Brandon Turner is the janitor at BiggerPockets.com, stumbling around in the dark looking for stuff to clean up. He also writes books. And he’s a slumlord. Jokes aside, this episode goes over the books that all real estate investors should be reading as well as Brandon’s adventures in mobile home park investing.
Today’s book is “High Performance Habits” by Brendon Burchard. Brandon has been devouring this book and talking about it every chance he gets. This book isn’t specifically a real estate investing book, however it covers topics that are applicable to real estate investors such as staying on track with your business.
“Most books tell you ‘hey you’re a moron, do these things’ but what I like about this book,” Brandon tells, “is that it tells you you’re already doing well, here’s how to make it work for the long haul.”
One of the biggest risks with real estate investing is how volatile the market can be. While it’s been a good 5 or 6 years for real estate so far, what would happen if there was another housing crisis? How would your business be able to handle that? That’s where the lessons in this book come in. Knowing how to build a long-term successful plan for your real estate investing business will keep you on top, even if the worst should happen again.
“When things are going good we tend to ease off the gas a little bit,” Brandon says, “That’s when people get burnt out and quit. This book shows those high performers who maintain that status for years and what they do differently.”
There are six things that Burchard identifies in the book that will keep your business successful; threes personal habits and three social habits. They are…
What books are you reading? What books do you suggest? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the BiggerPockets Podcast and website to learn from more active real estate investors!
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Danny Johnson: This is Flipping Junkie podcast episode 113. [music] Welcome to the Flipping Junkie podcast. The podcast for flip pilots everywhere. Flip pilots are the house flippers that work more on our business instead of in our business by keeping a 30,000-flip view. You’re now part of the small group of house flippers that considers themselves flip pilots that strive to build the life of financial freedom and time freedom so that we can spend more time doing what we love with who we love. In this podcast, I give you a glimpse of the daily life of a flip pilot so let’s gets started.
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Flipping Junkie podcast. I’ve got a good friend returning for his third time on the podcast, Brandon Turner, from BiggerPockets. We talk about two books that I’ve had an impact on that we’re reading right now and how and why they have and get into a pretty fascinating conversation. And then, it moves into a discussion of his buying mobile home parks which he did want me to include so that everybody else would go out and drive up the prices, but he’s really enjoying looking into buying those and buying those for investment purposes. Enjoy the show.
Hey, Brandon. How are you doing?
Brandon Turner: I’m fantastic. It’s been a good day. I played racquetball this morning at 06:00. Actually, true story. So I woke up at 04:00 this morning with my cat meowing like crazy. My cat just would not stop. I have two dogs and two cats, anyway. One of the cats is in my bedroom just meowing. I was so mad I was going to take a pillow and throw it at her. Finally, I was like, “I’ll be a nicer and more humane.” What?
Danny Johnson: Evil person.
Brandon Turner: I know. So I get up and I go walk over to her and I’m like, “What? Go. Stop it.” I looked down and there was this 8-inch mouse dead on my floor like right in front of the bed. I’m like, “Ah.” I was upstairs. I don’t know how a mouse got upstairs, but my cat can’t go downstairs because my dogs hate the cats and stay down, anyway. So, apparently, there was a mouse in my room last night and my cat saved my life apparently.
Danny Johnson: Wow. Did you hide it from your wife?
Brandon Turner: I did at first and I just tell her later because my daughter was playing on the roll and rolling in it. I’m like, “Ah. Get her off the floor. You need to wash this floor.”
Danny Johnson: That’s hilarious.
Brandon Turner: [crosstalk 00:02:11] she said, “You found. You clean it.” Anyway, I did that and played some racquetball and got four games in a row. I had fun and that’s my day. How about you?
Danny Johnson: Life of leisure.
Brandon Turner: Life of leisure, yeah.
Danny Johnson: It’s so funny though that you say that because I get in trouble for that all the time about not telling my wife about things, about the cockroach that I saw in the bathroom.
Brandon Turner: Yesterday, there was this—you live in Texas. This is completely normal for you. You’re in Texas though, right?
Danny Johnson: Right.
Brandon Turner: This is probably more normal for you. I walked by the bathroom when I’m all alone in the house. I was working on the garage where I work my offices. Anyway, I go in the house and I walked by the bathroom. I looked in there and there was this 8-inch something on the floor. I didn’t know what it was. I looked and I was like, “That looked like a lizard,” but I was in a hurry. I was running to go grab something. I was like, “That looked like a lizard, but we don’t have lizards in Washington State, like no.” So I went back and I totally forgot about it.
Anyway, three hours then my wife gets home and she texts me a video and there she was like, “What is that?” She took a video of this giant lizard in my bathroom, and I don’t know what it was because we don’t really have lizards. And so, I was like, “Well, shut the door. I’ll come and deal with it later. I’m in the middle of…” I was analyzing the mobilizing home park deal. I can’t distract myself. I’m in deep in this deal.
Finally, I go in the house a couple of hours and it’s gone, so it’s my house somewhere right now. But anyway, my wife yelled at me for not telling her. I got all these stories today, but [crosstalk 00:03:41] Always tell your wife.
