Jacqueline Smith

Jacqueline Smith knew that she didn’t want to have a big loan on her first house. The way she solved the problem: buy a foreclosed home and do a live in flip! It worked out so well, that she later decided to do it again, on her second home. Her and her husband then had the idea to go at it full time.

Even during COVID-19, Jacqueline and her husband have 4 flips in the making, and are looking to add more when deals pop up. She’s been through a lot in her short flipping career, from a tornado coming through a house she was working on, to builder tools being stolen while they were housed on site. This only made Jacqueline find better and more efficient ways to do her flipping.

Many of the deals Jacqueline has worked on have come from realtors and investors she’s met through organizations like BiggerPockets and her local REIA. She strongly urges any new investor to join their local real estate groups, talk to investors, and present deals to other experienced professionals when they have the ability to.

Jacqueline’s husband now is able to work on their flips as his primary business, plus get paid for the labor! Even in a crazy year like 2020, Jacqueline and her team have decided to go bigger, when many other investors were holding back.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to find foreclosed homes that are perfect for flips
  • The importance of building equity in order to fund your future deals
  • How to stop “analysis paralysis” from creeping in
  • Why you should attend meetups and networking events
  • How to introduce yourself to other real estate professionals, whether you’re at a meetup or just getting coffee
  • What to look for in a partner, especially if you’re new to flipping
  • Whether or not to put in an “escalation clause” when submitting an offer
  • Why you should always have security cameras on site
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Dec 23, 2020
Bed and Breakfast House Hacking with Lauren Keen Aumond

Lauren Keen Aumond was only 22 years old when she got her primary residence under contract, and 23 when she purchased it. She realized that the rents in her area were higher than the mortgage payment of buying a house, so she bought a home, leased out a room, and incidentally discovered house hacking. At 23 she was only paying $200 a month to own a home that would appreciate for many years to come.

This is when Lauren decided that real estate would become a bigger part in her life than she had planned. She then spent the next decade buying a second home, selling it, and cashing it in for a duplex. Now she owns a cash-flowing duplex plus her latest purchase, a house hacking bed and breakfast!

This home was situated on a decent sized lot, with a primary home, 2 cottages, and a mobile home! As a resourceful investor, Lauren decided the best way to make this a cash flowing property was to turn the two cottages into short-term rentals and buy a camper as a 4th unit on the property.

Lauren now juggles school, a full time job, small businesses, and her rental portfolio all at once. She goes into some seriously messy situations she’s been in with tenants, from evictions, to break-ins, and even utility siphoning. With all that being said, she still feels confident as ever to be a landlord, and isn’t looking back!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why house hacking is great for young real estate investors
  • Why you need to focus on the numbers, not emotions in a deal
  • Different financing options for multi-family properties
  • Creative ways to house hack a property with different units on one lot
  • How to get multiple appraisals (if the first doesn't cut it)
  • Dealing with very troublesome tenants (especially during COVID)
  • Why you shouldn’t give up even if a property’s numbers fall short
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check full show notes here:

Dec 16, 2020
Using Hard Money & BRRRR to Go From 2 to 80 Units with Kyle Mack

Kyle Mack was only a senior in college when he bought his first duplex, house hacked it, and caught the real estate bug. Since graduating he’s held a handful of jobs, from retail, to becoming a leasing agent, and even a commercial real estate broker. But that wasn’t what Kyle’s degree was in, he was actually planning on becoming a doctor.

Kyle talks through how he gained the confidence to take on an 18 unit apartment building, not too long after closing on his first property. He also talks about the importance of financing, and how it can help you scale.

Using financing like hard money, credit cards, and cash to close on properties, Kyle has had to think on his feet to get deals done. He walks us through the best way to approach hard money loans, how to have lenders lined up for deals, and what to do when you can’t refinance at the end of a BRRRR deal.

Kyle brings up “imposter syndrome" and how it’s easy to psych yourself out of deals that you can handle. This is a great episode for any new investor who has never used hard money, creative financing, or wants to go from 1 unit, to many.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Kyle bought his first duplex before graduating college
  • How to pivot career paths, even if you’re just starting out
  • Why it’s important to do the “hard” parts of real estate, not just busy work
  • What a land contract is, and how it differs from seller financing
  • Using 0% credit cards to finance materials for deals
  • How to prepare your deals for hard money lenders
  • How to find great electricians, general contractors, and other professionals
  • Why you need to ignore the “imposter syndrome” that can creep up during deals
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Dec 09, 2020
Using the “AREA” System to Buy 21 Houses in Just a Few Years with Anam and Aamir

Investor couple Anam and Aamir have been hard at work during COVID, locking down deals and BRRRR-ing more and more houses. Through years of system-building and deal mistakes/lessons, they were able to create a system that allows them to save time searching for deals and know immediately whether a property is worth the investment or not.

After pinpointing exactly what they wanted in a deal, Anam and Aamir took the time to develop systems and processes that would help them get properties rehabbed and rented faster.

So how did they finance these deals? HELOCs, credit cards, cash, hard money, and other creative financing

This is what allowed them to build a portfolio of 21 units within a few years, all while working full time jobs that take up much of their waking hours.

With their deal criteria system (A.R.E.A), they’ve been able to turn their dreams into reality. Now at only 28 and 30, Anam and Aamir are on track to close more and more deals, securing their financial independence all while building appreciating wealth.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How you can grow your rental portfolio, even during a pandemic
  • How to get your processes and systems down so they work for you 
  • Using your partner’s strengths/weaknesses to inspire growth 
  • How to use different creative financing strategies to get deals faster
  • How to find a hard money lender that works with your time-frame and ARV
  • What the A.R.E.A system is, and how it can help you find high-quality deals
  • The importance of running accurate comps in a desired area
  • Using your mistakes to make yourself into an educated investor
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Dec 02, 2020
$500 Per Door on Multifamily Properties (During COVID!) with Thomas Tsitouridis

Thomas Tsitouridis is truly a jack of all trades. As a kid, he was used to helping on the project-management side of his parent’s 64-unit apartment building (taking out the trash, helping with tenants, and so on). He later realized that real estate investing would hold a special place in his future.

Thomas later worked for a construction manager, then chose to start his own construction business, property management business, and long term buy-and-hold business. 

Using the experience and cash flow from his construction business, Thomas found that he could amplify his money by buying deals and using his own team to do the construction and rehab.

Now Thomas (and his partner) are buying multifamily deals, fixing them up, and getting sustainable cash flow, so they can retire early. Within his first year as a real estate investor, he has already learnt a lot. Thomas shares some great tips on tenant management, system automations, construction, and even financing so you can get better ROI earlier on! 

