There are a lot of gurus and brands providing real estate education online.
For new investors, it can be difficult to make sense of all the information and identify who is providing genuine advice and who is just trying to sell their products.
Brandon Turner is one of these gurus, and his company Bigger Pockets has become one of the biggest brands online for real estate investing education and community.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at both Brandon Turner and Bigger Pockets and break down everything you need to know as a new real estate investor.
Let's dive in.
Who is Brandon Turner?
Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and podcaster. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.
Brandon Turner was born in Minnesota and is often seen online alongside his wife Heather and children Rosie and Wilder. In his spare time, he spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.
In addition to Brandon's own popular media channels, he's been feature on popular publications like:
and many others
He is also a best-selling author, having published four full-length books, two e-books, and two personal development daily success journals with total combined sales of 400,000 copies worldwide.
His top-selling title, ‘The Book on Rental Property Investing’, is consistently ranked in the top 50 of all business books in the world on Amazon with 700 five-star reviews on the platform.
Another reason you might recognize his face instantly is that in addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top-ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes.
The show also has over 10,000 five-star reviews on iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.
Brandon’s journey with real estate began with buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single-family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half. (AKA House-Hacking).
Later on, he began buying both single-family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single-family homes in Washington state.
Today, Brandon is also the managing member at Open Door Capital, where he raises money to purchase, upgrade and flip large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states.
But perhaps most importantly, Brandon is the founder of BiggerPockets, a brand that has become even more well known than the founder himself.
What is BiggerPockets?
BiggerPockets is a website that acts as a forum & community for all things real estate.
It offers educational content, tools, and a community of over 1,300,000 members to help people avoid mistakes; learn valuable tips; find partners, deals, and financing, and make the best investing decisions possible.
The site aims to bring together real estate experts, newbies, and everyone in between to gain the knowledge needed to reach their full potential.
The BiggerPockets mission is for those who spend time on their website to come from diverse financial backgrounds, have various experience levels, and are looking to strive for different goals, and to provide each individual with the resources and support they need to find their own success -- whether that’s quitting a job to invest or simply creating additional passive income.
These are the 7 core values BiggerPockets stands for:
Family over everything
Serve others with purpose
Build authentic relationships
Keep things fun and get it done
Challenge what's possible
Be insatiably curious
Value unique perspectives
Unlike many online communities and content hubs, you can join BiggerPockets for free. The freely available resources include podcasts, videos, an email newsletter, and general forum discussions.
Most people start by listening to episodes of the BiggerPockets podcast for free.
Naturally, as they learn more, people begin watching the weekly webinars and reading through online forums/articles. This education period gives free users insight into all the different types of real estate investing strategies.
One of the most useful parts BiggerPockets are known for are the personal stories real members of the community share in posts and videos.
Compiling this information can give you hope that regular people can do it, and a step-by-step guide & process to invest in real estate.
Most people starting out recommend sticking with a free membership.
With the free membership, you have access to:
Every episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast
Full visibility of the public forums
Access to live weekly webinars
Access to all of the directories
For those who want even more, there are some additional premium options available.
BiggerPockets Premium Tiers
In addition to the free membership, there are also 3 tiers of paid membership available:
Plus - $19 a month
Pro - $39 a month
Premium - $99 a month
Let's take a closer look at each one and what it offers.
The Plus membership is the lowest tier of the paid memberships. It costs $19 per month and gives you access to:
(5) Property analysis calculators
(3) Marketplace listing capabilities
Limited private messaging capabilities
Some of the BiggerPockets pro tier perks
You are only allowed to generate 5 reports with the property analysis calculators, you do not receive all of the pro perks, and you are limited to only 3 posts per month on the marketplace listings.
If you decide you are ready for a paid membership, most people go with the Pro tier.
It offers the following perks:
Full access to landlord forms
Access to the exclusive pro member forum
Unlimited use of the property analysis calculators
Webinar replay (critical if you have a busy schedule)
The landlord forms are designed to help you transition into the landlord role. The calculators are intended to help you analyze deals before you make an offer.