Danny Johnson: It backfired on me too in Costa Rica because I saw the iguana or whatever it was because the thing was at least like 16 inches and it was in the corner. I just caught the tail of it at the corner of my eye and I looked. I went over there and saw it and I was like, “Damn.” She’s in the other room and I can’t just get it and deal with it, so I just kind of opened the door to the bedroom so that hopefully it would just leave while we were gone. I came back that evening and the thing was in the same spot. So I was like, “I don’t know how I’m going to do this.”
So she was taking a shower and I got the people that we’re sharing the suite with. I went and got the guy. I was like, “Hey, you might help me out real quick. I’m going to try to grab it. But if it goes, you stand over here and get it.” And so, I grabbed it and she came out right when we were in the middle of that whole process. So she got to see it and scream. Her question is always, “How did it get in here?” And she wants to know how the others are going to come.
Brandon Turner: Yup. That’s exactly my wife, too. Is this the greatest real estate conversation that we’ve ever had? This is fantastic.
Danny Johnson: I enjoyed it at least.
Brandon Turner: I was hoping you were going to end that story with, “So I picked up the iguana and I threw it in the shower on my wife, and that’s why we didn’t talk for a year.”
Danny Johnson: I wouldn’t be talking to you right now.
Brandon Turner: You’d be dead.
Danny Johnson: Well, I might be, but there might be bandages all over the place.
Brandon Turner: That might be. Anyway, so what are we going to be talking about today.
Danny Johnson: Today, we’re going to talk about books that we’re reading that have made an impact.
Brandon Turner: I don’t read. I try, but I don’t really know how.
Danny Johnson: All right. Well, it’s going to be all me then.
Brandon Turner: Yeah.
Danny Johnson: You mentioned something about analyzing a mobile home park and I want to get in to that as well, so I’m sure other people listening would find that pretty interesting because mobile home park.
Brandon Turner: Trailer park. Trailer trash Brandon. That’s why they call me now Brandon “trailer trash” Turner. Nobody calls me that, but I think that should be my new nickname.
Danny Johnson: I’ll start calling you that.
Brandon Turner: Please. Trailer trash Turner.
Danny Johnson: There he is again on Facebook, so trailer trash Turner again.
Brandon Turner: I’m totally going to change my Instagram and Twitter today to trailer trash Turner.
Danny Johnson: Well, you got to start ripping holes in your shirt and stuff. Put on spaghetti on a white shirt like all over.
Brandon Turner: That’s what I got to do. It’s the funniest. All right. So, I’m up for all of that. I have been reading a ton actually lately. My little girl was born two years ago. She has turned two. She’s finally at the age now. She can entertain herself which is a magnificent point of development because all of a sudden now I can actually read for more than 30 seconds without her needing something from me. It’s been fantastic. I’ve been actually reading a little bit, so I think I’m in the middle of—I don’t know—12 books right now or something.
Danny Johnson: Wow. I’m probably in the middle of four. I’ve slowed down on the reading a little just to use of what I’ve been reading, and so it’s a little bit different. I’m just not buying any books and I’m not picking up new ones. But what’s your book? Which one do you want to talk about?
Brandon Turner: I want to talk about a book called High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. I’ve been talking a lot about it everywhere I go lately because this book is rocking my world. In fact, I’m on my second time through it right now, technically third time through it. I guess second. We’ll call it two and a half.
Anyway, it’s not a real estate investing book but what the book is, it’s about—most books out there like here, “You’re a moron. Here’s how to become a little bit more successful. Try this things.” This book is like, “Hey, you are already doing really well. Here’s how to make sure you do that for the long haul,” like, “You’re doing pretty well. You’ve had some good years.”
In real estate, it’s been really good the last five or six years for a lot of people, especially the last couple of years. I have been watching our property value shoot up and everything. When things are going good, we tend to ease out the gas a little bit or get frustrated or whatever and that’s when people burn out or they quit or they lose. So this book is very much like, “What do those high performers that maintain this stuff for years, what are they doing different?” And that’s why I’m really enjoying it quite a bit.
Danny Johnson: What are the things that they’re doing? You knew I was going to ask you.
Brandon Turner: I knew you are, and I even have them here in the table of contents. There’s six things that he identifies in this book. There’s three personal habits and three social habits. The personal ones are successful or you call them high-performing people see clarity. In other words, they know what they want. In fact, this has been huge in my mind in the last couple of years. Most people could get anything they want in life if they knew what they wanted in life. You could tweet that if you wanted and put that in your Instagram. The problem is nobody in the world knows what they want for most of the time. It’s like, “I could do this.”
Danny Johnson: Where it’s like a fuzzy thing, right? [crosstalk 00:08:30]
Brandon Turner: Yeah. Exactly. So he’s saying, “High performing people, they see clarity, continue in finding ways to get more and more clear on what it is they’re looking for.” I’m going to read this, I’m not going to read the whole thing. “Envisioning the future.” There’s four areas of life you can envision. #1 Yourself: Who do you want to be going forward? Identify that. “Who do you want to be?” It says, “Be more intentional about who you want to become. Have vision beyond your current circumstances. Imagine your best future self and start acting like that person today.” I underlined that because I was like, “It’s so good.”