In This Episode We Cover:

  • What to look for when partnering up with other investors
  • The importance of having a great broker on your team
  • Why you need to take action and lock down your first deal 
  • How to facilitate a rent increase while having empathy for tenants
  • How to split responsibility between you and your partner
  • Why ARM loans are a great choice for the BRRRR strategy
  • Managing tenants while controlling your own emotions
  • Why you need to ask the stupid questions to be smarter later on
  • How to start automating everything in your real estate business
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Nov 25, 2020
Balancing a Career, Family, and Lots of Deals with Active Duty Service Member Adam Whitney

Feeling stretched for time in your investing career? Today we talk with Adam Whitney, an active duty military member, working full-time, with children, a wife, and an active investment portfolio!

With so much going on at once, Adam makes it look easy, juggling his hectic military life while accomplishing his long term goals.

Adam started learning about real estate over a decade ago, but didn’t dive in until 2017. Thanks to his “ruthless work ethic”, he’s been able to stack up his rental portfolio, make meaningful mentor connections, and join masterminds in only a few years!

Adam talks about getting 0% down loans, locking down long-distance real estate deals, doing thorough inspections when buying sight-unseen, and how to start relationships with mentors and real estate professionals you look up to.

With a healthy portfolio of rental properties spanning across the country, Adam is the perfect example of someone who found the time to accomplish his (and his family’s) dreams of financial independence!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to make time for investing with a career, family, and hectic schedule
  • The importance of goal-setting for you (and your partner)
  • Setting specific goals to silo your vision for a brighter future
  • Gaining the experience to get your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th deal (and beyond!)
  • Why you should start “aggressively networking” 
  • How to reach out to your real estate heroes (and get responses)
  • Reading and making sense of a pro forma analysis 
  • Optimizing your home inspection process (for less!)
  • How to tackle a joint venture (even if it’s your first)
  • How your “why” drives your deals forward
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Nov 18, 2020
New Co-host Tony J Robinson: Scaling with Short-Term Rentals

Big news: previous guest Tony J Robinson is back... he's now your new co-host alongside Ashley.

Today, you'll get reacquainted with Tony and learn how he rapidly expanded his portfolio this year. In fact, he went from owner of 2 houses when he appeared on the show in March... to closing on his 7th property (!) next month.

...How tho? Tony spells it out today: from finding new financing options in Louisiana (he lives in Southern California), to breaking into the short-term rental game in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and Joshua Tree, CA.

Plus: a next-level tip we haven't heard before: using a line of credit against your stock portfolio (rather than a property) to free up short-term cash.

We're excited to have Tony on board; get to know him in this episode, and we'll see you next week!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Investing in short-term rentals in 2 locations 2,000 miles apart
  • Using 10% down vacation home loans to buy Airbnb's
  • Self-managing Airbnb's using automation and pricing software
  • Why short-term rentals fit Tony's personality and skill set
  • Getting his fiancé involved in his real estate investing business
  • Borrowing money against a stock portfolio
  • Taking the leap to buy a property "sight unseen"
  • His plan to buy a short-term rental every 3 months
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Nov 11, 2020
Programming Note: Show News

BiggerPockets Senior Producer Kevin Leahy shares some news about a change in the Real Estate Rookie host lineup.

Nov 06, 2020
Gym Employee on the Path to $2k/Month and "Living for Free" with Gary Janica

Today's guest is Gary Janica, a Jacksonville, FL investor who loves his "stress-free job"... but realized he needed side hustle income to better support his family. Enter real estate investing!

Gary's portfolio is on the smaller side – he owns 2 duplexes – but he's been able to drastically change his financial picture by house hacking and extracting hidden value with "garage apartments."

If you share similar goals, check out this episode to get inspired and learn something new – and connect with Gary by leaving a comment on the show notes page.

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Nov 04, 2020
Doubling Cashflow by Renting out Rooms with Pharmacist Ryan Chaw

From $25,000 purchase prices last week to $300,000+ group houses this week!

We head to the Bay Area today to meet pharmacist Ryan Chaw, who ventured about an hour away from his hometown and began buying 1 house per year and renting them by the room to college students.

Ryan collects nearly $11,000/month from 18 tenants, and is creating the kind of generational wealth his grandfather used to put both him and a sibling through college.

Does renting to college kids sound like a disaster waiting to happen? Well... Ryan has found several ways around this, and in this episode he outlines the checklists, systems, and "personal touches" he uses to self-manage without the headaches.

Ryan opens up about an early failure, too. He wasn't getting all his rooms filled, and he realized he wasn't doing a good enough job advertising. So he developed step-by-step, "P.R.I.M.E." marketing method to attract a steady stream of qualified applicants... and you'll learn each step today.

If you're struggling how to figure out just how to create cashflow in a spendy market, follow Ryan's lead! Get creative, consider rent-by-the-room and other outside-the-box strategies, and reap the rewards of greater appreciation and stability that come with high-priced areas.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Ryan is succeeding in one of the most expensive markets in the country, the Bay Area
  • Using his job as a pharmacist to get conventional financing
  • Creating generational wealth through real estate
  • How he saved up to buy 1 property per year, 4 years in a row
  • Why he rents his houses to college students
  • The systems he uses to manage 18 tenants and avoiding roommate drama
  • Unlocking hidden value and boosting rental income by adding bedrooms
  • Lessons learned from a difficult tenant who smoked weed and played loud music
  • Why "buy then wait" beats "wait then buy"
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Oct 28, 2020
School Teacher Making $72,000 a Year in Cashflow with Amy Barber

What do you get when you combine Dave Ramsey-style frugality with aggressive deal-finding tactics? You get teacher Amy Barber and her fiancé, Jay – and their $6,000 monthly cashflow in rural Iowa.

In this episode, Amy shares her strategies for buying foreclosed ranch houses in cash, cleaning them up, then refinancing so she can repeat the process again and again.

Think no one's doing deals during the pandemic? Well, she's bought 4 houses in the past 4 months, and plans to keep going until she's making enough to comfortably leave her W-2 job.

If you're looking for guidance on how to build the financial foundation so you can invest in real estate from a position of strength, Amy's story will fire you up and get you ready to take that most important next step toward "getting rich slowly" just like her.

By the way, Amy came to our attention through the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group. If you find other awesome investors who would make a great fit for the show, tag us or send them to so they can apply.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Amy got started as an "accidental landlord" during the Great Recession
  • Buying 4 properties in the last 4 months
  • Finding deals through her fiancé's job in foreclosure preservation
  • How they bought a foreclosed house and created $50k in equity
  • Taking Dave Ramsey's course to get her finances under control
  • Delaying gratification and making sacrifices to create enough cashflow to quit her W-2 job
  • Working 2 jobs and doing real estate on the side
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Oct 21, 2020
A Marine (and his Mentor) Buy a BRRRR: Step-by-Step with Joe Roberts and Steve Rozenberg

Today we bring you another mentor/mentee conversation, where Joe Roberts shares his experience working alongside Steve Rozenberg to buy his first long-distance investment property.

