How BiggerPockets Saved My Life

by Brandon · 23 comments

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“The tenants won’t pay the rent, you’ll go into foreclosure, lose the house, destroy your credit, and ruin your entire future. What you need to do is go to law school, get a job at a nice law firm, work eighty hours per week for ten years to become a partner, then after forty years you can retire as a millionaire.”

This was the advice I got from my Dad when I told him I wanted to go into real estate investing.  Not exactly the encouragement I was hoping for.

At the time, I had just graduated from college and was working a minimum wage job. I had heard all my life “you WILL go to college and land a great job.”

Only, the job didn’t come. I may have graduated summa cum laude from college, but each interview I took I was told I had:

  • not enough experience
  • not enough schooling
  • or just not “right for the job.”  (Sound familiar? You aren’t alone!)

Thus, the only job I could get was an overnight shift at a group home for the developmentally disabled while I studied for the Law School Admissions Test.  I had accepted my fate of working overtime for the rest of my life in a career I had no interest in, simply because it was “the way things are done.”  I honestly believed my life had peaked in college and I was on the slow decline toward slavery and eventual death (old, fat, miserable, but probably rich).

This is when my interest in real estate began to develop. I had begun watching the “flipping” shows where entrepreneurs bought, remodeled, and sold homes to make large sums of profit.  I had no construction ability, but I began to devour every piece of information I could about this “flipping” of homes. I slowly learned that investing was more than just flipping, and that true wealth was in the collection of rentals.

I called my Dad to tell him of my new career in real estate investing- thus the, “you will ruin your entire future” speech I began this story with.

With that, I was back to studying for Law School.

TV is just TV, and in real life – people ruin their lives with real estate.  My dad was not the only one advising against it. Everyone has a story of an uncle who invested in real estate and lost money to deadbeat tenants.  It was fact, or so I thought.

Brandon, Meet BiggerPockets.


I decided to Google my concern. “What to do when a tenant doesn’t pay.”

My search brought me to a website known as BiggerPockets, and it changed, and I would even say “saved,” my life.

For those of you not familiar with, it is a social network for real estate investors. The site is home to (currently) nearly 100,000 members, thousands of blog posts, hundreds of articles, and enough forum discussions to keep you reading for years.

For the first time, I realized there were answers to the “you’ll ruin your life” objections. There were people actually investing in real estate, and making a killing off it.

I can still remember the feeling of knowing there was hope.

I didn’t have to suffer through forty years of a job I hated. I could actually craft a career around something I enjoyed. The income I could make was unlimited and I could be excited to wake up each morning.

Since that day, hardly a week has gone by that I have not been on the site reading articles, asking questions, connecting with others, and learning everything I could.

I love reading books on real estate, but interacting on the forums is like reading a living book. I could ask a question, and often immediately I would receive back suggestions, ideas, and other help from seasoned real estate investors who have been there, done that.

A New Life


When I say “BiggerPockets” saved my life, I truly believe it. It saved me from a life that had been chosen for me, but I did not want. It saved me from the “slave-save-retire-die model” that nearly every American believes is the only way.

Not only did BiggerPockets save my life, it also gave me a life. It helped me on my journey to become a real estate investor, which I now do full-time. I wake up each day excited for the work that I do – because it’s mine. I don’t report to any others (except “the Mrs.”) and have a free reign to express my creativity.

BiggerPockets continues to help me out, even today. There is a good chance that you are reading this blog after finding me through BiggerPockets.  The majority of all my traffic on my site comes from BiggerPockets. Last month I was asked to become a regular contributor on the BiggerPockets Blog which has been an awesome experience and I hope I can give back to the community that has helped me so much.

If you are not currently a member of BiggerPockets or don’t regularly get involved, I highly suggest you get connected. Follow me on BiggerPockets by visiting my profile here. Get involved in the forums, read and comment on blog posts (especially mine, currently on Sundays), like them on Facebook, and start to grow. You never know, BiggerPockets might just save your life as well.