Here’s an example. You want to be a successful house flipper and you want to do 20 house flips every year. Great. What would a person who does 20 house flips every year, what would they do? Who would they be? What kind of person does that? If you don’t know, then you’re probably not hanging out with enough of them. What time do they wake up typically? What time does that person do anything?
Danny Johnson: Well, that’s a good point itself, is if you’re not hanging out with enough of them. Just hanging out with them.
Brandon Turner: They’re hanging out with them, right? Because if you want to become that person, do that. Self was a really good one. And then, there was social which is like how they treat other people. This hit me really hard because I’ve been accused of being kind of a bull in a China shop sort of when I deal people. I’m very just short and direct like, “This is what I need. Can you do this for me?” I tend to use people in that kind of utility way. So he’s like high performers establish how they want to interact with other people ahead of time.
You’re walking in the front door to your house. Do you say, “How do I want this time with my wife to be in the next two hours?”? Let’s set intention before I even walk in the room. I want her to see me as high energy, as loving, as caring, and as present and focused on her and not on my phone. I accept that. Now, I have defined how I want my social interactions to be.
Next was skills, so what skills do you need to develop in life. “Hey, I want to flip houses.” Great. “What skills do you need for that? I didn’t get pretty good at the math at flipping houses or at least figure out how to run those numbers.” “What do you do in this week to develop that skill?” “I don’t know. Nothing.”
Danny Johnson: What I like about this too is the first two didn’t have anything to do with the things related to work. They did in a separate kind of way. I think I read some of that book. The part that I remember from reading was the guy talking about maybe his marriage or his family or something like that and how he spends all this time on the work stuff but never ever spends that kind of energy on himself or his family and that kind of stuff. It’s kind of interesting.
Brandon Turner: They did. They all kind of relate, right? How you are at home affects how you are work, and how you are at work affects how you are at home. Super interrelated.
Last one was service. Are you continually serving other people? What are you doing to contribute to the world? High-performing people have defined that.
Anyway, so that was the first one, see clarity. I won’t spend a lot of time on others but also generate energy. So the food you eat, the time you wake up, the mood you bring to things. High-performing people have an abundance of energy and it’s not accidental, it’s very intentional.
Third was race necessity which I thought was super valuable, too. If you don’t feel a strong desire or need to do something, you probably won’t do it. For me, I had a crappy job making eight bucks an hour when I was 21. So I was like, “I need to invest in real estate. My family depends on it.” My wife, I remember, would drive to work. Her windshield didn’t clear in the winter. It didn’t clear the ice because it was a crappy old car, so she has to drive with her head out the window. It’s like 20 degrees outside. She’s driving to Starbucks at 03:00 in the morning with her head out the window. That was necessity. I was like, “I’m being a horrible husband by letting my wife do that. I can’t afford a better car. So what do I need to do?” Necessity. So that was huge.
The last three were increase productivity—that’s an obvious one but really good information there—develop influence. That kind of goes back to that social thing. The whole chapter is on everything you want in life you can only get it through other people. Almost everything we want in some regard requires other people. Even if you want a real estate deal, it still involves dealing with agents and lenders. They have to work with you. If you’re trying to even get in shape. You need keep being around other people at the gym. So anyway, influence was huge.
Danny Johnson: So that’s why you’re always texting me and emailing me and being like, “Can you introduce me to so and so.”
Brandon Turner: That’s exactly why. It’s also why I have your picture on my ceiling. So when I wake up every day, you’re the first person I see. It’s kind of weird you texting me the picture of you with your shirt off, but I blew it up [crosstalk 00:13:13].
Danny Johnson: We’re recording.
Brandon Turner: Last one, demonstrate courage. High-performing people have tremendous amount of courage and they’re not fearful. They’re not hiding. They go out there and they’re very bold. Anyway, I would recommend it, High Performance Habits. Really good book. What about you?
Danny Johnson: I would recommend that, too. I need to finish reading it before I could fully recommend it. But based on what you said—
Brandon Turner: What about you in terms of what books you read?
Danny Johnson: I know that. I want to get into it, but I also want to talk a little bit about some of the points there. One of them was like that drive. You have the need because of your family and you want to provide for them. Do you think there’s more driving you though that’s innate to you?
My father-in-law had asked me this before. He said, “Do you think that anybody could do what you guys do or have done? Is that something that anybody could do?” And I said, “Well, of course.” As time goes on, I start to wonder if there just isn’t some like some people just aren’t inherently set up to be a certain person and to go after and do what’s required to do those things. And there’s like a drive in some people that isn’t in others. Do you think that that’s the case? Or is that a little bit too deep?
Brandon Turner: I think anybody can succeed. Anybody can do any of these things, but certain things work better for—I’m really bad at flipping houses. I talk about flipping and I do flipping occasionally but I’ll be the first to admit, I’m just not that good at it. I’d say half my flips end up being far or less profitable than I wanted them to be if not more than half. Occasionally, I get a good one but I’m just not good at it. And I know why I’m not good at it because I really am not good at dealing with contractors like the social thing. I’m the bull in the China shop. Either that or I’m just too afraid to talk to them half of the time where I’m just like, “I don’t want to be yelled at by contractor. I’m just going to ignore it, let them do crappy work, and deal with it that way.” Passive aggressive.