Access to the pro member forum allows you to connect with like-minded individuals and real estate professionals.
Finally, the webinar replay will allow you to watch every webinar that’s ever been recorded and you won’t have to watch them live, allowing you to be more flexible with your schedule.
The Premium membership is $99 per month and is only available ot real estate agents, investment firms, and hard money lender companies.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not a paid membership is worth the cost comes down to the quality of the perks being offered, so we'll dive a bit more into that below.
Perk #1: Property Analysis Calculators
The property analysis calculators are essentially THE major perk of BiggerPockets pro membership.
As of now, BiggerPockets offers the following 8 different calculators:
Fix & Flip
These calculators are easy to use and will assist you in your investing decisions. A cool feature of these calculators is that you can print out a report of the property you just analyzed.
When printed, the report looks professional and is presentable.
You can then use this report to persuade potential investors, lenders, and you can even use this report as a bargaining chip when making an offer to a seller.
For instance, if you found a great property but the report is telling you that the price is way too high, you do a walkthrough with the seller and show them all of the components telling you it is not valued at the amount the seller listed.
This may convince the seller that they are asking too much for the property and persuade them to drop the price, or accept lower offers.
A member we spoke to told us that it would be good practice to analyze one property per day with the calculators, Even if you are not planning to buy anytime soon, and that's how they started mastering it.
Practice will allow you to get more familiar with the tool and will increase your knowledge of a specific market. This knowledge will help you recognize deals much faster which is key in real estate investing.
Perk #2: Landlord Forms
If you’ve invested in the Pro membership then it is likely you are serious about investing in real estate and will become a landlord at some point in the near future.
BiggerPockets provides you with landlord forms for all 50 states. These forms include:
Move-in / Move out forms
Comprehensive residential lease
It’s important to note that the landlord forms are only available for people who subscribe to an annual membership.
That means you will NOT have access to these forms if you are paying month to month.
These forms can definitely make your time as a landlord much easier. These forms are all adjusted for state-specific laws, which makes investing out of state much easier, and in general, this feature helps take away some of the fear of being a landlord.
Perk #3: Webinar Replay
Even as a free member of BiggerPockets, you are probably already familiar with their weekly webinars.
These webinars are geared towards specific topics and are great educational tools. The only downside is you have to watch them live unless you have the Pro membership.
Being a Pro member allows you to replay any webinar as many times as you want, plus you can watch old webinars as well, essentially creating a large archive library for you to learn from.
Objectively, having unlimited access to these webinars is probably what makes the Pro tier the most common choice.
Perk #4: Advanced Member Search
The advanced member search feature is a tool to create a strong circle.
This feature can be great for connecting with people in your local market or market of interest, and in general, connecting with like-minded individuals can lead to bigger, better deals, and lifetime friendships.
Overall Thoughts On Brandon Turner & BiggerPockets
No other brand online has put out as much free content as BiggerPockets.
In fact, high quality free content IS their brand, and Brandon Turner is largely responsible for that.
In that sense, we have nothing but good things to say about both Brandon and the BiggerPockets brand.
If you are looking for a large, diverse assortment of articles, resources, forum discussions, and more, it's THE the place to go.
For some new investors, this is all they need. They want to take their time digging through mountains of content and learn absolutely everything they can before taking their first steps into the field.
For some investors, all this information is more paralyzing than empowering. When there is more information than you'll ever be able to read, where do you start? When do you decide NOW is the time to take action? For many new investors, the answer becomes "never" and they stagnate in an education loop that never leads to real wealth building.
For many investors, the problem with the BiggerPockets option is simply that it's too slow. The most successful people know that general knowledge isn't what makes you succeed, but rather, specific knowledge to help you reach specific goals.
If you have the specific goal of very quickly building a high-income wholesaling business, and you want to take the absolute fastest, most efficient path there, click below to watch our free case study on how Astroflipping built the 3rd biggest wholesaling business in the US, bringing in 30-50 deals every single month.