P.S. – My Dad has since come around and is now my biggest private investor.  We own several properties together and are continually talking about “the next property.”   Thanks Dad for all your support! I think you’d agree I make a much better investor than I would have a lawyer!

If you enjoyed this article, I hope you’ll take a minute and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networks you have! If you want to receive each post from “Real Estate In Your Twenties” delivered free to your email inbox, please sign up in the bar on the top of this page. 

Also – be sure to download my free e-book “7 Years to 7 Figure Wealth.” It’s totally free, no up-sell, no affiliate nonsense.

Just a good ‘ol fashion plan.


About Brandon

has written 199 Awesome posts in this blog.

Brandon Turner (G+) is the Senior Editor and Community Director and owner of He is also an Active Real Estate Investor (Flips, Apartments, and Buy-and-Hold), Entrepreneur, World Traveler, Third-Person Speaker, and Husband. Come hang out with him on Twitter!

P.S. looking for hard money loans in California? Be sure to check out my friends over at They have very competitive rates, can fund within a week and specialize in fix and flip loans and other hard money loans.

P.S. Looking for more real estate investing knowledge? If you are interested in a top-notch course to help you understand the nuts and bolts of creative real estate investing, I would like to recommend Ben Leybovich's Cash Flow Freedom University. Ben is a close friend and has been my trusted adviser for years. He's a smart guy and CFFU is pretty awesome. The course is waitlisted, but while you wait for an opening Ben will send you tons of FREE content. Seriously. Click here to check it out.

(yes, that's an affiliate link!)

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Joshua Dorkin June 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Brandon –
Thank you for sharing our site with everyone. I love the story, and am very glad to know what BiggerPockets means to you and your success — of course, you know we’ll be there for you through the ups and downs. I’m glad that your dad got on board, and he should be very proud of what you’ve accomplished. Nicely done.


Brandon June 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Thank you Josh for building such a great community!


Al Williamson June 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Hot stuff. Count me as your newest Sunday blog reader.


Brandon June 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Glad to hear it!


Sabrina Laplante June 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I love reading you post, on this site as well as BiggerPockets!!! It seems as though everyone has that “go to school, get a J-O-B, and work your butt off, but have nothing to show for it mentality. However, yes, when you express to them that you have found a better option such as this wonderful life of real estate investing, they turn against you!!! “You will get no where in life without a degree” was the response that I got when I dropped out of college to pursue what I really want to do; become a very successful real estate investor, and in my twenties! Anyways, thank you so much for sharing all of this valuable information. I hope things are going great for you and your wife, keep up the great work, and share your success along the way.


Brandon June 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Thanks Sabrina, that means a ton! Isn’t it funny how prevalent that belief is of “you’ll get no where without a degree.” Yes, degrees can help in certain jobs, but drive, character, and determination is so much more important. I don’t regret college because it got me where I am, but I sure don’t use my degree for anything (well, except for being the guy with random history facts since I was a History/Poly Sci Major!)


Michele June 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Great story Brandon! Are you knowledgeable about how Bigger Pockets can benefit a small business that is related to Real Estate? I work for, we provide on online rent payment system, geared for property managers, with 0 hold time of your funds. I’m always looking to grow by using beneficial social networks.


Brandon June 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Hi Michele,

I would love to use an ACH rent payment company someday, so thanks for the advice! Right now, though, 99% of my tenants are pretty low income and don’t even have checking accounts or debit/credit cards! (crazy, I know!) Someday I hope to do that, because it sure would make collecting rent a lot easier! Thanks for stopping by!


Michele June 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for the comment and I look forward to following your posts!

Do you know how I can use Bigger Pockets to help meet people that may be interested in what I have to offer with out our company just simply being on the site for advertisement?

I love the social aspect of my job and would rather keep it personable then just having my website listed.


Joshua Dorkin June 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Michele – Just engage and participate. Here’s an article that would likely come in handy:
How To Use BiggerPockets As A TREMENDOUS Lead Generator

As you can see, the key is to provide value and share your knowledge. Once you start to do things like try and hijack conversations, you lose your ability to connect with people.