Joe is a U.S. Marine helicopter pilot who regularly deploys to combat zones, so efficient systems are a must for him. Steve, a commercial airline pilot and experienced investor, loves designing standard operating procedures. Perfect fit!

The two got paired up when Joe won Mynd Property Management's $20,000 mentorship contest, and today they reveal how Joe found the perfect market, neighborhood, and property for his first BRRRR.

You'll love hearing how Joe and Steve developed their strategy based on Joe's goals for appreciation, equity, and cashflow; how he analyzed the numbers in several markets before settling on Atlanta; how he documented his process to he can repeat the process over and over again (even while deployed)... and why he'd rather hire property management than deal with tenants himself.

This show gives you a peek into a real-world mentorship and breaks down the mistakes and lessons learned along the way. Let us know what you think of this episode in the comments at, and we'll see you next week!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Joe got started in real estate while serving as a Marine helicopter pilot
  • Why Steve chose Joe as the winner of the $20,000 Mynd mentorship contest
  • Why Steve and Joe chose to buy a long-distance deal in Atlanta, GA
  • How they crunched the numbers once they chose a market
  • Why they pulled out of two deals after bad inspections
  • Getting aligned with your spouse or partner regarding your real estate goals
  • Using BiggerPockets' market-specific sub-forums to find an agent
  • Time management strategies for busy people (you!)
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Oct 14, 2020
Debt Free with 2 Rentals and Counting with 24-Year-Old ICU Nurse Prescott Williams

Frontline healthcare worker... Air Force Reservist... real estate investor!

24-year-old Prescott Williams is a renaissance man committed to building real wealth through real estate while serving his community and his country. Today he walks us through his first 2 deals, and the 3 deals he's currently working on in the Hattiesburg, Mississippi area.

Prescott shares some great shortcuts for investors who work full-time – from creating a "rental requirement list" with your personalized criteria to publicly posting your real estate goals (you never know who will send you a lead!).

A lot of our guests choose their real estate agent as their MVP, but for Prescott it's his mortgage lender. You'll learn how he finances his rehabs and new construction deals by partnering with a small local bank – a strategy you can model (if you're willing to put in a little legwork!)

Give Prescott a follow on Instagram @prescott_williams -- and follow us by joining our Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group: just search "Real Estate Rookie" and answer the screening questions to join 15,000 other like-minded investors.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Prescott's strategy for graduating college debt-free
  • Finding a flexible local "portfolio" lender
  • Persuading his parents to take out a HELOC to help him get started in real estate investing
  • Sleeping on an air mattress while renovating a house
  • His "rental requirement list" criteria
  • How he uses the "1% rule" (rent = 1% of purchase price) to guide his purchasing decisions
  • The stress-free way to handle maintenance calls
  • How he's gotten deals just be posting his goals on social media
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

 Check the full show notes here:

Oct 07, 2020
Partnering Up, Part 2: Two Real-World Case Studies with Amy Swayze and Chris Lawrence

So... how do partnerships work in real life? Today, you'll learn how – from two new(ish) real estate investors: Amy Swayze and Chris Lawrence.

Amy breaks down her partnership with her adult son, who used his retirement fund to jumpstart their investing career earlier this year (right before COVID hit!). Here's the arrangement: Amy's son brings the money and crunches the numbers; she manages rehabs and gets tenants in their BRRRR rental properties.

Chris is a more experienced investor, having left his sales job to start investing full-time in the Rochester, NY area. Still – when he first jumped into real estate investing, he realized he was missing a few pieces of the puzzle (including liquid $$$).

So what did he do? He found a partner!

Like Amy, Chris and his partner split everything 50/50. They use a HELOC to borrow money at a low interest rate... so they can make cash offers when they're looking for flips and wholesale deals.

This is a real-life look behind the curtain to see how two rookie investors are running their business, and using partnerships to supercharge their wealth-building. Don't miss it... and if you enjoy it, share it with a friend or family member. Who knows, he or she might want to partner up with you someday!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Amy partnered 50/50 with her son, an electric line worker who likes the tax advantages of real estate
  • How she and her son divide duties
  • Using hard money to fund their BRRRR deals
  • Starting out in real estate investing right before COVID-19 hit
  • How Chris' partner complements his skill set
  • How he evaluates various exit strategies
  • A deep dive into one of Chris and his partner's recent fix-and-flips
  • And SO much more!

Check the full show notes here:

Sep 30, 2020
How to Structure a Partnership, Part 1 with Felipe & Ashley

"I know partnerships can help me build wealth, but how do they actually work in practice?" This is one of the most common questions we get... and today Felipe and Ashley outline 6 rules for partnering on your real estate investments.

From identifying the missing piece that's holding you back, to defining clear lanes and avoiding common pitfalls... this show is a must-listen for any new investor who realizes she can't do it all herself.

Be sure to come back next week for Part 2 – where you'll hear the details of real-world partnership case studies, as told by a handful of investors who have made it work!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Identifying the "missing piece" to get a deal done
  • Knowing your numbers and being prepared
  • Making your official presentation (finances, experience, deal analysis)
  • Offering an opportunity rather than begging for help
  • Various financial structures you can use
  • How Felipe found a partner to do the books
  • Why Ashley partnered with a construction expert on a full gut remodel
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Sep 23, 2020
Growing Your Portfolio with Turnkey Investing with Whitney Hutten and Lance Robinson

Expensive market? Busy with a career and other priorities? There are a lot of compelling reasons to consider turnkey investing in a more affordable area – where a local "operator" sells you a tenanted property designed to pump out cashflow from day one.

All you have to do is "turn the key," hand things off to a property manager and... voilà! You're rich. You can now kick back and sip margaritas on the beach. Right?

Well, it's a little more complicated... as you'll learn today from seasoned turnkey investors Whitney Hutten and Lance Robinson. Both have bought rental properties from turnkey operators in several different markets, and they tell us all about the highs and lows, reveal what they wish they would have known, and offer candid advice for anyone considering this niche.

When you're done with this show, you'll know the exact questions savvy investors ask prospective turnkey providers about neighborhoods, construction warranties, property management contracts, and how operators handle evictions and major repairs. You'll also know how to handle a home inspection to ensure you know exactly what you're getting into!

Look – there are a lot of turnkey operators active on the BiggerPockets forums. A lot of them are great teachers, too. But this episode is told from the investor/customer's perspective... and it's well worth a listen – or two!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • What turnkey investing is
  • Doing due diligence to find a trusted turnkey operator
  • Why it's always worth flying out to walk the property before purchasing
  • Hiring your own home inspector!
  • Whitney and Lance's turnkey winners and losers
  • Managing your property manager
  • Handling an eviction
  • The role of cash reserves when buying turnkey properties
  • The "BRRRR-key" business model
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Sep 16, 2020
Balancing 8 Properties with a Full-Time Career and Family with "Property Pastor" Marsay Winder

We all have the same 24 hours per day... so be like Marsay Winder and make the most of them!