I could be good at flipping, but my personality doesn’t lean itself toward that. So we can work on weaknesses all day long but instead I’m like, “Well, what am I good at?” I’m good at the math, so I’d focus on that.
Danny Johnson: So you focus on that or hire somebody to do the things like deal with a contractor.
Brandon Turner: In fact, the mobile home park that I got. The reason I put that together and the reason that it’s doing really well is a guy named Ryan Murdock who is a real estate investor. We had him on the BiggerPockets podcast a long time ago. You should have him on yours some time. He’s fantastic. He brought the deal to me.
Danny Johnson: Ryan Murdock?
Brandon Turner: Yeah, Ryan Murdock. He brought the deal to me, and he’s like, “Hey, I know you’re looking for a mobile home park,” which goes back to this idea of see clarity, right? I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a 50-unit or more mobile home park that was a value and opportunity with seller financing possibilities and city sewer and water. That’s exceptionally clear.
So, he comes and he’s like, “Hey, there’s 49-unit mobile home park that landed on my desk. I don’t know if it’s a good deal or not, but I know you wanted one. And you mentioned the other day that you wanted one.” I’m like, “Great.” So I looked at it. We bought it together because first of all he’s in Bangor, Maine. I’m living in the Washington State. He ain’t getting much farther away. Yeah, unless you go to Hawaii which is also where I’m hoping to head this summer permanently or at least semi-permanently. So you can’t get much further away so I could focus on my weaknesses which is trying to improve that. I can move to Bangor, Maine or I could bring in a partner who has all the things that I’m not good at. He knows the local contractors and he can deal with contractors. He knows the rehab stuff, and I can do what I’m good at: analyzing deals, writing numbers, managing systems and processes.
Danny Johnson: Which absolutely sounds much more appealing, right?
Brandon Turner: Yeah.
Danny Johnson: Focusing on what your strengths are and not trying to improve or spend that time on a crap that you just don’t like to do inherently. Go ahead.
Brandon Turner: On that note, I did a flip recently, one of the more successful flips I’ve done in a long time where this lady called up my lead buying website which was a LeadPropeller site.
Danny Johnson: Nice. I need a gong to hit the gong.
Brandon Turner: That was totally your website. She called on it because I ranked #1 for house buyers in my county. I made the offer. We ended up buying it, I think, for $40,000. We put in 50-ish into it. What’s that? 90? I didn’t do anything. I did nothing. I showed up at the house like three times because what I hate doing is dealing with contractors. I found a partner. I was like, “Hey, why don’t you just come deal with it?” We sold it for like $170,000, so it was like a night. Ater realtor fees and closing costs and everything, we cleared a little over 50 grand. We split it 50-50. I didn’t have to necessarily do it, but it was such an easy experience. I probably have five hours total to make 25 grand in my pocket.
Danny Johnson: That’s a no brainer.
Brandon Turner: A no brainer, and I loved it. That’s more important than anything. I loved that deal because I focused only on my strengths.
Danny Johnson: Have you taken the Kolbe test, K-O-L-B-E?
Brandon Turner: No, I have not.
Danny Johnson: You have not. You should.
Brandon Turner: I’ve taken the DISC profile test.
Danny Johnson: DISC; that’s like personality and it can change, but the Kolbe is more like you’re intrinsic like how you naturally are. It doesn’t really change throughout your lifetime. If you take that test, I think it’s like 60 bucks or whatever but it’ll tell you the four things. You’ll have one where the strongest and the second strongest and then it goes down for the other two. But it’s a fact finder so you just absolutely have to have all the facts if you’re like top on that one. If you’re middle of the road on that one, then you’re okay with just hearing the things you need to hear and you don’t care about all the details. So fact finder, quick start, follow through, and then implementer. And it’s pretty fast because it shows you how you intrinsically—if you like to start a lot of things.
So, for me, the big thing was I’m a quick start/follow through. So the thing was just don’t commit to too much because I’m a quick start, so I like to start a lot of things but I also have to finish them. It was like: It might take a year or long time to finish things, but you will always finish everything but you’re not in a good state though unless you finish things. So if you have all these loose ends, I’m just not feeling good.
It was a pretty fascinating thing to see or to check out. But if you do that, I get it. And then, they have this thing where you can get the audio. There’s like a 30-minute audio on Audible, and she explains it in terms of real life like how to use this information. I thought that was awesome. It was just incredible, so I recommend it.
Brandon Turner: That’s cool. I will definitely do that. I’m a big fan of those kind of tests. I think they’re kind of fun. The downside is every time I take a personality test, it just comes back none but I’m—
Danny Johnson: What are you on the DISC anyway?
Brandon Turner: I was a lower D; higher I; higher S; low, low C.
Danny Johnson: Really?
Brandon Turner: Yeah. So I’m like the personal like that kind of thing. I was a high S primarily, but it wasn’t that severe. It was like 30%, 50%, 70% and like 20%. It wasn’t like I was 100% anything.