The same applies on blogs and social networks . . . give instead of taking and you will see your flower blossom.


Brandon June 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Michele- I was going to refer you to that same thread as Josh just did . Chris Clothier seems to know exactly what he’s doing and is really crushing it, so study that.

Like Josh said, providing value is huge. Become a source of knowledge on the forums (without salesy talk) is great. Built up a reputation, and when people need what you are offering, they will come to you because they trust you.

Good luck Michele!


Joy June 13, 2012 at 2:04 am

Great post. I am one of the readers who found your blog through bigger pockets! It is awesome that you were able to show your dad that you could pursue your passion and still be successful! Thanks for sharing.


Brandon June 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Joy, thank you! And your blog is awesome! Seriously, you’ve got a good thing going there. I’m in love with your design! Our stories are super similar. Keep up the awesome work.


Joy June 14, 2012 at 5:04 am



Joey June 18, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Brandon, excellent article! I get the same thing not only from my parents, but pretty much everyone else, except my wife. BiggerPockets has been instrumental in me gaining knowledge over the past several years, while I am currently working in the rat race while trying to get started in REI. As BP has saved your life, your eBook has possibly saved mine. I think it might be the most concise and easy to follow blueprint to becoming a successful real estate investor that I’ve ever come across. I’ve read several books on the multi-family/apartment REI aspect, and a lot of posts on BP, but your eBook simplifies it and is pretty much foolproof to follow. I’m looking forward to starting it in the next couple years, but in the meantime you’ve gained a new follower. Many thanks!


Brandon June 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Hey Joey,

I’m super honored by your kind words! I’m glad you found some value in it. Good luck on your future investing and feel free to use me as a sounding board for ideas and questions!


Nick June 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm


Thank you for the inspiration. I love my day job and have a beautiful young family, and I know I want to get involved with real estate investing SOMEHOW. After constantly listening to naysayers tell me “it’ll be years before you have enough money to get started,” or “good luck being a slum lord,” it is so awesome to read posts from people who just got up and freaking did it.

Seems like there is a lot of opportunity out there and the special few who take the time to read articles and learn everything they can WILL be successful. I look forward to following you as I start my own journey.


Brandon June 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Glad I could help Nick. Yeah, real estate investing gets a lot of crap for being too tough, but it really isn’t if you are smart about it! There is tremendous opportunity out there, especially if you have a day job you love! Keep in touch!


Ryan Mullin July 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Great article! I love biggerpockets. I actually found this blog through bp. Cheers!


Jerome Harrod September 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Reading your story was like it was almost as if you were stalking me, except, I’m not at the happy ending part yet.

I’m in college right now, my field is in Cyber Security and my dad strongly wants me to work in the government. However, I’ve been interested in real estate since I was 16 and now I’m 20 turning 21. Still pushing for my happy ending and biggerpockets was my key turning point, helping me learn a great deal.

I’m Totally psyched that I found this site.This is truly inspirational!!


Brandon September 29, 2012 at 4:25 am

Hey, thanks Jerome! Feel free to email me or post questions anytime! I’m happy to help whenever I can!


mikon nikim September 7, 2013 at 2:49 am

Hi Brandon,
Read your article and loved it. I have a question. I rented out my house in Southern California and within a week the tenant and her family started giving me attitude, talking down to me etc. I would like to get rid of them but it’s only been a week. How can i get them to move out or terminate their lease. Or do I need to wait a whole year?? Please advice.


Brandon September 7, 2013 at 3:49 am

Hey Mikon,

Sad to say – but if you signed a year-lease, you are gonna have to wait. If you didn’t sign a year lease, you’ll be okay to just give them notice to leave (usually give one month’s notice.)

That said, it’s not too late to turn it around. You could hand it over to Property Management to handle it for the next year, or you could just pay them to leave 🙂

Good luck!


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