He calls himself the "Property Pastor," and he owns 8 properties (24 units) in the Virginia Beach, VA area. Marsay juggles his business with his family life and a full-time career in manufacturing, so landlording systems are a must – and he breaks them down for us in this episode.

You'll also hear about his MVP mentor, how he avoids time-wasting distractions, and the books and resources that helped him build a formidable portfolio in just 3 years.

Enjoy this one... and if you're getting value out of the content here, please do us a favor and give us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. It takes less than 30 seconds, and it really helps us climb the rankings and spread the gospel of financial independence through real estate investing!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Working on his properties on nights and weekends while working full-time
  • Going big on his first deal: a 4-unit building bought from a wholesaler
  • Buying from tired landlords
  • How to frame a rent increase with tenants
  • Using Cozy and QuickBooks to manage his rentals
  • Hiring a property management company
  • How to successfully approach a real estate mentor
  • Involving his kids in his real estate investing business
  • What happened when his tenant joined his church, then stopped paying rent
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Sep 09, 2020
5 Doors by Using Seller Financing for the First Time with Aaron Chapman

Aaron Chapman ran into major obstacles on his first 2 real estate deals... obstacles you might face as you launch your own investing career. Wouldn't you like to know how to react when you're turned down for a loan? Today, you'll learn how!

From a duplex purchase that seemed doomed when he lost his job while in escrow... to a triplex purchase that a bank wouldn't touch, this Louisville, KY investor breaks down how he reached 5 doors by age 24 – and his exact roadmap to reach financial independence by age 30!

Oh, and don't miss the story of how Aaron wound up on the show (hint: his fiance is the real MVP!). Before you go, here's a challenge for you: who in your market would make a great guest for this show? Send them over to and we'll take a look at their application.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • His "work backwards" plan for achieving financial freedom ($10k/month) by age 30
  • Aaron's process for "driving for dollars"
  • Living for free through house hacking
  • Buying a "1% rule" triplex using seller financing
  • How he achieved a 47% cash-on-cash return
  • How he and his fiance adjusted when he lost his job while under contract on his first deal!
  • Getting your spouse or partner interested in investing
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Sep 02, 2020
Mindset Shift at 40 to Start Real Estate Investing with Derek Tellier

Derek Tellier didn’t start investing in real estate until he was over 40. Unhappy with what was going on in his life, a friend plugged him into healthy eating, exercising, and long-distance running. Once his health was back on track, he realized he didn’t like the trajectory his life was on, and made major changes.

That same running friend introduced him to real estate investing. Derek got licensed, joined his friend’s real estate team, and bought his first real estate deal - a cabin that he rents out short-term in the Smoky Mountains.

Derek has parlayed that into a career, helping people invest in short term rentals in the Smoky Mountains

Derek’s Rookie Deal is a BRRRR property that needed a LOT of work. He financed it using private money and after his rehab he was able to pull out ALL of the money he had into the deal. It even cashflows $350 per month!

Derek has had some growing pains along the way, like a true real estate investor. He shares tips for finding contractors, finding lenders, and finding deals in this episode, along with discussing numbers and the importance of having reserves.

If you think you waited too late to start investing in real estate, this episode can help change your mindset and show you that it’s never too late to get started.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How a midlife crisis made him start investing in his 40s
  • Buying short-term rentals during COVID
  • How he funds deals using private money
  • His BRRRR strategy
  • How his mentor helped him get 7 deals in 6 months
  • How he got the word out there by starting his own meetup
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Aug 26, 2020
What Appraisers Look For and What it Means for You with Investor/Appraiser Josiah Smelser

Here, by popular demand: the Appraisal Episode!

Josiah Smelser – podcaster, two-time BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast guest, and Certified General Appraiser – is here to answer your many questions, and he delivers the goods.

We played some questions from the Rookie Request Line and touched on subjects like which data and documents you can provide an appraiser, how to challenge an appraisal, and how to keep your emotions in check when estimating After Repair Value.

Whether you're a rookie who plans to flip, BRRRR, or invest in rental properties, understanding how properties are appraised – and the mindset of an appraiser – is key to coming out on top. So enjoy this episode, and tell Josiah what you think in the show notes at

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Getting inside the mind of an appraiser
  • What information you can and should provide an appraiser
  • The top 3 variables that determine value
  • Approaching the appraisal process with "data and humility"
  • How appraisals vary by market
  • The Sales Comparison Approach vs. the Income Approach
  • Kitchens, bathrooms, and added square footage
  • How doing unpermitted work can come back to bite you
  • Why you should never outright ask an appraiser to come back with a specific number
  • The right way to challenge a low appraisal
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Aug 19, 2020
13 Units Despite Being Stationed 5,000 Miles Away with Naaman Taylor

On today's show: how U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Naaman Taylor is combining house hacking, partnerships, and VA loans to build himself a comfy retirement... all while serving his country overseas!

This episode has something for everyone – from structuring partnerships to stretch your dollar farther, to hiring property managers and identifying a trustworthy mentor.

Be sure to let Naaman (he said we could call him "Taylor") what you thought of the show by visiting our show notes page at and leaving a comment... or sharing your thoughts in a post in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Planning for a financially secure retirement while working a steady military job
  • How to use VA loans more than once
  • Common mistakes when using a VA loan
  • Duplexes vs. single family homes
  • Overcoming an early bad experience with a tenant
  • Using Dave Ramsey's principles to save money for down payments
  • The advantages of a 50/50 partnership
  • Generating "truly passive income" rather than creating a job for himself
  • How to interview property management companies
  • Taking advantage of the "2 in 5" tax rule with your primary residences
  • How to vet a potential real estate investing mentor
  • And SO much more!

Check the full show notes here:

Aug 12, 2020
From Dave Ramsey Disciple to No-Money-Down Real Estate Investor with Sarah Brandenberger

Interested in real estate investing... but wary of taking on debt?

That's the situation Sarah Brandenberger found herself in, and today shares her journey from a staunchly anti-debt "penny pincher" to a creative financier raising private money!

Sarah also gives us the goods on portfolio loans – including a ninja tip that allowed her to tap the equity in multiple properties and use those funds to take advantage of a smokin' deal. You'll learn what documents to bring when asking for a loan – whether you're meeting with a bank or a private individual. And Felipe throws in a Home Depot shopping hack for good measure.