Danny Johnson: And wasn’t a sociopath.
Brandon Turner: Not a sociopath.
Danny Johnson: It says that in there for some of them. I’ve seen them. Things like, “Stay away from this person.” They didn’t give any other breakdown. They’re just like, “Don’t hire them.”
Brandon Turner: What if it’s you? You’re a sociopath. Sorry.
Danny Johnson: [crosstalk 00:20:58] as I have a friend who took it and that’s what happened. The interesting thing too and not to get too—we kind of have a conversational topic here anyway so it’s not very specific. The Kolbe test, what happened the other night was Melissa got a book. She’s got a book on like astrology and it’s very fascinating because the signs like your sun sign and I guess there’s different ones for moon and all this other stuff. From the day you were born and then the time you were born. It was super fascinating because almost everything that she read about me and the time I was born and all those things mirrors a lot of what the Kolbe test, which is something that had to answer things for. It’s really weird. “I can tell anything about it, so tell me when you’re born and the time and I’ll know everything about you.”
Brandon Turner: January 1st, 12:01 a.m. That’s a lie.
Danny Johnson: 1960?
Brandon Turner: 1964.
Danny Johnson: Let’s get to the book.
Brandon Turner: All right. What have you got?
Danny Johnson: I’ve got Wake Up and Live.
Brandon Turner: I never even heard of it.
Danny Johnson: This is Dorothea Brande.
Brandon Turner: Dorothy. I don’t know about her.
Danny Johnson: This book is copyright 1936, I think. I heard about this book on the—what’s his name—Brian Buffini. Brian Buffini had talked about this once or twice. I’m pretty sure he’s talked about it.
But anyway, this was published in 1936 and sold like over two million copies and it’s pretty crazy. So I just wanted to talk about that because I had read it and thought it was pretty fascinating. It helped a lot of people that are struggling with—they know what to do but they’re just not doing it and it kind of gets into the analysis/paralysis but goes a little bit deeper as to why you’re not taking action.
I’ve kind of come across this in some of the things that I’ve been working on lately. It’s like, “I’ve never had this problem before and I’m wondering why it’s happening. Why am I not moving forward?” She struggled with finding success, felt paralyzed, and she knew what she needed to do but she had a hard time doing. So she found a way by realizing something though. She realized that in addition to our will to live, that we all have a will to fail. It was this thing where she said we’ve got this will to fail and most of us don’t realize it.
One of the quotes in there—I’ve wrote it down—was like, “With the time and energy we spent in making failure and certainty, we might have certain success.” So it’s like we waste our time and energy worrying about the what ifs, the things that might never happen and just like the excuses and even getting into like, “Why am I getting started and not getting started in this?” It’s all wasted energy. We just put it into action like we would have success with it.
I got on page 20 here. I got something here. I’m going to read from the book here. “The inveterate dreamer will struggle only just as much as he need, and no more. He will do anything halfheartedly to get his bread and butter. Then, when his daily task is over, he will be back at his dreams again, whether he realizes it or not. He succeeds at only one thing: in clearing away a little space, gaining each day a few hours of free time, for just one purpose— to go on wasting his life. But his dream is happy. It is, for him, a true compensation for his failure in every other relation, and so he continues it. Yet, since after all happiness is the true goal, he is deluded by not realizing that the smallest success in reality brings with it more happiness than years of reverie.”
I don’t know. It’s an interesting thing. As she goes in here, she talks about—just a little quote from her, “”If I had done this or that five years ago I’d be better off now.” If you’ve ever thought about that, right? If you’ve looked at it like, “Man, have I just done that, if I had invested in Bitcoin or something.” But the opportunity was there. Why didn’t you see it? Are you sure that you’re not closing your eyes at this moment to win what you’ll see later in retrospect. Is the will to fail not operating in your own life every day?
And so, seeing those things for what you should take action on. But how did you pass it, right? It’s enough to realize it and see that. But then what was it that helped her get past that and succeed, and her whole struggle was writing this book. She had been an editor, but she could never get to the creative part of getting a book written and published. And you probably know what this is like because you’ve written like 20 or 30 books.
Brandon Turner: Four.
Danny Johnson: Four books. But what she found that she could do was act as if she couldn’t fail, act as if it was impossible to fail and it helped her get past that. So it’s like your will to fail and you have all these excuses and all these reasons for why you’re not doing something and just putting all that aside and just acting.
Brandon Turner: I like that.
Danny Johnson: One of the things that she had talked about with doing that is if you find there’s something that you have to do and you’re putting it off or finding excuses. My nephew just the other day was at my house and I was talking to him. He’s out of high school and talking about college and all this stuff he’s going to do. Every time I talked about something that he could do or that he was really interested in stuff, he’d start with the excuses. He didn’t even realize it. He’s like, “I’m just so busy. I just don’t have time.” I was like, “Really? Are you really that busy?” It’s a lot easier to say I’m busy than it is to say—
Brandon Turner: Say I’m afraid.