Give Sarah a follow on Instagram (@nerdsguidetoFI) and let her know what you thought of this episode... and share this episode with a friend or family member who would find it inspiring.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Sarah changed her mindset about "good debt"
  • 15-year vs. 30-year mortgages
  • The data and documents she shares with potential lenders
  • House hacking by turning her basement into a rental
  • Unlocking "the power of a cash offer" with private money
  • Tapping the equity on multiple properties at once
  • The loan that's invisible to other banks
  • Using checklists to estimate rehab costs (even when you're brand new)
  • Using Avail to manager her rentals
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Aug 05, 2020
5 Rentals on Autopilot with Full-Time Highway Patrolman Ruben Galindo

Curious how to manage a rental portfolio in your limited free time?

Learn from today's guest Ruben Galindo, who had his hands full managing hundreds of law enforcement officers in Texas... but didn't let that stop him.

Ruben is 48 years old, and in the past five years, he's acquired five rental properties that require about an hour of his time each week. In this episode, he'll teach you how he uses Cozy and Docusign to do everything virtually, how door knocking led to one of his best deals, and how he leverages his 401(k) in his real estate business.

Ruben didn't jump in until his 40s, but he already has experience with buying a foreclosure, helping a seller avoid foreclosure, a short sale, and a straightforward live-in flip (where he currently lives). Not bad for a relative rookie!

If you pick up any tips from Ruben or have questions for him, leave a comment in the show notes at And if you're feeling extra generous, leave us a rating and review in Apple Podcasts.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Ruben automates his rental property management
  • Building and maintaining a network of contractors
  • The accounts where Ruben, Ashley, and Felipe hold their reserve funds (Rookie Request Line question! 1-888-5-ROOKIE)
  • Buying a HUD foreclosure
  • Helping a family avoid foreclosure by temporarily taking over payments
  • Hiring an attorney on a tricky pre-foreclosure deal
  • How door-knocking helped him beat his competition
  • How to avoid over-leveraging yourself as a rookie
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jul 29, 2020
5 Frequently Asked Questions When Starting Out with Felipe and Ashley

Rookie FAQ time!

Today Ashley and Felipe run through the top 5 questions from the Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group and the Rookie Request Line (leave us a voicemail at 1-888-5-ROOKIE).

From finding and financing deals to the infamous LLC question and beyond, our co-hosts offer their advice and discuss various approaches new investors can use to build momentum. Plus, former BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast guest Whitney Hutten makes a cameo to offer her two cents on how to properly vet turnkey providers.

What did we miss? Let us know, and make sure you're subscribed to the show so you won't miss an episode.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Various approaches to financing a deal
  • Methods for finding deals when you're new to the game
  • The one question you should ask every turnkey company (you probably haven't thought of it)
  • Owning property an in LLC
  • How to decide whether to get your real estate license
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

 Check the full show notes here:

Jul 22, 2020
Using Lines of Credit to Kickstart Your Investing Career with Charlie Ashley

Today: how Lexington, KY investor Charlie Ashley uses lines of credit and construction loans to build his portfolio while working full-time.

Charlie walks us through his year-long education phase, his first couple deals, and the expensive lessons he learned while renovating a property he lovingly calls "The Pit"!

Sure... finding deals is important. But today you'll learn how understanding financing has helped Charlie gain a lot of momentum quickly – and how every new investor can do the same.

Thanks for spending time with us every Wednesday. If you like what you hear, let us know with a rating and review in Apple Podcasts... or share this episode with a friend or family member!

Links from the Show

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Jul 15, 2020
Going Full-Time as a Rookie Right Out of College With Arvi Carkanji and Dave Arlaud

In today's episode, you'll meet a power couple who both immigrated to the U.S. seven years ago and soon decided real estate would be their path to financial freedom.

Arvi Carkanji and Dave Arlaud are Nashville-based flipper-investors, who are dividing and conquering to run a successful business while building a stable of rental properties. Arvi handles acquisitions (listen for the Rookie Request Line about direct mail), while Dave is a licensed contractor who takes charge of construction.

Together they walk us through their approach to renovating houses and working with subcontractors and dive into the deal that motivated Arvi to quit her first (and quite possibly last) "real job."

If you're thinking about taking on "value-add" projects—and you probably should be—listen close to hear these two rookies walk us through their process!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Arvi and Dave wound up as real estate investors just a year out of college
  • How they work with contractors, step by step
  • Dave's "25-25-50" payment plan for contractors
  • The different stages involved in renovating a house
  • Red flags to look for when inspecting work
  • Due diligence and permits
  • Transforming a single-family home into a duplex
  • Raising private money as a newbie
  • Renting staging furniture from companies like Rent-A-Center
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jul 08, 2020
Starting at Age 45 With a "1% Rule" Property (in New Jersey!) With Tricia Baxter

She read Rich Dad Poor Dad, got angry at herself for not having built multiple income streams... and decided to do something about it!

Tricia Baxter is a real estate rookie who got in the game in her mid-40s. In this episode, she shares how she built a healthy portfolio of small multifamily properties on the Jersey Shore.

Tricia's a busy professional with her own law practice, but she still decided to self-manage when she got started—namely, to learn the ropes and create standard operating procedures, which came in handy when she eventually hired a property manager (spoiler: that's her MVP!).

This episode is full of great tips for anyone who aspires to treat their real estate investing like the business it is!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Self-managing your first property as a learning exercise
  • Why Tricia chose to buy long-term rentals in a touristy area
  • How she finds great vendors using private Facebook groups
  • How to handle raising below-market rents
  • Her tips for financing deals creatively
  • Juggling real estate with a demanding career
  • The importance of multiple income streams
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jul 01, 2020
3 Rentals in His First Year & the Power of a Real-Life 'Rich Dad' Mentor with Derrick Ziglar Jr.

From humble beginnings... to Division 1 football, military service, and now three rental properties in his 20s!

Derrick Ziglar Jr. is a man on a mission, and today he shares how he converted a wrong turn into a $30K duplex purchase that kick-started his journey toward generational wealth.

If you're interested in securing your financial future, then don't miss Derrick's tips on how he finds deals, how he uses a personal line of credit, and the lessons he's learned about managing contractors.

Plus, we go in-depth on how he built a life-changing relationship with a mentor/father figure and the importance of casting a long-term vision for your real estate business—no matter your goals.

Derrick is an impressive rookie investor, and he doesn't hold back in this one... so hit play now. And if you enjoy this episode, please leave us a rating and review in Apple Podcasts!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jun 24, 2020
How to Pick Your Perfect Market: Cleveland vs. Columbus Case Study! with Dave Meyer and Jamie Gallagher

What better way to learn a concept than a real-life, real-time case study?

Today, we listen in on rookie investor Jamie Gallagher as he compares and contrasts two markets. Meanwhile, BiggerPockets' data wiz David Meyer is there to walk him (and us) through the numbers.

You'll learn how to use population growth, rent-to-price ratio, rent-to-income ratio, and historical performance to weigh the pros and cons of various markets so you can compare apples to apples.

These aren't the only factors to consider, but this episode will give you a solid grasp of the basics and put you way ahead of most investors in your search for a market that makes sense for you and your goals.

Be sure to check out BPInsights, the new Pro member benefit bringing you fresh, local real estate data, at (use the promo code "ROOKIES" for a discount if you're upgrading to Pro!). And you can find more of David's work in BiggerPockets Wealth magazine at

In This Episode We Cover:

  • The most important data points to consider when choosing a market
  • What rent-to-price ratio is
  • What rent-to-income ratio is
  • How to look at a market's performance throughout economic cycles
  • How job and population growth affects appreciation
  • What types of employers to look for
  • Quality of life factors
  • Analysis of Cleveland vs. Columbus, Ohio
  • Advice for a future house hacker
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

 Check the full show notes here:

Jun 17, 2020
5 Steps to Reach Financial Freedom in 15 Years Through Long-Distance Investing With Elyse Rasmussen

In 2017, she had done zero deals. Today, she's got 20 units and is nearing her goal of financial freedom by age 45.

In this episode, Elyse Rasmussen shares five tips for rookies interested in long-distance investing... although each can easily be applied to investing in your own backyard, too.

Check out her Instagram page @investingforfinancialfreedom for some #landlordmemes, and be sure to join the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group to tell us what you think of this episode!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Elyse and her husband's plan to reach financial freedom by age 45
  • What to look for when choosing a market out of state (climate, natural hazards, tax policies, etc.)
  • Joining a network of long-distance investors to find referrals
  • Finding and vetting a dual property manager/real estate agent
  • Her approach to insurance policies for 19 properties
  • Buying properties at online auction, step by step
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jun 10, 2020
4 Keys to Building a Portfolio While Working Full-Time With Robert Leonard

Between his career and a podcasting side hustle, Robert Leonard's a busy guy. So how does he—and how can you—build a small but mighty rental portfolio in your spare time?

For Robert, it comes down to 4 major elements:

1. Use a series of house hacks to lower expenses and build equity.

2. Find an MVP real estate agent.

3. Align with a partner.

4. Invest out-of-state.

In this episode, Robert goes into detail on each of the above and explains how they helped him break through "analysis paralysis" in his early 20s. If you pick just one of these strategies and do it well, you'll be way ahead of the game. When you combine several, you're on your way to financial freedom.

Be sure to check out Robert's two podcasts, Millennial Investing and Real Estate Investing over on The Investor's Podcast Network, and subscribe to Real Estate Rookie so you won't miss our next show.

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Jun 03, 2020
How Drew Pulled 6 Deals From His First Direct Mail Campaign With Ryan Dossey (Mentor) and Drew Wiard (Mentee)—Part 2

Everything you've ever wanted to know about direct-to-homeowner marketing... but may have been afraid to ask!

From exactly what Drew writes in a letter, to how he builds rapport when running an appointment, to making offers and getting to the closing table, it's all here in plain English.

This episode follows up on show #9, where mentor/mentee duo Ryan Dossey and Drew Wiard broke down how Drew built a brand and zeroed in on his target market. Today, they walk us through everything that happens after a lead comes in, including how Drew was able to close three deals and get three more under contract in the past three months—despite the pandemic.

If you're tired of seeing all the good deals go to other investors, take matters into your own hands and put some of their tips into action! And be sure to subscribe to Real Estate Rookie in your favorite podcast app so you won't miss the next one.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Drew's results from his first direct mail campaign
  • Marketing to an "absentee owners with equity" list
  • Keeping your marketing message simple
  • Why Drew's letters don't acknowledge the homeowner's hardship
  • Why response rate is the wrong metric to focus on
  • Using "75% of ARV minus repairs" to formulate offers
  • Overcoming objections when you're negotiating a price
  • Putting an inspection period in your contract
  • Finding real estate agents who work with cash buyers
  • Drew and Ryan's personal real estate investing MVPs
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

 Check the full show notes here:

May 27, 2020
What Works (and Doesn't) in a Recession & the Untold Story of J Scott's Messy First Flip

BiggerPockets legend J Scott was once a rookie, and he's got the stories (and scars) to prove it!

Today J stops by to give us a primer on economic cycles and how they impact real estate investors. You'll learn what to expect when housing prices soften and which strategies work best in each economic phase. Plus, J shares the tale of his first (years-long) flip, tells us what he's learned along the way, and delivers a surprising top tip for today's rookie real estate investor.

For more on this topic, pick up a copy of J's newly updated book Recession-Proof Real Estate Investing here.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Economic cycles throughout history
  • Which strategies tend to work well at each point in the cycle
  • J's first flip as a complete newbie
  • The systems he developed over the years
  • How he's shoring up his cash position
  • Opening credit lines
  • Adjusting to a new lending environment
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

May 20, 2020
Using Home Inspections to Spot "Deal Killers" and Negotiate Better Prices with Rose Buckley

OK, you've got a property under contract. Now the real work begins!

In today's episode, you'll learn all about about a crucial step in the home-buying process: home inspections.

Find out how they work, how much they cost, and how they could wind up saving you a boatload of cash—or help you negotiate a sweet deal!

Rose Buckley is a certified home inspector who has walked 1,000-plus homes. And with her background in teaching and translating, she enjoys breaking down this part of the business for up-and-coming investors.

Rose shares her tips for finding a great local inspector and reveals which defects are no biggie, which are challenging, and which ones can be "deal killers."

And yes. We, too, noticed Rose is a female in a male-dominated profession. That led to a great discussion about how she approaches that challenge, how sometimes it's actually an opportunity, and why training as a home inspector—regardless of your gender—may get you closer to your investing goals.

Subscribe to Real Estate Rookie in your favorite podcast app, and if you enjoyed this episode, please pass it on to just ONE friend or family member who might, too.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • What makes a great home inspector
  • Using an inspection report in price negotiations
  • The most common issues Rose runs into
  • Why water is the real estate investor's No. 1 enemy
  • The time she spent 8 hours inspecting a single house
  • How to spot sloppy work in a house that's been flipped
  • Termite and pest infestations
  • GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Rose's experience as a female in a male-dominated industry
  • How becoming a licensed inspector could make you a savvier investor
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

May 13, 2020
2 Long-Distance Rentals with $0 Down with Tony Robinson

Tony Robinson had every excuse NOT to invest.

Expensive local market? Demanding full-time job? Family responsibilities?

Check, check, and check.

So, how did he pull off his first two deals in a cash flow-friendly market 1,500 miles away?

Today, Tony spills the beans: how he got a bank to loan him 100% of purchase AND rehab cost, how he managed contractors from afar, two crucial lessons he learned on his first deal, and much more.