Danny Johnson: Recognize what the problem is, the real problem. But one of the things that she had talked about was like, “Before you get into something, if you’ve got like an inner stance about something or some kind of opinion of something, that makes it hard for you to do it, to change that and acknowledge it and just change it before you work on it. So for me, if it’s it’s like I’ve got to do some sort of marketing piece or something where I’ve got to think through the copyrighting and I’m just putting it off and it’s just like looking it a different way. And before I do it, understand like, “Hey, I’m actually good at this. I enjoy this really. I don’t know. I just need to sit here and do it.” And get in the right mindset before you start instead of just like sitting and trying to do it like mind wandering and everything like that. I feel like I’m talking a lot now.
Brandon Turner: No. It’s good. The thought that comes to mind there is—when I write books or when I write a blogpost, when I do real estate, when I do anything, it doesn’t really matter what it is. I find that I’m so much better at actually getting it done if I kind of like predefine what I’m going to do.
Here’s an example. On Sunday night, I was having a date with myself in which I go over my entire week, every priority, what has to be done, what my outcomes are for the week. I put them all in my planner. I put them all in my calendar. I put them all in every note at what day I’m going to do, what thing, and at what time. So I’m pretty strict about doing that. On Sunday night, I wrote down: Monday morning between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., I’m going to analyze this mobile home park deal that I was working and I’m going to make a PowerPoint presentation because I already I’m going to do it. I had analyzed it a dozen times before, but I wanted to run a few more scenarios. I’m going to put together a PowerPoint presentation for the money partners that I’m bringing in to help fund this deal and blah, blah, blah. I listed five things that I’m willing to do.
The problem is people sit down and then go, “Well, what do I do now?” They’re not intentional ahead of time. That’s why everyone says like writer’s block. I don’t think writer’s block exists. There’s no such thing as writer’s block. It’s called laziness because I didn’t plan ahead of time what I was going to do.
When I write my books. Book writing is actually fairly easy for me because I spend 10 hours before I ever write a book. So 10 hours at Starbucks—it’s my tradition—and I outline everything. I just spend hours going outline, outline, outline, detail what I want the paragraph to be. I actually take out note cards. I have a notecard for every subject or every little section basically and then what do I want to talk about in that section. It’s a long hard day. It might be 10 or 12 hours of really getting a book down. And when I’m done, then every day I just have a postcard. And so, I sit down to write and it’s like, “I’m writing about how to use direct mail marketing to find deals. Okay. I can do that,” and then I just write about that one topic.
Danny Johnson: It’s awesome. So it’s like breaking it all down and then just focusing on a piece that you’re working on, but you already have what’s going to come next after that.
Brandon Turner: So that way there’s no point I’m never going to sit in there and just going, “What would I do next?” In fact, Brendon Burchard in that book I was talking about, High Performance Habits, he talks about how every major thing in your life that you want to accomplish, every task, every project can be broken down into five stages. And if you just identify what those five stages are, it becomes way easier then you’re not like, “Well, what would I do next?”
This is what I see with real estate investors all the time. They’re wannabes. They say they want to get into real estate. And then six months later, they say they still want to get into real estate. I’m like, “Why aren’t you getting into real estate then? What are you doing?” “Well, I’m just not sure of the next step.” I’m like, “Well, have you sat down and thought what are the five steps or 10 steps needed for me to get from here to buying a property?” I call that the MINS, M-I-N-S. MINS is Most Important Next Step. If you just spend some time identify what is that very most important next step, the next thing I have to do, most tangible item—I think David Allen in Getting Things Done calls it the next actionable step maybe. Anyway, I stole the idea I’m sure from him.
The next step in buying a flip. Let’s say we’ll go to flipping as example. “The next step is I need to find a deal.” “Well, no, it’s not.” “What’s the next step? I need to start some lead gen.” “Nope. Let’s get more specific.” “Well, I need to send out direct mail letters.” “Not specific enough.” The very most important next step is I need to go to ListSource and I’m going to download this list. The next the step. Great. How long does it actually take to go on ListSource and download a list? Five minutes. And that’s what’s fascinating about almost everything in life. Almost everything a person wants to do in life can come down to five-minute tasks. Almost everything doesn’t really require that many hours of work. It’s usually five minutes and a break. But we ended up putting weeks or months or years in between those five-minute tasks simply because we haven’t identified them yet. I don’t know. [crosstalk 00:31:33] a little bit but yeah.
Danny Johnson: No, it’s awesome. What do we do about being derailed?
Brandon Turner: Derail? Man, it depends on why you’re being derailed.
Danny Johnson: It’s more of the squirrel thing like the shiny object syndrome.
Brandon Turner: Well, I think it’s a really good question though. Somebody recently said, “When to grit and when to quit.” I thought that was a really good phrase. Are you being derailed? Or is it actually time to give it up? It’s an interesting question. So, I would look at it. Why are you being derailed? Because it’s not working? Well, you need to change tactics. It’s because you’re bored? Well then, you need to come up with some systems or whatever to make sure that you get the work done despite being bored. You’re not going to be bored when you’re making money. I think somebody once said that. I can’t remember who on our podcast or maybe somewhere else. It might have been Grant Cardone.