Tony shares tip after tip for investors like you—especially if you live in a pricey area (he lives in Southern California and invests in Shreveport, Louisiana).

Plus, he dives into the mindset shifts that helped him break through—and how becoming a father at a young age led to a goal of achieving financial independence.

We guarantee you'll get value out of this episode. If you agree, subscribe to the show and give us a rating and review in Apple Podcasts. See you next Wednesday!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Tony got past a failed first deal
  • Zeroing in on one zip code when looking for deals
  • Why he chose to invest in Shreveport, LA
  • How he pulled his money out by refinancing
  • Why real estate is "80% mental"
  • Finding a real estate agent and property manager out-of-state
  • Managing renovations remotely using FaceTime
  • How a local bank funded 100% of his projects
  • How a construction loan works and what "draws" are
  • Analyzing local rents
  • Why he locked in his tenants on a 2-year lease
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

May 06, 2020
Finding Off-Market Deals, Step-by-Step with Ryan Dossey (Mentor) and Drew Wiard (Mentee): Part 1

Can't find deals on the MLS? Dreaming about off-market deals, but not sure how to go after them?

Today's show lays out a step-by-step, repeatable strategy for those of you who have what it takes to approach homeowners directly. It's not easy. It takes patience. And It costs money (or time). But for those precise reasons, it's where the real money is.

Today we bring in Drew Wiard, a Fort Wayne, IN investor with a family and a full-time job. He's joined by his mentor, Ryan Dossey, a former BiggerPockets Podcast guest who built his 100+ unit portfolio by creating a pipeline of off-market deals.

The guys walk us through how to build a brand that stands out from the competition, how to establish authority online, and how to pull lists full of juicy leads. This is not vague advice... they reveal the exact systems and resources they're using to find and contact sellers (not all of whom fit the "desperate/distressed" stereotype, by the way)!

Plus, we have a great conversation about mentoring in general – how to find and vet teachers, how to deliver value, and how to hold one another accountable along the way.

This is actually Part 1 in a series; we're going to invite Drew and Ryan back next month to tackle the second piece of this puzzle: handling leads, negotiating with sellers, and crafting your exit strategy.

If you think you have what it takes to find off-market deals, this episode is a perfect starting point. Be sure to subscribe to the show in your favorite app, and we'll see you next Wednesday!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Building a local community-oriented brand when marketing to sellers
  • How to differentiate yourself from other "We Buy Houses" competitors
  • Setting up a Carrot website
  • Creating a web presence to build authority
  • How to identify the hottest zip codes in your area
  • Building "niche" marketing lists using online public records
  • How to generate off-market leads without quitting your day job
  • Eye-catching direct mail pieces
  • The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system Ryan and Drew use
  • How Ryan holds Drew accountable to his goals
  • How to bring value to your mentor
  • How Drew makes time for investing despite having a demanding job and a family
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 29, 2020
Why Pay Someone Else's Mortgage? Ditching $20k/Year Rent with Mallori and Lucas

Banks tend to love a certain type of borrower... and Mallori and Lucas don't quite fit the mold.

They're not 9-to-5ers. They rely on tips and seasonal work. And they live modestly but aren't swimming in cash. So, when they took the plunge into real estate investing—in pricey Tacoma, Washington—they had some work to do to become "bankable."

Today you'll learn how despite a few roadblocks, they dumped their rent payment and pulled off their first-ever home purchase: a house hack in an up-and-coming area. From shopping around between banks, to securing a "rehire" letter to verify employment, to negotiating "early access" to the property and doing some repairs before closing, this episode is full of great tips for those just starting out.

Also—it's a reminder that "sweat equity" doesn't always mean physical labor. Sometimes it's just as important to stay focused and organized when it comes to the huge amounts of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction!

Let us know what you think of the show in our Facebook group (just search "Real Estate Rookie"), and subscribe so you won't miss out next week. See you Wednesday!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • What Mallori and Lucas learned from a first-time homebuyer class
  • The mindset shift that helped them overcome their fears
  • How they avoided analysis paralysis
  • Getting access to a property to do repairs before closing
  • How they ensured their property passed the appraisal
  • How they got free carpet for their rehab
  • How blue-collar workers can be real estate investors, too
  • How seasonal workers can make themselves more bankable
  • What a "rehire letter" is
  • How they analyzed several house hack deals
  • Why listings with one Google Street View photo can be hidden gems
  • Websites where they check rent comps
  • Why their real estate agent turned out to be their "MVP"
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 22, 2020
6 Things New Investors Should Be Doing Right Now

If you've been telling yourself, "I'll invest in real estate when prices come down," well... that time may be coming.

So, what should rookie real estate investors be doing now to prepare?

Today we outline six action items—from shoring up your financial position to making yourself an attractive partner. Also, we bring back the "Rookie Request Line" so you can hear Ashley and Felipe's answers to a few questions from the audience.

If you feel stuck, fearful, or just restless while you're cooped up inside... then check out this episode and take action!

If you're enjoying the show, please take 30 seconds to give us an honest review on Apple Podcasts.

See you next Wednesday!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to secure long-term debt now
  • How to make yourself bankable
  • Why now is the perfect time to practice analyzing deals
  • Why you should take a fresh look at your tenants' leases
  • How to make yourself an attractive real estate partner
  • What balloon payments are and how to plan for them
  • Emergency preparedness procedures
  • Getting your mindset right before jumping into real estate investing
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Apr 15, 2020
The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Tenant Screening with Lucas Hall

Today we tackle the often-overlooked -- but perhaps most important -- element of real estate investing: actually placing a (great!) resident in your property.

Our guest Lucas Hall built website (which he later sold to Cozy, where he now works) and is an expert on best practices for landlords self-managing small portfolios (that's you!).

Lucas walks us through his exact process from the moment he lists a property for rent, to the moment he signs a lease -- AND explains what's changed (and what hasn't) since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Want to avoid evictions and vacancy? Listen up...⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Lucas has been a landlord for 10+ years, owns 4 properties across 3 states. Yet he still hasn't had to evict anybody. That's not an accident; it's the result of a firm but fair process he follows every time there's a vacancy.

Plus, we add a fun twist toward the end of the episode when a rookie investor -- Andrés Bustamante -- jumps on the call to ask some GREAT questions about his own current search for a tenant.

This is a timeless episode that will be just as relevant years in the future. Check it out now, and subscribe to Real Estate Rookie so you won't miss the next one.

See you next Wednesday!

In This Episode We Cover:

- The importance of "pre-screening" over the phone

- Online tools to run background and credit checks

- Why you should always check an applicant's social media profiles

- The income-to-rent ratio Lucas uses to qualify tenants

- Why gathering social security numbers is overrated

- Photo ID checks

- Where to find classes on how to be a fair, ethical landlord

- How to follow fair housing laws

- What Lucas thinks of "cash for keys"

- Whether to accept pre-payment of rent

- Co-signing/guarantor arrangements when a tenant has no income

- How to show properties during the COVID-19 quarantine

- Handling late and non-payment of rent

And much more!

Apr 08, 2020
Doing Deals While Quarantined with Jeremy, Kristen, and Rafael

Yes, newbies ARE still closing deals out there.

This week, we talk to three up-and-coming investors who either recently closed or are currently under contract on investment properties.

Despite entire parts of the economy being shut down, real estate continues to be classified as "essential" -- and Jeremy Goldizen (Avon, OH), Kristen Johnson (Columbia, SC), and Rafael Estrada (Denver, CO) are all taking advantage.

This episode was streamed as a Facebook live, so our audience pitches in and puts some timely questions to our guests and hosts.

How did Jeremy score a 55% discount on a house he plans to BRRRR?

How did Kristen find the wholesaler who brought her the perfect rental property?

And how did Rafael shift his strategy when coronavirus hit and flipping no longer looked like such a great idea?

Hit play, and get answers to all those questions and more.

Next week, we'll be talking about how to screen and work with tenants in the current environment.

You won't want to miss that one... so subscribe to Real Estate Rookie in your favorite podcast app, and we'll see you next Wednesday!

Apr 01, 2020
Start Now, or Wait This Thing Out? Live Audience Q&A

In this episode, we hand the mic over to YOU.

Yesterday (March 24) Ashley and Felipe took took live listener calls and real-time questions from Real Estate Rookie Facebook group members.

"Should I go through with my deal?" "How do I handle my short-term rental?" "How are more experienced investors shifting their big-picture strategy?"

Those are just FEW of the questions we take on in this fast-paced episode.

What do you think of this format? Let us know in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group -- and tell us what topics you want us to tackle next week.

This are disorienting times for investors of ALL skill levels... but by sharing information and resources, we put ourselves in the best possible position to build wealth throughout good markets AND bad.

See you next Wednesday.

Mar 25, 2020
Coronavirus Crash? Do's and Don'ts from Recession Veterans Joe Asamoah and Steve Rozenberg

It's a new week... and, seemingly, a new world.

So -- we've got a new (and very fresh) episode for you... with a twist on our usual format.

On Tuesday, March 17, Ashley and Felipe sat down with Joe Asamoah and Steve Rozenberg to discuss the topic on everyone's mind: the COVID-19 outbreak and its inevitable impact on real estate investors.

Think of it as a virtual coaching session with two seasoned, successful investors who have withstood several downturns and lived to tell about it.

Joe and Steve have a combined 50 years of experience under their belts, so they offer a valuable perspective to younger or less experienced investors -- our fearless co-hosts included -- who haven't yet seen a full real estate cycle.

This episode covers it all -- from the mindset successful investors use to accelerate wealth-building through downswings, to the shifting competition you're likely to face, to how to whip your finances into shape and secure lines of credit BEFORE you need them.

Plus -- Joe breaks down how renting to Section 8 voucher holders can be a lifeline during a recession (assuming you do a few things exactly right), and Steve shares his tips for designing systems and checklists (he's a pilot after all!) so you can think clearly... even when you're steering into economic headwinds.

This episode is GOLD for investors on the hunt for their first, second, or third deal in 2020... Stay safe, everyone -- and we'll see you next Wednesday.

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why the first thing we should all do is "take a breath"
  • The importance of a well-thought-out business plan
  • Learning from local investors who thrived during past crashes
  • Why you're likely to see more flippers leasing out houses
  • Why taking out a HELOC may make sense right now
  • Treating tenants like customers to reduce turnover
  • Why Joe believes "your tenant is the true asset"
  • What Steve learned from 9/11 and Hurricane Harvey
  • Learning from your own (and others') failures
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Check the full show notes here:

Mar 18, 2020
Going All Out to Secure Deal #1 (For Sale By Owner!) with Tim Goutos

Ever felt like you're close to breaking into real estate investing, but not quite getting anywhere?

Today's guest, Tim Goutos, was right there with you. But after taking a trip abroad to clear his head, Tim narrowed his focus and went ALL-OUT in pursuit of his first deal.

He talked to everybody about his goal. He went driving for dollars in his hometown of Lake George, NY. Then, after seeing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sign, he called the owner on the spot.

What happened next? You'll hear the story in today's episode of the Real Estate Rookie Podcast.

We'll cover how to manage fear when making a cold call, how to crunch the numbers using government tax records, and how to protect yourself against the worst-case scenario.

Plus -- if you know anyone who got burned in 2007-08.. or worry you'll meet the same fate... you'll connect with Tim's story. He had a close relative who lost out in the last downturn, so he had every reason to stay far away. Instead, Tim learned all he could and put together a more conservative game plan.

"Captain Tim" is a relatable, down-to-earth guy... and you can learn a lot from his approach of looking to "get on base" rather than hit a home run right away.

Tell us what you think of this episode in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group, and subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app so you won't miss the next show!

Mar 11, 2020
From 4 Years of Analysis Paralysis... to 4 Cash-Flowing Properties with Lauren and Kyle Clugston

How will YOU transition from the "getting educated" phase to taking direct action toward your real estate goals?

Start by taking cues from Lauren and Kyle!

In this premiere episode, they share how they powered through their initial hesitation to build a "small but mighty" rental portfolio in less than 3 years' time... a portfolio that has them well on their way to a life of financial freedom (and maybe even a "boat house!").

You'll love their tips for identifying the right market for you, minimizing risk by house hacking, and leveraging your local meetup group to get the scoop on real estate trends in your area.

Plus, they guide us through their first "true" BRRRR deal—sharing lessons from their experience negotiating directly with a seller, firing a contractor, and finding time to DIY a lot of the renovation, all while juggling two full-time careers.

Lauren and Kyle may seem like sophisticated investors now. But in 2017, they were right where a lot of you are today. By following their roadmap and adjusting it to your market, you too can build a mini-empire that funds the life you dream about.

Make sure to subscribe to Real Estate Rookie in your favorite podcast app, and join our Facebook group (just search "Real Estate Rookie") to continue the conversation. See you next Wednesday!

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Lauren and Kyle's backstory
  • How Lauren overcame 4-year analysis paralysis
  • How Lauren and Kyle balance full-time careers with real estate investing
  • How the BRRRR strategy worked for them
  • Why they let other investors (their “competition”) walk through their property
  • Why their MVP is their real estate meetup group
  • Rookie Request Line: "What is your best advice for finding real estate agents who know what they're doing with investors?"
  • And SO much more!


Check the full show notes here:

Mar 05, 2020

Coming March 5, from BiggerPockets. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts!

Feb 19, 2020