Work your passion. You’re going to be passionate about making money. We all like money. I’m not saying that’s the number one thing. But if you have a business or you’re trying to do real estate and you’re continually losing money, that’s not fun. And if you have a business even if you’re selling toilet plungers but all of a sudden you start cranking out enough money to survive and you’re getting towards your financial freedom goals, you’re going to love toilet plungers because you’re passionate about making money. Anyway, so if you’re bored, make some money with it and you’ll probably be less bored.
Danny Johnson: That’s great. The only last thing I wanted to share from the Wake Up and Live was—and actually, I don’t even know this was in there but it kind of related to that. It’s like, “If you struggle with being able to act as if it was impossible to fail, here’s what you can do.” So you can write down what you’re worried about. This is sort of like what you had said about clarification. Was that the right word?
Brandon Turner: Yeah, gain clarity.
Danny Johnson: Getting clarity. So getting clarity about you’re actually really worried about because many times we’re worried. Worry comes from not really actually fully understanding what it is that we’re worried about happening just like this fuzzy idea that there’s going to be some problems or conflicts. So, then write down the worst possible outcome if what you’re worried about actually happens. And then if you can accept the risk of that happening versus the reward of what you get for trying it, then you’re good. And if you’re not, just don’t do it. So I guess getting the clarity is the bigger piece of all of that, is to like really stop worrying about this fuzzy idea or this feeling and turn it into something that exists which is possible.
Brandon Turner: That’s so true. It’s funny these two books relate quite a bit in that. If you just identify what it is you’re trying to do, things become less fuzzy, less foggy. This is an analogy I use a lot.
I can use a perfect story this morning. This morning when I went to go play racquetball with my buddy at 6 a.m.—we’re driving to the gym together. I picked him up and we’re driving there. And then there was dense fog. I live in the Pacific Northwest so it was foggy a lot, but it was dense fog. I could not see 50 feet in front of my car.
So I pulled over the side of the road and I sat there for four hours waiting for it to go away. No, I didn’t. You just keep driving, right? Just because you can’t see a mile down the road or 10 miles on the road doesn’t mean you pull over to the side of the road and stop. It means you just keep driving through the fog. And as you drive through the fog, you can always see a little further.
But what people do is they’re scared, they’re nervous, they’re fuzzy up ahead. “There might be a deer in the road a mile up there, right? I better pull over.” What if my flip doesn’t sell? I better pull over.” Rather than just keep moving forward and answering those questions. And like you said, look at the worst case scenario. Just keep driving through the fog because the view always is revealed as you drive through it.
Danny Johnson: You can end up with some deer meet.
Brandon Turner: And you might eat some deer meet. Win-win.
Danny Johnson: Except for the deer. Let’s talk about this mobile home park. What got you interested in it? What’s so awesome to you about the mobile home parks?
Brandon Turner: Sure. Mobile home parks are terrible. They’re horrible investments. You should not ever buy one now that your audience is—
Danny Johnson: And you got stuck with one, right?
Brandon Turner: I got stuck with one. So now, everybody else turn off your podcast and I’ll tell Danny really what’s up. No, I really like it a lot. I just don’t want everybody else in the world going after them. There’s a number of things I like about them.
First of all, I recognize my weakness in life. I said that earlier. I do not like dealing with contractors. I just do not like it at all. So my theory was if I own a mobile home park where the tenant owns their own home—I don’t own their home. They own the home. I just own the land that they’re renting. I’m literally a landlord but maybe not literally a landlord. I’m a land god. They pay rent to the land god and I don’t have to deal with repairs and maintenance, which means I don’t have to deal with contractors. For me, that was a way to maximize my weaknesses and to use my strength which is analyzing deals, running numbers of value-added opportunities which is huge.
When I looked for a mobile home park, I’m like, “Well, I don’t have to deal with repairs and maintenance which are probably the most variable number in the entire equation of being a rental property owner or flipper. It’s that rehab number that you just cannot get perfect no matter how much you try. You’re always off one way or another.
With the mobile home park, I can much more accurately predict my future profit plus everyone is afraid of mobile home parks so they’re like, “trailer trash Turner.” People always ask me why I’m buying them though. That’s just a lot of trouble. I’m like, “Actually not at all. I don’t deal with anything.” I guess I got a partner and we also have a property manager.
Anyway, so there’s that. They’re also commercial properties technically. They’re commercial properties which means they’re valued very different than normal. You look at a house and it’s worth 100 grand because the neighbor’s house is worth 100 grand and their house is worth 100 grand because the one down the street sold for 100 grand. Everything is worth that way. With this, it’s valued based on how profitable it is. So if I can make it more profitable, it becomes significantly more valuable.
Danny Johnson: What sort of value ads are you looking to do? What are you looking for to do that?
Brandon Turner: So a couple of things: (1) sub-metering water, sewer, garbage—those kind of things—making tenants responsible for their own water bills. Not only does that take that expense out of my pocket and put in their pocket, it actually saves the environment. It cuts down water bill sometimes by half when people are paying their own because they’re like, “I better use less.” I’m really just helping the environment really.
Danny Johnson: That’s why you’re doing it.
Brandon Turner: I’m helping my economy through helping the environment. That’s exactly why I do it. There’s also better management, trying to be better at managing. A lot of mobile home parks are owned by mom-and-pop owners and operators. It’s very, very common. A lot of times, they’re not picking up most of the rent. They let in people that they shouldn’t have let in.
By managing better which is the strength I have as my wife and I are good at managing properties. We wrote a book on it because I think we have good systems. So I can use my good systems to make my property more profitable rather than relying on contractors to make my property more profitable if that makes sense. It’s all about knowing what I’m good at and what I’m not. I think it’s going really well. I’m looking to pick up my second one soon.
Danny Johnson: That’s awesome. You’re buying just all across the country or just in your area?
Brandon Turner: I’m buying hundreds of them all. No. I bought one in Bangor, Maine and now there’s other one that I just got under contract last week. It’s also in Maine because it’s nearby where the other one is. I would buy anywhere in the country really.
But what I found is that having this partner has been invaluable and I want to keep doing that. So we’re going to keep looking for more because when you share that workload, everybody is happier. I can bring the money. I can raise money. I can borrow money. All that side of it. I can analyze deals. I can do direct mail marketing. I did some of that for mobile home parks, but I don’t want to deal with people because I’m a bull in a China shop.
Danny Johnson: What are the some of the higher level things that you look for? Is there like an age of units there?
Brandon Turner: Yeah. I don’t look at for age that much. Obviously, the newer the better, but most of the time they’re like 60s, 70s like the one I got and the one I’m getting. They’re all about 1960s and 1970s. A little bit of 1980s in there. They’re old. They’re crappy. I don’t own them. Technically, I do own them but we bought them and then we sell them off. That’s the plan. You buy them and then you sell them on contract to the tenants then they own their own house which is kind of a cool way to do business there. So I look for that.
I look for city sewer and water. Not that I have to forever, but we talked about the variable nature of repairs, how you never really know what they’re going to be. That’s true also. Everything I’m doing I’m trying to take away the variable. City sewer and water. First of all, it’s on the city but also I don’t have to worry about the septic tank failing or any of those problems because it’s all city problems. I’m just trying to eliminate everything that could be a variable whether I shifted to the tenant or I just eliminated altogether. That way I can get a much more stabilized asset.
Danny Johnson: That’s a good strategy for whatever you’re doing, right?
Brandon Turner: Yeah.
Danny Johnson: Taking out the things that are going to be the “gotchas” and cost you money.
Brandon Turner: That sucks. They can really eat up your profit. I have some rental properties that I just don’t make money on. There’s one. I probably sold that one. I called that the “hell house.” I never made money on it because there are repairs and maintenance. I didn’t know that going into it. That house just had so many weird things about it that things were constantly breaking and wrecking and destroyed. And every time a tenant would move out, we have to spend another 10 grand rehabbing. I just lost money year after year after year on it because that’s how rentals sometimes are. Once in a while, you’ll just get a really rough one.
Danny Johnson: That’s like not getting into it because you’re worried about situations like that but any investor that’s been doing enough deals will run into situations that teach them something more, right?
Brandon Turner: Yup.
Danny Johnson: It’s just going to happen and that’s what it is. It’s the lesson. I think with that we can sign off. Thank you so much, Brandon, for joining me on the show today.
Brandon Turner: Thank you.
Danny Johnson: It’s been a long time since I had you on, probably at least a month.
Brandon Turner: Well, I’m sorry for the ratings dip that your show is going to take now, but it’s been a pleasure being here.
Danny Johnson: All right, man. Whenever you move to Hawaii too if that works out. I’d love an invite to stay for like a year.
Brandon Turner: You are invited forever.
Danny Johnson: Nice, and I got that recorded. Play it back on your voicemail.
Brandon Turner: Okay.
Danny Johnson: All right. Well, have a great one. I’ll talk to you later.
Brandon Turner: All right. Thanks.
Danny Johnson: All right. So you guys heard from Brandon got that great deal from his LeadPropeller website. A lot of people are still struggling with finding how to get into that where they’re generating these leads online with a website of their own for the real estate investing business.
It all begins with keywords because a website has to be found. A website is found by targeting keywords that motivated sellers are searching for on Google and on other search engines to find a solution to their problem where they need to sell a house quickly or they need information on other real estate related situations that might lead to them wanting to sell their house quickly for cash.
And so, the whole start of that and the part of taking action that first thing that you need to do is determine which keywords motivated sellers are searching for. We actually just put together a list of the top 50 converting keywords that motivated sellers searched for based on over two million dollars on ads spent. So this is real data from running these pay-per-click campaigns that looked at what keywords people are searching for that actually drove leads. So they would search for those keywords, find the websites, and then submit the information or call us or call the investor.
So, we’re looking at which ones typically turn into leads. We look at those keywords and put them into a list of the top 15. We’re going to offer those to you for free. You can download those right now. Just go to sellerleadhacks.com/keywords. You can also find the link for that on the show notes page which is flippingjunkie.com/113. Go ahead and grab those. There’s so much information. It’s so valuable to know what keywords produce leads, and they’re the ones that your website should target. So go ahead and get those while you can, sellerleadhacks.com/keywords. [music] Have a great week. I’ll talk to you next time.
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